Openings: The Plush New Il Tornabuoni is Florence’s Most Extravagant New 5-Star

Amongst all of the things we have terribly missed during these last nineteen months of travel restrictions, 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 us long all the more to be taking sunny strolls again in the Piazza della Signoria.

Of course, the arrival of a gorgeous new five-star sleep certainly brings with it a sense of hopefulness – but also makes us all the more anxious to be back in the ethereal Tuscan capital. And taking in the images of the geographically monikered (meaning, named for one of the city’s most elegant streets) Il Tornabuoni – a member of the AG Hotels group – it appears that it just might prove a formidable competitor to the considerable likes of the St Regis and the Four Seasons.

As mentioned, the near-perfect location is given away in the name, 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 to be 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 boasts 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, plus modern-baroque style wood paneling and even an evocative ceiling fresco or two. Sumptuous bathrooms pay a few aesthetic nods to the lavish spas of Ancient Italy.

There’s also a particularly extravagant Lucrezia Suite, named for our favorite Borgia, obviously.

It should be noted that Italians themselves don’t tend to spend much time in hotel eateries – though Il Tornabuoni may just succeed in altering that habit, playing host as it does to three distinct epicurean establishments. At Il Magnifico Restaurant & Bistrot, Executive Chef Massimiliano Mandozzi will oversee a culinary program that focuses primarily on regional vegetables; and the Lucie Gourmet rooftop resto boasts a slightly more flamboyant decor, as well as head-turning views of Santa Maria Novella, San Frediano and the charming church of Ognissanti. The property also has 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 kind of travel therapy we all need after nineteen months of being mostly grounded. And while you’re there, feel free to treat yourself to a just-down-the-street Ferragamo shopping spree.


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