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Hotel Lungarno in Florence
Photos, review, design
Article added on January 25, 2013

History, art and design at Hotel Lungarno

In 1982 the historic center of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It did of course not really need such an accolade. Established by the Romans in the first century before Christ, the capital of Tuscany remains until today the quintessential Renaissance city, although many other architectural styles can be found too. From the 14th to the 16th century, Florence was one of Europe's most important towns. It hosts many artistic jewels and, therefore, remains together with Rome and Venice the tourist attraction in Italy. Accommodation can be a problem during the high season. Book in advance to have a good choice!

Hotel Lungarno is the only (luxury) hotel in Florence directly situated at the Arno riverside. It is owned by the Ferragamo family, who originally made their fortune in the shoe business. It offers great views of the world famous Ponte Vecchio. Three sister hotels, including Gallery Art Hotel, are located on the other side of the bridge.

As the other hotels of the Lungarno Collection, Hotel Lungarno (H.L.) is the work of the Florentine architect and interior designer Michele Bönan. He created 73 rooms and suites, which all feature beige Carrara marble bathrooms, whereas at Gallery Art Hotel, the bathrooms were in beige ceramics.

Michele Bönan decorated Hotel Lungarno with some 400 original art works of the 1900s. The Picteau Lounge on the ground floor features sketches by Picasso from 1952 and Cocteau from 1962.

If possible, book a room with river view such as the smaller Prestige Room 214 or the larger Camera Deluxe 433. I stayed in Florence during the high season, when the hotel was almost fully booked and I was lucky to get in. No river view for me in Deluxe Room 430. My view was towards a side street. The original art works included an ink and watercolor by Balosi of 1969 and three works by Tino Cafoni from 1964. Particular to my room was the long corridor leading from the front door to bedroom. Not all bathrooms come with a bathtub. Deluxe Room 430 features a no tub, but a huge double shower with two showerheads for two people.

If your pockets are bigger, go for Duplex Suite 106 with a balcony on the first floor, offering enough space for a table and two chairs outside. Duplex Suite 106 is very popular and has seen guests including Robert Downey Junior, Peter Gabriel and Ferrari boss Montezemolo in the past two years.

Larger terraces can be found on the fifth and sixth floor, for instance in Room 546. You don't have to book a suite or junior suite to get a terrace. For instance 653 is a relatively small Deluxe Room, but offers a great, large terrace with a table and three to four chairs. The bathroom has a bathtub. That's the best bargain I could find in Hotel Lungarno!

Books about Florence from Amazon.com, Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk. Italian sheet music from Sheetmusicplus.



Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant with chef Beatrice Segoni


Staying at Hotel Lungarno - or elsewhere in Florence, have a dinner at Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant with chef Beatrice Segoni (*1960). The restaurant is decorated with Ferragamo fashion photographs and offers great views of river Arno.

I had a talk with chef Beatrice Segoni and she told me that she has been in charge of the riverside restaurant since its opening in 2004. VIPs she has served range from Bill Clinton to Michael Schumacher.

Beatrice Segoni graduated from the Superior Institute of Culrinary Arts Etoile of submarine of Chioggia. She has worked with many great chefs including Fabio, Tacchella, Sergio Mei, George Nardelli, Tub Wise, Morri Saschia and, for two years, with Gianfranco Vissani. She told me that Vissani was the most important chef for her. From him, she learned most about ingredients, technique, cooking times and more.

At Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant, Beatrice Segoni offers regional cuisine from several Italian provinces. Her passion remain fish and pastries. She reinterprets classical dishes and regional specialties with her own touch.

My dinner in late 2012 at Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant started with a sensation, a glass of Champagne by the house of Marguerite Guyot from the Damery region. My glass of the Cuvée Séduction Brut, 100% Chardonnay, Blanc de Blancs, was the best champagne discovery that I have made in years! I was told that the Ferragamo family has excellent relations with the lady behind this Champagne, Florence Guyot, who created the brand for the Italian market. It easily beats any Prosecco as well as many well-known Champagnes that I have ever tasted.

From the bred basket, I tried some Pane di Matera, Taralli pugliese and bred with chocolate, served together with oil and French butter.

The appetizer offered by the chef consisted of Pecorina cheese and vegetables. My first dish was a Porcini mushroom salad, served cold and offering strong flavors. The sommelier recommended a Roero Arneis 2011 by Bruno Giacosa from the Piedmont (Piemonte) region with it. The white wine was slightly sweet and accompanied well the dish.

My main course was a risotto with zucchine and pumpkin flowers. I added some 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to my risotto, which still had a bit of a bite, as I like it best. The sommelier recommended a glass of Chardonnay with it, a 2010 Tasca d'Almerita from Sicily with 15% alcohol!

My next vegetarian dish was a tortino di escalibada or medley with grilled vegetables consisting of aubergines, date tomatoes, served with ricotta di bufala. The chef had added thyme, marjoram and other seasonings. This dish was accompanied by a glass of  white wine from the Friuli Isonzo region by Gianfranco Gallo. It was a fruity, 2010 Chardonnay with 13.5% alcohol.

I asked chef Beatrice Segoni which was her favorite among the 10 desserts on the menu. She indicated the Daiquiri alla Fragola. Therefore, I chose of course this dessert with frozen Daiquiri, which was accompanied underneath with a white chocolate mousse, blueberry and apple sauce as well as fruit, including strawberries. Excellent!

Of course, as nearly always, I could not resist to taste a few sorbets. I chose passion fruit, mango and lemon, which turned out to be my favorite.

At the very end, I tried a glass of Prosecco Franciacorte Monte Rosa, made by the classic method from 100% Chardonnay grapes. As good as this Blanc de Blancs was, it could not compete with the aperitif from above, the fabulous Marguerite Guyot Champagne Cuvée Séduction Brut, which alone is worth a visit a Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant!

Overall, Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant, which seats a maximum of 85 people, is a recommendable address in the heart of Florence, combining elegance with fine food.

Last, but not least, let's mention a civilized detail about Hotel Lungarno, not directly related to the restaurant, but to food in general: breakfast is until 11:30 all week. That's how it should be!

Books about Florence from Amazon.com, Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk. Italian sheet music from Sheetmusicplus.

Hotel Lungarno, Borgo San Jacopo 14, 50125 Florence, Tuscany region, Italy.



Chef Beatrice Segoni. Photos © Lungarno Hotel, Florence.


Restaurant Borgo San Jacopo. Photos © Lungarno Hotel, Florence. Books about Florence from Amazon.com, Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk. Italian sheet music from Sheetmusicplus.


View from Hotel Lungarno towards Ponte Vecchio. Photos © Lungarno Hotel, Florence. Books about Florence from Amazon.com, Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk. Italian sheet music from Sheetmusicplus.




The Lungarno Hotel terrace with Arno river view. Photos © Lungarno Hotel, Florence.


Suite Hotel Lungarno. Photos © Lungarno Hotel, Florence.


Junior Suite Torre. Photos © Lungarno Hotel, Firenze, Italy.


Guestroom with Arno river view. Photos © Lungarno Hotel, Florence.


Dinner on a private terrace. Photo © Lungarno Hotel, Florence.


Arno view from the lobby. Photos © Lungarno Hotel, Florence.



Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.