Antonia Windsor

Antonia Windsor

Journalist and travel writer

A journalist with 20 years' experience writing features for national newspapers, magazines and websites, including the Telegraph, Guardian, Observer, FT, SCMP and Food and Travel

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Relais Santa Croce

This grand palazzo was originally commissioned by the pope’s treasurer, Marchese Baldinucci, in the early 1700s, and the two imposing granite columns at the entrance were sent from Rome. Inside, the high-ceilinged public rooms are adorned with ornate plaster stuccos and colorful ceiling frescos — it's easy to see why this is considered one of the finest examples of a noble residence in Florence. The building was renovated in 2005, when it became a five-star hotel, and there are just 24 luxe rooms. The look is period elegance with contemporary comfort; the fireplace is marble, the sofas are leather.