First Images: The Plush New Il Tornabuoni Hotel Will Open Near Florence’s Ponte Vecchio
Amongst all of the things we have terribly missed during this last year of lockdown, Italy is most certainly near the top of the list – specifically the fair city of Firenze. And we’re honestly not sure if repeated viewings of A Room With a View have helped, or just succeeded in making things worse.
Of course, the announcement of a luxe new five-star sleep debuting there this September certainly brings a glimmer of hopefulness – but also makes us all the more anxious to get back. And with the first images of the geographically monikered Il Tornabuoni (a member of the AG Hotels group) having just arrived, it appears the Tuscan capital will soon be able to boast of yet another “destination” hotel within its borders.
The truly sublime location is given away in the title, with the hotel’s Via de’ Tornabuoni 3 address putting it just a block away from the Arno River that flows so majestically through the city – and then just another short stroll along its banks to the Ponte Vecchio bridge where, despite the throngs of tourists and jewelry hawkers, the view just never seems any less awe-inspiring. And architecturally reaching all the way back past Michelangelo and Machiavelli, Il Tornabuoni is fitted grandly into the 12th Century Palazzo Minerbetti, of the aristocratic family of the same name.
Just about the right size for a Florence luxury property, it will boast 62 rooms, all with interiors by Milan architect/designer Andrea Auletta. Each is done up in rich, Renaissance inspired tones, with spirited teals, elegant blues, vivacious yellows, sensual vermilions and understated greys all making for a sultry but refined overall color palette. There are also intriguing bird motifs, modern-baroque style wood paneling and even a ceiling fresco or two. Sumptuous bathrooms pay a few aesthetic nods to the lavish spas of Ancient Italia.
There’s even an extravagant Lucrezia Suite, named for our favorite Borgia, obviously.
Rather startlingly for Italy, the hotel will also play host to three distinct epicurean establishments (for the record, Italians themselves don’t tend to spend much time in hotel eateries.) At Il Magnifico Restaurant & Bistrot, Executive Chef Massimiliano Mandozzi will oversee a culinary program that focuses a great deal on regional vegetables. And the Lucie Gourmet rooftop resto will boast a slightly more flamboyant decor, as well as head-turning views of Santa Maria Novella, San Frediano and the charming church of Ognissanti. The hotel will also have a dedicated Champagne bar.
Admittedly, one doesn’t need any particular reason to be back in Florence. But Il Tornabuoni is the sort of “statement” hotel – architecture, design, food, location – that will surely provide exactly the travel therapy we’ll need after eighteen or so months being grounded. Just don’t forget the just-down-the-street Ferragamo shopping spree before dinner.