Andrew Harper's Notebook: Il Salviatino, Fiesole


Il © Il Salviatino

Four miles from the center of Florence, Il Salviatino is set among 12 acres of gardens on a winding lane that leads up to the lovely hill town of Fiesole. The 45-room hotel opened in the fall of 2009, and it's housed in a historic cream-colored villa that underwent a two-year, $81.8 million restoration. During the project, remarkable frescoes were discovered in what is now the Affresco Suite (which also contains an ancient sarcophagus converted into a bathtub), and artisans painstakingly replaced centuries-old mosaics, repaneled the library, and restored an orangery. The terrace, which overlooks the formal gardens, has a sweeping view of Florence, with Brunelleschi's great cathedral dome centered amid towers and terra-cotta roofs. Our 750-square-foot Dome View Junior Suite comprised a handsome pair of rooms with high ceilings, dark oak floors, a Poltrona Frau leather sofa, and that remarkable vista.

The hotel's gastronomic Italian restaurant, Le Serre, occupies a striking contemporary dining room, where we enjoyed an outstanding meal of light, inventive dishes by Tuscan-born, French-trained chef Saverio Sbaragli. You might, for instance, sample the sole with lardo di Colonnata (a type of salume made by curing strips of pig fat with rosemary and other herbs) over pea custard. Later, we discovered a pot of fresh linden-flower tea in our bedroom, a tone-perfect finishing touch. To read the rest of Andrew Harper's Notebook column for Forbes Life, please visit here.

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.

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