In the cypress-lined hills outside Florence, a former Franciscan monastery sits among terraced gardens and looks out across the city.
This spectacular Renaissance villa is home to the Belmond Villa San Michele, just fifteen minutes away from the heart of Florence, and the ideal choice if a relaxing retreat in the Chianti hills appeals more than a city centre hotel. Enjoy the atmosphere of a luxurious private home, with all the treasures of Florence close at hand.
With just 46 suites and bedrooms, the Villa San Michele is a national monument dating from the 15th century, the building’s façade having been designed by Michelangelo himself. Inside, public areas and bedrooms contain frescoes and antiques that are in themselves a work of art.
Outside, the formal gardens are heavy with the scent of flowers and lemon trees, and filled with secluded and shady spots in which to sit and enjoy the spectacular views. The outdoor swimming pool is heated and has a restaurant and bar alongside.
Naturally, food is high on the agenda here, with the Loggia restaurant serving seasonal Tuscan produce in a monthly-changing menu on its grand, arched terrace or inside its elegant dining rooms.
The hotel has its own cookery school – Buono Buonissimo – which keeps classes small to ensure superb attention from its instructors, themselves chefs of great acclaim. Note that the cookery school is closed in August.
Guests at the Villa San Michele are entitled to use the complimentary transfer to and from the centre of Florence.
The Villa San Michele is extremely welcoming for families, with the Smile Club offering pizza-making classes and tours of the hotel’s secret gardens. There is also a dedicated kids’ concierge and a Young Chefs Academy.
Belmond Villa San Michele Information
- Location:Florence, 20 mins drive to Florence Airport (FLR).
- Accommodation:46 Rooms and Suites.
- Facilities:Restaurants, bars, Buono Buonissimo! Cookery School, swimming pool, gardens, walking path, massage gazebo, fitness centre, Smile Club for kids.
- Activities:Vespa tours, rafting, golf, tennis, gelataria tasting-session, chocolate making, wine tasting, visit attractions like Vasari Corridor and Carrara Marble Quarries.
- Weather:The warmest months are generally July and August (about 17-31° Celsius) while the coolest months are December and January (about 1-10° Celsius).
- Children:Very family friendly. Smile Club offers activities such as pizza-making lessons and picnics to tours of the hotel’s secret gardens. A dedicated Kid’s Concierge can also suggest many enticing activities for families like a museum treasure hunt, a visit to a chocolate workshop or an ice-cream factory, or a bike tour around the city. Professional babysitting available on request.