Hotel Milu, Florence

A contemporary art-driven accommodation, housed in a historic 15th century building

Florence tends to be synonymous with art, but oftentimes we think of ancient palazzos, classic paintings and iconic sculptures. The city, however also has a vibrant contemporary side, driven by fashion, art and food. Hotel Milu, a new boutique property, represents these aspects of the capital of Renaissance by way of modern design and comfort for the traveler of today, all while maintaining Florence’s grandeur.

Hotel Milu officially opened in October and we had the chance to be among the first to spend a couple of nights there. The location is ideal, since via de’ Tornabuoni is an acclaimed shopping street and the hotel is just steps from the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and literally next door to Palazzo Strozzi (while we were there, a beautiful Ai Weiwei exhibition was on).

The building that hosts the hotel was originally constructed in the 15th century. After being a private property, it has recently been restored by studioDO in collaboration with artist Carmel Ilan and Matteo Baroni. The original structure of the building is intact and the hotel is now beautifully irregular. For this reason each room is different and some are perfectly symmetrical, while others are oddly shaped, like those tiny studios that you can find in old towns, but still cozy and comfortable. If you combine this with the views of the adjacent buildings and rooftops, the authentic local spirit of an ancient town stays intact.

The entire building has been developed around a grand staircase that has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery. Most works are site specific and we spotted the hyperrealistic photos by Carmel Ilan, sculptures by Argentinian artist Flavio Robalo, mixed technique works by Shalom Nachshon, yarn birds by Maya Gelfer, a video installation by Ronen Sharabani.

In the Library Lounge guests can enjoy—together with more art—books, coffee, breakfast and a very nice view. Art pieces are also in each one of the 22 rooms: paintings, drawings, photography, everything is made primarily by emerging artists and each piece is for sale, sometimes for very reasonable prices. The interior decoration respects the idea of uniqueness and originality. Materials range from Italian marble and stone, original wooden ceilings in gentle contrast with architectural glass and contemporary design pieces. Just to mention a few brands, furniture pieces hail from Moroso, Rimadesio, Minotti, Desalto, Mdf Italia, Molteni, Magis, Bonaldo and others. It’s as design forward as it is true to its striking location.

Rates at Hotel Milu start at ‎€89 per night. For bookings and information, call +39 02 4538 6190 or visit Hotel Milu online.

Images courtesy of Hotel Milu and Paolo Ferrarini