Photos: Florence's hottest new hotel is a blast from the present
The Milu Hotel offers a touch of the contemporary in a city dominated by the past.
Florence is a beautiful city, but if you're in the hunt for a design era that wasn't considered modern during the Renaissance, your best bet would be to go north to Milan.
So when a few Israeli friends decided to turn a 600-year-old property at the center of the city into a hotel, one outfitted with contemporary art and modern design flourishes, it was a risk because, well, people don't come to Florence for that sort of thing.
But since August, when the Milu Hotel opened, people have in fact been coming. It might have to do with the art lining the staircases and hallways, a collection of modern Italian and Israeli art curated by co-owner Carmel Ilan, all of it for sale at uncharacteristically affordable prices.
"We wanted to make the art a major part of the hotel. It's sort of like a living art gallery, you could say," Ido Gelber, the general manager and co-owner, told From The Grapevine during a recent visit.
It could also be the funky and colorful rooms, each granted its own combination of colors, from bright red to blue, yellow and several in between.
All the furniture comes from Tolman's, an Israeli company, and the top floor features a library, deck and bar area (including an Italian coffee machine available 24/7 to guests!).
"We wanted to create something colorful and warm, a place in contrast to the many gray accommodations in Florence," Gelber told us.
And that they have definitely done.
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