THE DEAL: Il Salviatino, one of the most sublime hotels in Italy, has winter rates.
WHAT’S THE DEAL: Florence has a low season, when the crowds have left the Uffizi and you can wander in to see David without a soul around you. For true Italophiles, the winter months are when Italy returns to itself. It’s also when prices come down to more reasonable levels. A case in point is the newish Il Salviatino, a 15th century villa set in stepped gardens and perched on the hills between Fiesole and Florence. It’s about a 15 minute drive from the heart of the city but it’s world’s away, a Merchant Ivory setting for a romantic getaway. The architecture — the mosaics, frescoes, oak floors and a historic library — is amazing, but then so are the interiors: Chesterfield sofas, handmade linens, dark wood, and walls in those Tuscan colors you can’t get enough of. That said, the handsomely restored historic building is one thing but the service is another. It’s the reason Il Salviatino gets top marks in Tripadvisor and gives Villa San Michele in Fiesole, long the star of Florence properties, a serious run for its money. The winter bed & breakfast rate is 374E ($515) per night. For a couple of nights on a winter escape to Florence, it’s a reasonable price for five-star Italian luxury.
DETAILS: Il Salviatino.