The Relais Santa Croce on Via Ghibellina is a sumptuous noble mansion in historic Santa Croce, Florence’s most intimate and authentic district. 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 Relais Santa Croce offers 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 colours 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 savoured three centuries ago. For guests seeking a completely private residence for celebrations, family travel or gatherings, there is the option to buy-out the palazzo completely, for a minimum two-night stay.
The elegant and welcoming Guelfi & Ghibellini restaurant on the first floor 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. The range of food proposed by Chef Niccolò De Riu has been carefully created to get to know and appreciate the local tradition, on a daily journey to rediscover senses through the flavours of Florence. Relais Santa Croce residents can also savour exclusive culinary experiences at the Enoteca Pinchiorri, the historic restaurant with 3 Michelin stars on the ground floor.
From a hot-air balloon tour or cookery class to a gourmet dinner in your suite or a private concert in the magnificent Music Room: guests at Relais Santa Croce by Baglioni Hotels & Resorts can definitely access to incredible experiences in impeccable Italian style to make their time in Florence even more special.
Via Ghibellina, 87, 50122 Firenze, Italia
Tel. 055 2342230