Last summer I checked into this dreamy Florence hotel overlooking the Arno River, a block from the Ponte Vecchio. To say it’s in the ideal location would be an understatement. It’s in the location. Portrait Firenze is the newest property in the Ferragamo family’s Lungarno Collection of stunning hotels. I died for so many details at the Portrait …. where to begin? The ’60s vibe, vintage lighting, the black-and-white photos of mid-century celebrities in Florence (and in Ferragamo). It just spoke. And it usually said: Have a prosecco. So I did. Often.
The hotel was designed by Florence-based Michele Bönan (who also designed this hot Austrian ski lodge). Bonan’s interiors are sophisticated and modern but rich in detail. Take the lobby, for example, with its expertly balanced textures — the narrow, wood-plank ceiling, the white-washed brick walls, slate floors all set off by expansive glass doors (finished with smart, brown-leather handles) and that sexy marble reception desk. It’s casual-elegant-rough-polished perfection. Don Draper would have totally dug it.
The guestrooms were no slouch either. The lacquer built-in kitchen with amazing square-brass pulls. The wall paneling. The graige. The room service. And the View To End All Views. (That was mine below. Yup, insane.) And there’s almost nothing more lovely than waking to the sounds of cathedral bells echoing down the Arno or Italian-leather loafers on ancient cobblestones.
(Yes, that says Marilyn Monroe’s name on the receipt below.)
Florence was so invigorating. As much as part of me wanted to luxuriate in that room all day, I loved pounding those cobbles in search of new energy in this old city. Traveling to investigate a city’s creative scene, and getting to know the locals is the best job their is. What I found was a vibrant maker scene and young designers, shop owners, perfumers and others going out on their own in a city with a stiff resistance to anything post-Renaissance. I’ve already shared the great Florence blogs I found and Marie Antoinette Vintage, the total gem of a vintage store, but there is so much more to tell. That will be for another bottle of Prosecco. Stay tuned. (In the meantime, you can read my two stories on Florence in the Portfolio.)
Know of any Florence gems? I’d love to hear!