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 charming little flat is still part of the Palazzo Aldobrandini but has its own entrance in the narrow road that separates the Palazzo, from Palazzo Antinori opposite.
A small door-way opens onto two flights of ancient steep steps. A door at the top of these leads into the apartment. The first room is long, not very wide and painted in a wonderful warm yellow . The doors are painted in geometric patterns that might remind one of the decorative doors in an orangerie. The room has a two-seater sofa and a chest of drawers. A window opens onto a quiet internal courtyard, giving light.
A pretty floral curtain divides this part of the room from the dining area with the kitchen to the right, which is fully equipped, is spacious and has a small snack area with a table and chairs to one side. Going back thorough the dining room, one crosses another prettily painted door, into a vestibule area with cupboards and a bathroom with shower, on the right. The third painted door leads into the delightful bedroom. Again the colour pallette is a warm, , luminous, rich yellow, with a very pretty and spacious wardrobe, painted in ochre-yellow, a weather-worn terracotta pink and green.
The bed-head is lined in a decorative floral print. A chest of drawers and bed side tables complete the room-furniture.
The apartment has an armored door, independent heating, satellite TV, telephone (Hi speed Internet) and buzzer, gas-stove, oven, small fridge and a washing machine and comes supplied with two complete sets of linen.