Oltrarno is renowned for being the unabashedly bohemian and quirkily authentic district of Florence. Away from the bustling crowds of tourists visiting the Uffizi and Piazza Della Signoria, it relishes in offering travelers a connoisseur’s taste of its charming botteghe, delightful trattorie and prestigious sartorie. In the heart of it, on the vibrating Via Maggioand a stone’s throw from Palazzo Pitti, lies the eclectic Soprarno Suites. This boutique 11-suite hotel, a renovated 16th-century nobleman’s mansion, is the brainchild of a trio of Florentine professionals with a penchant for hospitality. Matteo Perduca, his wife Betty, and their lifelong friend Francesco Maestrelli, joined forces in 2013 to rent and convert an architectural gem of the Renaissance into a showcase of Florentine hospitality, originality and cosmopolitanism. Matteo, a lawyer by training, had developed a successful business selling eclectic furniture to a distinguished Florentine clientele.
Betty, a renowned calligraphist, after many years working in London wanted to return to her native town to stay with Matteo. It was Francesco, an architect, who convinced them to rent with him a Residenza d’Epoca that could be like no other. They decided to eschew traditional Florentine furnishings and instead equip Soprarno’s suites with elegance, flair and above all - unbridled originality. When Soprarno finally opened its doors in 2014, after one year of extensive renovations, all these goals had clearly been met. Arriving at the entrance, one is immediately taken by the imposing and austere rinascimentale façade of the building. A quick walk through the reception, adorned by hand-picked vintage furniture and travel books, reveals an enchanting internal courtyard, a delightfully quiet haven from the bustle of the street. All of the Soprarno’s suites stand out for their spaciousness, impeccable finishings and undivided attention to the most minute detail. Each and every one is modelled around a particular theme and style.
While the Camera del Tipografo reveals furnishings originating from an ancient print-shop, the Betty suite delights the guest with an extravagant array of calligraphic paintings and wallpapers. The décor combines elements of calculated quirkiness, Italian charm and international sophistication - including vintage claw-foot bathtubs, cotton tea towels and complementary Chianti wine. In the morning, the frescoes adorning the ceilings turn each awakening into a uniquely Florentine experience. The breakfast buffet seamlessly merges traditional Tuscan products with renowned global culinary staples. You can therefore enjoy salame di cinghiale or cantuccini together with pancakes and cereals. The breakfast room, adorned with travel, photography and art books, envelops the guest into a cocoon of cultural enchantment.
Per aspera ad astra
The reputation and success of Soprarno Suites have, perhaps unsurprisingly, already began to spread. In the nearby Via del Campuccio, overviewing Europe’s largest private garden, Matteo, Betty and Francesco have opened their newest creation - the AdAstra Hôtel Particulier. Located inside the historical mansion of the noble Torregiani family, this 12-suite hotel again makes originality its calling card. As the AdAstra’s entrance leads into the main hall, guests can admire the 19th century frescoed ceiling, original wooden parquet floors and crystal chandelier. The balcony delivers a stunning view over the Torregiani gardens and the Baccani tower, an astronomical observatory from which the name Ad Astra (“to the stars”) derives. With furnishings echoing the golden era of 1960s and 1970s Italian and international cinema, art and popular culture, each suite features its own unique personality. Matteo relishes in the fact that, just like with Soprarno, guests experience Florentine grandeur and hospitality through an eclectic, imaginative prism. This merging of different worlds and cultures, in his eyes, has the power to make any trip to Florence the experience of a lifetime.
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