Today we are taking you to Florence! To one of the most beautiful properties in a fabulous location.
Clients love the roof top restaurant, bar, and terrace, along with the friendly staff, stunning views, and charming rooms. But, as you’re about to hear, this hotel is more than that.
The manager, Mrs. Maria Rita Bellini, opened her hotel, her city, and her heart to us when we were there.
We spent the most lovely evening at the hotel. Dinner and wine on the rooftop was delicious, unique and unforgettable.
The Duomo illuminated in the darkness is stunning. You can’t help but think of all the history here. What must it have been like before the dome was completed? What happened in this tower? Who were the people who once called this place home?
During our tour of the property the following morning, as we got in the elevator to see the next floor, I asked Maria Rita about the history of the tower, and to my amazement, she told us “Oh, yes! There is quite a lot of history here. Dante put us in hell! Usurers!”
Our jaws dropped and we told her we had met studying Italian and Dante, she beamed with pride, not for herself, but for her city, and this historic tower she loves.
I couldn’t shake the fascination that the tower I was staying in once housed a family that appeared in the Inferno, so once we returned home, I started researching.
Pulling out my old Inferno book from college, covered in notes in bad hand-writing, Italian on one side, English on the other.
Finally, I found them. Gianfigliazzi was the family’s name, and they’re referenced in the Inferno by a yellow purse hanging around the neck, symbolizing money and hence the crime of usury with the shade of azure on it in the shape of a lion, the family’s coat of arms.
I was so excited having found this, I immediately wrote to Maria Rita and we had a good laugh over the thought of me sitting in my office floor combing through the Inferno for the tower that stole my heart and the family who once owned it.
Before we left Florence, we sat down for coffee with Maria Rita. Such a pleasant morning. Sometimes we meet people we understand in an instant, people we always seem to be on the same page with. Finding these people in Italy is one of my favorite things about the country.
Maria Rita’s letter is so sweet and inspiring, and through her you will feel the personality of the hotel she manages. The way it beautifully blends luxury with charm and friendliness.