Overlooking Florence in the Fiesole hills, villa Il Salviatino is an oasis of tranquility…
A mere 15 minutes from the center of Florence, the villa hotel of Il Salviatino is close enough to enjoy all that Florence has to offer while feeling a world away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist crowds. The villa itself offers old world elegance with modern touches and very fashionable details.
From the moment you wind your way up the gated road towards the villa you realise this is not going to be a typical hotel stay. You are greeted not at a desk, but in the foyer of the grand house and offered a restorative glass of prosecco. A quick tour of the villa leads you through sweeping doors to a grand terrace overlooking renaissance gardens, cypress trees, and an impressive view of the Duomo of Florence in the distance. Indeed everything about Il Salviatino’s property is is styled straight out of a photo shoot. On the terrace is the restaurant area, though calling it a restaurant might be a bit provincial as it is more an open outdoor living space with comfortable table and chairs where you can sit and take in the view over a glass of rose, or have a bite to eat. There is a casual ease to life here at Il Salviatino, without forgoing the mannered expectations. Should you want to spend time indoors a huge grand library is filled with wonderful books, including art books on Italy and Tuscany that one could happily spend an afternoon getting lost in pages. Further afield there is a pool area opened in the summer months and a spa area as well where one can relax with a massage using local Tuscan products. The vibe is chic indeed.
Every effort has been taken to preserve the original structure of the villa, wooden floors and ceiling beams, and a marble staircase have been restored. Yet modern creature comforts are combined into the room’s living space such as glass tvs that double as mirrors. Rain shower showers make for heavenly bathing, and the most plush bathrobes imaginable. The waffle imprinted linen towels feel luxurious and the white leather on dark brown wood decor feels very opulent without being too over the top. All rooms offer Tuscan views, a few offer views over Florence, either way every room gets a spectacular view.
Life at the villa is lighthearted. At night the whole property becomes aglow with candle lights streaming up staircases inside and out, through the gardens and into the view. Twilight feels magical. In the garden aperitivo arrives with the sunset while dinner can be taken al fresco on the terrace. Dinner has an a la carte menu and they do have a very impressive wine list. Breakfast is a little more unique experience than your normal continental. The waiter brings you a large prepared tray of the days breakfast offerings. You choose what you want from the tray and if there is something else you might want they are happy to make it for you. All the food no matter what the meal was delicious.
Should you even want to leave the property a shuttle service into central Florence leaves you near the Duomo. So you can take in all the best of Florence yet escape the crowds when they get oppressive. You can be both in Florence and in the Tuscan hills in one stay.
You are staying at a grand house at Il Salviatino, but like all exceptional hosts, you are made to feel at home. It was very hard to leave!
Rooms: Stylish, elegant with a bit of restraint opulence. Quiet and very comfortable. Rooms even come with their own lending library bookshelf, along with in room Nespresso coffee machines. TVs were modern doubling as mirrors and were personalized with a greeting. And all rooms offered views over the Tuscan hills or Florence.
Bathrooms: Love when a bathroom has a privacy room for the toilet, as was the case here. Sink space did have limited storage areas for toiletries but some rooms come with small vanity spaces to put items on. The only disappointment in the whole property was that my room did not come with a bathtub and I had a suite. Some rooms do come with a tub, just make sure and request it before check in. There are heavenly sit down rain showers in all rooms.
What’s on the property: A secluded pool with poolside service of drinks and snacks, lounge chairs and towels. A spa offering a variety of treatments. Ample manicured gardens and a terrace to dine outdoors. A small bar area along with a walk in wine cellar, and should you wish to relax indoors, there is the formal library for conversation and after dinner drinks.
Extras: Complimentary shuttle service to and from the villa to central Florence.
Something Special: Should you have a bathtub in your room, the villa offers a champagne “bubble” bath service in the grand suites. Chose from prosecco to champagne, prices vary, but around $10,000 for this real bubbles bath!
Please note, I paid for my own stay and my review is based on my personal experiences while staying at Il Salviatino