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FLORENCE CITY GUIDE ®

DECEMBER 2019

W W W.WHEREITALIA.COM/FLORENCE COVER IMAGE BY

Christmas in Red ALL YOU CAN DO IN THE CITY

SIGHTSEEING | MUSEUMS | SHOPPING | DINING | ENTERTAINMENT | MAPS


WELCOME TO FLORENCE In the heart of Florence, just a few steps away from the historic treasures of the city, you will f ind Rinascente: the ideal place to f ind the best in fashion, accessories and beauty and to taste the best gourmet foods. An exclusive shopping experience that brings together women’s & men’s fashion, a craft gallery with artisan brands, a café, a restaurant, a wine bar and a terrace with a breathtaking view over the Duomo. FLORENCE | PIAZZA DELL A REPUBBLICA OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

ENJOY

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SHOW THIS COUPON TO GET 10%* OFF YOUR PURCHASES -10%* -12%** *Exclusively for foreign individual customers upon presentation of a valid foreign passport. Valid except for regional restriction regulations and only on brands which support the initiative. The discount cannot be combined with other promotions and does not apply on cafeterias, restaurants, and on food market purchases. Valid until December 31, 2019. **Tax free: If you are resident in an Extra-EU country and you have spent at least 154.94 euros in the same day, you are entitled to a refund of 12% on the total amount of your purchase.

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IL VOLTO DEL ‘900 80 PORTRAITS ON SHOW AT PALAZZO REALE

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R 2015

BE

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R 2015 BE

O

TO 31 OCT

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AY

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-12

MONTHS

TASTING EXPERIENCE In love with Italian food

AUTUMN IN MILAN

4-21 SEPTEMBER MITO MUSIC FESTIVAL 182 events in 94 venues

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Tim Rice on From Here To Eternity and other new West End Musicals

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RECOMMENDED BY YOUR CONCIERGE

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Get ready for the winter sales

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100 ISSUE #

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CELEBRATING OUR TENTH YEAR IN THE WORLD CAPITAL OF SHOPPING

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Florence December 2019 V IA

the guide

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The best fashion designers for your high-end shopping.

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One of the locations symbolising the city, the Baptistery of San Giovanni is one of the oldest places of worship in Florence.

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December is a gift-giving month par excellence. Take advantage of your stay in Florence to enjoy a pick of the best high-quality items.

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Suggestions for trips outside the city that are able to satisfy any need. R

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Discover the dark secrets of the grand dukes with the new videogame set in the Pitti Palace, “The Medici Game”.

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This month’s round-up of art exhibitions, traditional events and music. V IA

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Today, as over 130 years ago, the most authentic cuisine of the Tuscan tradition is on show at Buca Lapi: an environment with a unique charm.

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Contents

W W W.WHEREITALIA.COM/FLORENCE

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onumento al principe indiano

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TO S O G A XI

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DECEMBER 2019

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TO CU STEC

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PIAZZA EUGENIO ARTOM

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FLORENCE CITY GUIDE

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The Californian lifestyle brand UGG, specialising in footwear, has chosen Florence as the ideal destination for its first single-brand in Italy.

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VIA DEI RENAI

VIA DI SAN NICCOLO'

S. Nicc


WELCOME TO ITALY

YOUR TRAVEL ING COMPANION SINCE 1936®

where Florence ®

M A G A Z I N E

ON THE TRAIL OF LEONARDO Dear Visitor, welcome to Italy! 2019 is the year in which Italy has been overflowing with celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the man who more than any other represents Italy throughout the world. Andrea Jarach Several cities including Milan, Florence and Rome Publisher are hosting a series of special events. The Where ® full program of Italian exhibitions and events honouring Leonardo throughout 2019 and the beginning of 2020 can be found on the pages of Where®. We invite you to discover the country that gave life to the person considered the world over as one of history’s greatest thinkers. While visiting Italy you’ll understand why only Italy could have given birth to this man whose creative mind shaped the intellectual, social, cultural, and political facets of European life from the fifteenth century onwards. Leonardo made an indelible contribution to philosophy, nature, medicine and art. All that now remains is for us to look for the traces left by the enigmatic Leonardo. You’ll find them in whatever part of Italy you’re visiting. If you happen to find them, please share your comments, with your photo, on our social media. By the beginning of the next year, we’d like to collect a gallery of the friends of Italy. Happy hunting!

www.whereitalia.com/florence PROEDI MEDIA - WHERE

Via Ezio Biondi, 1. 20154 Milano. T: 02 349951 - Fax 02 33107015 info@whereitalia.com www.whereitalia.com/florence PUBLISHER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Andrea Jarach andrea.jarach@whereitalia.com) EDITORIAL MANAGING DIRECTOR

Daniele Misrachi (daniele.misrachi@whereitalia.com) MANAGING EDITOR

Alessandra Finzi (redazione@whereitalia.com) CONTRIBUTORS

Carey Bernitz, Floriana di Maio, Elisabetta Giudici, Joy Lacanlale, Fabio Lancini, Language Consulting Congressi, Giulia Minero, Elena Peverata, Chiara Zaccarelli ICONOGRAPHY Archivio Proedi Media, Shutterstock CARTOGRAPHY

City Map: © Proedi Comunicazione 2019 Fast Trains Network Map: Dmitry Goloub © Proedi Comunicazione 2019 MARKETING & ADVERTISING

Sieva Carolo, Isa Faleschini, Marta Mailhac, Rachele Renna, Paola Zannoni (advertising@whereitalia.com) ADMINISTRATION

Katia Greto (amministrazione@whereitalia.com)

CHRISTMAS IS NEAR On 8 December, the day of the Immaculate Conception (in other words, the date when the conception of Mary is remembered, according to the Catholic Church), is the feast day that traditionally starts off the preparations for Christmas. In the historic centre of Florence the lights on the large Christmas tree are turned on; for a few years now the tree has been positioned in Piazza del Duomo, while in the square of the Cathedral the Crib of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore is prepared with large terracotta statues. Also among the traditional appointments for the period is the Fierucola dell’Immacolata (craft market) on 7 December in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. www.firenzeturismo.it

PRODUCTION & CIRCULATION, SALES SUPPORT MANAGER

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Maria Granata (maria.granata@whereitalia.com) CUSTOMER SERVICES

Cristina Garbini (cristina.garbini@whereitalia.com) REG. TRIB. MILANO No.156 DEL 10/05/2018 EDITORE: PROEDI COMUNICAZIONE SRL - ISCRIZIONE AL ROC N.2455 DIRETTORE RESPONSABILE: ANDREA JARACH PRINTED BY GRAPHICSCALVE SPA LOCALITÀ PONTE FORMELLO, 1/3/4 24020 VILMINORE DI SCALVE (BG) Although the publisher has made every effort to include copyright credits, in the event of there being any errors, oversights or omissions, we would like to apologize to the copyright holders in question whose names will be published in the next issue.

