Indeed, the hotel dates back to the mid-15th century and the monks’ library was even used by Napoleon Bonaparte – after he dissolved the monastic orders. It’s a rich history that lives on in Nicodemo Ferrucci’s 1602 fresco of The Last Supper and the main hall’s geometric wooden ceiling that bears the Davanzati Family Crest.
While remaining completely sensitive to the hotel’s past, there’s been plenty of welcome additions. In a nod to Florence’s graffiti, contemporary art is spread across the grounds, while the likes of a sleek swimming pool and cutting-edge spa round off a retinue of luxury facilities. Expect Swedish massages, yoga classes and a state-of-the-art gym.
The accommodation, however, is firmly rooted in the hotel’s rich past. Rooms are all positioned in the old monastery, featuring walnut furnishings, marble bathrooms and views of either the cloister or the spectacular surrounds. In turn, suites offer everything from private terraces to wall-to-wall glass and stone fireplaces. The Leonardo offering is especially impressive, so called for its positioned on the hill where da Vinci tested his famous flying machine.
It’s all wrapped up on a crest overlooking Florence. Expect views of cypress trees that spill down to terracotta rooftops, with the city itself reached by a complimentary transfer. And, this panorama is best taken in with a drink in the garden bar or on the dining terrace, where Tuscan delights make the most of ultra-fresh ingredients. There’s even a superb cookery school on site.