Fodor's Expert Review Il Salviatino
Via del Salviatino 21, Fiesole, Tuscany 50137, Italy See on Map Fodor's Choice
In the hills of Fiesole, just a short drive north of Florence, is one of the most majestic properties in the whole region. Il Salviatino is a stunning five-star converted 14th Century villa on a palatial estate with manicured gardens, views of the city, and lux and unique accommodations. This resort is an oasis unto itself as amorous guests can hide away among the private and luxurious pathways and corridors of this stately manor.
There are a whopping 13 different room categories (a lot for a 44-room hotel) that all feature unique touches. You’ll find an array of attributes like historic frescoes, ancient baths, garden and city views, original wood floors, and breathtaking terraces. In all the rooms are TVs embedded in the mirrors, Nespresso machines for morning coffee junkies, and Handy devices that can be used for Wi-Fi anywhere in Florence.
Check out the Affresco Suite which can only be accessed through a secret door in the hotel’s library. Once inside, you’ll be awed by the wall-to-wall 19th Century frescoes and the ancient Roman stone bath in the middle of the bathroom.
Peekaboo rain showers are typical in most rooms though some have bathtubs as well. Most have tile floors, and all have Aqua Flor bath products. Real, fresh orchids can be found in every room of the hotel.
The lobby is more of a living room/library with shelves upon shelves of stacked books along with plush chairs, reading nooks, and comfy couches.
The relaxing pool is open from 8:30am-8:30pm and usually from April to October – weather pending. For all day loungers, you can order food and drinks from the pool bar.
The glorious spa has four treatment rooms, two for romantic couples and provides every service imaginable from massages and facials to body slendering and jet lag recovery. The spa is open from 10am-7pm and also has a lovely terrace overlooking the grounds.
The hardwood floored gym is open 24/7 and features TechnoGym equipment and free weights. On the property’s terrace you’ll often find classes for yoga.
Breakfast here is included and is served in the library as is lunch and dinner during winter months. When it’s warm, guests can eat outside and there’s a wide range of vegan and gluten free options. Most of the produce comes directly from the property’s own vegetable garden.
The hotel offers a lot of great experiences. One in particular is Truffle Hunting. Adventuring out into the forest, you’ll join an experienced hunter with a truffle-sniffing dog to search for truffles. Later on, you can join for a tasting from your day’s finds.
The bar connected to the library on the ground floor of the property serves up great wines and mixed drinks. On summer Thursdays, you’ll be treated to live music in the garden.
Surrounding the property are 12½ acres of meticulously landscaped gardens with hidden pathways. The estate is really magnificent and worth a stroll to get an idea of the magnitude. Another experience is to go vegetable picking with the chef and prepare a picnic for the day.
If you stay here it can be really helpful to rent a car as you’re outside the city and getting anywhere by foot is a tad difficult. The good news is that the villa has a free shuttle that runs back and forth to Florence from 8:30am-8:30pm if you want to satiate your shopping, eating, and sightseeing needs.
Two great restaurants reside at nearby competing properties. First, there’s La Loggia (5-minute drive) a fine dining Italian gourmet spot at ultra-posh Villa San Michele. Second, is Lo Spaccio (2-minute drive) a rustic trattoria at Fattoria di Maiano, which also happens to produce some of the best olive oil on the planet (not our opinion, they win awards).
There aren’t a ton of local bars in the immediate vicinity, but the cocktail bar at Villa San Michele (5-minute drive) makes a mean mixed drink and Blu Bar (12-minute drive) at the top of the hill in Fiesole has a fun apperitivo and the best views of Florence down below.
WHY WE LIKE IT
If your jaw doesn’t drop upon first laying eyes on the property – it’s time to get your eyes checked. This absolutely spectacular villa is the Tuscan getaway that dreams are made of. The rooms are unique and spacious, the gardens are meticulous, the pool soothing, the spa melt-worthy, and the service top-rate. The staff goes to lengths to make your stay as magical as possible and they succeed beyond your wildest notions. Be aware, it’s not in Florence, but the drive into the city is only about 15-minutes and sometimes it’s just nice to have the fresh air and relative quiet of a villa on a hill looking out over the city.
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