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DUOMO AND CUPOLA Completed in 1436, at the time the Duomo in Florence was the largest Christian church in the world. Today the religious building, the official name of which is “Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore”, is third in terms of dimensions after St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Brunelleschi’s Dome, still the tallest construction in the city, is a symbol known all over the world. 1 CAMPANILE DI GIOTTO 84.70 metres high and around 15 wide, the Giotto’s bell tower is one of the four main components of the complex of Santa Maria del Fiore. Lined with white, red and green marble, the majestic square-based bell tower, designed by Giotto in 1334, can be visited by climbing no less than 414 stairs up to the top, from where you can enjoy extraordinary views of Brunelleschi’s Dome. 2 PIAZZA DELLA SIGNORIA AND PALAZZO VECCHIO This is the central square of Florence, the

seat of civil power and social heart of the city. Facing onto it are Palazzo Vecchio (the seat of the Municipal Council of Florence), the splendid Loggia della Signoria, the Tribunale della Mercanzia, Palazzo Uguccioni and Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali. Also prominent in the square are the Fountain of Neptune and a series of statues of Renaissance origin, representing one of the most important sculptural cycles in the world. The most famous is certainly Michelangelo’s David (this is a copy, whereas the original is conserved in the Galleria dell’Accademia). 3 GALLERIA DEGLI UFFIZI One of the most famous museums in the world on account of its extraordinary collections of ancient sculptures and paintings (from the Middle Ages to the modern age). The Gallery occupies the first and second floors of the large building erected between 1560 and 1580 based on a project by Giorgio Vasari 4

PONTE VECCHIO The official date of foundation of the current Ponte Vecchio is given as 1345. For the entire Middle Ages the bridge hosted greengrocers’, fishmongers’ and butchers’ shops, who used the river to dispose of their waste in a hurry. At the end of the 16th century, however, when it became the “noble” zone of the city, the goldsmiths and jewellers started to arrive, and they have been there uninterruptedly to this day. 5 PALAZZO PITTI AND GIARDINO DI BOBOLI The symbol of wealth and power, the building was inhabited by the Medici, then by the Habsburg-Lorraines and, after the Unity of Italy, by the Savoy family. The original architecture dates back to the 15th century and “Pitti” is the surname of its first owner. The building is located Oltrarno, at the foot of Boboli Hill. The Boboli Gardens are one of the most important examples of Italian-style gardens in the world. 6 w w w.wh e re t rave l e r. com  5


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CAPPELLA DEI MAGI An immersive Byzantine procession

DI BENOZZO GOZZOLI - LA CAPELLA DEI MAGI, PUBBLICO DOMINIO, HTTPS://COMMONS.WIKIMEDIA.ORG/W/INDEX.PHP?CURID=809730

The Cappella dei Magi is a cycle of frescos in Palazzo Medici Riccardi; the building belonged to the Medici family, who launched its construction in 1445. Frescoed by Benozzo Gozzoli, a student of Beato Angelico, the chapel on the main floor is the real jewel of the building. It was the family chapel, the point of arrival for illustrious guests and starting point for visiting the main apartment, and had what was both a public and a private function at the same time. The frescos develop scenographically around the spectators, who have the impression of admiring the procession from inside. The opulence and exoticism of the Byzantine dignitaries give an understanding of the amazing impact that this event had on the Florentine population. The Cavalcata dei Magi (Ride of the Magi) is represented on the three main walls, and serves as a pretext to represent a political subject that gave prestige to the house of the Medici: the procession with Pope Pius II Piccolomini, who passed through Florence on his way to Mantua in April 1458. The young man on horseback leading the procession is usually recognised as the person who would become Lorenzo the Magnificent. Among the many famous faces, there is also Benozzo Gozzoli himself. www.museobenozzogozzoli.it

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WHERE NOW | HOT DATES

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ANCIENT ART

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DIALOGUE BETWEEN MASTERPIECES

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the Museum of San Marco, the largest collection of works by Beato Angelico in the world, proposes a confrontation/dialogue between two masterpieces: The Annunciation by Robert Campin, from the Museo del Prado, alongside its contemporary, Annunciation and Adoration of the Magi by Beato Angelico. An extraordinary opportunity, further enhanced by the possibility of admiring two other masterpieces by Beato Angelico that have recently been put back in place after a challenging restoration: the Universal Judgement and the San Marco Altarpiece.

SEPTEMBER 2019

JANUARY 2020

L’Annunciazione di Robert Campin. Un illustre ospite dal Museo del Prado per i 150 anni del Museo di San Marco Museo di San Marco. Piazza San Marco, 3. www.polomusealetoscana.beniculturali.it

DECEMBER

Whether it’s discovering the events celebrating Italian traditions, art and music or visiting an exhibition, Where® brings you this month’s unmissable dates. B Y E L E N A P E V E R A T A Left page. Beato Angelico, Annunciazione e Adorazione dei Magi (1434). Top. Robert Campin, Annunciazione (1425-30). Left. Details from two masterpieces by Beato Angelico: the Pala di San Marco and the Giudizio Universale.

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WHERE NOW | HOT DATES CONTEMPORARY ART

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A ZIGGURAT AT SANTA CROCE

◄ Wolfgang Laib, one of the protagonists of contemporary research in art, enters OCTOBER JANUARY into a dialogue with the great masters 2019 2020 of the past in a wide-ranging one-man show inside the historic centre of Florence. A monumental construction (a terraced pyramid covered in beeswax) stands in the middle of the Pazzi Chapel by Filippo Brunelleschi in the Basilica of Santa Croce. The other venues – the Magi Chapel (Palazzo Medici Riccardi) and the Rucellai Chapel (Church of San Pancrazio, Museo Marino Marini) – will host two more modest projects, again using natural materials such as beeswax and pollen.

Wolfgang Laib - Without Time, Without Place, Without Body Cappella Pazzi, Complesso Monumentale di Santa Croce – Cappella dei Magi, Palazzo Medici Riccardi – Cappella Rucellai, Museo Marino Marini. www.museonovecento.it

Lorenzo Viani, Inglesi a Bagni di Lucca

MUSIC

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VIBRANT STRINGS

► Strings City is a festival over a DECEMBER number of venues exclusively devoted to the music of stringed instruments, which for two days occupies over 40 exceptional locations, including museums, libraries, historic buildings, theatres and contemporary spaces, with a marathon of free concerts. The programme ranges from classical music to more contemporary melodies, giving rise to an orchestra of sounds and sites that makes the whole of Florence resonate. A journey into beauty guided by violins, violas, pianos, harps, guitars and extraordinary voices: not to be missed.

String City 2019 Over 40 events spread around the city. www.stringscity.it

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EXHIBITION

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BAROQUE

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SEPTEMBER 2019

JANUARY 2020

ARTISTIC BRONZES BETWEEN THE EROTIC AND THE SACRED

▲ All the energy of Baroque art captured in metal finds space in the splendid rooms of the Treasure of the Grand Dukes in Palazzo Pitti. The over 170 works on display, including great sculptures and accessories of sacred art, paintings and drawings, tell of the art of the Florentine masters of metal between the 17th and 18th centuries, at the time of the last Grand Dukes of the Medici house. The greatest artists of the period are included in the exhibition, from Giambologna (whose Venus in the Bath has never been exhibited to the general public till now) to Pietro Tacca.

ICON OF THE AVANT-GARDES

▼ A major retrospective at Palazzo Strozzi tells all about the SEPTEMBER JANUARY talented, multi-faceted Natalia Goncharova, an extraordinary 2019 2020 female figure of the artistic avant-garde of the early 20th century, who lived for her art in a total, non-conformist way. Here her production is placed in comparison with works by famous artists who were points of reference for her, such as Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Umberto Boccioni.

