With her maiden voyage due to start on 4th July, Costa Cruises’ ’Costa Firenze’ can now offer guests the flavour of Florence from the comfort of a luxury passenger ship.
The 323 m ‘Vista’-class cruise vessel, which was built by Fincantieri, features four venues designed by YSA Design that pay homage to Italy’s Tuscany region’s capital. Each space captures a different aspect of Tuscan culture and heritage, contributing towards an on board ambience befitting of the vessel’s theme.
According to YSA Design CEO, Anne Mari Gullikstad (pictured), the project echoed the company’s work on her sister ship, ’Costa Venezia’.
“Like Venice, Florence is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in the world,” she said. “Therefore, as with ’Costa Venezia’, the challenge with ’Costa Firenze’ was to recreate this charm while avoiding cliché.”
To achieve this, YSA sourced authentic materials and paid great attention to detail when selecting colour palettes and adornments, taking inspiration not only from the historical architecture of Florence and its surroundings but also from the city’s contemporary identity.
This approach is embodied in Lounge della Moda, a bar located at the aft of Deck 5 that is accessed via a ‘catwalk’ showcasing Italian fashion through the ages.
“The idea with this bar was to highlight another important side of the city’s identity,” Gullikstad explained. “As well as being an architectural marvel, Florence is an international capital of fashion and home to some of the world’s biggest and best-known clothing brands.”
At Ristorante dei Medici in the aft section of decks 3 and 4, guests can experience the Florence’s ambience while enjoying genuine Italian cuisine. This fine-dining restaurant pays homage to the city’s iconic cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, and the adjacent Piazza del Duomo, with white and green marble walls reflecting the elegance of the building’s façade.
Located forward of Ristorante dei Medici on Deck 3, Ristorante Palazzo Vecchio recalls the grandeur of its namesake, Palazzo Vecchio, and another Florentine palace, Palazzo Pitti.
Like the two palazzi, the restaurant is richly designed and houses an art gallery displaying classical Italian paintings. Materials and decorative elements include marble flooring, ornate gilding and panel work, chandeliers and tactile velvet.
Midship on Deck 10, meanwhile, is the Versilia Deck, an informal dining, pool and lounge area that offers guests a change of scenery, transporting them from central Florence to the courtyard and gardens of a Tuscan country palace.
Port side at the forward end of the venue is Bar del Conte, a small corner bar designed by YSA to recall Florence’s Santa Maria Novella – the world’s oldest pharmacy.
Having previously designed several spaces on board ’Costa Venezia’ as well as the magrodome pool area on ’Costa Serena’, YSA Design has a long-standing relationship with Costa Cruises.