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Accommodation

Bernini Palace Hotel

Florence, Italy

One steps into the Romantic world of late 19th-century Italy in this five-star, centrally located boutique hotel. Civilized, operatic, sumptuous and eclectic – the Bernini Palace will appeal to those with a taste for chandeliers and swirling stucco, gold damask walls, satin-swathed beds and Belle Époque exotica.

Hotel Bernini Palace exudes all the lavish and eclectic elegance of the 1860s, when Florence bloomed as Italy's capital city. Already a hotel, this was the meeting point and residence for many distinguished parliamentarians, whose portraits look down on the impressive Sala Parlamento (now the hotel's breakfast room). The arcaded reception-lounge is an elaborate Neo-Classical affair in wedding-cake style, all piped with swirling white stucco (Piped, too, is the rather invasive 'lounge music' – out of keeping with the rest of the ambiance).