One of my favorite places in Florence is Casa Guidi, the home of the poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. So many British and American artists and writers enjoyed the company of the couple while sipping tea and eating strawberries in their drawing room.
One of their visitors was the American novelist, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who described Elizabeth Barrett Browning in his Notebooks, published after his death as French and Italian Notebooks (1871):
“a pale little woman, scarcely embodied at all; at any rate, only substantial enough to put forth her slender fingers to be grasped, and to speak with a shrill, yet sweet, tenuity of voice […] She is a good and kind fairy, however, and sweetly disposed towards the human race, although only remotely akin to it” (p. 301).The drawing room, where the Brownings entertained their visitors, is still today exactly the same way it was in the nineteenth century. It is typically Victorian. Among the art works at Casa Guidi are the busts of Elizabeth and Robert that the American artist and their friend William Wetmore Story made as well as the Brownings Clasped Hands by the American artist Harriet Hosmer.
Casa Guidi is located at the very end of Via Maggio, at Piazza San Felice 8. They are open from April to November, Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. There is no need to make a reservation, just ring the bell.