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NEW YORK — For visitors at one of the four hotels in Florence owned by Lungarno Alberghi SpA, it’s clear that the hotels place a high emphasis on style, elegance and luxury.
This story first appeared in the March 18, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
What might not be so clear is that the small group of hotels is actually owned by one of Italy’s most prominent trendsetting families, the Ferragamos.
When Leonardo Ferragamo reopened the historic Hotel Lungarno near the Ponte Vecchio in Florence in 1997, the business was more of a side project. Today, the Lungarno Hotels brand owns three other luxury hotels nearby — Gallery Hotel Art, Lungarno Suites and the Continentale, which opened in January — representing a total of 240 rooms. In addition, Lungarno Alberghi owns and manages Windows on Tuscany, which specializes in luxury apartment rentals in historic Florence neighborhoods. The apartments are available as short-term rentals and were decorated by Beatrice Ferragamo.
Thirty minutes outside of Florence is the Viesca Estate, which is owned by Wanda Ferragamo. There, guests may rent out one of seven villas surrounding the main house on the 800-acre estate. Fabrics used in the houses are from Salvatore Ferragamo.
Il Borro, a 120-acre estate owned by the Ferragamos about 40 minutes from Florence, was recently opened for tourism. Accommodations are available in both the 10-bedroom main villa or in an apartment on the estate’s medieval village grounds.
So why not just call it The Ferragamo Hotel Group?
According to Massimo Ferragamo, chairman of Ferragamo USA Inc., the company is making the link between the two companies more clear since they both share an emphasis on service and quality. But they prefer to keep the Ferragamo name in the background.
“It would be too easy to use the Ferragamo name,” said Massimo Ferragamo at a press event here last week for the hotels. “And the hotels are successful on their own, but we do like having the Ferragamo name behind them.”
Side projects stemming from the hotels include the Florence bar and restaurant The Fusion Bar, located inside the Gallery Hotel Art, and Lungarno Details, a store in the Lungarno Hotel that sells decor products that capture the essence of the hotels.