AdAstra Florence: Noble Florentine History With a Designer Bent

Eric Millman | Mon, 08/21/2023 - 14:00
AdAstra Salon
Salon at AdAstra

Ed.: The Inspired Stays series highlights hotels we love around Italy. Each property is independently reviewed by an Italy Magazine writer, who is generally hosted on a complimentary basis. Our contributors do not accept compensation or gifts in exchange for specific types of coverage. We only showcase properties we would genuinely recommend overall.

Why we love it

With unbeatable views of the neighboring Giardino Torrigiani, which is among the largest privately owned urban gardens in Europe, this historic Florentine property provides for a generous dose of bucolic tranquility and Romantic Age rumination — while remaining a short walk to the busiest parts of the city center.

What to expect

AdAstra's terrace overlooks the Giardino Torrigiani and Gaetano Baccani's astronomical tower / Photo: Ilaria Costanzo
AdAstra's terrace overlooks the Giardino Torrigiani and Gaetano Baccani's astronomical tower / Photo: Ilaria Costanzo

Fraternal designers Matteo and Marco Perduca, in collaboration with architect Francesco Maestrelli and calligrapher Betty Soldi, have outfitted AdAstra’s salon with colorful, mid-century flourishes. Alongside the decorators’ dabs of whimsy, you’ll find a hefty collection of art books and travel guides — most of local or regional relevance — while the spacious, comfortable rooms sport just enough modern verve to keep things interesting. 

The ground floor of the villa remains the present-day domus of the noble family that owns it, and though the garden itself is off limits to guests, AdAstra is filled with reminders of their lavish taste. The vast wraparound terrace, meanwhile, overlooks that unforgettable garden, complete with a view of Gaetano Baccani’s astronomical tower which gives the hotel its name, Latin for “to the stars.”

Background

The Torrigiani family is said to have lived on the site since the 16th century, though the villa’s current guise dates “only” to the 19th. It offers a well-preserved glimpse into the life of Italian nobility, complete with original oil paintings, frescoed ceilings and period furnishings.

Location, location, location

Just inside the old city walls on Via del Campuccio, a few steps from the delightfully lively Piazza Tasso and its many working-class trattorie, the hotel is also within easy reach of trendy Borgo San Frediano. Piazza Duomo and other principal sites of the historic center are a pleasant 15-minute walk away.

Where you’ll sleep

Room at AdAstra / Photo: Ilaria Costanzo
Room at AdAstra Florence / Photo: Ilaria Costanzo

Each of the 14 suites, including two located within the garden, features its own theme. Mine called back to the garden, with prints of Victorian-era horticultural lit. Furnishings skew Breakfast at Tiffany’s: think pastels, velveteen and vintage lighting. The bed was plush, if perhaps a touch more so than I’d have preferred, and the shower quite spacious. The in-bedroom clawfoot bathtub was a nice surprise, though it faced away from the TV, denying me of the midday bath-and-vintage film pairing I never knew I so desired.

Dining and drinks

While there’s no onsite restaurant nor meal service after breakfast, you’ll find a wealth of dining options just outside in Piazza Tasso, and the receptionist is more than happy to offer a rec as needed. Water and tea are provided to each room, along with an espresso machine (though the mugs on hand did not fit without some mild mods). The salon’s continental breakfast was better than average, including acceptable espresso, pastries, cheeses, and the like; come aperitivo hour, you can order beer or wine and float out to the adjoining terrace to enjoy it. 

Service notes

The concierge is friendly and cordial, though with just over a dozen rooms to oversee, service is only offered at limited hours (they do remain on call should anything urgent arise). The lack of full-time staff hardly seems necessary in such a small space, though; everything was kept glistening.

You should know...

AdAstra stresses that it’s a B&B, not a hotel, and its intimate size comes at the expense of a larger staff, but the discretion is, in fact, quite nice. Note: The museum-like sensibility might not be suitable for young families, based on the guests I encountered during my stay; most kept noise to a whisper in the shared spaces.

Accessibility

  • Elevator available
  • Some stairs required

Features & amenities

In-room bathtubs are a memorable AdAstra quirk / Photo: Ilaria Costanzo
In-room bathtubs are a memorable AdAstra quirk / Photo: Ilaria Costanzo
  • City setting
  • Free WiFi
  • Rooftop terrace

Contacts

AdAstra Florence
Via del Campuccio 53, Florence
Tel. +39 055 0750602
Website

 

Location