Nowhere else but Florence could you hope to find a meticulously restored Renaissance-era villa turned, with a minimum of modern interference, into a small and swanky boutique hotel. The Residenza del Moro is central, on the west side of the city center, minutes from the Ponte Vecchio and everything else; within its walls, however, is a much-needed island of tranquility in what can be at times a noisy and crowded town.
A columned courtyard sets a tone of old-world elegance on the way in to the accommodations. The eleven rooms and suites vary in size, from cozy double rooms to the suites, one of which is a converted ballroom, another of which features a selection of artworks and some authentic centuries-old frescoes. All bear remnants of Renaissance architecture, whether ornate ceilings, gold trim, or lush silken fabrics.
The old service kitchens have been converted into a small gym, and there’s a tea room for a quick drink — the most charming space, though, is the rooftop garden, dating back to the fifteenth century. A minimal room service is enough for when you can’t tear yourself away, but for restaurants, it’s out on the town — convenient enough, given the location, and the Residenza is all the quieter for it.