San Niccolò is Florence’ oldest neighbourhood, across the Arno away from the crowds, hard to believe it’s central Florence. With its cobbled streets, small bars, arts and craft shops and terraces to lounge. Its the home for artisans, local makers, artists and crafters. The hotel takes its name from the San Niccolò neighbourhood. Central enough to reach Florence’ main sights, walking is easy, although the pace speeds up once you cross the water and hit the crowds.

The apartments are built around a small city garden in a beautifully restored 15th-century building. Entering the space, your breath slows down, it’s calm, cool in temperature thanks to the stone floors, and cosy with a twist of curiosity of what’s next. Beautiful lounges, huge sofas, hanging lamps, Italian coffee, art books all help create a vibe of modern Florence with the blend of the 15th-century courtyard.

The restoration work was completed with love and consideration. The decor is traditional and classic with modern touches and timeless vintage pieces. The floors and walls are original, the wall painting and decoration are exposed and have been beautifully restored back to their former glory. Each room has a colour theme, perhaps years ago this was easy to digest, one colour washing the walls, the curtains and bedclothes. Less to think about, less to coordinate with. Textures of velvet with crisp white cotton creates light and ease. The rooms overlooking the courtyard garden, the morning sunrise that manages to crack through the shuttered windows is beautiful and so peaceful for an inner-city.

Two Italian friends discovered the abandoned apartment building and fell in love with the location and secret garden, a rare find. It took half a decade to bring the palazzo back to life. Staying here is a pleasure, a tranquil home, every detail carefully considered, every corner has meaning and purpose. Less is more and in a city with the magnitude of Florence, balancing your place of residence with all of the grandeur of some of the worlds oldest museums is definitely a good decision.