Imposing, mellow buildings, exquisite gardens fashioned by a friend of Dante, and magical views of Florence: it is breathtaking in its beauty and ancient dignity. The entrance hall is impressive, glorious, with a frescoed ceiling and an ocean of floor; the view reaches through a vast splendid sun room to streams with stepping stones, lily ponds and hothouses of exotics. A water feature meanders along a stone terrace, a twisted wisteria shades the walkway to the potager, donkeys, goats, ponies graze, and cats doze. Amble round the lovely, flower-filled garden, find secret paths and hidden corners, pause by the pool for stunning views of the city. Each bedroom is different with its own character, most can be reached by lift but the tower suite, with windows on all sides demands a climb. They defy modern convention and are magnificent in their simplicity, the furniture richly authentic and antique, the views sublime. With luck you’ll meet Signor Franchetti whose manners and English are impeccable, and Coco Bello, his charismatic pink parrot. All this, and Florence a ten-minute cab ride down the hill.