FLORENCE - Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Uffizi, Accademia Gallery

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Section of the dome of Florence Cathedral City of Florence: panoramic viewFlorence will be my first stop in Italy on my way to study Architecture at the University in Ferrara (see my post here). I have always wanted to visit this city. FLORENCE, capital of the region of Tuscany, has a population of around half a million inhabitants. Florence is called the capital of arts; according to statistics produced by UNESCO, 60% of the world's most important works of art are located in Italy and approximately half of these are in Florence. This is the birthplace of Dante and Michelangelo. Wow do I have allot to see in this city. First things first. Where to stay. Well I wanted to stay at JK Place, but unfortunately it was all booked (pretty popular place in spite of the very expensive room rates ). JK Place recommended the Hotel Santa Maria Novella, which is right next door. I checked it out on line and I liked what I saw! map It is centrally located, situated two steps from Florence’s central train station, (which is good because I will be traveling by train to Ferrara to start my studies) and it is in one of the most exclusive areas of Florence in the presence of so much beauty and History. It faces the piazza of the Santa Maria Novella Cathedral and dates back to the Nineteenth Century. All the better and I have booked a room with a "view" of this.

hotel-plaque-on-front 400X288 I love the polished chrome door plaque. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and I'm impressed.

1 A beautiful marble statue graces the entry foyer.

17 This is a view of the classically decorated dining room where a buffet breakfast is served, or to enjoy an aperitif, nightcap or a light snack later on. It has views of the Santa Maria Novella Basilica across the square.

18 I love the "Grisaille" wallpaper and the enormous vase of yellow roses. "Grisaille" (noun) A style of monochromatic painting in shades of gray, used especially for the representation of relief sculpture.



16 Regal in Royal Purple & silk bed canopy and draperies that frame a view to the Historic Piazza and Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. I even have a flat screen TV. But don't think I will be watching it.12

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5 9 Beautifully detailed bathroom all clad in sumptuous Carrera Marble. Just what I would expect in Italy.

Florence Hotel view-from-terrace

A glance of admiration from my room towards the sumptuous church of Santa Maria Novella

This is just a partial list of what is close to my Hotel:

Santa Maria Novella Church – 50 metres Duomo (Cathedral) – 200 metres Congress Hall – 200 metres Exhibition centre – 200 metres Ponte Vecchio – 1 kilometre (0.5 miles) Uffizi – 1 kilometre (0.5 miles) Academy of Fine Arts – 1 kilometre (0.5 miles) Palazzo Vecchio – 1 kilometre (0.5 miles) Pitti Palace – 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) Boboli Gardens – 1.5 kilometres (1 mile)

image Two of my "must- do" visits are: Uffizi & Academy of Fine Arts or Accademia Gallery. Both offer private guided tours which I have booked on-line.

The Uffizi is the most famous museum in Florence and houses works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian and Rubens.


Botticelli Birth of Venus, 1484

The Accademia Gallery in Florence houses Michelangelo's most famous work - the statue of David The David Tribune

the Venus and Cupid by Jacopo Pontormo.

Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli)Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens

Together with Pitti Palace, in 1550 the Medici bought the Boboli gardens behind the building. The name of Boboli is thought to come from the prior owner.

Nicolò Pericoli, was called in to transform the area into one of the most spectacular Renaissance gardens. Pericoli worked at what he called his "green architecture" masterpiece until he died.

Interesting note: Boboli became a model for all European Royal gardens, including those in the Palace of Versailles.

Florence Skyline

Florence skyline


  1. Oh Patricia it is magical! You are going to have such a wonderful time! Thank you for the beautiful post! I am so inspired...Your room is truly "A Room With A View!" Enjoy!

  2. Stop stop stop!!!!!! I am so green with envy I could play Elphaba right now with no makeup on!!!!

    omg, you are SO lucky!!!!!!!!!

    I could cry!!


  3. Anonymous1/7/08

    looks lke an amazing hotel- on my list for my next trip to florence ! please don't miss the santa maria novella apothocary/pharmacia/perfumery located nearby....glorious perfumes- home fragrance- you will want a pottery essential oil burner...carnation is my favorite oil ...great skincare, medicinal teas & "remedies"...safe travels...kristine

  4. This is take-your-breath-away fabulous. I'm so glad you are blogging this so I can live vicariously!

  5. Anonymous1/7/08

    i agree with anonymous. you must visit the pharmacia di santa maria novella. although some of their products are available in vancouver (farfella), the experience of the visit is well worth it.

  6. Patricia, you are getting us as excited about this trip as you are :)

  7. Patricia,
    What a gorgeous tour. The Hotel Santa Maria is fabulous. Love the gray and white with the soft blue carpet.

  8. Wow Patricia sounds like you're going to have an amazing trip! If you are in Venice around 30th & 31st July I'll be there then and would love to meet you for coffee...bit of a long shot I know but maybe!!

  9. I adore Italy. Florence is truly inspirational, but there is sooo much more. We made the mistake of going to Venice first, thence to Florence; do it the other way round. And by that I mean Venice is simply unbelievable. If you liked the book, (Florence), you'll love the movie, (Venice).

  10. Awwww, I'm green with envy!

    Please promise that you will visit the Bargello museum while you're in Florence. It's small and wonderful.

  11. Hi Patricia~
    Here's hoping you have an amazing adventure in Florence. I haven't been there in years and am longing to return!

  12. Oh Patricia! Have a wonderful trip! You are such the lucky one. I will be expecting loads of pictures so I can live vicariously through you. Ciao!

  13. Patricia - fantastic pics! If you're still in Florence and need a sandwich place - try the Oil Shoppe - delicious sandwiches! Florence is heavenly, to be sure!

  14. Love Firenze!
    When I was studying art history... my Italian Renaissance professor said I don't care if you go anywhere in Italy but Firenze... he said it was the most wonderful and most historical and most beautiful of all of Italy!
    Sooooo... of course, I went and fell in LOVE with the city!
    Lovely posting!
    I am in the Italy mode on my site today and tomorrow.
    LOVE your posting!

  15. Anonymous10/7/08

    The hotel looks soo beautiful! I love the way the yellow flowers in the grey room pop. I hope someday to visit this wonderful city!

  16. the room i lived in in florence is in the same piazza! my view had the church to the right, the piazza below, and your hotel to the left! they were actually remodeling it when i was there. these photos bring me back! florence was my favorite city in italy... the boboli gardens are magical, the museums the absolute best, the churches, the food, the market (right by you near the train station!)... i could go on forever. don't miss sienna and lucca!


Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

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