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The Relais and its evocative location, in a narrow, quiet alley close to Piazza della Signoria, reveal a significant and fascinating piece of Florence's thousand-year history.

Housed in a carefully restored sixteenth-century palace, it now comes back to life in a totally modern look, though maintaining evidence of its prestigious history, when it was an aristocratic residence in the most lively area of the historic center. We are in Chiasso dei Baroncelli, a section of the more famous Chiasso del Buco, an alley that runs like a deep crack along the Uffizi building and the Loggia dei Lanzi opening onto Piazza della Signoria.

The name "Chiasso dei Baroncelli" is linked to the ancient Florentine Baroncelli family, which in the Renaissance had built one of its tower-houses near where the Relais now stands. The picturesque "Chiasso del Buco," so called because of the presence of a "hole," turns out to be divided into two parts; the first side, accessed from Chiasso Baroncelli, was badly damaged during the German retreat of 1944 and several buildings were rebuilt in the 1950s, including the Salterelli Tower, a family also mentioned by Dante.

The section on Via Lambertesca, on the other hand, has not undergone major transformations and there is still the fund where the Arte dei Correggiai had its headquarters (an ancient stone lintel with coats of arms can still be spotted). Other noble families of the time - the Tigliamochi, the Gherardini, the Pulci, the Raugi - had their home here while at the opening onto the Piazza there were workshops of painters, velvet makers, blacksmiths, and shoemakers: the ancient Florentine trades, whose history is recalled by the famous SS Annunziata pharmacy through its perfumes.

Within these walls, countless events have unfolded, and numerous characters and families have called this place home. It's these very families, with their unique lives and day-to-day experiences, that reflect the evolution of who we are over time...