As luck would have it we arrived at the Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni no. 1 on Valentine’s day. And what a romantic setting to find ourselves in! Located in a 14th-century tower opposite the flagship Ferragamo store on the smartest shopping street in Florence, this is a boutique hotel that oozes character and charm.
The rooms all have high ceilings, large windows and elegant antique furnishings. Ours also had a bookshelf of really interesting books, including guides to the region. But what really makes this Chic Retreat stand out from other luxury hotels in Florence are the two roof terraces with spectacular views across the city to the Duomo in one direction and the river Arno and the Tuscan countryside beyond in the other.
The terraces are serviced by a 24-hour bar, which has a barman from 4pm until 11pm, but operates an honesty system the rest of the time. The breakfast room, the floor below the terrace, also has wonderful views and its own small section of terrace where you can eat your breakfast on a fine day. The breakfast itself was among the most interesting I had encountered in Italy for variety, with grilled and roasted vegetables and tasty salads included in the continental mix. You can take an early morning stroll to the Ponte Vecchio or explore the Ferragamo museum opposite, which has the famous red shoes that Judy Garland wore in the Wizard of Oz. And of course, you are in a prime location for shopping, as some of the best names in Italian luxury share the same address, including Pucci, Gucci, Bulgari, Roberto Cavalli.