La Gemma: Art Deco Attitude in the Center of Florence

| Mon, 02/26/2024 - 08:32
Room at Hotel La Gemma
Room at La Gemma

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 its Art Deco touches, whimsical walls and books on design spread throughout the lobby and rooms, La Gemma offers modern panache with the heart of old Florence at its doorstep. 

What to expect

Entrance of Hotel La Gemma
Entrance of La Gemma

Popular with well-heeled travelers, given its luxury details and prime location around the corner from Piazza della Repubblica, La Gemma is set in a restored 19th-century palazzo on a quiet side street. It offers a respite from the crowds, but is within walking distance of many key sights of Florence. A full-service ground-floor spa, a mirrored ceilinged bar with black and white marble floors and exceptional cocktails, a restaurant led by a Michelin-starred chef and suites with Duomo views and soaking tubs add to the indulgent feel. 


Opened in 2023 by Florentine Cecchi family, the hotel is in five-level Palazzo Paoletti, built in 1895. Milan-based Design by Gemini (twins Elena and Giulia Sella), known for Instagrammable immersive installations, set the tone with emerald and pale pink velvet furniture and whimsical wallpaper.

Location, location, location 

For Florence first-timers or anyone who wants to be close to the Uffizi, Duomo and Via dè Tornabuoni, La Gemma’s location offers a best-of-both-worlds setup: You’re within easy reach of the heavy hitters in town, but on a side street away from much of the action, which means limited street noise in rooms and no crowded sidewalks to navigate at the hotel entrance.

Where you’ll sleep

Room interiors at Hotel La Gemma
Interiors at La Gemma

Awash in emerald, all 39 rooms at La Gemma (which translates to The Gem) have velvet headboards, chairs, curtains and couches. White marble bathrooms with gold accents balance the verdant glow, as does the tropical wallpaper. Marshall speakers, chess sets, espresso makers and rosemary-scented toiletries make relaxing easier after a long day. Some Junior Suites have a partial Duomo view and penthouse Prestige Suites have a private elevator, living room soaking tub and secluded balconies.

Dining & drinks

LUCA's restaurant and cuisine at Hotel La Gemma
A dish at Luca’s at La Gemma

Luca’s, by Michelin-star chef and restaurateur Paulo Airaudo, is a cozy spot with jazz music from morning to evening. Smoothies to omelets and house-made bread cover breakfast. A lounge menu includes local meats and cheeses or even salads and burgers. The star of the show is the dinner tasting menu, which highlights fish; a standout dish is the Monkfish bagna cauda (similar to fondue). Order The Fantasist, an Old Fashioned served in a smoking dome, in the dimly lit mirrored ceilinged bar.

Service notes 

Though a high-end hotel, La Gemma has an atmosphere that’s laid back and friendly. Service can be slow in the kitchen during breakfast, depending on what’s ordered. During our visit, the spa had just opened, and the lighting design still needed the finishing touches and was too bright for our modesty.

Spa time

The basement spa has a sauna, a steam room and a small Jacuzzi. In addition to massages, Biologique Recherche skin treatments designed to target varying skin conditions, such as dark spots, are available in two rooms. In the lounge, you can sip herbal infusions from local tea merchant La Via del Té before or after a treatment.


  • The hotel has an elevator. 

Features & amenities

  • City
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Free WiFi
  • Spa
  • Pets allowed if communicated to the hotel in advance
  • Family friendly 


La Gemma
Via dei Cavallieri 2/C, Florence
Tel. +39 0550105200