- Detailed Review
- Facts & Amenities
It’s rare, especially in a city as magnetic as Florence, for a hotel to be a destination in itself. Yet Belmond Villa San Michele, a former medieval monastery, marries Renaissance splendour with contemporary luxury to capture the imagination.
Nestled on the verdant Fiesole hills, Belmond Villa San Michele echoes Florence as a whole. Blending 14th century artistic flair with the region’s ethereal beauty, the hotel is as inspiring as the city’s greatest cathedrals and galleries. The facade, attributed to Michelangelo, is hugged by lush woodland and terraced gardens. From here, guests enjoy an unparalleled panorama over Florence and the Chianti hills beyond.
Little wonder then that Hollywood elite and British royalty have flocked here. Julia Roberts, Vivienne Westwood, The Prince of Wales and John F Kennedy rank among the illustrious former guests. Fiesole has historically drawn the richest and brightest Florentines. The Medicis built their villas here, and Renaissance artist and Dominican friar Fra Angelico took his vows among these hills. In 1506 Leonardo da Vinci first demonstrated his flying machine from Montececeri Park, a short journey away.
It was about this time that a community of Franciscan monks first laid the foundations for what would later become Belmond Villa San Michele. Today, within its warren of rooms and corridors, vaulted ceilings and worn terracotta floors count among its charming original features. The hotel’s guestrooms and suites – including the private 3-bedroom Limonaia Villa – have a fittingly serene feel with antique furnishings and old master paintings, as well as Carrara marble bathrooms.
Step outside and relax in the Italian gardens that are tinged with the scent of orange blossom and rose, take a dip in the pool perched on the hillside or enjoy an al fresco massage, each while taking in breathtaking views of the Arno Valley. Should you wish to get creative, the world-renowned cooking school is a great place to start. Or if you’re content to just eat, the elegantly rustic La Loggia restaurant serves up delicious seasonal Tuscan dishes.
How to get here
20 minutes by road from Florence Peretola Airport
45 rooms & suites