There is time until January for candidates for the transformation of the ‘600’s Podere Colombaia in Florence into a cultural-hospitality structure that valorizes the principles of the Florentine touristic offer, typically composed of landscapes, nature, art, culture, and wine and food.
In fact, a few weeks ago the Public Lands Agency published the tender for the redevelopment of the State’s structure: the tender will be assigned on the proposal that combines a project to highly valorize the asset with an economic offer – in terms of a yearly lease for a number of concession years included between 6 and 50 – that is deemed interesting. Indeed, the work falls within the “Valore Paese – Dimore” [“Country Value – Residences] project launched by the Public Land [Agency] to recover a long series of historical buildings that are either abandoned or underused and create, through the interventions of privates who manage the redevelopment in exchange for a long concession, a network of hospitality structures that work alongside offers and services that are in line with the Italian and regional cultural tradition. Podere Colombaia is one of the project’s first structures to enter the tender’s operational phase and of the ensuing adjudication.
The building is a colonial home situated on the hills southwest of the regional capital [Florence], that is to say in the Arcetri area which, beyond the beautiful landscapes, is known for numerous buildings of historic value, and is only about one kilometer from the walls of the historic center. The homestead is an integral part of the complex known as “Villa del Poggio Imperiale” [Villa on the Imperial Knoll] composed of buildings and lands surrounding the Medici family villa. The building pertaining to the tender announced by the Public Land Agency includes a colonial building with two annexes, for a total of 440 sq m, within an open space area measuring 43,000 sq m. According to the project’s guidelines, the redevelopment will have to aim at a Podere Colombaia geared not only towards hospitality activities, but also with spaces dedicated to “alternative” tourism with cultural and landscape offerings. The beauty of the surroundings and the natural attraction generated by the Tuscan capital should constitute a guarantee for the investors regarding the potential of a redeveloped structure, given the importance of the Florentine cultural tourism: according to data by the Province, in 2012 alone, the number of guests in the city’s hotels exceed 6.3 million, with a clear prevalence of foreign clientele (nearly 5 million). Numbers that are greatly driven by the cultural offer (one third of Italy’s 15 most visited art museum are in Florence), but also by the convention and trade show tourism, which is traveling against the trends found in the rest of the sector.