Kraft Hotel Florence · History of the Kraft Family
The roots of their hotel activities in Switzerland
The Kraft family's involvement in the hospitality industry began in 1854 in Berne, Switzerland, when Jean Kraft constructed and inaugurated the Hotel Bernerhof. From 1851 Jean Kraft had managed the famous Gasthof Krone in Berne, where he gained his considerable experience.
Under Kraft's management the Bernerhof luxury hotel, with 123 rooms and 185 beds, hosted many illustrious names as guests such as the Queen of Napoli in 1862, King Leopold of Belgium in 1864, Marshall Juan Falcon, President of Venezuela in 1869, Rockefeller in 1894, Gabrielle d'Annunzio in 1905 and Paderewski in 1906. The Bernerhof was later handed over to the Swiss Federal Government by the Kraft family in 1924.
In 1878 the youngest son of Jean Kraft, Gerardo leaving his siblings in Berne to manage the Bernerhof, choose to come to Italy, to Turin to be exact, to his aunt Constance, who was owner of the Grand Hotel of Turin. In 1880 he went to Rome to manage the Hotel Quirinale and in 1883 married Emma Wegenstein, whose family were the owners of the Hotel Schweizerhof located at the Reno waterfall in Neuhausen, thereby joining two great families of the hotelier tradition.