A man for all seasons
Paul Lydka, head concierge and the face of the Four Seasons Hotel Florence
Do you feel more psychologist, confidante or miracle maker?
All three. A concierge has to be able to understand the guest he is dealing with. He must have all Y
You were born in Wales, grew up in Australia, and before coming to Florence, you had lived in England and France. How much are you cosmopolitan and how much Florentine?
I’ve been living in Florence for 25 years, so I’d say I feel very Florentine, but perhaps above all, having a Swiss mother, Polish father and Italian children, I feel European.
What’s the most complicated challenge you’ve ever had to deal with?
I once managed to have a Hermès Birkin bag delivered to Florence in just one week, something that there’s usually at least a three-year waiting list for.
Famous people. Which encounter most impressed you?
Many celebrities frequent the Hotel, but the meeting that has stayed with me was the one with Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons Hotel, the reason we are here and why every detail is exactly as you see it.
What advice would you give guests who visit Florence in summer?
Go to the Uffizi and the Accademia in the evening, when it’s quiet and few people are there, and after the tour, take a bike ride by night.
Which are your favourite places in the city?
I like to go to the Museum of the Last Supper by Andrea del Sarto, get an ice-cream at La Carraia and enjoy it on the wall of the Bridge while admiring the view of Florence, or going to Piazza Santo Spirito, which I consider the true heart of the city.