Palazzo Ricasoli in Florence opens to events and executive stays with the name “Leone Blu”. The member of the Florence Convention Bureau is a sixteenth-century Florentine dwelling home overlooking the Lungarno Corsini, the most elegant stretch of riverfront for the mansions that follow each other side by side.
Leone Blu: a window onto Florence
Maria Teresa Ricasoli Firidolfi opens the doors to her house for a truly historic and authentic Florentine experience
Looking onto one of the most spectacular views of Florence, the ancient Palazzo Ricasoli has now become a historic hotel, Leone Blu. At the Ponte della Carraia on Lungarno Corsini, this is the place for discriminating travellers who wish to enjoy the truly authentic Florence. Leone Blu offers its salons and nine suites to guests who want to experience staying in a palazzo of the Ricasoli family, one of the families that wrote the history of Florence and Italy through exceptional figures, such as Bettino – the “Iron Baron” – who took over from Cavour in 1861 as Prime Minister. Maria Teresa Ricasoli Firidolfi has chosen to give a new meaning to the house where she grew up and to welcome Florentines and travellers. She will greet guests herself, narrating the most secret and concealed Florence, acting as an ambassador for her family and hometown.
“In the 19th century the Palazzo Ricasoli Firidolfi at Ponte alla Carraia was a hotel, the ‘Grand Hotel de New York’: a great Residence for Guests wishing to enjoy a Florentine stay during their European Grand Tour,” explains the Baroness. “In the past, along the road to Santiago, the French hostels displayed signs saying “Lit on Dort” (beds to sleep): by word of mouth from tourist to tourist, the phrase morphed by sound into “Lion d’Or” (golden lion). In connection with our family crest, I chose to call this house the Leone Blu (blue lion)”.
At the Leone Blu, guests will be welcome like at a friends house. The palazzo belonging to the aristocratic and ancient dynasty of the Ricasolis was built in 1474 by will of Rinieri, an expert trader who was also connected with the Medici family during the period when Lorenzo il Magnifico ruled.
The suites each have the name of one of the great representatives from the Ricasoli family, and combine historic decoration and pieces with modern design, curated by the designer Piero Brarda. The nine suites are dedicated to Gisla, first among the family women to be named in documents dating from medieval times; Geremia, the forebear of the Ricasoli family and father of Ridolfo, the namesake of the Firidolfi family branch; Ugo, a cardinal during the papacy of Alexander; Bindaccio, military man who started fortification works on the Brolio Castle; Rinieri, an expert trader involved with the Florentine State; Pandolfo, a colonel under the great Gian Giacomo de’ Medici; Giovan Battista, one of the highest-standing statesmen in 16th century Florence; Orazio, cultured friend and supporter of Galileo Galilei; Giuliana, one of the most renowned Ricasolis at the turn of the 19th-20th century, she granted use of the Palazzo to the Red Cross during the first World War.
The Sala Bettino room, dedicated to the great ancestor who was also the inventor of the Chianti Classico wine formula, and the Sala degli Specchi room are the heart of the palazzo in which Maria Teresa Ricasoli Firidolfi and her team will welcome their guests. These two magnificent stately rooms are also the ideal location for openings, meetings, exclusive dinners and weddings. The lady of the house wishes to open the private palazzo to everyone, it will thus be accessible at all times: for a small breakfast, coffee, special aperitivo, wine-tasting or meeting. This will be an elegant and reserved location open to the public.
“The Leone Blu,” continues Maria Teresa Ricasoli Firidolfi, “continues our Family’s entrepreneurial legacy, we have always been active and productive, with a touch of courage and innovation. This house is strongly connected with the Castle at Brolio, where my brother Francesco, the 32nd Baron Ricasoli, carries out winemaking activities.”
The Leone Blu is a member of ADSI, the Association of Italian Historic Houses.
For further information on the Historic House Leone Blu and its suites and apartments, as well as services offered and availability, please go to www.leoneblu.com.
Your Contact at Leone Blu:
Leone Blu – Dimora Ricasoli
50123 Firenze – Piazza Carlo Goldoni, 2
0039 055290270 / 0039 3341685285
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