Italy’s restrictive smoking laws make finding a public cigar lounge nearly impossible. But for the cigar smoker visiting Florence, there is good news: the Cigar Room at Villa Cora.
Built in 1860, the 45-room hotel was originally a private residence built by Gustave Oppenheim as a gift to his wife. After a series of scandals and the couple’s divorce in the 1870s, the building passed on to new ownership. Since then, the decadent frescos, lavish sculptures, and pristine architecture have been meticulously preserved. The hotel is just seven minutes by taxi from Palazzo Vecchio, making it a convenient trip from anywhere in the city. Once inside, take the gently descending stairs down to the Cigar Room in the cellars next to the hotel restaurant.
The room is pure sophistication, paying tribute to its 19th century origins with red velvet chairs, wood-paneled walls, and a private bar. Warm lighting and music from the golden age of jazz make it impossible not to feel at ease. The bar is well stocked with high-end spirits and regional grappas. For cigars, choose from a small but carefully selected assortment of premium Cubans and rare Dominican and Nicaraguan blends from Davidoff, Arturo Fuente, and Padrón.
Before you leave, take the nearby elevator to the rooftop terrace for expansive views of Florence, and perhaps a final, memorable nightcap.
Viale Machiavelli 18
50125 Florence, Italy
This article was published in the Cigar Journal Winter Edition 2017. Read more