Restored 15th century palazzo Il Salviatino is a glorious spring gateway to ‘Three Perfect Days’ in the historic Italian city of Florence.
The newly restored all-villa retreat has breathtaking views overlooking the legendary Tuscan destination — and has a dedicated service ambassador to organize discovery tours, from bicycle rides and winery visits to soaring over the countryside in a balloon.
With a spring rate of Euro 280-330 a night from 1 March to 15 April, Day One can begin with a casual al fresco lunch of modern interpretations of Tuscan classics at garden restaurant ‘Le Serre’, followed by an afternoon visiting Florence’s famous Duomo cathedral and a staggering range of museums.
Bargello National Museum houses the most magnificent collection of Renaissance sculpture in Italy; Palazzo Vecchio dates back to the 13th century, with fresco’s by Vasari and a statue, Genio della Vittoria, by Michelangelo.
The Museum of San Marco Florence showcases luminous frescos by Fra Angelico. The Medici Chapels display the great wealth and power of the Medici Family; the Chapel of the Princes is adorned with marble, while the New Sacresty was created by Michelangelo and has works such as Night and Day, Dawn and Dusk and Madonna with Child.
The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo houses many sculptural treasures including equipment used by Brunelleschi to build the dome, and the famous Pietà by Michelangelo.
Complete the day immersed in history with a candlelit dinner back at Il Salviatino, savouring Tuscan classics researched from local grandmothers at fine dining restaurant "La Terrazza", with magnificent views over the valley to the Duomo.
Day Two can be spent shopping in Florence, which is famed for its leather produce, goldsmiths and patterned paper. Santa Croce is home to the city’s leather-makers, while in Oltrarno there are workshops of local gold and silversmiths.
The main Florence shopping area is between the Duomo, with boutiques in Via Roma, Via della Vigna Nuova and Via Por Santa Maria, and designer labels like Prada and Dolce e Gabbana in Via de’ Tornabuoni and Via de’ Calzaiuoli.
Goldsmiths abound on world famous Ponte Vecchio, a 4th century bridge renowned as a tourist trap — but a ‘must see’ on any itinerary. Above the shops, there is a passageway known as Corrodoio Vasariano, built for the immensely rich Medici family, lined with portraits of great artists but only open to the public occasionally.
There are various specialist shops worth a visit while in Florence, such as the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, founded by monks in the 16th century as an old fashioned chemist with exquisite herbal lotions and potions.
Handmade shoes can be obtained at Francesco, and if stationery is what you are after, visit Pineider, the most exclusive stationer in Italy, which has designed stationery for Byron, Napoleon and other famous names.
Guests can even be measured-up at Il Salviatino for fittings by renowned shoemaker Roberto Ugolini and tailor Simone Abbarchi, who is famed worldwide for bespoke shirts, sweaters and suits. Once measured, guests can subsequently re-order by email.
Meanwhile, San Lorenzo market is fun for those who enjoy browsing around produce and antique stalls.
On Day Three, an excursion into the Tuscan countryside is recommended. For the active, bicycle tours can be arranged through I Bike Italy. Tuscany by Bike offers themed city excursions such as “Gelato evening” and “Florence wakes up”. Turista per Caso organises daily excursions in Chianti, providing bilingual tour guides, wine-tasting and meals.
Florence Balloon Excursions organises breathtaking champagne flights over Florence.Alternatively, Il Salviatino can arrange Ferrari and Lamborghini tours to visit the picturesque vineyards in Chianti.
Source = Il Salviatino