April 12, 2024

The Place Firenze, Italy, reopens after a stunning redesign.

Under the ownership and personal care of the Babini family and the hotel’s general manager, Claudio Meli, THE PLACE Florencea beloved boutique hotel in florence, italy, has reopened after an extensive redesign by Luigi Fragola Architects.

The redesigned property includes 20 rooms and suites and a variety of communal areas that will offer guests the full flavor of the local Florentine community. Using a blend of modern and historic design elements, steeped in the art of Italian hospitality, THE PLACE Firenze reflects the timeless charm and excitement of Florence, ideal for discerning clients and guests.

Accented by a soothing color scheme of green and cream, alongside tactile materials and custom furnishings, The Fireplace, Studiolo and Glass Yard serve as public spaces where guests can relax, dine and reflect, evoking a serene atmosphere. The Glass Yard takes center stage and features a sloping atrium reminiscent of a greenhouse, providing an abundance of natural light to enhance the atmosphere. Foliage compositions and wild plants are strategically placed next to works by Florentine artists. Tucked away, the Studiolo room pays tribute to small artistic studios inspired by the modern ‘Studioli’.

Acclaimed chef Asso Migliore creates culinary delights derived from the region’s rich, rustic gastronomy, each deeply rooted in Tuscan tradition. Using local ingredients and traditional Italian cooking techniques, menu highlights include Il Filetto (fillet of free-range Calvana beef paired with mashed potatoes and bok choy) and Il Pescato (fish of the day with potatoes, taggiasca olives, capers and tomatoes ) . The restaurant also offers a unique Flambé dining experience with an eclectic four-course meal prepared at the table, offering a modern rendition of a legendary hospitality tradition. A mixology program from Food & Beverage Manager Zaccaria Media complements every meal.

Central to the ethos of the hotel and THE is its philanthropic foundation, a project dedicated to the protection, conservation and promotion of age-old traditions of Italian creativity and artistic craftsmanship. Designed to keep these traditions alive, the property’s cultural programming offers guests the opportunity to participate, through a donation, in exclusive on-site visits to artisanal practices that focus on various creative forms specific to the region, including weaving, scagliola and goldsmithing. In collaboration with LAO, a Florentine goldsmith school, in which young artisans participate The place of miracles are eligible for support through grants, which directly contribute to the continuation of local customs and traditions. The newest partner, Pampaloniis a fourth-generation family silversmith serving the region since 1902.

THE PLACE that Florence is part of The hospitality experience (also known as THE) – a new collection of luxury Italian properties, owned and managed by the Babini family, with three hotels in the current portfolio: THE PLACE Firenze (Florence), Londra Palace (Venice) and the upcoming Borgo Dei Conti Resort (Umbria) will debut in summer 2024.

Carlo and Michela Babini, together with Claudio Meli, recently provided several insights into THE PLACE.

1) Describe the history of THE PLACE Florence.

Formerly called JK Place Firenze, THE PLACE Firenze was acquired at the beginning of its life just a few months after its opening and has been under our management ever since, with Claudio Meli from day one. At the time, it was decided to keep the previous name of the property, as no other hotel under the same brand existed. In 2019 we decided to rebrand and renovate. The Hospitality Experience is the new brand group we founded in 2022 to strengthen our collection and prepare for the future. Our collection started in 1938 with the Londra Palace Venezia and expanded in 2003 with Florence and in 2009 in Perugia. – Carlo Babini, CEO, of The Hospitality Experience (owners)

The actual location of THE PLACE Firenze, in Santa Maria Novella Square, is where Florence used to have its walls surrounding the city. This was during the Middle Ages, when the Church of Santa Maria Novella had a beautiful vineyard, which has now been replaced by a rose garden located directly in front of the property. When the team opened the hotel building, they found ground floor apartments, which have now been transformed into the hotel’s beautiful Glass Yard, which was a fantastic flower shop in the 1960s. What adds to the causality and romance of the store is that the store was managed by the father of our current florist. — Claudio Meli, General Manager of THE PLACE Firenze

2) How does the renovation reflect the local Florentine community?

THE PLACE is filled with Florentine artisanal touches from our artisans at The Place Of Wonders foundation, who have created amazing custom pieces for us. Guests can discover pieces around the hotel like a treasure hunt – in their room, in the restaurant and in all our cozy living rooms. The sense of place is a pillar for us at THE PLACE, here you really feel Florence in every detail. – Claudio Meli

3) What is the mission of The Place of Wonders?

The mission of The Place Of Wonders is to defend and promote the human heritage of Italian craftsmanship. Its impact is twofold. On the one hand, the foundation invests in the next generation by funding scholarships in schools and training institutes for emerging young talent to become the next generation of artisans, while at the same time improving guest experiences through interactive and educational visits to this exclusive group of artisans, and promoting an appreciation for the artistic and artisanal wonders that enrich our cities, thanks to the valuable contributions of General Manager Claudio Meli. This initiative promotes the concept of conscious travel and connects guests with the cultural heritage that makes each location unique. – Michela Babini, director of The Place of Wonders foundation

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