Natalia Goncharova. A woman of the Avant-garde with Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso Palazzo Strozzi. Piazza Strozzi www.palazzostrozzi.org

Plasmato dal fuoco. La scultura in bronzo nella Firenze degli ultimi Medici Tesoro dei Granduchi, Palazzo Pitti. www.uffizi.it PAUL GAUGUIN, BOWL OF FRUIT AND TANKARD BEFORE A WINDOW (C. 1890). © THE NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON

FESTIVAL

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ILLUMINATING ART

The places that symbolise Florence act as the setting for the by now traditional Christmas fair, which is staking its claim as one of the most important festivals of its kind in Europe. “F-Light” is the scenographic “festival of light” that for a month covers and involves squares, DECEMBER JANUARY monuments, historic buildings, basilicas and towers of the historic centre with video-mappings, 2019 2020 projections, art installations and extraordinary and spectacular light games. As always, the festival will get under way with the lighting of the large Christmas tree in Piazza Duomo on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The theme for this year: “Illuminating art”.

©NICOLANERI

F-LIGHT – FIRENZE LIGHT FESTIVAL. Various locations. www.flightfirenze.it

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WHERE NOW | HOT DATES

6 JANUARY

1 MAY

26 JULY

CAVALCATA DEI MAGI A historical re-enactment of the Epiphany when Three Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Baby Jesus. A celebration that takes place wearing splendid fifteenth-century costumes.

TROFEO MARZOCCO-SBANDIERATORI A contest between historical groups of flag-wavers organized by the “Bandierai degli Uffizi di Firenze”, which takes place in Piazza della Signoria.

FESTA DI SANT’ANNA A secular and religious festival held near the church of Orsanmichele, in which the figure of Saint Anne, co-patron saint of the city, is venerated.

THIRD SUNDAY IN MAY

10 AUGUST

PALIO DEL BALUARDO A crossbow shooting competition to commemorate the birth of the Florentine Republic on 16th May 1527, the date when the Medici were expelled from Florence. The competition is held at the Bastione known as the Fonte della Ginevra.

FESTA DI SAN LORENZO It takes place in the morning with a “Historical Procession of the Florentine Republic” from the Piazzetta di Parte Guelfa through the streets of the historic centre to the Basilica di San Lorenzo. In the evening, in Piazza San Lorenzo.

23 MAY

END OF SEPTEMBER

LA FIORITA A Florentine tradition celebrating the burning at the stake of Dominican preacher Fra Girolamo Savonarola, a controversial figure in the city’s history. A wreath of flowers is laid on the plaque dedicated to him in Piazza della Signoria, after which rose petals are thrown into the Arno from Ponte Vecchio.

BACCO ARTIGIANO A traditional Festival of Wine and the outstanding products of the territory. Concomitant entertainment events are also held to mark the occasion.

CAVALCATA DEI MAGI

18 FEBRUARY ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF THE ELECTRESS OF THE PALATINATE Celebration of the last heir of the Medici dynasty, Anna Maria Luisa: the presence in Florence of extraordinary artistic treasures including the Uffizi Gallery, the Palatine Gallery and the Gallery of the Academy is all due to her. To mark the occasion, some municipal museums allow access free of charge.

25 MARCH CAPODANNO FIORENTINO The Florentine “Old New Year”, celebrated since before the advent of the Gregorian Calendar (1582), with a parade through the central streets of the city in historical costumes.

24 JUNE FESTA DI SAN GIOVANNI and FINALE DEL CALCIO STORICO A contest that has taken place in Piazza Santa Croce for 600 years on the day of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of the city. Highly competitive, it combines football, rugby and wrestling and is held as the culmination of a tournament between teams from the city’s neighbourhoods: White from Santo Spirito, Red from Santa Maria Novella, Green from San Giovanni and Blue from Santa Croce.

EASTER SCOPPIO DEL CARRO A popular secular and religious tradition that dates back to the time of the Crusades. A procession with percussionists and flag-wavers in historical costumes, city officials and representatives of the clergy, accompanies a cart with a pyrotechnic tower from the church of SS. Apostoli to Santa Maria del Fiore, where it is set alight.

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PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

PHOTO © ELENA.KATKOVA / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

TRADITIONAL EVENTS IN FLORENCE

FESTA DI SAN LORENZO

8 OCTOBER FESTA DI SANTA REPARATA At Santa Maria del Fiore each year the ceremony is held of the offering of candles in the crypt. According to the legend it was thanks to the miraculous intercession of Saint Reparata that the Florentines succeeded in repelling the siege of the Ostrogoths in 406 AD, an event that marked the triumph of Christianity in Florence.

END OF DECEMBER

CALCIO STORICO

FESTA DEGLI OMAGGI An ancient folkloristic event in which the “Procession of the Florentine Republic” addresses the civil and religious authorities to wish them good luck during the festivities.


WHERE NOW | SHOPPING

GIFT

◄ MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION ‘Rosanna’ platform sandals are made using three-coloured calfskin with craquelure finish creating a fascinating tactile effect. An extra-special investment item that evokes the eclectic style of downtown New York in the ‘70s. www.michaelkors.it

GUIDE Take advantage of the holiday season to offer a special gift to your loved ones and to make your Christmas in Florence unique. Where® brings you a pick of the best seasonal trends and guarantees that you won’t leave empty-handed!

► DOLCE&GABBANA From the ‘Devotion Fine Jewellery Collection’, this bracelet is a tribute to the elegance and opulence of the sacred heart, an iconic symbol of the brand. www.dolcegabbana.it

◄ IL BISONTE This women’s platinum coloured metallic leather beauty case is among this season’s proposals by the Tuscan leather goods company that is known throughout the world. www.ilbisonte.com ◄ BOTTEGA VENETA From the pre-Spring 2020 collection, these curvy shaped silver and yellow gold earrings are the perfect accessory to complete an outfit with elegance as the watchword. www.bottegaveneta.com ►THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Together with ‘Venetian Blue’ and ‘Red Potion’, this new ‘Rosa Moceniga’ coffret with a stylised reproduction of the Ca’ d’Oro is a gift idea for a woman who loves to look after herself. www.themerchantofvenice.com

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WHERE NOW | INSIDER TIPS

Even though, when we talk about Christmas cakes and sweets, it is immediately the popular national ones, panettone and pandoro, that come to mind, in reality each Italian region has its own traditions. Tuscany in particular boasts a series of sweet specialities that have their roots in the past and are eaten at the end of lunches and dinners, accompanied of course by a good glass of Vin Santo. BY CHIARA ZACCARELLI

SWEET TUSCANY

Panforte di Siena

L’Ortone

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F

rom Chianti wines to Bistecca alla Fiorentina, from Pappa al pomodoro to Pici, Tuscan food is famous and loved all over the world. Yet, even if they are perhaps a little less known, there is room in this gastronomic panorama for the typical cakes and sweets, which are ready to delight every palate after the important dinners. While panettone and pandoro have now risen to the level of national Christmas desserts, and indeed they are brought to the table and reinterpreted in any Italian region, in Tuscany traditional specialities nevertheless remain much loved and an indispensable presence on the festival table. There are many typical delicacies, and as many variations as there are provinces: from Prato to Siena, from Florence to Lucca, it is a real triumph of biscuits and fruit cakes, crispy sugary creations and sweets with bizarre shapes. Let’s discover them together.

