Belmond Villa San Michele

Florence, Italy

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  • Belmond Villa San Michele View 1

    Hillside Tuscan villa with masses of history and bags of charm

  • Belmond Villa San Michele View 2

    Hillside Tuscan villa with masses of history and bags of charm

  • Belmond Villa San Michele View 3

    Hillside Tuscan villa with masses of history and bags of charm

  • Belmond Villa San Michele View 4

    Hillside Tuscan villa with masses of history and bags of charm

  • Belmond Villa San Michele View 5

    Hillside Tuscan villa with masses of history and bags of charm

  • Belmond Villa San Michele View 6

    Hillside Tuscan villa with masses of history and bags of charm

  • Belmond Villa San Michele View 7

    Hillside Tuscan villa with masses of history and bags of charm

  • Belmond Villa San Michele View 8

    Hillside Tuscan villa with masses of history and bags of charm

Why we choose Belmond Villa San Michele

15th century monastery turned magnificent 21st century hotel

  • Terraced gardens are brimming with scented shrubs and flowers
  • It’s thought that the spectacular façade was designed by Michelangelo
  • Cook up a storm with personalised Tuscan cooking lessons

Italy has quite a number of villa-turned-hotels, but this is one of the best. In addition to its claim to fame as a recipient of Michelangelo’s fabled touch, it’s got picturesque Italian gardens, bursting with lemon trees and fragrant roses, creating an unforgettable escape. This away-from-it-all feeling is actually true, though; the hotel is a 15-minute ride from the city center. Pro? Con? You decide.

The hotel swimming pool offers views across the valley to Florence on an olive tree-shaded terrace. The more active will find cycles for hire, and there are tennis courts and golf clubs nearby.

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We suggest

Pack the kids off to bed early and indulge in a candlelit dinner on the terrace. Surrounded by a fragrant garden and with the sun setting on the red tile roofs of Florence in the distance, there’s no more romantic way to end the day.

What you need to know about the hotel

Culture lovers don’t have to leave the property to surround themselves in centuries-old treasures

  • The Limonaia Suite, located in the hotel’s former orangerie, boasts a beautiful private garden with a heated plunge pool
  • Get your “om” fix with a yoga session at sunrise in the blooming gardens—a perfect way to start the day
  • The kids will never be the same after being treated to gelato and chocolate lessons and treasure hunts in Florence’s museums

Originally a Franciscan monastery built in 1411, Belmond Villa San Michele was transformed into a hotel after the second world war. Now consisting of 46 guestrooms and suites (more suites than rooms), it maintains its historic charm with details like antique furnishings that fit the location and vibe. One of the things we love about this place is its panoramic views over Florence and the ever-present Italian gardens. This goes on the short list of most romantic hotels in Italy.

Where is it and what's nearby

A Renaissance villa with perfect views of Florence

  • Grab your sweetie for a romantic sunset boat tour along the Arno River
  • Ponte Vecchio, the most famous bridge in the city, is lined with jewelry shops that seem to float above the water
  • Explore the Chianti hills (famous for the wine produced there) on a Vespa or via a hot-air balloon

The birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is a city of immense historic and cultural allure. You can’t walk a block or glance around you without discovering a jaw-dropping treasure like Brunelleschi’s Dome or Michelangelo’s David. But the city also has one foot in the present, offering elegant boutiques and trendy cafes.

Belmond Villa San Michele isn’t exactly in the heart of Florence. Instead, it’s perched on the hilltop of Fiesole, about 15 minutes outside the city. The vistas here, in addition to Florence, include a large wooded park and terraced gardens typical of the area. It’s also a great jumping off point for excursions to nearby cities such as Chianti, Pisa and Arezzo.

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We suggest

This is a wonderful place to recuperate after a Grand Tour of Italy. Plan your vacation to end in Tuscany, and once you’ve explored Florence spend a few days relaxing in the Belmond Villa San Michele’s lemon-scented gardens before heading home.

How to enjoy Florence

For lovers of art, architecture, literature and history Florence is a real treat. Dante, Botticelli, Donatello, Galileo Galilei, Giotto, Michaelangelo, Raphael and da Vinci have all called the city home and much of their work is on show here

  • Marvel at Giotti’s frescoes in the Basilica of Santa Croce; its cavernous interiors and marble will feel cool in even the hottest of Italian summers
  • Oltrarno is the artisan’s quarter—it contrasts with the opulence of the museums, but is no less fascinating with artists’ studios and workshops
  • Take a break from culture and savor a long and hearty meal at one of the city’s numerous and excellent trattorias

Just as Florence was a magnet for artists during the Renaissance, today it is a magnet for lovers of their work. Admittedly there can be long lines for the most popular museums, including the Uffizi (Botticelli’s Birth of Venus) and the Accademia (Michaelangelo’s David). The trick is to visit out of season, or invest in a Firenze Card. The latter gives you free entry to the city’s 67 museums for three days and most importantly allows you to bypass the ticket line for each one.

For utterly breathtaking views, head to the top of the Duomo’s Cupola. With 463 steps to the top of the Cupola and 414 to the viewing platform at the top of the Campanile, it might not just be the view that takes your breath away. For romance, it’s hard to beat the beauty of the Ponte Vecchio. The store-lined bridge has hosted jewellers and goldsmiths since the 1300s. For upscale shopping see Via Tornabuoni, and wander the cool and elegant boutiques of local designers Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Roberto Cavalli.

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    When to visit Florence

    Visit during Easter for cool temperatures and a chance to see the Scoppio del Carro. This 400 year-old Easter Sunday tradition sees an enormous, highly decorated wagon pulled through the streets by white oxen before it is exploded (quite literally) with fireworks and spectacular pyrotechnics.

  • You need to know

    The hotel is tucked into the hillside. Some of the garden rooms require climbing lots of steps.

  • A word from the hotel

    A romantic dinner in our ‘Lovers Corner’ is perfect to celebrate an anniversary or special event.
    Vittorio Dall’O, Food and Beverage Manager

  • A word from the hotel

    The Scuola del Cuoio (Leather School) in Santa Croce is one of the oldest workshops of the city, and it is still producing hand-made Florentine leather.
    Maurizio Ammazzini, Concierge

Location

Location map

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When you book with us

Because of our special relationship with Belmond Villa San Michele, we include these exclusive benefits when you book through Protravel:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Full American buffet breakfast daily in restaurant or via room service
  • US $100 equivalent resort or hotel credit to be utilized during stay

* Conditions apply

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A peek at some of our favorite rooms and suites

Donatello Suite

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