A romantic escape in the city known as 'The Jewel of Tuscany' because of its beauty, Florence is quintessentially a lover's haunt. Utterly charming, saturated in Renaissance architecture and art, the town's streets and alleys seduce and delight at every turn. Hotel Continentale Florence sits in a prime location overlooking the Ponte Vecchio; its dream position creates in one's mind the idea of Michelangelo's famous painting 'Creation of Adam' where God's finger is reaching out to touch Adam—bend your mind with a surreal image—you can reach out and almost touch the medieval stone arched bridge over the flowing Arno River.

Hotel Continentale shamelessly promotes desire, elegance, and the space to be seen. Contemporary in a whimsical manner where simplicity and eclectic melds—a desk may be a handmade leather trunk, flowing curtains drape beds, bespoke designer lamps, and stunning chaise lounges—the hotel is the epitome of romanticism. The Florentine architect, Michele Bönan, was inspired by Florence's fashion era of the 1950s when haute couture was at its height in Italy. The predominant use of simple white and clean lines imbues a light airiness into the design, creating the perfect backdrop for a window onto the maize of rich color surrounding the hotel.

Reach Out and Touch the Ponte Vecchio - Hotel Continentale Florence - The Wise Traveller - Hotel Continentale

Many of the city's treasures are within strolling distance—the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo, and Piazza della Signoria. Fashionistas head directly to Via de Tornabuoni, the most famous street in Florence, for upmarket boutiques. Along the way, detour to Salvatore Ferragamo's Museum and pay homage to the iconic man who introduced the world to Italian fashion. Meander over the Ponte Vecchio, where originally butchers, fishmongers, and tanners dominated in the 13th Century until they were ousted because of the stench. Goldsmiths and jewelers were then decreed as the only businesses allowed on the bridge in 1593. At night the bridge takes on a different face—shutters come down on the shops transforming the walls into mock wooden chests and suitcases. Once over the bridge, you will reach the bohemian enclave of Oltrarno with its tightly woven streets overflowing with cute cafes, bars and shops, plus decorative fountains. Nearby are the famous Boboli Gardens, designed for Medici, first opened to the public in 1766. You can gawk at 15th-century frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel or head to the Gallery of Modern Art on the Pitti Palace's second floor, where sculptures and paintings from the late 18th Century to the first half of the 20th Century are displayed.

Reach Out and Touch the Ponte Vecchio - Hotel Continentale Florence - The Wise Traveller - Florence architecture

Hotel Continentale Florence is the bud of a flower with brilliant petals opening up to the treasures around it. Only 43 luxurious rooms and suites make the hotel perfect for those wanting a more intimate experience than a large hotel. The walls, decorated with Florentine fashion photographers' works in black and white, create a sense of dignified calm more akin to an art gallery, and the guest accommodations soothe the soul with unobtrusive yet plush décor. Elegant marble bathrooms with exclusive bath amenities and walk-in closets compliment the sophistication of the accommodation design. Each room is a sanctuary of privacy where you can unwind after a hectic day sightseeing in the city.

Reach Out and Touch the Ponte Vecchio - Hotel Continentale Florence - The Wise Traveller - Room

A playground for those into their food, Hotel Continentale Florence is blessed with an array of venues to indulge your taste buds with the most succulent Tuscan cuisine. The Michelin-starred Borgo San Jacopo presents mouth-watering masterpieces on a plate. At the same time, the sommelier will advise you on the rather extensive wine list—think of over 900 prestigious wines to accompany your tasting menu of innovation. Caffè dell’Oro gives a front-row seat to the unbelievable views over the Ponte Vecchio with a modern twist on the 1950s décor where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are on offer el fresco style. Plus, time in between to sit and sip either a divinely rich espresso or a decadent cocktail. Surrender to the exotic tastes of The Fusion Bar & Restaurant or end your night on top of the city at the hotel’s La Terrazza rooftop bar with its 360-degree view.

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Florence is a city to be tasted slowly, awakening all of your senses, and the perfect space to relish all the city has to offer is to stay at Hotel Continentale Florence.

Richard Batka is CEO of The Wise Traveller, a some time writer, regular traveller and someone always humbled by the wonders of the world.