Lonely Planet Writer

A Medici apartment has been transformed into a Renaissance spa in Florence

For those intrigued by the trappings of Renaissance luxury now have a space to seek when in the Italian city of Florence – the newly restored Comodo of Cosimo I de’ Medici.

Exterior of the Palazzo Vecchio
Entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Photo by: Nardia Plumridge

Tucked between the one-time apartments of the former Medici ruler and his wife, Eleanor, on the first floor of Palazzo Vecchio in the city’s main square, Piazza della Signoria, 20,000 euros have been spent to bring this former grand spa-style bathroom back to its former glory.

Centre stage is a large stone bathtub with a historic hydraulic system that produces hot water and steam to create a sauna-like experience where, at the time, essential oils were used to enhance the atmosphere, and beauty, of the lucky occupant.

Decorated interior of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence
Interior of the restored Palazzo Vecchio. Photo by: Nardia Plumridge

Decorated in typical Renaissance style, walls are lined with ornate frescoes by Marco da Faenza, an associate of Giorgio Vasari, retelling the love story of Cupid and Psyche. This 2 A.D. tale of a beautiful princess and her forbidden lover was a favoured fable with Renaissance audiences and today continues to remain the symbol of everlasting love.

Restoration of the Comodo took five months and is part of the ‘Florence I Care’ initiative where citizens or companies can sponsor projects to bring back to life the city’s famous landmarks.

Restored ceiling at the Comodo
Decorated ceiling at the Comodo in Florence. Photo by: Nardia Plumridge

The Comodo is open daily in Palazzo Vecchio by Sala dei Duecento.

By Nardia Plumridge