The apartment is located in the heart of Renaissance Florence on Via Ghibellina, between Borgo Allegri and Via Dei Macci; about two blocks away from Michelangelo's house, five minutes walk to Santa Croce, 15 minutes walk to the Duomo or Piazza della Signoria. This neighborhood was featured in the May '05 issue of Bon Appetit.
The main part of this building was registered in the 'Comune' as a convent in the 12th century and renovations and additions have been made throughout the centuries. It is probably part of the surge of the Dominican and Franciscan convents, monasteries, and churches that took over the Santa Croce area in the 12th century.
Recently, on a visit to Leonardo Da Vinci's hilltop town of Vinci, west of Florence, I discovered that he first came to work for the well-known sculptor Andrea Del Verrocchio. To my surprise, the workshop was located on the corner of Via Ghibellina and the street that is now called Via Dei Macci.
That would be just below my apartment, at the corner. To be sure, every stone in Florence has a story to tell.
The apartment is on the third floor (no elevator), going up a wide staircase made of pietra serena, a local Florentine stone, with a hand wrought iron railing. The stairs are low and manageable with a large landing at each level.
The architect who restored this apartment cleaned through several layers of paint and grime to reveal the original ceiling frescoes in the living room and applied paints to the rest of the house accordingly. Faux finishes on the walls complement the Florentine colors of the frescoes on the airy, high ceilings of the living room.
The apartment has beautiful parquet floors. There is a hand-painted, built-in in the corner of the living room with its matching console. An ancient hand-carved marble sink found in the building serves as a sink in the kitchen striking a distinct contrast to the gleaming white Carrara marble countertop. Some ceiling light fixtures feature Venetian Murano glass or other locally blown glass.
The bedroom lamps were custom-made by local Florentine artisans in the Renaissance tradition. The antique doors to every room are restored and curiously stand on their hinges in the manner of many doors of 'old' buildings in the area such as Cibreo's (a nearby restaurant), for example. The apartment is decorated with a few antique pieces.
The bedrooms are spacious and sunlit with suite bathrooms. The master bathroom has a bathtub with towel warmer. Both bathrooms have bidets and there is a powder room as well.
The heavy walnut dining room table can easily seat six persons. There are table linens, placemats, and table protectors for it.
In the kitchen you will find everything you need to create a gourmet meal, (including all the basic staples), if that is what you like to do. There are even cookbooks in case you really want to experiment with some of the great ingredients you will find in the Sant'Ambrogio market just around the corner from the house.
The neighborhood is colorful, full of great restaurants such as the famous Cibreo, as well as a produce, dairy and meat market,(Sant'Ambrogio) and antique and artisan shops. It is minutes away from everything. After you're done sightseeing, arrange dinner reservations at Enoteca Pinchiorri, said to be one of the top 10 restaurants in the world, on the same street as the apartment, 5 minutes away.
Finally, walk 'home' to a hot bath to rest your tired feet and slip into the bathrobes provided before sliding into crisp pressed linens for the night.
The building has a grace that was lovely to return to.
My husband had a wonderful 50th birthday; our paris based daughter joined us.. she also loved the apartment, and the 2 bathrooms were a bonus.
We dined at the Hotel Santa Croce..just down the street from the apartment. It was the perfect venue for a special celabration.
We loved the location and ambience of the apartment, and Donald was punctual, welcoming and lovely.
We hope to return to Via Ghibbelina in the future,
20 minutes from Peretola airport.
If you are interested in cooking classes, you will find several excellent cooking schools with exciting classes to offer. Opportunities for classes are not only in Florence but in the surrounding medieval hilltop towns which are close-in to Florence and easily reached by car or train.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
Jan 1 2014 - Dec 31 2014
4 night minimum stay
|Refundable damage deposit||€500|
|50% of the rent is due at time of booking; the rest is due 2 months before arrival, including the damage deposit of 500 euros.|
Contact us for consideration of discount for a single or double accommodation.
Credit cards only through Paypal. Paypal fee of 3% charged to guest.
To avoid fraud be sure to speak to me in person to finalize any payment.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay. Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (EUR) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.
Learn more about this vacation rental at the manager's website: