Located on the Fiesole hill, right over the city of Florence (Tuscany) the "Belmond Villa San Michele" can be considered the most charming hotel of this worldwide famous town. An amazing historic ambiance will conquest you since the moment you will enter through the main doors. The building front decorations of this former monastery were made by Michelangelo Buonarroti one of the greatest artists who lived the town in the Renaissance times.
The staff and the service offered is absolutely one of the best we ever experienced. We came back here after ten years to see if the level is maintained properly and report to you our own updated impressions. The answer is definitively positive. Major renewals have been made in the rooms and the gourmet level is still at the top.
The Bathrooms in the rooms are plenty of amenities and have a huge shower where you could host probably up to six people. A vanity for the gentlemen and another one for the ladies. A perfect romantic retreat for any occasion or just to spend a great time with the family.
The rooms all have a stunning view over Florence valley and the adjacent hill. Each one with its own little private garden where you can relax anytime of the day, in total privacy.
But if you like to live the common areas then you have plenty of choices. The wonderful Italian gardens with lemon trees, the terrazza belvedere where you can have your aperitivo, breakfast and romantic dinners. You can also read a book in the renaissance atmosphere of the ancient interiors.
The dinner gourmet we had was about the previous menu experience of 2005. We intentionally had most of the same courses just to test if the quality wasn't changed. Indeed the last time we assigned 20/20 (our maximum score) and also in this recent visit we reconfirmed the same. Also the service and the sommelier were awesome. This is a typical example of consistency along a decade. Some places go up and down not this one! It's a great reliable classic of hospitality and quality level.
Speaking of "Classics" we started with a "Carpaccio Cipriani" (the creator of this well know dish) and also the name of the other acclaimed hotel in Venice owned by the Belmond Group. Simplicity at the state of the art. High quality ingredients with its famous secret sauce. A must to try in order to understand the difference with the other common carpaccio you eat in other places. In the actual menu is indicated as "Carpaccio classico di manzo "chianina" con rucola, sedano e scaglie di parmigiano". The wine paired with it was a "Chardonnay Capannelle 2013". All the wine course was selected by the very professional Maitre-Sommelier "Silvestro Napoletano".
The pasta dish was a masterpiece indicated as "Pici senesi fatti in casa al ragù di germano reale tagliato a mano e scaglie di pecorino toscanello".Wine pairing was a glass of "Maurizio Zanella 97"
Another great Tuscan classic was the "Tagliata di filetto di manzo "chianino" al brunello, con foglie di spinaci e fagioli zolfini in una cialda di parmigiano". A monumental "Brunello Biondi Santi 2000" was the best wine match with this "blue-rare" cooking style of "Fiorentina Stake Cut"
Dulcis in fundo a powerful chocolate dessert interpretation "Suprema di cioccolato fondente con cremoso alla vaniglia glassato al cioccolato atzeco." paired with a glass of "Passito di Pantelleria Bukkaram 2008". The executive chef "Attilio di Fabrizio" is the resident master chef also for the cookery school located under the restaurant and even the children can cook with him. So that's a very nice family experience. All the recipes have local spices grown directly in the hotel's garden.
Belmond Villa San Michele
Via Doccia 4, 50014 Fiesole, Florence, Italy
Tel: +39 055 567 8200
Reservations (Toll-free): 1 800 237 1236
article by Luca Centoni
pictures by Maria Grazia Sanfelice