Palazzo Vecchietti

Via degli Strozzi, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

With a name like Palazzo Vecchietti, one would expect heavy red velvet, ornately carved dark woods, and all the trappings that go along with an homage to the Florentine Renaissance. Fortunately for the modern visitor, the real Palazzo Vecchietti eschews such overwrought drama in favor of classic, understated, and no less luxurious decor that lets its historic building speak for itself. The palazzo’s foundations date back to the 16th century. The house belonged to one of the oldest families in Florence, who hired the famous Renaissance sculptor Giambologna to design the building’s facade. Renowned contemporary Florentine architect and designer Michele Bönan was behind the building’s biggest facelift, and he outfitted it with his signature retro-inflected lines, with just a few dashes of heavy drapes for good measure.

What’s perhaps most surprising about this hotel, though, is how it somehow manages to create an oasis of calm in the very heart of one of the busiest tourist centers of Europe. It’s set on Via degli Strozzi, just steps from Via de’ Tornabuoni, the Fifth Avenue of Florence. Yet, indoors, it’s just as serene as it must have been when Signor Vecchietti himself arrived home from a Renaissance ball.

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