One of the hotel’s on my travel list is The Grand Hotel Villa Cora. If you browse their photo gallery, you’ll see that every inch of this hotel is absolutely gorgeous and awe inspiring. Villa Cora was originally known to the Florentines as Villa Oppenheim, an elegant residence built at the end of the 1860s and designed by Pietro Comparini and Giuseppe Poggi. The exterior of the building was designed by Comparini, and the interior decor by Edoardo Gioja, the engineer who had designed the Suez Canal.
The frescoes and decorations in all the rooms were executed by famous artists of the time, including Pietrasanti and Samoggia, the sculptor Barzeghi and the engravers Norini and Barbetti. These artists used the most precious materials available: Carrara marble, the yellow marble of Siena (which is no longer to be found), Murano glass, ebony and silks from the famous factory of the Fréres Braquenie d’Aubusson.
Some of the rooms to behold at Villa Cora include:
- The Moorish Salon: with an Arabian-style dome and a chimney of black marble inlaid with semi-precious stones.
- The White Salon: with a fireplace sculpted in white Carrara marble bearing the coat of arms of Baron Oppenheim.
- The Ceramics Hall: with ceramics set into the wooden panelling. This was originally the dining-room and banqueting hall.
- The Cards Room: the games room.
- The Hall of Mirrors: with gilded friezes in Louis Quinze style, for which Gioja drew inspiration from the Royal Apartments in Turin.
Here are a handful of photos to enjoy, but you can always visit www.villacora.it to browse the gallery.