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RELAIS SANTA CROCE, part of the Baglioni family of hotels, is located in an eighteenth-century palazzo in the historic center of Florence. The former private home is considered one of the grandest in the city, and the Baglioni family has retained its historic refinement, enveloping guests in modern luxury while carefully preserving the property’s period-correct furnishings, frescoes, artwork, and overall aesthetic. One of the highlights of this architectural marvel is the series of historic wooden trusses, based on a Leonardo da Vinci design, that support the stunning ten-foot chandelier that hangs in the hotel’s majestic Sala della Musica. It is here that the hotel hosts a daily afternoon tea service, featuring over 250 brews selected by the prestigious Via del Tè of Florence, along with sandwiches and sumptuous cakes and artisanal pastries. The rooms and suites likewise exemplify Florentine Tuscan design, with their terracotta tiles, parquet floors, and wood trim.

The overall effect is both romantic and congenial. Known as the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is home to some of the world’s greatest artistic and architectural achievements, and Relais Santa Croce is the perfect spot from which to explore these wonders. The Piazza Santa Croce, the church of Santa Croce, the Bargello museum, Casa Buonarotti, and the Horne museum are only a short walk away. The Uffizi gallery, home to Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” among other great works, is only ten minutes away by foot, as is the Duomo. And the lively Sant’Ambrogio market, with its restaurants, bars, cafés, and boutiques, is right around the corner. You can also book one of the hotel’s specially tailored immersive outings, which include truffle expeditions, tours based on Dante’s Inferno, private cruises on the Arno, and cooking classes with the restaurant’s executive chef, Niccolò de Riu. At night, Riu oversees the kitchen at the hotel’s Guelfi e Ghibellini restaurant, guiding his staff to create exemplary examples of modern Mediterranean cuisine accompanied by the finest Italian and international vintages.

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