Vacation like Robert Langdon at this historic hotel in Florence

“That’s Il Duomo. That’s the Palazzo Vecchio, isn’t it? What am I doing in Florence?” Asks Robert Langdon at the beginning of the award-winning book and blockbuster movie ‘Inferno’. At the elegant and historic Hotel Brunelleschi, you’ll be able to peek out your windows to be greeted by the same view and much more…

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Florence is my favorite city. I fell in love with it on my first visit years ago and I keep coming back to it. The city’s history and art amaze me, its warmth makes me feel at home, and its secrets and myths feed my curiosity. One thing I enjoy the most while traveling is to discover unique hotels and unusual attractions that can make my experience even more magical.

So, I was more than happy when I discovered that one of Florence’s most prestigious and elegant hotel has a not so much hidden but definitely lesser known and surprising history. It’s not only built on ancient Roman baths, but its byzantine tower served as a prison for witches in the Middle Ages.

Historic Hotel Brunelleschi Aka ‘The Heart of Florence’

Florence has many notable places but ‘The heart of Florence’ or Hotel Brunelleschi is well deserving of its title. It is literally located in one of the most beautiful areas in the heart of the old town center. Even before you would enter its beautiful, 6th-century Byzantine tower will take your breath away.

The hotel is only 50 meters from the Duomo and 100 meters from the Uffizi Gallery with the most important shops and sights in the neighboring streets.

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The interior of the hotel is even more impressive. You will find that the very skilled designer was able to perfectly mix contemporary designs with the centuries-old arches of the temple that once stood there.

As you wander around the hallways and various halls you will bump into artworks on every corner. From antique mirrors to contemporary paintings. I spent hours just wandering around, enjoying the artworks or just sitting in an armchair reading. You’ll find that not only the artworks but various scents and the sophisticatedly designed lights are truly transforming this hotel into another realm where everything is specifically designed for your pleasure.

Florence is one of the most beloved romantic vacation spots around the globe and Hotel Brunelleschi is a favorite of honeymooners and couples who want an idyllic getaway for a few nights. However, I found that it’s perfect for solo travelers as well. I felt safe, charmed, and relaxed the whole time.

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ROOMS & Suites AT HOTEL BRUNELLESCHI

Comes as no surprise that this gorgeous 4-star boutique hotel offers suites and deluxe rooms with captivating views of Florence. Classical style decor, a fresh bouquet of flowers, and a spacious bathroom can be found in every suite.

You can enjoy various amenities without even leaving your room, including yummy and healthy snacks, a mini-fridge filled with quality drinks, a safety box, WiFi, LCD TV, and some rooms even have their own espresso machine. However, my favorites are always the slippers and bathrobes which are perfectly comfortable at Hotel Brunelleschi.

My favorite moments were during the morning hours when I wrapped myself in the bathrobe and while sipping my cappuccino I could enjoy the fresh air and watch the city wake up from my window.

My second favorite thing? The stunning, comfortable, and huge bed in the room. You can also be welcomed with champagne and strawberries or request breakfast in bed to make your holiday more memorable and relaxing.

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Hotel Brunelleschi has various rooms and suites some located in their beautiful Byzantine tower. All have a different style, some come with panoramic views, have its own balcony, and one of them even has its own private pool. Their amenities also vary from room to room.

You can also visit their well-equipped gym to make sure you stay in tiptop shape and healthy during your holiday.

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LET’S TALK FOOD

The complimentary buffet breakfast served in an elegant and spacious dining hall, with gorgeous crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Here – like everywhere else around the hotel – art and history will welcome you. You can still see and even dine under the hundreds of years old arches of the church that once stood there.

There is a fine selection of dishes both for meat lovers and vegetarians (meets, fruits, veggies, jams, and pastry). As well a stand where you can request freshly made juice cocktails or go for a mimosa if you want to kickstart your day with something stronger than a freshly drawn Italian espresso.