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Sweet Siena Siena wins the award for the sweetest city in Tuscan, and around Christmas more than ever: its confectionery shops are in fact a triumph of biscuits, cakes, sweets and pastries of all types. The Tuscan Christmas cake by definition, the most famous outside of the regional confines, is perhaps Panforte di Siena. It derives from the older panpepato and today various versions exist, some more similar to the original, others more creative. Panforte di Siena IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) is an Italian Denomination of Origin and, as such, is subject to the respecting of a specific set of rules for production, which literally state: “it is a confectionery product obtained from the preparation and subsequent baking in the oven of a dough made of candied fruit, dried fruit and a mixture of sugar, honey and spices. When it is placed on sale, the product may appear in one of two versions: the white version, if the coating is with icing sugar; the black version, if the coating is with spices”. Panforte is so widespread and its roots so ancient that, during the festive season, in Siena and the surrounding area, instead of

playing tombola, as happens in the rest of the country, the game of Panforte throwing takes place. Teams with a number of players participate in the tournament, and each team member is called upon to throw a wrapped Panforte onto a long wooden table, trying to reach as close as possible to the edge. The highest points total goes to the Panforte that is closest to the edge, but if the cake falls off then the throw is void. The team that reaches 6 points first wins the game. At the end of the match the Panforte is cut up into segments and divided up among the participants, and its cost is paid by the losing team. Ricciarelli are a typical Sienese biscuit made of almonds, sugar and egg white. Their characteristic is a marzipan-type confection, coarse grained, enriched with candied fruit and vanilla. This confection is baked in the oven, taking the shape of small lozenges, slightly curled at the ends. Once baked, they are dusted with icing sugar. Today they are considered a Christmas sweet, but once, in the Tuscan courts, they were consumed throughout the year. They are perfect accompanied by dessert wines, particularly Moscadello di Montalcino, and with Vin Santo. Another speciality of Siena are the so-called Cavallucci, traditional sweets with an Oriental flavour, perfumed with spices. These biscuits, in fact, have far-off roots and derive from a mixture of the ingredients of the tradition and the spices that the caravans brought to Tuscany from the East. Consumed throughout the year, they are particularly

well suited for the Christmas period because they are rich in candied fruit, walnuts, grated orange, aniseed, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. On tasting them you go back in time to a fourteenth-century Siena, at the peak of its commercial power, in which these ingredients, which were considered exotic at the time, could be found and still today are used in the original recipe; this recipe is also found, with some variations, in the municipality of Massa Marittima, in the province of Grosseto. Again prepared in Siena are the less well known but very ancient Copate: in practice a kind of nougat made with honey, aniseed and walnuts, between two wafers. There exist both a dark version, with cocoa, and a light one, with crushed and toasted almonds. You can find all these sweet delicacies in Siena, at the historic Pasticceria Buti (pasticceriabuti.it) or at the equally historic Pasticcerie Nannini (www.pasticcerienannini.it).

In the rest of the region… Brigidini, another Tuscan Christmas cookie, are irregular yellowy-orange coloured wafers, made with sugar, flour and eggs; they are very crispy and flavoured with aniseed. They came about in a convent of nuns who were devotees of Santa Brigida (Saint Bridget), who, according to the legend, during the

Biscottificio Mattei in Florence

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Cavallucci

preparation of the wafers for Communion, decided to embellish them by adding eggs, sugar and aniseed to the original recipe. Today they are often found on sale at country fairs and festivals throughout Tuscany, but in reality they are typical of Lamporecchio, a locality in the province of Pistoia. Defined as a “special pleasure” by the famous gourmet Pellegrino Artusi, brigidini are very versatile: like all Tuscan dessert biscuits, they are excellent with Vin Santo, become morish when dipped in hot chocolate and are the perfect accompaniment to ice cream, instead of the usual wafer. In Florence you can find them at Enoteca Alessi, a few steps from Brunelleschi’s Dome, together with many other typical products (enotecaalessi.it). If, on the other hand, you have planned a trip to the beautiful town of Lucca, you can find brigidini and many other Tuscan delicacies at Vecchi Sapori di Lucca at no. 30 Via San Frediano. And how can we not mention Cantucci? They are the very famous Tuscan almond biscuits that have found their supreme vocation in the combination with Vin Santo and that in Florence and the surrounding area provide the perfect conclusion to any self-respecting meal, particularly around Christmas. Cantucci are dry almond biscuits with an elongated shape, obtained by cutting the strip of still warm dough diagonally. The dough is made with flour, sugar, eggs, butter and almonds, which are neither toasted nor peeled. You can find them at any baker’s or typical shop, but we recommend that you visit the charming shop Biscottificio Mattei, in the heart of Florence, where, as well as buying cantucci, you can 16  W H E R E F LO R E N C E I D E C E M B E R 2019

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WHERE NOW | INSIDER TIPS

Ricciarelli

also visit a small themed museum (www.antoniomattei.it). Last in chronological order are Befanini, which are prepared – as the name itself suggests – for the feast of the “Befana” (sometimes known as the witch of Christmas), or Epiphany, which falls on 7 January. Widespread, especially in Versilia and the province of Lucca, they were prepared instead of the traditional calza della Befana (the sock in which the Befana brings gifts for children). They are simple shortbread biscuits covered in granulated sugar and prepared in various shapes, ranging from hearts to stars, to Christmas trees and, obviously, with the outline of the Befana. They are prepared at home and are frequently found on stalls at festivals or country fairs.

Pasticceria Buti in Siena

Vecchi Sapori di Lucca


Christmas markets in Tuscany Almost all typical sweets can be bought at the fairs and Christmas markets scattered around Tuscany. Christmas is a magical period to experience in Tuscany: the cities of art are filled with splendid decorations; the towns are in party dress with markets and cribs in the most beautiful churches. But which are the most charming that are worth a visit? (C.Z.)

Montepulciano

Piazza del Campo, Siena

In Lucca, in Piazza Napoleone, during the Christmas period there is a Christmas market with among the most magical atmospheres in Tuscany, with stalls and an ice-skating rink. The charming Montepulciano, in the heart of the Val d’Orcia, is transformed into a full-blown town of Santa Claus, and hosts the largest festival market in the region, with over sixty wooden cabins, themed decorations and lots of initiatives for adults and children alike. Finally, unmissable is the Notte delle fiaccole (Night of the Torches) in Abbadia San Salvatore, a delightful town on the slopes of Monte Amiata. It is a thousand-year-old ritual for which enormous piles of firewood are set on fire at midnight on 24 December in every corner of the centre. For a whole night until dawn, the town is illuminated by the light of the fires, around which the people gather to be together, to sing, eat the typical sweets and drink mulled wine in a magical, magnetic atmosphere www.cittadellefiaccole.it

Abbadia San Salvatore

Piazza Santa Croce, Firenze

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PHOTO © BUFFY1982 / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

PHOTO © BUFFY1982 / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Starting with the regional capital, in Florence you must not miss the traditional Weihnachtsmarkt, the German Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce. With chalets and mulled wine in Teutonic style, around display stalls, standing out Church of50 Sant’Ambrogio among which are products made by local craftsmen and gift ideas and decorations for the tree and the crib, in addition to plenty of stands of Tuscan gastronomic products and from the various Italian regions. Other markets are held in the neighbourhood of Santo Spirito and in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, with a vast range of objects to be purchased, ranging from products for the home to clothing, passing through the inevitable arts and crafts. Another regular appointment, which is also the opportunity to visit a historic building, is Nataleperfile, a charity event organised at Palazzo Corsini by the Fondazione Italiana di Leniterapia (Italian Pain Therapy Foundation), which this year takes place on the weekend of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in early December, offering plenty of gift ideas, such as vintage clothing, quality products and objects donated by companies from the territory, as well as a food and wine corner (www.leniterapia.it). In Siena, in the charming setting of Piazza del Campo, on the first weekend in December the “Mercato nel Campo” takes place, a re-evocation of the historic medieval Mercato Grande that was held here in the 14th century.


