When it comes to places to stay, Florence has them all; from old antique-filled spaces to new slick spots. In a tradition commonly seen in cities like London or Berlin, Florence has an overnight sleepover worth talking about.
For a boutique ‘residenza’ in Oltrarno has opened called SoprArno Suites. On the first and second floors of a 16th-century palazzo are thirteen bedrooms, each individually designed with different themes and with artistic attention to detail. Styled as you may desire in your dream home, it could be argued after staying at SoprArno Suites you may never want to leave. Either that or hire Matteo Perduca and Betty Soldi to design your home interior decor.
Matteo has a background as a lawyer, but his passion is as a collector of vintage furniture and artworks, which now adorn the walls of the Suites. His partner, the effervescent Betty Soldi who is a calligrapher and graphic designer, is typically found working from her studio across the road at their store, And Company.
Together they’re a powerhouse of design bringing their unique style and passion for decorating to SoprArno Suites. Along with architect Francesco Maestrelli, they have created a unique B&B positioned in the heart of Santo Spirito on the street lined with antique stores and a mix of hip fashion spaces. Minutes from Ponte Vecchio and Florence’s main attractions, SoprArno Suites is perfectly positioned for visitors who wish to be near to all the city action yet just that arm's length away too.
The former offices of La Repubblica newspaper, Betty tells me space was rife with cabling and other remnants of a dull office space before this current rebirth, something hard to imagine as you walk into the Suites. Under frescoed ceilings and walls decorated in minute yet fun details, are spaces to discover.
Each room is themed; Portrait (Room 21) features excellent artwork by a local student found discarded and now rehoused to create the feel of 19th Century salon. Paper (Room 11) decorated with hand made delicate creations by Danish twins Simone and Helene of Edition Poshette whose work is also available at And Company across the road.
Typography (Room 14) has dark red walls, a high wood ceiling and features old stamp press pieces up-cycled to become headboards and shelving. Many rooms feature in-room bathtubs plus a separate modern shower, some large enough easily to fit two people. There is a feeling here no expense has been spared to ensure the design was just right.
The reception is a simple wood table with MAC computer behind which Leonardo, the primary day manager, works. His genuine warmth and love of giving clients quality time are also what makes SoprArno Suites so unique. No stuffy concierge here rather a new best friend in Florence to offer advice on where to go and what to avoid.
When we travel, we often want to feel that sense of home away from home rather than a generic hotel experience. And SoprArno Suites offers just that, a fresh yet stylistic approach to the stayover. After all their ethos is ‘Wake and Dream’; sleep and dream in these spaces for when you rise there is also a dreamy Florence beyond their bedroom walls.
Photo credit: Ilaria Costanzo
Via Maggio 35