Hotel Lungarno in Florence is the only hotel to be located right on the Arno River. It’s also a gastronomic dream. Baroque Travel finds out all the details
This elegant five star hotel was opened 50 years ago, and is still going strong. It has recently been completely refurbished and is now a plush modern retreat that still retains the building’s old world charm. The blue, white and leather welcoming guests in the lobby are reminiscent of the style of an elegant boat on the Arno River just outside, with famous Ponte Vecchio as its beautiful backdrop less than 100 meters away.
The hotel living room and restaurant are both suspended over the river to offer guests another, more intimate perspective of the Arno. The restaurant, Borgo San Jacopo, boasts a Michelin star, offering guests world-class gastronomy in the heart of this fabulous Italian city.
In fact, this summer, chefs are challenging themselves to create magnificent multi-course menus inspired by a single ingredient. Chef Peter Brunel from Borgo San Jacopo has been experimenting with this theme for a while now, but for summer 2018 he has created an exclusive Potato Tasting Menu that features six different courses all made using this humble vegetable. Dishes are sublime, and include the likes of Yellow Potato Spaghetti with egg cream, Cured Pork Cheek and Black Truffle and a colorful dessert of Purple Potato Sorbet with pure gold chocolate pralines.
Of course, dining here is not the only delightful reason to visit this exemplary Florentine hotel. It’s also famous for its exceptional collection of more than 450 works of art, some of which are found in the exquisite guest accommodation. The 59 luxury rooms and 19 suites all overlook real-life Renaissance masterpieces for which Florence is famous.
A masterpiece by Pablo Picasso takes center stage over the fireplace at the far end of the living room, and four of Jean Cocteau’s paintings also decorate the walls. For this reason, the bar is named Picteau, a joint form of ‘Picasso’ and ‘Cocteau’. Here guests enjoy light meals, snacks, coffee, tea, aperitifs and after dinner drinks. Alternatively there’s the La Terrazo lounge bar on the picturesque terrace where you can enjoy some of Florence’s most famous sights.
Interestingly enough, the hotel is owned by the Ferragamo family, famous for their designer shoes handbags and accessories. As a result, guests enjoy Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries in their en suite bathrooms, most of which feature Italian white marble.
The hotel is ideally located as a base from which to explore all of Florence’s treasures. Cross the bridge, 50m from the entrance, and you can firstly explore all the little jewellery stores lining famous Ponte Vecchio, before heading off to discover numerous important churches and museums.