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WHERE NOW | OUT OF TOWN

Siena city panoramic skyline, countryside and rolling hills in a misty day.

Nature and art If Florence offers tourists an unrivalled cultural and historical heritage, its surrounding area no less so. Here are some suggestions for trips outside the city that are able to satisfy any need. For more details ask your concierge. BY CHIARA ZACCARELLI

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f you choose Florence as your base, the good news is that around an hour away by train, bus or car you will find UNESCO heritage cities of art, dreamy countryside, natural thermal springs, medieval towns and abbeys and kilometres of coastline for bathers. CITIES OF ART If you love cities of art then you’ve chosen the right region. Indeed, within an hour’s range from the Tuscan regional capital there are architectural wonders that will catapult you into medieval and Renaissance Tuscany. About an hour by train from Florence is Lucca, one of Tuscany’s most fascinating historic centres, surrounded by ancient 16th-century walls, today still practically fully intact and walkable in their entirely. You can cycle along the tree-lined walls, stop for a tasty ice cream or simply cool down on the benches. The picturesque historic centre has remained almost intact, including countless medieval churches, which have earned Lucca

the nickname of “city of the 100 churches”, Renaissance squares and buildings and Roman amphitheatres. The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa can also be easily reached from Florence in about an hour by train. Loved by tourists from all over the world for its peculiar tilt, the Tower of Pisa is in reality the bell tower of the Cathedral, which stands in a unique monumental context, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Piazza dei Miracoli. Once you’ve completed your visit to this unbelievable square, if you have a little time left, you can relax with a walk along the Arno to the historic centre and Piazza dei Cavalieri, the political fulcrum of medieval Pisa. Facing onto the square is Palazzo della Carovana, with graffiti by Giorgio Vasari, which today houses the Scuola Normale Superiore, one of the most prestigious universities in the world. With a brief trip by coach from Florence you reach Siena, one of the most loved medieval centres in Italy, which is also included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city’s nerve centre is Piazza del Campo, which is renowned for its unique shell shape, for its architectural integrity, and because twice a year (2 July and 16 August) it holds the Palio di Siena, a horse race that is of fundamental importance for the Sienese, which sees the


Fiesole, Roman Theatre

PHOTO © SONGQUAN DENG / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

and convents, you can enjoy beautiful views of Florence and the Florentine countryside. If you love panoramas, another unmissable spot is the small town of Settignano. The very famous Chianti zone, renowned for its vineyards, verdant valleys, rows of cypresses, olive groves, towns and abbeys built on hilltops, is around half an hour by car from the centre of Florence. If you are lucky enough to be there between September and November you can witness two key events for the economy and culture of the territory: the harvesting of grapes and olives. Let’s now leave this idyllic setting and move towards a wilder, more barren territory, that of the Crete Senesi. Located in the area southeast of Siena, the crete are clay hills, the result of the continuous erosion of the sea sediments. These bare, softly undulating hills, with their characteristic grey-blue colour and almost lunar appearance, are dotted with cypresses and farmhouses and still encapsulate the essence of the most authentic Tuscany; they are far

removed from the tourist routes, rich in traces and remains of ancient civilisations, picturesque medieval towns and culinary festivals. TUSCANY BIKING Would you like to discover the area around Florence from a different perspective, more on a human scale and in contact with nature? Then you can opt for a bicycle tour. Pedalling along the romantic olive groves, vineyards, medieval town and Medici villas, taking in the perfumes and colours of the Tuscan countryside in ways that would otherwise be impossible. After the effort of pedalling, almost all the tours envisage rest and refreshment with visits to wine cellars and the tasting of wines, olive oils and local specialities. If you are not particularly sporty but would still like to visit the outskirts of Florence from this unique perspective, then you can choose a tour by Vespa, with that irresistible vintage touch that is undoubtedly less tiring. Ask your concierge.

PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

NATURALISTIC ITINERARIES Florence is surrounded by hills, gentle valleys and luxuriant vineyards. Climbing them is easy, both on foot and on the numerous buses departing from the city centre. Over the years the hill of Fiesole has been the source of inspiration for artists, spiritual figures, noble families, writers and entrepreneurs. From this privileged observatory, dotted with villas, museums, archaeological excavations, churches

Lucca, Piazza dell’Anfiteatro

PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

seventeen historic districts that comprise the city compete against each other. The square is dominated by a series of buildings of inestimable historical and architectural value, including the 14th-century Palazzo Pubblico and the attached Torre del Mangia, with its characteristic red colour, the Cappella di Piazza, the Loggia della Mercanzia and Palazzo Sansedoni. But Siena is not just Piazza del Campo: lose yourself along the picturesque medieval alleys, where you can purchase the local hand-crafted goods or taste the traditional panforte, the typical Sienese spiced bread with almonds, candied fruit and pepper. And a few kilometres from Siena, another town declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO awaits you with its towers and its characteristic medieval architecture. It is the unmissable San Gimignano, situated in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. Walking round this small town, the 13th/14th-century appearance of which is still practically unchanged, is almost like going back in time. San Gimignano is famous above all for its medieval towers, which were as many as 72 at one time and today are just fifteen, including some in ruins and without their tops but still visible as part of the urban fabric.

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From California to Florence The Californian lifestyle brand UGG®, specialising in footwear, has chosen Florence as the ideal destination for its first single-brand store in Italy, in the heart of historic Piazza della Repubblica. By Giulia Minero

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he footwear, clothing and accessories of the UGG® brand, founded in 1978 by an Australian surfer on the coast of California, which has become an icon of style thanks to its leather and reversed sheepskin boots, find space in the brand’s first Italian boutique. A brightly lit space, which has been created using a combination of wood, wrought iron and glass furnishings, with pastel colours and themes taking up the decorative elements of the new #UGGLIFE F/W 2019 campaign. Inside, the more traditional models stand alongside new footwear from the Classic Revolution collection, which reinterprets classicism with a contemporary touch, inspired by the vitality of San Francisco. Drawing inspiration from Classic Short II, Classic Mini II and Neumel models by the brand, the collection includes 20  W H E R E F LO R E N C E I D E C E M B E R 2019

thirteen renovated models, among which the evolutions of the Classic Femme Mini and Classic Femme Short models and the new Classic Femme Over-the-Knee, Classic Rebel Biker Short, Classic Rebel Biker Mini and Classic Boom Buckle. Stylistic research with the use of new materials, decorative elements such as straps and zippers and the addition of wedges are combined with an in-depth study of comfort, reaching its peak in the new Miwo sneakers, with a gritty design and avant-garde Vibram® soles. In addition to footwear, lovers of shopping can also find a selection of outerwear and accessories. >> UGG Firenze Piazza della Repubblica, 30/R T: 055 0945430. www.ugg.com. Map F3.


