The Tower House known as "Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1" was built during the first half of the 13th century by the Guelf Family, the Ruggerinis, and it subsequently was inherited by the Fastellis and the Pietrobonos. In the early 14th century the property was inherited by the Gianfigliazzis and remained their residence until the late 1700s.
The Tower House is located at the corner of via de Tornabuoni, directly adjacent to the Bridge of Santa Trinita, beside the church of the same name.
The family name Gianfigliazzi derives from Giovanni, son of Galeazzo, a form which later became Gian, son of Azzo, who may be considered the founding father of the dynasty.
The Gianfigliazzis did not hold office during the republican period as they were considered Aristocracy and associated with the Guelf movement but following the Battle of Benevento that marked the demise of the Ghibellines and with the explusion of the Duke of Athens from Florence, an event the Gianfigliazzis valiantly supported, the Gianfigliazzis were rewarded and held high government office.
From 1530 onwards the family counts thirty priors and ten Gonfalonieri, numerous knights of the golden spur, military commissaries and ambassadors. They built houses, loggias and towers in the Santa Trinita quarter and they apparently also owned the houses surrounding the church. The Gianfigliazzi Family died out in 1764 with the Canonico Rinaldo di Lodovico.
From the early twentieth century until the conclusion of the Second World War the aristocrats and English intellectuals, fascinated by Florence, favored the Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1 as their preferred residence.
After the Great War, the Piccioli Guesthouse was closed, but reopened in 2001 under the name "Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1", which was later to become the "Palazzo Gianfigliazzi di Via Tornabuoni 1" in 2008. Thanks to careful restoration work which preserved and brought back to life all of the buildings original appeal, the Via Tornabuoni palace acquired life and warmth once again. The magnificent complex is considered one of the historic "tower houses" of Medieval Florence, and it preserves to this day the original architectural characteristics. It is an admirable example of how man is capable of taking buildings which were once devised for the purposes of war into oasis of peace, culture and hospitality.
Guests of the "Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni n° 1" do not consider themselves simply clients, but special guests. They are surrounded by a unique atmosphere of charm and history, while at the same time enjoy an elegant and refined ambience, where the traditional fuses with the modern, offering a truly unforgettable stay.
The attention to detail and the warmth of the rooms make the "Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni n° 1" the premier choice when visiting the most beautiful city of art in Italy. This is emphasized, not only by the comfortable bedrooms, but also by the two magnificent terraces with their breathtaking panoramic views over the whole of Florence, which offer unforgettable emotional experiences.
The building is located on four floors with three facades, one per floor, enclosed by shutters. The street façade is characterized by post and lintel elements characteristic of towers and divided into three parts via two levels. The geometric architecture reflects the façade of the Torre de' Compiobbesi and is more reminiscent of a palace than a tower. The front ends in a projection consisting of corbels which extend into the platform above, enclosed by Guelf crenellation more for decoration than for defense. Alongside the windows you find the cast-iron fixtures that were used to display tapestries and coats of arms during festivals and important occasions.
Antica Torre di via Tornabuoni 1 is not your regular hotel, or a boutique hotel; it is an Historical Residence where the personal pleasure of welcoming guests, the desire to reinvent the concept of hospitality, and the inspiration to provide the warmth of home in every detail, are combined with the guests' wish to relive a true moment in history—not as spectator, but as a protagonist.