Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 16, 2014

Relais Santa Croce in Florence

I’ve got another gorgeous place for you to stay in Florence…but first, a bit of background.

A little while ago I was asked by Margie of Margie in Italy ( If you love Italy you should read her blog) if I would like to write some posts for Italian Talks, Baglioni Hotel’s blog. I love to talk about Italy, so I told her I would be happy to contribute to their blog.

As a result, I was invited to visit one of the beautiful Baglioni Hotels…Relais Santa Croce, one of the most stylish and elegant hotels in the historic centre of Florence. We were met by the very charming Daniele Carta, who handed us over to his young assistant to take us on a tour of the former Ciofi Jacometti Palace, an 18th century property which has been lovingly restored.

It is as though the family home has been brought back to life. Original frescoes decorate the walls and period furniture sits side by side with contemporary designs…all adding to the charm.

The reception areas are particularly lovely.


In the salon behind reception sliding panels hide the space for musicians, or more recently, the DJ.


A huge chandelier used to hang in this room and was so big it had its own device to raise and lower it for cleaning. We were taken upstairs to take a look at this amazing contraption that was actually designed by Leonardo da Vinci, although he didn’t ever put his design into practice…it was left to others.

It is all original, including the wheel which the servants would turn to raise and lower the chandelier. I wish it was still around too.


As you would expect the rooms are beautifully decorated and every comfort has been considered.

There are 2 magnificent suites which I can’t show you, one was occupied and the other was being used for a photo shoot, but it was special enough for Brad and Angelina and some of the children to stay in a while ago. I would have liked to have jumped into the jacuzzi that was filled and looking very inviting indeed.

Some of the rooms have views of the Duomo, and others the Santa Croce church.

After and interesting chat with Daniele Carta, who told us with pride about the hotel and its history, we enjoyed a delicious Tuscan style dinner in the elegant Guelfi e Ghibellini.


Possibly even more important than the gorgeous setting is the friendly staff. Nothing is rushed and the atmosphere is very welcoming.

After a delightful evening we walked to the nearby Santa Croce, looking magnificent on a spring evening.



Grouchy old Dante looks as though he needs a stay at the Relais Santa Croce to cheer him up a bit.


A stay at the Relais Santa Croce would make anyone happy.

The hotel is in Via Ghibellina, 87. (There is another 87 in Via Ghibellina, it is a pharmacy, keep going down the street a little further to the other 87)


  1. Really gorgeous!

    • It is a beautiful hotel, everything has been thought of.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous. Such a lovely experience

    • It would be a great place to stay in Florence.

  3. It’s a beautiful place.

    • It is lovely, I hope you visit one day.

  4. Great place (and great post!). I’ll put the Relais Santa Croce in my bucket list, but my favorite is still the Villa San Michele, near Fiesole. Have you been there? I didn’t sleep there (not rich enough!), but they used to let you visit their premises.

    • I have been to Fiesole, but not to Villa San Michele. I must check it out. I’m sure you would like Relais Santa Croce.

  5. Looks wonderful!!! ..,.. but the food stole the show for me.

    • The food was very good and our young waiter was very charming.

  6. Loved the lamp shades with the beads – very needed

    • I was impressed, they looked beautiful.

  7. That hotel looks fabulous and slightly out of my reach unless I win Tattslotto. Santa Croce looks stunning lit up.

    • I hope you win soon.

  8. What a gorgeous place.

    • We loved it…a tranquil spot in the heart of Florence.

  9. Another great find Debra. Just beautiful.

    • Isn’t it lovely…a great place to stay.

  10. Debra, What a wonderful article! I feel like I am there. The photos are beautiful and it seems like you had a very enjoyable experience! I am so glad. Thanks for the shout out. I have had an unusually large number of Australian readers following my blog in the past day! Grazie

    • Thank you for your part in the process, it was great fun. Daniele was delightful, it was a pleasure to meet him.

  11. Looks like a wonderful place to stay……….and eat. 🙂

    • It is great, keep it in mind if you visit Florence.

  12. Fabulous – from beginning to end – such a wonderful interior and how fabulous that the mechanism for raising and lowering the chandelier has been preserved.

    • I wish the chandelier had been preserved too. it must have been amazing.

  13. si, si. It would certainly make me happy!

    • Who wouldn’t be happy staying there?

  14. That is where I celebrated my birthday a few years ago: on the roof terrace between the roses with a prosecco and views to die for! And on top of all, I had it all to myself thanks to a light drizzle. I guess it was to early in the year to be open when you visited? How did you like the old elevators? I felt like I had stepped into an Hercule Poirot movie…..

  15. A well deserved treat!

  16. Fantastic Debra, hopefully this is the first of many more to come!!

  17. I’m currently reading ‘The birth of Venus’ by Sarah Dunant, Debra. It’s set in Florence in the time of Savonarola and Santa Croce figures prominently. I’ve had Florence on my list of ‘hopes’ for the longest time 🙂

    • Florence is a wonderful city, I hope you visit. I will be back in Italy next week…can’t wait.

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