Sleepover: Villa La Massa

A bed for the night near Florence


The location

The location

Secluded in gorgeous grounds on the banks of the Arno, 15 minutes from the centre of Florence, Villa La Massa is a private world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A vast Medicean villa, dating from the 16th century, houses the main rooms and suites, and there are more rooms in two smaller villas, one of which has the large vaulted dining room, complete with a terrace by the river. Think pretty pale yellow walls with olive-green shutters. Most rooms have a view of the Arno. Each is tastefully decorated with antiques and some have original frescoes. The main villa has a vast seating area in the covered courtyard and there is an intimate bar and a games room.The staff are attentive without being intrusive.

The USP

You bet. Its claim to fame is that David Bowie and Iman celebrated their marriage here - and they know a good thing when they see it. A tiny ancient chapel in the grounds is a favourite for couples wishing to share a moment together.

The comfort factor

Divine. The crisp bed linen comes from Como and we are talking linen, not cotton. Some rooms have king-size four posters and most have small seating areas. The suites in the villa above the dining room have private terraces with views over the river, and are for those wanting extra privacy. In the main villa, beg for room 45, which is a vast former balcony, closed in with floor- to-ceiling leaded windows affording panoramic views.

The bathroom

Vast quantities of bespoke Firenze toiletries, miles of grey-and-white marble, a large bathtub with power shower, twin basins, impossibly thick bathrobes and an endless supply of fluffy white cotton towels.

The food and drink

Take a short stroll along the gravel pathway lined with manicured lemon bushes to the dining room. Despair not - there are little runner mats over the gravel in case you stumble in your kitten heels. The Verrochio restaurant serves a terrific buffet breakfast with eggs and side dishes to order. Dinner includes signature dishes such as tortello filled with pecorino cheese flavoured with black truffle on a bed of cannelloni bean purée, and fillets of trout with potatoes, black olives and tomato. Two courses from approx £35.There is an excellent and very long wine list.

The people

Gucci-clad glitterati, well-heeled Euro-families with perfect children and young couples holing up for a romantic weekend.

The area

Well, apart from the obvious delights of having Florence on your doorstep, you can indulge in designer factory outlet shopping. Villa La Massa is perfectly placed a short drive away from the Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Ferragamo outlets. Reception will point you in the right direction.

The damage

From £137 per person per night, based on two sharing, including buffet breakfast.

The access

There is limited access for disabled people in the main villa. Children are welcome.

The address

Villa La Massa, 50012 Firenze, Candeli. (00 39 055 62611; www.villalamassa.com).

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album