The breathtaking art and beauty of Florence

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The past and present, contemporary design and Renaissance architecture, reality and dreams come together in perfect harmony

Florence. Firenze. Call it what you will, just the name alone can set the pulse racing and imagination on fire. Possibly one of the world’s most beloved cities, it is simply brimming with extraordinary works of medieval, Renaissance and modern art. Locals go about their daily business, bustling through its paved streets alongside the enamoured tourists who flock from all parts of the globe to see with their own eyes the masterpieces of art and architecture created by mankind over the centuries.

There is such a dense concentration of beauty in Florence that is daunting even to think of competing with it, but we dared to try, creating a home in which old and modern combine in perfect harmony. The location is the charming neighbourhood of Costa San Giorgio, tucked away just a few steps from the Arno river and the famed Ponte Vecchio.

Waking up and enjoying the first coffee of the day looking out at the magical Florence landscape is already a special experience. To do so while stretched out on a Piero Lissoni-designed Curl chaise longue, surrounded by exquisite objects such as a coffee table from Patricia Urquiola’s Taula collection, can have you pinching yourself to see if you are dreaming.

The sinuous chaise longue was, in fact, inspired by none other than a certain Michelangelo Buonarroti, the famous Renaissance sculptor whose approach was based on chiselling the superfluous from a piece of marble. The very same technique is applied to the Curl chaise longue, making it appear as though it has been sculpted from a block of natural stone with the single intention of adorning this very living room. The floor in Crema d’Orcia Stone Parquet is laid in a traditional herringbone pattern, lending a classic, delicate feel to the space and creating a sense of continuity with the study beyond. Here, the pale creamy tones of the floor find a perfect contrast with the Adda modular drawer composition in dark, luxurious Pietra d’Avola is an elegant storage solution and the ideal surface for displaying a selection of favourite pieces or sitting down to write, cocooned from the busy city pace outside.

Once you’re ready to face the day, you are spoilt for choice as you stroll the streets, looking in wonder at the churches and architectural jewels you pass, such as the Uffizi or Bargello museums, both home to some of the world’s greatest artworks. When it’s time for a well-earned aperitivo, you may decide to stretch your legs and make your way up to Piazzale Michelangelo with its breathtaking panorama. From here, the entire city stretches before you to create a living postcard with its colours, rooftops and distinctive monuments such as the Arnolfo Tower, one of Florence’s most recognisable symbols for over seven hundred years.

Another perfect day in Paradise ends with a blissful hot soak in your Balnea bathtub, an immense work of art sculpted from Bianco Carrara, the very same stone chosen by Michelangelo for his famed David and many other dazzling statues. As you enjoy the warm water and luxuriate in the elegant atmosphere created by the elegant dappled tones of your Gris du Marais® bathroom, you look out at the rooftops of Florence and appreciate the perfect harmony of old and new, of reality and the dream you are fortunate enough to be living.

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