Last week I went on another solo journey to a few cities in the beautiful Italy.  I always wondered how its like to live in a palace, so for Florence, I picked Palazzo Magnoni Feroni.

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Back in 1770, the Marquis Feroni purchased the palace, expanded it and decorated the ground floor and the first floor apartments. Later on it passed on to the Magnani family that distinguished itself among the high-society of 1800′ Florence, and was listed in the “Golden books of Florentine nobility” commissioned initially by Ferdinando I de’ Medici.

A historical palace itself, one of the oldest buildings in the San Frediano neighbourhood of the city, Palazzo Magnoni Feroni is one of the many typical Renaissance palaces of the time. The location of the palace is very central- 2 bridges away from Ponte Vecchio, 10 mins walk to the Duomo, and just one block behind the river, it is slightly hidden but very central. It’s in one of the historical quarters of Florence filled with tower-like homes, renaissance palaces and ancient churches.

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Later on it was bought by the family of the current owner, and for a time it stood as the Galleria Salvadori- one of the most important Art Galleries in Europe. Reconstructed as a hotel with 12 suites, all decorated with period furniture and many fragments of original tapestries from the Salvadori collection, thanks to which today Palazzo Magnani Feroni is under the jurisdiction of the Italian Artistic Patrimony Protection Authority.

 

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The whole palace is decorated with statues, paintings and frescoes dating from the 16th century. During the French occupation of Italy, the Feroni marquises held formal parties and grand balls to celebrate official visits of a sovereign or during an annual event such as the Grand Duchess’s birthday. The entrance-way dates from the 17th century and leads to the iron gate decorated with the coat-of-arms of the Feroni family: an armour-clad arm, holding a sword and a golden lily.

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I was investigating the palace (I just had to!! it’s too tempting) , the place is really gorgeous. Elegant, posh and filled with the renaissance ambience, almost like living in a museum.

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I particularly enjoyed the lift- it is electronic but you have to open and close both doors for usage. It’s one of those typical early days luxurious lift where there’s a velvet seat inside the little lift only enough for 3 people.

 

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The palace also has a billiard room  – equally posh!

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The palace is serving as a hotel now,  so all rooms are suites with different names written on the door. Every bit of the palace is like a time machine taking me on a journey back in time. Mine was on the ground floor as one of the most luxurious ones. It has high ceilings and a spacious living room, bedroom and a marble-floored bathroom. 2 huge windows facing and lead to the courtyard- I can imagine how it must be like for the aristocrat to live here in the old days!

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The hotel also has a little gift for guests :

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Handmade soap with different flavours. These are samples for guests to smell and pick the one they want, and then leave it on the box, by night the staff will bring a handmade soap during turndown service. How sweet!

The hotel has no restaurant, but they have a breakfast room only for breakfast, and a terrace with a bar and guests can have dinner either in the suite or on the terrace. And how? there is a menu where guests can order and the hotel staff will bring the food from nearby restaurant. But the palace is situated on a very buzzling area, so there is never a worry to find great food nearby. The view from the rooftop terrace was breath-taking. I planned to only have a glass of wine, and I ended up having dinner there and another glass of wine because I enjoyed the view too much- seeing the sunset and the moonrise. I also enjoyed very much the company and conversation with the very friendly and kind barman, he was explaining to me the history of the palace and the city.

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Because my room was facing the courtyard and there was wood panels behind the huge windows, it was so quiet that I was confused when my alarm went off at 8am but the room is still dark and quiet. By then I just realised the turndown service had closed the panels for me – and I slept like a baby! (or maybe a princess? in perfect tranquility.)

Next morning when I went to have breakfast in the breakfast room, I forgot I was actually in a palace, and that is how the families used to have breakfast.

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The spacious Murano hall (over 160 square meters) only serves breakfast. There is an original Murano crystal chandelier hangs from the splendid coffered ceiling that once graced Palazzo Farnese in Rome. Honestly in such setting, it doesn’t matter what you eat because you’re mesmerised by the decoration of the room.

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I enjoyed every single bit of the palace, not only it gave me an insight and experience to how the Feroni and Magnoni families used to live here, they were also very kind and helpful in pre-ordering some tickets for me prior to arrival. I missed the Palazzo Pitti last time in September, so I wanted to make sure I can visit this time. I had been emailing the hotel for countless times, enquiring the opening times and ticket types etc, they always replied with detailed info and help me check train schedules etc, so when I arrived everything was already ready- I could just pick up the voucher and collect my tickets, skipping the queue and just enjoy the Palazzo Pitti (which was just a quick 15 mins walk away depends on how quick you walk).  There is also a guide of restaurants and shops nearby provided by the hotel upon checking in, and basically if anything, just ask- the super friendly staff will always answer with lots of details and solutions!

Thank you so much again for allowing me to be a 16th century aristocrat for a night !

 

Palazzo Magnani Feroni
T.: +39.055.23.99.544
F. +39.055.26.08.908
Emai: info@florencepalace.it