Travel Inspiration: Florence, Italy & A Quick City Guide
Wednesday 9th November, 2016
STROLLING AROUND FLORENCE, or Firenze, as Italians call it, is equal to being placed in a film from the golden age of Italian cinema, or one of the still-life paintings at the city’s Galleria degli Uffizi. There is a beauty and subtle opulence in the building façades, Medici family palazzos, Gothic and Renaissance-style churches, and bridges along the river Arno. Surprisingly compact as it is, the city opens up before you like a fold-out Christmas card: so full of intricacies, you can return time after time and uncover new things, whether in a concealed museum in the town centre, or one of the vineyards in its surrounding hills.
The cradle of Renaissance, a wealthy former city-state, the birthplace of Gucci and Cavalli…Firenze seems suited for every type of traveler. Those with a love for history will want to explore in Dante or Machiavelli’s footsteps, or — armed with a good historical guide — venture into Florentine churches, cathedrals, and museums, the obvious, like the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, and the more hidden ones, like the beautiful Ognissanti. The wanderlusters wishing to imbue themselves in the city’s particularly Italian brand of luxury, one where la vita e bella, need to take life slow. Picture yourself getting lost among the Palazzo Pitti and Biboli Gardens; strolling around the trendy Oltrarno area to stop at a vinoteca at the Piazza Santo Spirito; and cross to Piazza Santa Trinita through the Ponte Vecchio to look for antiques or Italian leather. The stylish will want to bask in the sun at one of the city’s villas, or at least at the Piazzale Michelangelo; and a visit to the Gucci and Ferragamo museums is practically imperative. One thing, though: once you visit, you won’t stop coming back. — Victoria.
NORTH BANK FIRENZE GUIDE
Sights to look forward to are Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Basilica di San Lorenzo, Basilica di Santa Croce, Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, Ognissanti and Piazza Santa Trinità.
Favorite places to stop by for a bite are Trattoria Sostanza, Trattoria Gargani, Il Cibreo, Trattoria Cesarino, Perche No!, All’Antico Vinaio and Trattoria Mario.
To shop, go to Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Mercato Centrale, Gucci, Echo.
SOUTHERN FIRENZE GUIDE
Make sure to visit Giardini di Biboli, Palazzo Pitti, Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, Piazzale Michelangelo, Forte di Belvedere.
For incredible food, I recommend Osteria Santo Spirito, Il Santo Bevitore, Pitti Gola, Lo Sprone Vinaino, Il Santino, La Carraia, Le Volpi e l’Uva and Gustapizza.
For shopping, Via de’ Guicciardini has everything from souvenirs to porcelain.
Victoria Berezhna Fashion Contributor, London
Victoria lives in the south of Spain, having moved there from her native country Ukraine when she was just a child. She finds herself looking up to timeless icons from past decades including Jackie O, Grace Kelly, Katherine Deneuve and Audrey Hepburn, and longing for sunny afternoons on the French Riviera and walks along the Seine during spring. Always overdressed and dishing out on tailored pieces and shoes – secretly dreaming they were from Dior or Saint Laurent – she dresses for herself rather than others, and would trade breakfast for Vogue or a one way ticket to anywhere beautiful.