Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 30, 2013

A gorgeous place to stay in Florence

My delightful blogging friends Susan and Wade from Come follow me to Italy regularly stay at Residenza d’Epoca, In Piazza della Signoria, a most beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of Florence.

The owners, Alessandro and Sonia Pini, bought an amazing 15th century building and lovingly turned it into a hotel with 10 rooms and 3 apartments.

Susuan and Wade were in Florence recently and introduced me to Sonia and I had a personal tour of In Piazza della Signoria.

Meet Sonia. She and Alessandro bought the house as an investment, but fell in love with it and decided to renovate it and turn it into a place where they could welcome people from all over the world to enjoy their little piece of Florence.


The position of the hotel is great. Stand behind the statue of Cosimo Medici on his horse in the Piazza Signoria and look towards the Gucci Museum. To the left is the door to In Piazza della Signoria.


During the renovations fresoes and decorated caisson ceilings were found and everything has been done to preserve and renew the old features. Each room has been individually decorated and furnished with exquisite taste…take a look at some of the rooms.

I love all the ensuite bathrooms.

The view from the window is very special.


They also manage a magnificent apartment in the nearby Palazzo Uguccioni.

There is a very interesting story involving a shoe. Sonia took us to the breakfast room at In Piazza where there is a reproduction of a famous painting in the Botticelli room at the Uffizzi.


In the bottom left hand corner of the middle painting is a shoe.



When the building was being renovated, a small box was discovered in a niche in the wall. It was almost lost when the builders threw it away by mistake. It was retrieved from the rubbish and this was inside.


It is an identical shoe to the one in the painting. Experts from the Ferragamo shoe museum have verified that it is about 600 years old. They wanted to buy it, but Sonia wanted it kept with the house where it belongs.

It would have been placed in the niche as a symbol of good fortune…a fortunate walk through life. I can understand why they wouldn’t want to sell it.

I am now looking for an excuse to stay in Florence overnight so I can stay at In Piazza della Signoria…but which room to choose???

Thank you Susan and Wade for inviting me to see the lovely hotel and a special thank you to the very gracious Sonia for sharing with us the story of this magnificent building.

Residenza d’Epoca, In Piazza della Signoria


  1. WoW! What an interesting story! And a fab hotel! 😉

    • I really want to stay there one day soon.

  2. That shoe story is amazing!

    • It is amazing. I think I would be keeping in a silk lined special box.

  3. I love the photographs.

    • It is a beautiful hotel.

  4. A tasteful, elegant renovation with a perfect blend of old and new. I love it! And the Piazza della Signoria is one of our favourite places in Florence. Also, an amazing story about the shoe, which I think that it is really a clog, with a wooden sole and a strap of leather to keep it in place over the shoe. People used to wear them to protect their footwear, as the streets were quite dirty. Thank you for this post, Debra. We really enjoyed it.

    • I can imagine that the streets were not all that clean. We have romantic notions of old times, but I think life was tough.

  5. I am so looking forward to going to Florence .. one day.. of course all my children have fallen into a spate of weddings but in a few years I will be turning my restless eye back to europe, hopefully this beautiful little hotel will still be there. I love the smaller boutique hotels now.. have a gorgeous day

    • Perhaps you could convince your children to marry in Florence.

      • what an EXCELLENT idea, i shall get to work on the last two! c

  6. Nice post, looks like a great place to stay.

    • The location is just perfect, just step outside and you are in the centre of Florence.

  7. seems great place 🙂

    • I would love to stay there. The breakfast room alone is a good reason to stay there.

  8. Stunning! Wish I could transport myself there! What a gorgeous place to stay!

    • Florence is an easy day trip from Bagni di Lucca, so I don’t often need to stay overnight there, but I will find a reason to do so.

  9. I would love to revisit Florence one day – this looks like a lovely place to stay.

    • Everything is done with excellent taste and the owners are very friendly.

  10. Just divine! I’d like to move in!

    • Me too! I wonder if they would like to adopt me.

  11. Can’t be that hard to find an excuse? It looks heavenly

    • I’m sure I will come up with something.

  12. This is my favourite place to stay in Florence too. My favourite rooms are Michelangelo and Leonardo! Time for another visit!

    • I love the bathroom with the frescoes. That is the one I would choose.

  13. I love the shoe story! It gives me goosebumps! And what a gorgeous hotel! (As is Sonia’s smile!)

    • The shoe story is incredible. Wouldn’t it be fun to know who wore it?

  14. What a fantastic story and an incredible find. It must be mind blowing to unearth something with such special meaning, and so old! Maybe not so old to Italians but for an Aussie it’s ancient!

    • I think Sonia and her family were very impressed with the find.

  15. Thanks for the post, especially to read about the hotel, the owners and the shoe story. Bet Ferragama did so want that shoe. Love their museum in Florence always a must when visiting Florence for shoe lovers like me.

    • The museum is excellent…time for another visit.

  16. Ah how lovely! And what an interesting story. Thank you for sharing Debra. Bookmarking this for a future visit.

    • It is a beautiful hotel. I’m sure you will love it.

  17. Thank you very much Debra.. You are simply the best!
    Grazie a tutti… Vi aspettiamo!!
    Sonia & Alessandro

    • Thank you for the wonderful tour of your beautiful place. It was delightful to meet you.

  18. Hi, Debra, and thanks so much for the “shout out” for us! It was so much fun to visit with you and Mo, and Sonia really enjoyed your visit. She sure loves to show off her “baby” and appreciates your kindness in posting her info on the blog. Take care and hope to see you again on our next visit!
    P.S. – Will reblog this today. Thanks!

    Susan (and Wade, of course!)

  19. Reblogged this on Our Kitchen Inventions and commented:
    Hubby and I had the opportunity to catch up with Debra, our blog friend from” Bagni di Lucca and Beyond”, while she was in Florence for a day trip. (I think some shopping was involved…!) Debra was able to visit the Residenza d’Epoca in Piazza della Signoria where we always stay during our Thanksgiving holiday. Debra certainly has captured the essence of the hotel, so please read and enjoy her post. Take care!

  20. So gorgeous! I love the story of the shoe, that’s really amazing & to think that they almost lost it. Isn’t it amazing how everywhere in Italy uses so much marble & tiles? Love it.

  21. What a lovely place to stay, you can see it has been restored with love. It makes me want to pack my bags. 🙂

  22. Now I know where I’ll be staying when I finally make it to Florence! The hotel looks gorgeous and I love the shoe story.

  23. How unique!

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