450 internationally-acclaimed works of art, 38 rooms looking out onto Ponte Vecchio, a fine-dining restaurant, an innovative interior design: Hotel Lungarno is more than just a hotel.
Located in Florence on the left bank of the Arno, in Borgo San Jacopo, for 50 years - it was established in 1967 - Hotel Lungarno has been welcoming tourists from all over the world, illustrious characters and international artists who with tales of their travels have contributed to enriching the existence and charisma of the building, passing the moments of the day against the backdrop of the city and its beauty.
In 1995 a new chapter began in the history of the Hotel, marking a decisive moment: the Ferragamo family took over, bringing with them the established values of the fashion house that carries their name and commissioning the design of the interior to architect Michele Bönan. Thus was born what was to become a collection of hotels along the Arno characterised by the sophisticated quality of their spaces and services (Hotel Lungarno, Gallery Hotel Art, Portrait Firenze and Hotel Continentale) to which is added a 16th century villa immersed in the landscape a few kilometres from Florence (Villa Le Rose) and 32 luxury apartments on one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of the Maremma coast (Resort Baia Scarlino).
The idea of the art hotel is a growing phenomena, especially in Italy and their organisation is becoming a specific design sector endowed with specific complexities. Within the rich panorama of the sector, the Hotel Lungarno has established its own, strongly defined position. The building in fact makes available to its guests a rich and varied display of art, formed from a collection of 450 works, with representatives of the 20th century such as Picasso, Cocteau, Bueno, Marino Marini and Ottone Rosai. As well as an exhibition dedicated to the five most important artists in the collection, there are others focussed on movements and the avant-garde such as Pop Art and advertising posters, a space dedicated to follies, works by Venturino Venturi and Pablo Picasso, as well a a section given over to the legends and anecdotes of the collection, such as the mysterious theft of the drawing of Virgilio Guidi, substituted with a fake.
The existence of the collection is owed to Flavio Callisto Pontello, a Florentine businessman and founder of Hotel Lungarno with an innate passion for art. As an engineering student at the Polytechnic of Milan, Pontello became acquainted with someone to help him select the works of art that went to make up his collection: a mysterious frequenter of the most prominent art circles, an attentive connoisseur who had a key role in constructing the beauty and success of the Hotel’s art collection. With an eye for the contemporary art of the times, Pontello and his friend were able to understand and appreciate the stylistic hallmarks of artists from that period such as Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso, who were known to ask opinions on their works of Signor Pontello himself. As in a kind of horizontal narrative, each artist in the collection with their story defines a story line that intersects with those of other artists and their stories that contribute to creating a grand screenplay, with Florence as the backdrop. Thanks to Pontello, Hotel Lungarno went on to become the first contemporary art hotel in the city.
Included in the Hotel’s offer there is of course no lack of attention paid to one art form that has become particularly popular in recent years - the art of food. A significant role within the building is played by the Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant and the work of top chef Peter Brunel who, with his great Tuscan classics and gourmet refinements, conceives every dish as if it were a work of art. Like every other space, also the Borgo San Jacopo restaurant enjoys a magnificent view. The Hotel Lungarno is in fact the only hotel in Florence that enjoys an uninterrupted view of the Arno and Ponte Vecchio, that can already be admired on arrival from the elegant lobby with its large windows. The landscape naturally enters into the rooms and suites: 34 out of 65 have a view of Ponte Vecchio and major monuments.
Michele Bӧnan’s design for the interiors was not just a mere restyling but also included some interesting new spatial and functional solutions. One of these is a novel system for facilitating check-in that sees guests welcomed into a new Guest Relations Area by a dedicated concierge, available 24 hours a day up until checkout. The way the space is used has also been transformed. The total number of the rooms has been reduced (from 78 to 65) to make space for ten larger areas ideal for families: it is also possible to book a number of communicating rooms on each floor. One of the new features is also the possibility of reserving two entire floors of the hotel (the first and the fifth, known as the Arno and the Panorama Floor) and making use of a separate entrance from the rest of the hotel, enjoying the intimate feel of home while in an emotionally unique context.
Borgo San Jacopo, 14 Florence
T +39 055 27261
F +39 055 268437