There can be few better spots in Florence in which to enjoy a quiet aperitivo after a hard day’s sightseeing: Torre Guelfa is the tallest privately-owned tower in the city, dating from the 13th century and enjoying a 360° view over a jumble of rooftops, taking in all the most important landmarks and the countryside beyond.
The place is very popular, particularly with the fashion crowd during trade fair season. The Italian-German owners have created a comfortable and unstuffy atmosphere rejecting a heavy, Florentine look for a lighter touch. Bedroom walls are sponge-painted in pastel shades and curtains are mostly fresh, embroidered white cotton. Furniture is a mixture of wrought iron and prettily-painted pieces with some antiques. Bathrooms are in smart grey Carrara marble.
One room has its own spacious terrace complete with olive tree; be prepared to fight for it. A glassed-in loggia provides space for a sunny breakfast room and the double salon, with its boxed-wood ceiling and little bar, is a comfortable and quiet place in which to relax.