★★★[em]In its heyday, this palace was close to the heart of Medici power. It even welcomed the painter Raphael as a guest in 1505 (probably in two rooms at the front, now Barocco 1 and 2). Guest rooms are large, with Renaissance wooden ceilings and terracotta floors left untouched. Modern fittings—including leather sofas, soft mattresses, and crystal chandeliers—chime perfectly with a baroque redecoration completed in the 1600s, including ceiling frescoes by Alessandro Gherardini. The lower floor houses opulent public rooms, just as it would have been when it was the “piano nobile” of the family palazzo. These days you’ll find a music room, art books, a welcoming host, and probably an open bottle of Tuscan red wine somewhere. Book direct for the best deal: perhaps a free airport transfer, free late checkout, or a discounted room rate.