FOR MORE LISTINGS VISIT WWW.WHEREITALIA.COM/FLORENCE

Guidelines CLOTHING &

The

This directory, grouped by category, is a list of establishments recommended by the editors of Where Magazine and includes regular advertisers. MAP LOCATIONS-Note that references in bold

at the end of each listing (A1, B5 etc.) refer to the coordinates on the street map (pages 46-47). SHOPPING -Shopping hours are generally from 10am to 7pm; less centrally located shops still take the traditional lunch break. Most shops are closed on Sundays (except those located in central Florence) and on Monday mornings. Ask your concierge. Visitors should note that VAT is 22% and it is generally included in the price of goods.

»

TAX-FREE SHOPPING

By law, non-EU residents are entitled to reclaim the VAT paid on items purchased and exported from the EU: before finalizing a purchase, they should ask the shop assistant whether they are eligible for a tax refund. UnionPay Service Hotline: 00 800 800 95516 e-mail: europe@unionpayintl.com

ACCESSORIES Angela Caputi Giuggiù The boutique offers an extraordinary selection of clothing items for every type of woman. In addition, hats, bags and other accessories from all over the world enrich these collections. Stylist and designer Angela Caputi chooses these articles personally to combine with and complete her exclusive resin jewellery with its unique, elegant design. www.angelacaputi.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-1pm/3.30pm-7.30pm. Borgo SS. Apostoli, 44-46/r. T: 055 292993. Map E4

Anichini

CHILDREN A traditional tailor’s shop for children where skilled artisan hands create elegant items for newborns, children and youngsters using the best Italian fabrics. For each model it is possible to vary the choice of fabrics, colours and details. A century-old workshop of hand-crafting culture, located in 15th-century Palazzo Ricasoli. www. anichini.net. Open Mon 3.30pm-7pm; Tues-Sat 9.30am-1.30pm/3.30pm-7.30pm. Via del Parione, 59/r. T: 055 284977. Map D3

Aspesi The cult brand, created in 1969 by fashion veteran Alberto Aspesi, features quirky, tailored lines, elegant details and natural materials. His current collections are still based on the original “no frills” philosophy and will appeal to all those who like their outerwear without flashy labels. www.aspesi.com. Women. Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm/3pm-7pm; Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 3pm-7pm. Via di Porta Rossa, 85/r. T: 055 287987. Men. Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm/3pm7pm; Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 3pm-7pm. Via Porta Rossa, 51/r. T: 055 287931. Map E4

Brunello Cucinelli The world of Brunello Cucinelli can be summed up as a compendium of art, traditions and Italian craftsmanship. The brand, which came about in Umbria forty years ago from an idea by founder Brunello Cucinelli, represents excellence in the production of high-quality cashmere knitwear and today boasts top-level production with total look men’s and women’s collections. Today it is seen as a model enterprise all over the world for its support for the dignity of work and craftsmanship, defining itself as “a humanistic company”. www.brunellocucinelli.com. Open daily 10am-7pm. Via dei Pecori, 16/r. T: 055 285832. Map F3

UnionPay is an international bankcard association based in China and serves the world’s largest cardholder base. With more than 7 billion cards issued worldwide, UnionPay has become the mayor payment method of the outbound Chinese. By March 2018, almost 600,000 merchants in Italy accept UnionPay card for payment, among which 9,000 merchants are located in Florence. This allows hundred of thousands of affluent Chinese customers to shop with their favourite cards. UnionPay also actively work with famous retail groups, such as the Rinascente department stores, The Mall, SINA hotels, Aspesi fashion boutiques, to provide special discount or services for UnionPay cardholders. DINING

Reservations for most restaurants are strongly advised. In Italy, service is included in the price meaning that although tipping is not compulsory, it is obviously appreciated as a sign of satisfaction. Some menus include the word “coperto”, a small surcharge corresponding to the cost of the service and bread. Although no dress code exists in Italy, semiformal clothing is usually considered de rigueur at restaurants. All restaurants and bars are non-smoking unless a separate smokers’ area is specifically offered. Set meals: prices are per person and usually refer to a 3-course meal (beverages excluded). € = 30 € or less / €€ = 31-50€ / €€€ = 51-100€ / €€€€ = 101-150€ / €€€€€ = 150€ and above. SIGHTSEEING

The information provided on museums and monuments is verified as meticulously as possible. However, data such as telephone numbers, opening hours, prices and the accessibility of sites are all subject to change, on a seasonal basis and also due to restoration work, museum loans or changes of management. Ask your concierge.

New gift ideas by The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice’s new gift ideas are dedicated to the best sellers of its collection, Rosa Moceniga, Venetian Blue and Red Potion, and now include elegant gift sets depicting the façade of Ca’ d’Oro, one of Venice’s most symbolic buildings. Its stylized shapes are imprinted onto their boxes using the gold foil printing technique, and are presented like exquisitely elegant, precious treasure chests. The sets are available in pink, blue and red, the corresponding colours of the fragrances. The Venetian Blue gift set from the Nobil Homo men’s collection (see photo) includes two products: Venetian Blue Eau De Parfum Concentrée (100ml), and Venetian Blue After Shave (100 ml), the latest addition to the family, and a sought-after gift exuding a fresh, all-enveloping scent. This charismatic fragrance based on a modern fougère structure, offers new exhilarating olfactory sensations. Its mossy, smoky base is diffused with patchouli and birch, where fresh, piquant spices meet the energy of citrus. Lime and bergamot blend to present unexpected notes of apple and pineapple, in a vibrant, colourful duo. www.themerchantofvenice.com

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[ FA SHION DESIGNERS]

Top Brands ALBERTA FERRETTI PHILOSOPHY— www.albertaferretti.com. c/o Spazio A. Open daily 10am-7pm. Via Porta Rossa, 107/r. T: 055 212995. Map E4 ASPESI—www.aspesi.com. Women. Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm/3pm-7pm; Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 3pm-7pm. Via di Porta Rossa, 85. T: 055 287987. Men Open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm/3pm-7pm; Sat 10am7pm; Sun 3pm-7pm. Via di Porta Rossa, 51/r. T: 055 287931. Map E4 BALENCIAGA—www.balenciaga.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. Piazza Santa Trinita, 1/r. T: 055 9040090. Map E4 BOGGI MILANO—www.boggi.com. Open Mon 3pm-7.30pm; Tues-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 10.30am1.30pm/3pm-7.30pm. Via della Vigna Nuova, 27/r. T: 055 219179. Map E3 BORSALINO—www.borsalino.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm. Via Porta Rossa, 40/r. T: 055 218275. Map F4 BOTTEGA VENETA— www.bottegaveneta.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 2pm-7pm. Via degli Strozzi, 6n. T: 055 284735. Map E3 BRUNELLO CUCINELLI— www.brunellocucinelli.com. Open daily 10am-7pm. Via dei Pecori, 16/r. T: 055 285832. Map F3 BULGARI—www.bulgari.com. Open daily 10am-7.30pm. Via de’Tornabuoni, 56/r. T: 055 2396786. Map E4 BURBERRY—it.burberry.com. Open daily 10.30am-7.30pm. Via de’Tornabuoni, 29/r. T: 055 293811. Map E4 CARTIER— www.cartier.it. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-7pm. Via degli Strozzi, 36/r. T: 055 292347. Map E4

