The star and the hotel in Florence
Have you ever asked yourself why hotels are classified with the stars?
Who invented this system (now widely known and accepted) to enable us to understand fairly easily and quite immediately what kind of structure there is in front of us?
The origin of this symbol is ancient and brings us back to medieval Florence. “Hotels” arised spontaneously because they were in strategic locations for business and trade. They had convenient location for the travellers or they were close to places of particular importance in a city. The “hotel” not only offered shelter for the night to the people and to their animals (the barn, the garage of the time was then, as it is now, of foundamental importance) but also had a “restaurant” where hot meals were provided after a tiring and sometimes difficult journey.
Florence was ruled from the mid 1200 by the ARTI (sort of trade unions) and in the city one of the 14 minor Arti was the Hotel Arte.
Since 1300 there was even a specific regulation on the hospitality for the city of Florence and the countryside. It contained a set of rules that covered both the relationships between the different categories and the behavior to have with customers, with the intention of offering an image of order and decorum. Do you know which was the symbol of the Hotel Arte, the symbol that you could find on every house that offered such professional and friendly hospitality? A star.