The new book of the Helvetia & Bristol - Starhotels Collezione
A book that recounts the renovation of the iconic museum and its extraordinary history
A book that recounts the history, renovation and discoveries linked to one of the most iconic hotels in Florence, the Helvetia & Bristol Firenze - a byword for hospitality in the city and one of the jewels of the Starhotels Collezione.
A favourite place since the times of the Grand Tour, it has belonged to families of hoteliers for three generations, since 28 June 1883 when it was founded as Helvetia by the Swiss Gregorio Mosca.On the eve of the 140th anniversary of its establishment, this book traces the meticulous renovation that has restored the hotel to its original splendour, enhanced with a luxurious, contemporary touch. Keenly supported by Elisabetta Fabri, Florentine by birth and President of Starhotels, the work led to the rediscovery not only of this Hotel but of an entire city, a thriving Roman colony with a story yet to be told.
Helvetia & Bristol Firenze’s vocation for hospitality has lasted for almost 2000 years, having begun in the 1st century AD. C., when this block housed the flourishing Roman colony’s public baths. This story came to light in the 19th century, following the proclamation of Florence as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. Ancient ruins emerged during redevelopment of the area, in particular the Capitoline Baths, which were located where the current Helvetia & Bristol stands, and were reconstructed by the architect Corinto Corinti in a series of drawings. In the light of the findings during the renovation carried out by Starhotels, the choice to locate the hotel’s spa in the area occupied by the Roman baths in the 1st century AD seemed only natural. In this special, unique place in Florence, beauty, wellness and the charm of the past amplify each other.
Renovation of the hotel and construction of the new wing, housed in the adjacent building, formerly the headquarters of the Banco di Roma, were carried out with a select group of Florentine and Italian master craftsmen, heirs to a centuries-old tradition, but also able to create objects with contemporary appeal. While restored furnishings and upholstery decorate the Helvetia Wing, the new Bristol Wing is the work of internationally acclaimed interior designer, Anouska Hempel.