From VALENTINO’s catwalk for Autumn/Winter 2019-2020, this scarlet layered dress reflects an atmosphere of elegant simplicity. Essential lines and extremely elegant look created by the pencil of Pierpaolo Piccioli, including capes, mini dresses and long overcoats down to the feet. 22  W H E R E F LO R E N C E I D E C E M B E R 2019

CHANEL—www.chanel.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. Piazza della Signoria, 10. T: 055 2989699. Map F4. Fragrance & Beauty. Open Mon-Sat 10am7pm; Sun 11am-7pm. Via dei Calzaiuoli, 47-49/r. T: 055 298181. Map F3 CHOPARD— www.chopard.com. Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-7pm; Sun 11.30am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 30-32/r. T: 055 2670157. Map E4 DAMIANI— www.damiani.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 7/r. T: 055 290208. Map E3 DIOR— www.dior.com. Women. Open daily 10am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 15/r. T: 055 2669101. Map E3 DOLCE&GABBANA—www.dolcegabbana.it Open daily 10.30am-7.30pm. Via degli Strozzi, 12-18/r. T: 055 281003. Map E4. Baby. Open daily 10.30am-7.30pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 18/r. T: 055 2399909. Map E4 EMILIO PUCCI—www.emiliopucci.com Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 20-22/r. T: 055 2658082. Map E4 ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA—www.zegna.it Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 10.30am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 3/r. T: 055 264254. Map E3 ETRO—www.etro.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am7pm; Sun 2pm-7pm. Palazzo Rucellai-via della Vigna Nuova, 50/r. T: 055 2670086. Map D3 FENDI—www.fendi.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 40/r. T: 055 212305 Map E3 FURLA—www.furla.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am7.30pm; Sun 11am-7.30. Via de’ Calzaiuoli, 10/r (corner of piazza della Signoria). T: 055 2382883. Map F4 GIORGIO ARMANI—www.armani.com Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 10am2pm/3pm-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 83/r. T: 055 219041. Map E3 GUCCI—www.gucci.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 10am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 73-81/r. T: 055 264011. Map E3 • Duomo. Open daily 10-19. Via Roma, 32/r. T: 055 75923803. Map F3 • Garden. Open daily 10-19.30. Piazza della Signoria, 10. T: 055 75927010. Map F4


Map E3 • Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30; Sun 11am-7pm. Via de’ Pecori, 23/r. T: 055 287761. Map F3 MICHAEL KORS—www.michaelkors.it. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30; Sun 10.30am7.30pm. Piazza della Repubblica, 43. T: 055 290284. Map F3

This DAMIANI white gold necklace with diamonds and rubies belongs to the ‘Belle Epoque’ collection; it uses an interplay of contrasts between the colour of the gemstones and the diamonds. HERMÈS—www.hermes.com. Open Mon-Sat 10.15am-7pm. Piazza degli Antinori, 6/r. T: 055 2381004. Map E3 HOGAN—www.hogan.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 2pm-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 97/r. T: 055 2741013. Map E3 HUGO BOSS—www.hugoboss.com. Open daily 10.30am-7.30pm. Via Por Santa Maria, 70-72/r. T: 055 294909. Map F4 LORO PIANA—www.loropiana.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 34-36/r. T: 055 2398688. Map E4 LOUIS VUITTON—www.louisvuitton.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30; Sun 11am-7.30pm. Piazza degli Strozzi, 10/r. T: 055 266981. Map E3 MAX MARA—it.maxmara.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 11am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 66-68-70/r. T: 055 214133.

MISSONI—www.misson.com. Open daily 10am-7pm. Via Porta Rossa, 77-79/r. T: 055 215774. Map F4

This elegant BORSALINO trimmed felt hat with a small brim edged with canneté is an entirely hand-made ‘Dorsé’ model.

SWAROVSKI—www.swarovski.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 10am-7.30pm. Via dei Calzaiuoli, 43/r. T: 055 216227. Map F3 TOD’S—www.tods.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 2pm-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 60/r. T: 055 219423. Map E3

MIU MIU—www.miumiu.com. Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-7.30; Sun 10am-7pm. Via Roma, 8/r. T: 055 2608931. Map F3

VALENTINO—www.valentino.com. Women. Open daily 10am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 23/r. T: 055 293142. Map E4

MONCLER—www.moncler.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7; Sun 11am-7pm. Via degli Strozzi, 3/r. T: 055 2657583. Map E3 MONTBLANC—www.montblanc.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 63/r. T: 055 292050. Map E3 POMELLATO—www. pomellato.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 1pm-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 89-91/r. T: 055 288539. Map E3 PRADA—www. prada.com. Open daily 10am-7pm. Via Roma, 27/r. T: 055 286035. • Open daily 10am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 53-67/r. T: 055 267471 Map E3 SAINT LAURENT—www.ysl.com. Open daily 10am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 4-45/r. T: 055 9040100. Map E3 SALVATORE FERRAGAMO— www.ferragamo.com. Open daily 10am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 4-14/r. T: 055 292123. Map E4 STEFANO RICCI— www.stefanoricci.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. Palazzo Tornabuoni Via dei Pescioni, 1. T: 055 210856. Map F3

Oversized, quilted nylon shopper bag by ASPESI with down-feather padding and zip fastening. Also available in the colours military green, blue and yellow.

This men’s wool and silk scarf by ETRO is characterised by a multicoloured geometrical motif with Paisley pattern. An accessory that gives a touch of sophistication to jackets and casual jackets. w w w.wh e re t ravel e r. com  23


SHOPPING FINE ART Antico Setificio Fiorentino The Antico Setificio Fiorentino is the heir to a great tradition of Renaissance textile art and history, thanks also to its famous warping machine based on a design by Leonardo da Vinci. Since 1786 the workshop has been producing some of the most sumptuous silk brocades, damask, taffeta, and lampas in the world, 100% made in Italy. www.anticosetificiofiorentino.com. Open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm (by appointment only). Via L. Bartolini, 4. T: 055 213861. Map B3

Galleria Romanelli

RICHARD GINORI 1735 See page 25.

ANTICO SETIFICIO FIORENTINO See this page.

