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The apartment is located in the heart of Renaissance Florence in the Santa Croce neighborhood, between Borgo Allegri and Via Dei Macci; about two blocks away from Michelangelo's house, five minutes walk to Piazza Santa Croce, 15 minutes walk to the Duomo or Piazza della Signoria. This neighborhood is very often featured in travel magazines like Travel and Leisure or Conde Nast.
The main part of this building was registered in the 'Comune' as a convent in the 12th century and renovations and additions have been made throughout the centuries. It is probably part of the surge of the Dominican and Franciscan convents, monasteries, and churches that took over the Santa Croce area in the 12th century.
Recently, on a visit to Leonardo Da Vinci's hilltop town of Vinci, west of Florence, I discovered that he first came to work for the well-known sculptor Andrea Del Verrocchio. To my surprise, the workshop was located on the corner of Via Ghibellina and the street that is now called Via Dei Macci. That would be just below our apartment, at the corner. To be sure, every stone in Florence has a story to tell...every stone, every corner, every medieval alley.
Our apartment is on the third floor (no elevator), going up a wide staircase made of pietra serena, a local Florentine stone, with a hand wrought iron railing. The stairs are low and manageable with a large landing at each level.
The architect who restored this apartment cleaned through several layers of paint and grime to reveal the original ceiling frescoes in the living room and applied paints to the rest of the house accordingly. Faux finishes on the walls complement the Florentine colors of the frescoes on the airy, high ceilings of the living room.
You'll find beautiful parquet floors to pad around in after a day of walking around Florence. There is a hand-painted, built-in in the corner of the living room with its matching console. An ancient hand-carved marble sink found in the building serves as a sink in the kitchen striking a distinct contrast to the gleaming white Carrara marble countertop. Some ceiling light fixtures feature Venetian Murano glass or other locally blown glass.
The bedroom lamps were custom-made by local Florentine artisans in the Renaissance tradition. The antique doors to every room are restored and curiously stand on their hinges in the manner of many doors of 'old' buildings in the area such as Cibreo's (a nearby restaurant), for example. The apartment is decorated with a few antique pieces.
The bedrooms are spacious and sunlit with suite bathrooms. The master bathroom has a bathtub with towel warmer. Both bathrooms are en suite bathrooms and bidets. In addition, there is a hallway powder room.
The heavy walnut dining room table can easily seat six persons. There are table linens, placemats, and table protectors for it.
In the kitchen you will find everything you need to create a gourmet meal, (including all the basic staples), if that is what you like to do. There are even cookbooks in case you really want to experiment with some of the great ingredients you will find in the Sant'Ambrogio market just around the corner from the house.
The neighborhood is colorful, full of great restaurants such as the famous Cibreo, as well as a produce, dairy and meat market,(Sant'Ambrogio) and antique and artisan shops. It is minutes away from everything. After you're done sightseeing, arrange dinner reservations at Enoteca Pinchiorri, said to be one of the top 10 restaurants in the world, on the same street as the apartment, 5 minutes away. Or simply walk across the street to Dino's, a favorite of our guests.
Finally, walk 'home' to a hot bath to rest your tired feet before sliding into crisp pressed linens for the night.
Our housekeeper is available for you to hire at a reasonable price.
We have a local landline for you to use for your local calls and we also have an American phone from which you will be able to make free long distance calls.
Our housekeeper does 1 hour of cleaning each day of your stay. Also, there is a landline, wireless and/or broadband internet access (bring your own laptop), also, plush down comforters in the cool months...moreless
A library full travel books or classics by famous writers through history written about Florence.
* Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay
Additional information about rental rates
Please talk to us about off season rentals.
50% of the rent is due 3 days about booking, the rest, as well as a $600 reimbursable damage deposit is due 2 months before your arrival.
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If you are interested in cooking classes, you will find several excellent cooking schools with exciting classes to offer. Opportunities for classes are not only in Florence but in the surrounding medieval hilltop towns which are close-in to Florence and easily reached by car or train.
Year Purchased: 2003
About the owner: I am a Lower School teacher at a private school in Washington DC and spend all my vacations in my home in Italy. Florence is the place I come to relax and enjoy the art, the food, and the people.
Why the Owner Chose Santa Croce: I have always been in love with the city of Florence. There is a magic in the city and its people that is difficult to describe; everyday is a feast for the senses.
The Unique Benefits at this Apartment: In Florence there is no dearth of activities whether it be artistic or simply people watching. Simply taking an afterdinner stroll is always an adventure. But walking to the boisterous food market around the corner from my house is a must; it's hard to start the day without first doing this. There, the grizzled Tuscan farmers sell you the products they grew or gathered themselves, just as it's been done for centuries. In this market you can find even wild asparagus when the season calls for it, or freshly gathered porcini mushrooms.