For anyone who wants to be both in Florence and see Tuscany, this is the choice. Torre di Bellosguardo allows visitors, especially those with little time, to experience the great city of Florence while also enjoying the tranquil countryside of Tuscany. Situated just a short and easy ride outside the city center, nestled in the glorious hillside, Torrre has one of the grandest vistas of all my travels, far more intimate of Florence than the well-regarded views from Fiesole. I have been coming here for more than fifteen years, by myself, with family, and with friends. For a time I lived in Rome and when I needed a short break I would hop the Eurostar and be at peace. It's the perfect place because you can both enjoy its beauty and solitude and yet be in the hustle and bustle of the city center in minutes. For those who already know Florence, it's the perfect place to simlply lounge by the beautiful outdoor pool and bar, look out over the great city, and take it all in without having to do a thing. Instead of a chain hotel, or even a grand one in the city, Torre is a magnificent old home, a castle truly, with an unique history, manicured grounds complete with flowing streams, beautiful gardens, and a menagerie of domesticated animals from chirping birds to little donkeys and ponies. In recent years a beautiful indoor spa and lap pool have been added making Torre almost as attractive a place to visit in the winter. Also, on my last visit I noticed a wonderful restaurant nearby now serves dinner at the hotel allowing guests not to have to leave at all.
Having breakfast in the morning on the outdoor terrace, with the warm Tuscan sun just beginning to gain strength, looking out over an expanse of verdant hillsides and ancient steeples and domes -- all of it conjures up images from Brideshead Revisited: the Grand Tour, the lazy afternoons, and the room with a view.