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RELAIS SANTA CROCE by BAGLIONI HOTELS

For guests seeking a completely private residence for celebrations, family travel or gatherings in the Centre of Florence, there is the option to buy-out the palazzo completely, for a minimum two-night stay. 

Relais Santa Croce has 24 rooms and suites, decorated with attention to every detail and a few modern touches, always with care not to disturb the existing structure. The result is an achieved balance between comfort and wonder, a typical feature of Florentine architecture. 

The earth colors of the roofs and façades of the exterior are graciously echoed in the terracotta, parquet and wood trim of the rooms. 

The main floor is comprised of three fully frescoed signature suites: Da Verrazzano, 170 square meters, and De Pepi, another 91 square meters, which can be combined to form the Santa Croce Royal Suite, 260 square meters of privacy and discreet intimacy, ideal for re-experiencing the atmosphere that the Marquis savored three centuries ago. 

STORY
Relais Santa Croce is a luxury residence, not a hotel, and the building has seen many noble inhabitants over the centuries. Midway through the 18th century, Papal treasurer and sonnet composer Marquis Giovanni Maria Baldinucci, a relative of Filippo Baldinucci, who founded the first nucleus of the Uffizi’s Design Gallery, commissioned the building of the sumptuous palazzo in Via Ghibellina, on a plot of land that had once belonged to Giovanni da Verrazzano, the explorer who discovered New York harbor. 

The columns framing the entrance portal were brought from Rome, and a vast hall on the main floor was designed as a concert hall, a small “Wundertheater.” The musicians were hidden behind panels painted with historical scenes, to create the illusion that the music was self-generated, and filled the hall magically. An enormous chandelier in the center of the hall is held up by a complex system of trusses, built according to designs by Vasari. 

Literati, scientists and artists have lived and worked in the rooms of Palazzo Ciofi-Jacometti over the centuries. It’s rumored that Alessandro Volta, inventor of the battery and the electric generator, was a frequent guest at the palazzo. 

The spirit of those times and the beauty of those rooms have remained intact. The austere façade, the entrance portal, the wide stone staircase, the halls, the parlors, the drawing rooms, the frescoes and the inlays are exactly as they once were. 

The Guelfi & Ghibellini Restaurant features classic Tuscan cuisine with a new eye to modern tastes, set in the striking setting of the 18th century halls, where a sumptuous breakfast is served in the morning. 

Relais Santa Croce is also home to one of Italy’s most famed gastronomic establishments, the three Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri, headed by renowned Chef Annie Feolde, a legend in the food and wine circles. The restaurant also features one of Italy’s most extraordinary wine cellars. 

For more information: a.conte@baglionihotels.com