Palazzo Aldobrandini was built during the first half of the 14 th century, at a time when the city of Florence began to expand beyond the boundaries of its ancient Roman nucleus. Messer Lapo, a member of the wealthy Aldobrandini family (that had made their fortune through the commerce of spices), commissioned it. Via delle Belle Donne was then an important commercial road which connected the Mercato Vecchio (the market square) and Via Strozzi to the Porta del Trebbio, the city door that led out towards the north. Although the Aldobrandini family was extremely wealthy, their fortunes were still greatly tied to trade and so it made sense to choose this particular location.
With the opening of the new Ponte Santa Trinita bridge, several important palaces were built on the bridge’s continuation (now the Via Tornabuoni). Via Tornabuoni steadily gained importance and eventually Via delle Belle Donne became a side street. In the 19 th century, Palazzo Aldobrandini housed many painters’ workshops which is probably why most of the flats have very large windows – the celebrated painter Ingres had his studio in one of the apartments.
This delightful 2nd Floor (American 3rd) apartment, once the studio of the great painter, Ingres, shares the wonderful view over the Antinori Garden and precisely over a large magnolia tree from which it takes its name. Access to the apartment is through a small vestibule painted in trompe l’oeil. Three steps lead into the spacious sitting room, with its two three seater sofas one of which is a pull-out double-bed.
The wall above the sofa is decorated with a beautiful fresco of citrus plants in a moorish-patterned frame. A very large wardrobe occupies another of the sitting room walls. In an alcove below the loft is the dining table which seats six and to the right of this is the hidden entrance into the pretty, fully equipped kitchen with its decorative tiles.
A wooden staircase with a balustrade leads up to the loft. One walks along a balcony to reach the bedroom, with a double bed, a wardrobe and a set of delightful prints on the walls. A door decorated with a trompe l’oeil to resemble a draped curtain, leads to the bathroom, with a tub and hand-shower. The bathroom is very luminous thanks to a large window that gives out onto the roof.
The apartment has an armored door, independent heating, air-conditioning, satellite TV , telephone (hi speed internet) and buzzer, gas-stove, oven, fridge/freezer, dishwasher and a washing machine and comes supplied with two complete sets of linen. The apartment is served by a lift.
Large sitting room with a double pull out sofa bed
Gallery with master double bed
Bathroom with tub and hand-shower
Double bed on raised loft
Bathroom with shower
Fully equipped kitchen with window
4 ring gas cooker with oven
American coffee maker, toaster
Dishwasher and washing machine
Hi speed internet
Fully air conditioned
Via delle Belle Donne,14 - Florence