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ENJOY THE DELICIOUS DISHES Of Hotel brunelleschi

Without even leaving the hotel grounds you will have 2 wonderful fine dining options and a splendid bar just to kick back and relax with elegance and style. You can relish in the Tuscan delights of Santa Elisabetta, Osteria Pagliazza, and The Tower bar.

Both Santa Elizabetta and The Tower Bar are located inside the Byzantine Pagliazza tower. On the first floor of the tower, you will find Santa Elisabetta, an intimate restaurant that has a glorious gourmet menu created by the fantastic chef Rocco De Santis. If you plan to dine here you must book a table in advance.

On the first floor, The Tower Bar welcomes its guests from 10 am in the morning until midnight. Here you can enjoy a nice aperitif like the famous Perrier-Jounet Champagne or a classic Aperol Spritz. 

Osteria Pagliazza can also be found on the ground floor of the tower. You can take a seat inside the tower or you can enjoy some fresh air if you sit at a table outside on Piazza Sant’Elisabetta (during summer). Hotel Brunelleschi’s chef Rocco De Santis will make sure that you’ll taste real Tuscan dishes through an exclusive and rich menu.

They also offer a fine selection of wines so feel free to ask for some recommendations if you want to find the perfect drink for your dishes.

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PRIVATE ON-SITe MUSEUM

Hotel Brunelleschi has its own on-site museum that might be small in size but rich in history and filled with various curious things that can only be found on the hotel’s grounds.

The Pagliazza Tower is where the magic happens. Quite literally…  This tower’s origins date back to the sixth and seventh centuries and is one of the oldest buildings in Florence.

During the twelfth century, the tower was used as a prison for witches and that’s when the tower got its name Pagliazza from the Italian name ‘Paglia’  which means straw because the inmates used straw bedding. Centuries later St. Michael’s church was built right next to Pagliazza and the tower got Romanesque style by the Nuns of St. Ambrose.

The church got renamed and redecorated almost with every passing century. In the eighteenth century, the tower and the church got divided into three floors and was occupied by three hotels. After the hotels had to close, the buildings and its treasures got forgotten for many years. Up until 1980 when the National Institute of Insurers decided to restore the entire complex.

There were various studies performed which lead to the uncovering and recovery of caldarium that was a part of a Roman  Spa in the buildings’ cellars. You can visit these exciting archeological finds along with the ceramics that were found during the excavations in the tower area.

After learning about all these it’s easier to understand why Dan Brown would choose this specific hotel to be in his mystery novels as a temporary home for Professor Robert Langdon.

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PARADISO O INFERNO?  – PARADISE OR HELL?

You can experience both at Hotel Brunelleschi. Only of course, if you wish to.

Maybe you were wondering why I quoted from the movie ‘Inferno’ at the beginning of this post. It’s because I heard about Hotel Brunelleschi from an unlikely place first. Well, not heard but rather read about it in one of the Dan Brown novels called ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and then again in ‘Inferno’.

I’m a bookworm and movie buff who enjoyed both the Brown series and the movies as well. I love mysteries, not to mention witches and anything related to this part of our history. So I was pretty excited when I found out that I can not only visit and spend a couple of nights at this gorgeous historic hotel but can actually walk in Robert Langdon’s footsteps to discover the secrets of Inferno.

Hotel Brunelleschi offers various packages and experiences including the very exciting ‘Inferno Experience‘. The experience is designed for Dan Brown fans who want to re-live the adventures of Professor Langdon. You will spend two nights in the suite of your choice and can go on a four hour guided tour where you can visit the most important places that helped the Professor crack the mystery in Inferno.

I also highly recommend going on ‘The secrets of Inferno‘ guided tour with MuseFirenze in Palazzo Vecchio for the ultimate Inferno experience in Florence. It only costs 4 Euros and you will get to see and walk through the secret corridors and rooms. You’ll get a deeper insight into the Palazzo’s thrilling history and of course, you can see the famous Dante death mask.

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More Info about Historic Hotel Brunelleschi

Accommodation: Hotel Brunelleschi
Location:
 Florence, Italy | How to get here
Accommodation: Historic, Luxury, Heritage Hotel
Price Range: $$-$$$$

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