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Florence City Guide

All love affairs starts somewhere, my love affair with Italy began with the Renaissance.

Even before I had the opportunity to explore this country I call my motherland I was fascinated by the masters.

Now after two back to back trips to Florence, I am happy to share my roundup of musts in the jewel of the Renaissance.












Stay


Oltrarno Splendid

A favourite BNB located in the Oltrarno neighbourhood with 14 rooms individually designed, minutes from the Ponte Vecchio. The staff is warm and friendly and I love the room we stayed in with Florentine frescoes.

Ad Astra

Same family of owners as Oltrarno Splendid, looks equally well curated and overlooks a green garden.

The Place Firenze

Located in Santa Maria Novella, a great location in the city centre.

Portrait Firenze

Located on the arno river,

Four Seasons Florence

A former Medici residence is all you need to know!

The space feels like a museum in and of itself, with lush and expansive gardens.

Lovely for even just a drink to indulge!

Belmond Villa San Michele

An ancient renaissance monastery in the town of Fiesole. Everything Belmond touches is gold!

A remarkable property, we really enjoyed drinks and dinner here.



Villa Cora

Away from the crowds, outside of the city centre, a 19th-century villa with lavish interiors blending original fittings and bold contemporary furnishings.

With a pool and view it is great if you want to be close to but not in the city.


See


Piazza Santo Spirito

A lovely piazza filled with life, and one of my favourite rooftops, Loggia Roof Bar for a drink during sunset, and maybe a tramezzino too.



Piazza di Santa Maria Novella

The facade of the Santa Maria Novella church alone is worth seeing.

Filled with floral and always a great destination to sit on a patio for an afternoon aperitif.



Pitti Palace/Giardino Boboli

Former Medici residence is now home to Florence’s most impressive museums.

Spare a good 2-3 hours to thoroughly explore and walk the gardens (steps are steep- I warned you)



Giardino Bardini

Even more impressive in my opinion than Giardino Boboli. Super lush with floral and picturesque views as you climb to the top. Wear comfortable shoes and head out early to avoid the beaming sun in the summer months.



Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

I don’t know how anyone could not be amazed by the famous Duomo.

The heart of the city, this 15th century beauty has had my heart from the first time I laid eyes on her.

Gallerie degli Uffizi

One of my favourite galleries to date, so many wonders under one roof.

Allot a good amount of time to really indulge, it is large and gets crowded fast! One piece of advice, look up!

Galleria dell’Accademia

Home of the famous Michelangelo’s David.



Piazzale Michelangelo

A magical view of the city. We were driven here, but many cycle or trek up by foot. Definitely worth seeing!



Arno River

Definitely hard to miss! One of my favourite places to watch the sunset in Firenze.

Be sure to pass under the renowned Ponte Vecchio and experience the city from the water.




Shop


Santa Maria Novella 1221

The oldest pharmacy in the world that has been crafting beautiful fragrances, remedies and herbal products since 1221.

The shop is a step back in time, its a must !

Ginori 1735

The porcelain factory is situated just outside of Florence and dates back to 1735.

It was revamped in 2014 when acquired by Gucci. I love their patterns and quality, we own a number of pieces in our home.

Loretta Caponi

Artisan crafted womenswear, children ware and tableware.

Salici Lifestyle

A wondrous curated collection of antiques, we have purchased items from Maurizio’s incredible collection.

Stampe Fratelli Sarti

An antiche print shop with lots of treasures from botanicals to architecture.

Galleria Aquafortis

Another lovely print shop that I recently purchased from.

Procacci

For all your truffle desires! They operate as a full bar too, with mini paninis to nibble on.

Lorenzaccio Arte in Ceramica

Handcrafted ceramics hand painted by 3 Tuscan artists




Eat


Ristoro di Cambi

Classic Tuscan fare, don’t miss the pappa al pomodoro. A beautiful marriage of tomatoes and bread. Buonissima!



Ristorante La Casalinga

Another classic trattoria, some highlights were the pappardelle in wild boar sauce, the roast chicken, Florentine tripe (if that is your sort of thing), oh! and the Tiramisu.



Il Santo Bevitore

Slightly more upscale than the trattorias, but extremely reasonably priced for the atmosphere and taste. Eat the baccala mantecato!



Il Santino

Right next door to Il Santo Bevitore, their sister restaurant is a charming wine bar with delicious eats. I love sitting on the stools watching them prep!

S.Forno Panificio

Great for a morning cornetto or bread of course.



Ristorante San Michele

Located in the Belmond’s Villa San Michele Hotel, an ancient renaissance monastery in the town of Fiesole.

Dinner is served on the al fresco loggia. I still dream about the spaghettone.



Regina Bistecca

Cooking, serving and eating Bistecca alla Fiorentina is serious business. This place does it well in an elegant setting.



Rinuccio 1180

Just 25 minutes outside the city centre, is the mecca of Antinori winery.

Their restaurant sits atop the winery as is perfect for an outing to the countryside for lunch with a view!

Additional

Sostanza

I have yet to make it here, but have heard wonderful things from family and friends.

Arrive before opening time, this place knows how to pack a lineup.



13 Gobbi

Recommended to me by a local, he says it’s his favourite Trattoria in Firenze.

Ristorante Boccanegra

Another recommendation, slightly elevated Tuscan classics.

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