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Hotel Review: Antica Torre Tornabuoni, Heaven in Florence

10:00 AM EST on January 18, 2024

A room with a view at Antica Torre via Tornabuoni 1 in Florence.

A room with a view at Antica Torre via Tornabuoni 1 in Florence.

Florence is my Italian home away from home. It's what inspired my writing career and where I spent a year working on my first novel (details here).

And Florence was the first place I went when pandemic travel restrictions were lifted, and the first place I stayed was Antica Torre Tornabuoni. I've been back so many times since, the staff refers to me as "Andrew at Antica Torre" (alla "Eloise at the Plaza").

Why do I return, again and again, to Antica Torre?

1) Location. My goodness, could there be a better address in Florence than "via dei Tornabuoni 1"? Step outside the grand doors of the hotel onto a regal, wide boulevard, at the intersection of the Ponte Trinita and un poche passe (a few steps) to the city center, past luxury boutiques and museums and small shops, among the ambiance of Renaissance elan. There is, in reality, world-class art, beauty and culture in every immediate direction.

A Junior Suite at Antica Torre Tornabuoni.
A Junior Suite at Antica Torre Tornabuoni.

2) The towers and the rooms. Situated in two "old-towers" (dating to the 14th century) in the aforementioned location, there are 25 rooms ranging from various-sized suites to library studios. There's even a full apartment available. The spectacular views vary: city-wide toward the Duomo or over the river into the hills rising above Oltrarno. Regardless of vantage point, each room is elegantly designed and complete with touches of sublime sophistication and amenities. The top of each tower features indoor and outdoor spaces with a bar, cafe for breakfast (included) or lunch, a glass-ensconced private room for events and ample terrace space with wonderous views in every direction.

The barroom atop Antica Torre Tornabuoni.
The barroom atop Antica Torre Tornabuoni.

3) The hospitality. One of the benefits of a boutique hotel is the ability to get to know the staff. The General Manager, Maria Rita Bellini, is among the most skilled and personable hospitality professionals I have come across in my extensive travels. Her expertise comes across so casually, it feels like you are visiting a friend. In fact, at this point, she is my friend (and she should be yours!). This ethos of Maria Rita extends to her small staff on hand from the lobby to the tops of the towers.

OK, so I've laid out the obvious "pros" of staying at Antica Torre Tornabuoni. The only "con" I can objectively recognize is the limited lobby. I mean, towers are narrow in nature, so there is no sprawling expanse to enter, replete with places to lounge or have a drink. It's a lovely foyer, administrative in nature, functional for coming, going and taking either elevator to the respective towers where the unique magic of this exquisite hotel can be found.

Rates from 227€. Boutique Hotel - Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1

Via Tornabuoni 1, Firenze, Italy

The view from Antica Torre Tornabuoni.
The view from Antica Torre Tornabuoni.
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