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
Escape to a bygone era at this hotel housed in the Antica Torre Tornabuoni, a restored tower-house first built by the Guelph Ruggerini family in the mid-13th century. While the space’s heritage is noteworthy, the real draw is the exclusive, guests-only access to terraces with sweeping views of Florence.
What to expect
Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1 has been carefully restored to preserve its architectural heritage and charm. The ambience is warm and intimate, perfect for couples seeking a romantic retreat or families with older children who want more of a luxury vacation.
From the early 14th until the end of the 18th century, the site of the hotel was the residence of the Gianfigliazzi family, famously mentioned by Dante in the Divine Comedy. In the 20th century, the tower became the Pensione Piccioli, a landing pad for aristocrats and freewheeling artists and writers from around the world. It reopened in 2001 and today prides itself on being more historical residence than standard boutique hotel.
Location, location, location
The hotel is on Via Tornabuoni, a prestigious shopping street in the heart of Florence (and an easy walk from Santa Maria Novella station). The area is renowned for its high-end, global household-name boutiques, including born-in-Florence labels like Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Emilio Pucci.
Where you’ll sleep
Each room and suite is thoughtfully designed, with features inspired by local and regional history — Library Rooms, for example, are lined with books on Florence, while the Renaissance suite has a color palette that nods to the pioneering painter Giotto di Bondone.
Dining and drinks
The gem of the property — and my personal favorite corner of the hotel — is the Panoramic Bar, where the views over Florence deliver on the name’s promise. Accessible only to hotel guests, it’s like having your own exclusive visual tour of the Tuscan capital’s key monuments.
Breakfast is included and features a robust spread of sweet and savory options to fuel you for a day of exploring the Renaissance city, while light lunch options (think fresh sandwiches and salads) are available if you need a break from heavy trattoria-type food. Dinnertime will involve a bit of planning if you hope to stay onsite: The hotel’s restaurant, The Tower, offers a special service available only on select nights.
Guests at this historic mansion can expect concierge assistance, daily housekeeping and front desk support. During my stay, the staff was friendly and accommodating.
You should know
In collaboration with local guides, the hotel can organize specialized tours that dive deep into the history of the noble Tornabuoni family and to their namesake street. The Tornabuoni were bankers and patrons of the arts who commissioned masterworks around Florence, most notably inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.
Features & amenities
- City setting
- Rooftop terrace
- Pets allowed
Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1
Via Tornabuoni 1, Florence
Tel. +39 055 2658161