The 15th-century villa of Il Salviatino sits proudly on one of the hills looking down over the Duomo and red rooftops of Florence.
The bedrooms are fabulous with a pervading feel of femininity with hand painted frescoes and with a soft palette throughout the property. We prefer the bedrooms in the ‘Green House’ which are bathed in sunlight and, despite not sharing the view of the Duomo that rooms higher up enjoy, are a joy to stay in. On the top floor, the Ojetti suite has a glass floor so you can peer down through the stained glass ceiling of the main staircase, or climb the stairs to the private terrace with its stunning views over the olive groves and rooftops in the distance.
Like Ca Sagredo in Venice, Il Salviatino is akin to staying in a museum. During the painstaking restoration of the villa, frescoes were revealed under false ceilings, ancient pathways in the gardens were released from the undergrowth and were lovingly restored and given a new lease of life. Local craftsmen and artisans were brought in to replace broken mosaics, re-panel the old library and delicately restore the old glasshouses on the garden which had been neglected for decades. This really is a labour of love.
Unlike the hotels in town, Il Salviatino is somewhere we would highly recommend for July and August when the city reinvents itself as an Ancient sauna, however it is equally beautiful in the cooler months as the hotel has been designed to feel cosy with a “home from home” sense. We particularly enjoyed an aperitivo in the newly renovated library.
A walk down a path framed by lavender, reveals the swimming pool which is tucked away and utterly private, with only the olive groves and kitchen garden in sight – created especially by Michelangelo Pistoletto. Lunch by the pool, or pop back up the hotel for something more substantial in the gardens. And if you want to head into Florence for dinner, make sure you have at least one or two of the hotels classic martini on the terrace before.
Il Salviatino is a Room with a View for the modern traveller and worthy of a place on the Grand Tourist map of Italy.