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Hotel Monna Lisa 4.0

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Set in a beautiful historic building with lovely garden grounds
  • Convenient location, a 15-minute walk to the Duomo and other major attractions
  • Elaborate period decor, painted ceilings, and original artwork
  • Classically elegant rooms are all different with lots of character
  • Free continental buffet breakfast with strong coffee
  • Fitness room with weights, cardio machines, and a heavy bag
  • Art- and antique-filled lounge spaces, including a room devoted to the Mona Lisa
  • Pretty upper floor solarium for sunbathing or lounging
  • Room service available
  • Parking (for a surcharge)

Cons

  • No free Wi-Fi
  • Some rooms don't have elevator access
  • Classic style might not be to everyone's taste
  • Some rooms are small
  • Bathrooms, although spotless, are not super modern

Bottom Line

The 45-room, upscale, family-owned Hotel Monna Lisa is set in a 14th century building that was originally a convent, then a palace, and finally a hotel in the 1950s. The architecture and decor are extraordinary, featuring the family's private collection of antique furniture and art, some by great masters. Rooms are classically decorated with silk and antiques, but vary in size, with older bathrooms. The Monna Lisa embodies Renaissance Florence; this hotel is a solid pick for guests interested in the city's culture and history.

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Scene

Historic hotel with interesting art and architecture

The Hotel Monna Lisa began as a convent in the 14th century, then became a nobleman's palace, until the Dupre family converted it to a hotel in 1956. The owners are the descendants of a neoclassical sculptor, Giovanni Dupre; their family history and appreciation for art and culture are evident in the hotel's decor. The walls are covered with art, including an original De Chirico in the hallway, and works by important 18th and 19th century artists. There are coffered wood ceilings, original frescoes, and terra cotta floors throughout. The bar, decorated in rich red fabrics and flocked wallpaper, was a 15th century confessional. The hotel has a quirky sense of humor, evident in the lobby room devoted to the Mona Lisa, with every imaginable poster and tchotchke of the famous painting. There are stone fireplaces, spectacular leaded windows, antique wooden doors, and arched stone doorways that create pictures as they open into other rooms. The serene garden is beautifully landscaped with colorful flowers and charming cafe tables where guests can drink, read, or mingle.

Location

In the Borgo Pinto, 10 minutes from the Duomo, on a quiet, narrow street

The Hotel Monna Lisa is located in Florence's Borgo Pinti on a narrow street that doesn't experience a lot of traffic. The Duomo, Basilica of Santa Croce, and the statue of David are all a 10- to 15-minute walk from the hotel. The high speed train station is a 20-minute walk away. The Teatro della Pergola, a historic opera house that now hosts over 250 theatrical productions a year, is nearby, and many actors stay at the Monna Lisa during their time there. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops in the immediate area.

Rooms

Classical decor, antique furnishings, some with balconies, but on the small side

Rooms at the Hotel Monna Lisa are on the small side, but full of charm and history. Each spotless room is different, furnished with original art and antiques, but with modern amenities, including flat-screen TVs, minibars, and air-conditioning. Walls are covered with striped wallpaper and matching drapes that recall the hotel's palace past. Courtyard-facing rooms are quieter. Room 31 is notably romantic, with high ceilings and a faded grandeur (this is the room where the duchess Dupre lived when she converted the family digs to a hotel). Bathrooms are old-fashioned, with dated (and colorful) tile, but are clean and well-stocked with toiletries. Some rooms have whirlpool bathtubs.

Features

Fitness room, garden, solarium, and parking

The Hotel Monna Lisa has a narrow, un-air-conditioned, but nicely equipped fitness room. There's original art on the walls for exercisers to look at while they use the cardio equipment and weights or hit the heavy bag. The garden is beautifully landscaped with manicured hedges and gorgeous flowers, along with cafe tables and an outdoor bar where guests can recharge. In the summer, there's an upper floor solarium with sun loungers, sofas, and a gorgeous view of the city rooftops. Parking is available in the garden area for a surcharge, reservations required.

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Address

Borgo Pinti 27, Florence 50121, Italy

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