Florence, Italy in the Fall is a fantastic time to enjoy Italian life, love and luxury. Our visit in the month of November was not complete without a spectacular tour Palazzo Pitti, and the beauty of the autumn leaves falling gently off the trees. The Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti), which was formerly the official residence of the family of the Medici, Grand Dukes of Tuscany and later of the King of Italy, now houses several important collections by famous artists such as; Raphael, Titian, Perugino (Lamentation over the Dead Christ), Correggio,Peter Paul Rubens, and Pietro da Cortona. You can stroll the Boboli Gardens, one of the most important examples of Italian gardens in the world; it boasts an exceptional number of valuable classical sculptures. Above the amphitheater, as you climb up the hill, you will find “Neptune’s fountain,” who was nicknamed “the Fork” by Florentines because of his trident. At the very top of the hill, you will find the large statue of “Abundance,” by Giambologna, featuring the likeness of Giovanna of Austria, Francis I’s wife, and the Antique Pegasus. Don’t miss the panoramic countryside at the back, and the magnificent picturesque views which beckon a return to this ancient lush hillside and the royal property streaming with divine light.
For the best in luxury and sheer Firenze magic, stay at the 5-star“ Bernini Palace Hotel” located in a historic Florentine building just behind Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery, overlooking Palazzo Vecchio – at the centre of Florentine. Close to Via Tornabuoni, for shopping and nearby Channel and other European brands. The Bernini is owned by the Duetorrihotels Group (World Luxury Hotel Awards 2015.)
The discriminating guest is invited to an exquisite choice of 74 rooms, 15 of which are suites and Jr. suites. No two rooms are alike, and appointed with unique pieces, some with beamed ceilings and four-poster beds. All rooms overlook the inner yards, alleys and paths of Medieval Florence. An excellent choice is the “room with a view” of the Plazza del Duomo, which is visually magical.
The modern intimate full bar is an intimate, relaxing place to sip your favorite libation and enjoy the furnishing of the first floor in a picturesque Tuscan style, combining Renaissance and Oriental styles, with terracotta tile floors, warm-toned furnishings and textiles (red, amaranth, orange, gold), antique arrases and tapestries.
Rich with history, in 1865 when Florence was the capital of Italy, all the members of Parliament stayed in the hotel. A beautiful fresco and paintings of the MP’s can be seen in Sala delle Colazioni (‘Breakfast Hall’) which was once called Buvette del Parlamento (Parliament’s Buvette).
We met the charming General Manager, Mister David Foschi, who gave us a thorough tour of the hotel and we learned about his trips to Padua to hand pick the fine antiques lavishly appointed in the rooms and through out the hotel. It was evident that Mister Foschi cares deeply about and carries in his heart an authentic love of his work spanning thirty-years. “I started as a waiter and worked my way up to general manager,” says Mister Foschi. This pride trickles down to all of the staff under his supervision. In fact, the hotel boasts the presence of two Concierges, belonging to the international association Les Clefs d’Or, who treat the guests like gold.
The recently restored hotel’s restaurant La Chiostrina is located near the lobby, under a XVI century colonnade at the ground floor. Perfect for dinners, business meetings and light lunches, it is the right place to taste Tuscan typical cuisine and different kinds of dishes, thanks to a menu that changes according to the seasons.
Our 4-course meal was superb and Franco, our Restaurant Manager exudes a premonition knowing our every taste and desire. The Tuscan tradition includes a perfectly grilled beef fillet with Chianti and rosemary emulsion serve with baked potatoes. Paired with a Chianti this was sheer bliss.
There is a jewel in the heart of Florence, a magical one known as the Bernini Palace Hotel and the General Manager, Mister David Foschi is the soul of the Bernini.