www.karenbrown.com Welcome to Karen Brown’s World of Travel We would like to share with you one of our recommended hotels in Italy The Hotel Orto de’Medici in the city of Florence Orto de’Medici was named for the Medici family’s extensive gardens and orchards that once existed on the site of this hotel. Capable father-and-son team Emilio and Giacomo Bufalini recently took over the reins and took on the challenge of completely refurbishing the family’s prim, centuries-old palazzo. Public areas maintain the ambiance of an elegant private home—the frescoed foyer and sitting rooms are graced with portraits, chandeliers, overstuffed armchairs, and Oriental carpets—while services and facilities in bedrooms conform to European Community standards. The spacious upper-floor guestrooms are reached by an elevator and are decorated with classic style. They have matching armoires and beds and all but ten have smart new gray-and-white-marble bathrooms. Several rooms on the top floor have a terrace or balcony with dreamy views over red Florentine rooftops. Perhaps the architectural highlight is the gracious breakfast room (breakfast is a buffet), with high ceilings, original parquet floors, and frescoed panels depicting garden scenes all around. French doors lead from this area to an outdoor terraced flower garden with wrought iron chairs and tables and a lovely view of San Marco church. Wine and cheese tastings are held here in the late afternoon. Dynamic young host Giacomo and his

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