As the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence witnessed the flowering of geniuses such as Dante, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, Donatello and many other artists of undying fame. Then, from 1864 to 1870, it became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy and suddenly found itself projected onto the international stage. For centuries, the Bernini Palace was at the centre of all these events, and a stay in the hotel’s rooms allows guests to tiptoe into history to discover the city’s past through a great many stylistic details.
The history of Florence inside the hotel
Crossing the threshold of this 15th-century palazzo is like leafing through an illustrated history book – especially since the work
carried out between 2020 and 2021. In addition to the restoration of the floor and the staircase in Florentine pietra serena, a type of grey sandstone, in the hall, the renovation also took in the corridors and rooms – with completely new parquets, bathrooms, plumbing and air-conditioning – and the furnishings. The refurbishment has served to bring out the hotel’s special character. This historical palazzo has always been given over to hospitality: in the 17th century
it was the only hotel in Florence to have running water and a stable for its guests’ horses, in the 18th-century
it was the Albergo dello Scudo di Francia, or Hotel of the Shield of France, and in the years in which Florence was the capital of Italy
, aptly renamed as the Hotel Columbia Parlamento, it hosted the parliamentarians’ buvette. When the Bernini was reopened
last May, guests were able to see again the Suites
where celebrities of the worlds of culture, art and cinema have stayed.
Nosing around the rooms
Let’s take a close look at the suites and the rooms. The Hotel Bernini Palace has 74 rooms: 15 Double Classic, 16 Double Superior and Superior Tuscan, 19 Double Deluxe and Deluxe Tuscan, 12 Grand Deluxe, eight Junior and Junior Tuscan Suites and four Suites. Some look onto Piazza San Firenze with magnificent views over the Duomo, Palazzo Bargello and the Campanile of the Badia Fiorentina. Attention to detail is evident throughout and the most modern comforts are everywhere: hence linen sheets, exclusive Simmons mattresses, anallergic quilts and soft cotton satin quilt covers. Above all, every room is different from the next. The Deluxe and Grand Deluxe, spacious and appointed with magnificent antique furniture, look out over the internal courtyards and the streets of the medieval part of town, some onto Piazza San Firenze. The Junior Suites are also classically outfitted with antique furniture, Carrara marble in the bathrooms and relaxing armchairs in the lounges. The comfortable Suites and the iconic Junior Suites, finally, are decorated with Murano glass chandeliers and precious objets d’art. They are larger than the rest and feature completely separate living areas and spacious walk-in wardrobes.