Elena Mirò

Société Anonyme

An Italian prêt-à-porter brand dedicated to curvy women, for over 30 years Elena Mirò has been synonymous with perfect-fit clothing items that enhance every woman’s look with a contemporary, refined and ever new style. From dresses to outerwear, from trousers to accessories, to beachwear, the brand expresses the pleasure of dressing a woman’s shape with style. www.elenamiro.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 11am-7.30pm. Via dei Tosinghi, 8/r. T: 055 2657725. Map F3

An independent shop of North-European conception inspired by the underground atmospheres of the hot-lazy neighbourhoods of London, Berlin and New York (the name is a homage to Marcel Duchamp and Peggy Guggenheim, who founded an avant-garde art gallery in New York called Société Anonyme in the 1920s). Located in the literary artistic district of Sant’Ambrogio, it offers labels of international renown and niche brands, as well as its own men’s and women’s collection that is only sold in-store and online. www.societeanonyme.it. Open Mon 3.30pm-7.30pm; Tues-Sat 10am-7.30pm. Via G.B. Niccolini, 3/f corner of via della Mattonaia, 24/a/b/c/d. (Sant’Ambrogio District).T: 055 3860084. Map L3

Giovanni Raspini In the beating heart of the fashion district, the boutique of the Tuscan jewellery brand based in Valdichiana (between Siena, Arezzo and Florence) is a genuine concept store that boasts a personalized layout design where a 15th-century tapestry stands out. Fine jewellery - with a unique personality, often animal-themed, sometimes oversized or limited edition - silverware, objects for the home, handcrafted white bronze creations, always having a style that is midway between minimalism and classicism as the common denominator. From the design to the wax model to “lost-wax” casting, to diamond-setting, each piece is entirely hand worked. Open daily 10am-9pm. www.giovanniraspini.com. Via Porta Rossa, 82/r. T: 055 2741501. Map E4

Luisaviaroma

MULTIBRAND STORE Founded in the early 1930s by Luisa Jaquin, today Luisaviaroma is a landmark for lovers of fashion and luxury the world over. A global powerhouse of e-commerce with 5 million visitors a month, its Florence store also offers a digitalized purchasing experience: instead of displaying the garments, they have been replaced with interactive installations. Don’t miss the elegant terrace designed by Patricia Urquiola. Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-7.30pm; Sun 11am-7.30pm. www.luisaviaroma.com. Via Roma, 19-21/r. T: 055 9064116. Map F3

Marina Rinaldi Renowned for its tasteful, plus-size apparel for fashionable women, Marina Rinaldi offers a wide range of collections, featuring both contemporary and classic lines that are updated on a seasonal basis. These include dresses, jackets, coats, bags and accessories for a total look that exudes class and elegance. it.marinarinaldi.com. Open Mon-Sat 9am-9pm; Sun 10.30am-8.30pm c/o Rinascente-Piazza della Repubblica. T: 055 219113. Map F3 24  W H E R E F LO R E N C E I D E C E M B E R 2019

Stefano Ricci Tailoring and Italian tradition “Made in Florence”, with the purest male elegance as the watchword. These, in short, are the values of the company founded in 1972 by Stefano Ricci and his wife Claudia, which, now in its second generation, has become a successful international group. From clothing (jackets, suits and high-fashion sports items, but also shirts and ties) to jewellery, from leatherwear to perfumes and the SR Home and SR Junior collections, Stefano Ricci represents Italian excellence all over the world, making production entirely hand-made by qualified Italian craftsmen its strong point. Faithful to the values of the manufacturing tradition and the roots of the territory, in 2010 the firm acquired the Antico Setificio Fiorentino, a historic silk factory in the San Frediano district that has produced precious fabrics since 1786 and today still uses the original ancient hand looms. www.stefanoricci.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. Palazzo Tornabuoni-Via dei Pescioni, 1. T: 055 210856. Map E3

DEPARTMENT STORES Rinascente In the heart of the city, Rinascente is the ideal place to discover the best of fashion, accessories, beauty, home and design items. For women, proposals of the best Italian and international brands range from the classic to the contemporary and for men from formal to smart casual. Rinascente is a point of reference for luxury shopping and for new brands, exclusive products and the unveiling of innovations. www.rinascente.it. Open Mon-Sat 9am-9pm; Sun 10.30am-8.30pm. Piazza della Repubblica. T: 055 219113. Map F3

The Galleria Romanelli has been handing down precious sculpture artwork for six generations in one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods of Florence, Borgo San Frediano. An artistic workshop, a meeting place for buyers and artists, where sculptors and their students carry out their work daily surrounded by the ancient tools of the trade. Work is done by commission on original sculptures, chalk replicas, bronze and Carrara marble and restorations. www.raffaelloromanelli.com. Open Mon-Fri 10am-1pm/2pm-6pm. Borgo San Frediano, 70. T: 055 2396047. Map C4

Leone Cei & Sons Since 1902, an exceptional firm specializing in dressing tables, appliqués, consuls, chairs and armchairs faithfully reproduced from antique models from a rare and abundant archive. The production, entirely made in Florence, is destined for private homes, hotels and private clubs all over the world. The carving, gilding, burnishing and lacquering work is performed rigorously by hand following traditional procedures and using natural products and pigmentations. A huge department is dedicated to fabrics for furnishings, with a collection of fabrics still produced on ancient looms or limited editions, or produced on request and based on customers’ designs. Qualified consultancy service provided on antiques and on the reproduction of period items. www.leonecei.com. Headquarters & Showroom: Via dei Federighi, 15. T: 055 2381870. Map D3 • Antiques: Via dei Fossi, 47/r. T: 055 2396039. Map D3

Papiro (Il) Established in 1976 in Florence, Il Papiro produces objects drawing their inspiration from the Florentine tradition of marbled paper (diaries, address books, photo albums, articles for the desk) in addition to a line of classic leather accessories. www. ilpapirofirenze.eu. Open Mon-Sat 10am-1pm/2pm7pm; Sun 10am-6pm. Via C. Cavour, 49/r. T: 055 6499151. Map G1

Pitti Mosaici Since the early 1980s this studio right opposite Palazzo Pitti keeps alive the ancient Florentine tradition of marquetry with marble, hard and semi-precious stones. Unique hand-made items to provide coverings for walls, framed items and furnishings recalling the atmospheres and style of the Renaissance. Today the art studio creates entire made-to-measure residential projects all over the world. www.pittimosaici.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-8pm. Piazza de’ Pitti, 23/24. T: 055 282127. Map E6

Richard Ginori 1735 Tradition and excellence in the high-quality artistic manufacture of porcelain. The Richard Ginori “artistic factory”, of 18th-century origin, still produces accessories for the table and living room and works of art in its Doccia Factory (20 km


SHOPPING 7.30pm; Tues-Sat 9.30am-1pm/3.30pm-7.30pm. Via V. Gioberti, 66-68/r. T: 055 660050. Off Map

Galanti Delicatessen and wine shop. Classic dishes as well as soups, pappa al pomodoro, ribollita, chicken galantines, to eat in, under the porticoes outside or to take away. Wide selection of wines and home-made jams. Everything made with extra-virgin olive oil and prime quality ingredients. www.gastronomiagalanti. com. Open Mon-Sat 8.30am-8pm. Piazza della Libertà, 31/r. T: 055 490359. Off Map

Giumella EMILIO PUCCI celebrates Christmas with a limited edition of blown glass Christmas baubles that contain a silk foulard inside, made using recycled fabrics. from Florence) using ancient working techniques. Italian style and international trends. www. richardginori1735.com. Open Mon-Wed 10am-7pm; Thurs-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 12 noon-6.30pm. Via dei Rondinelli, 17/r. T: 055 210041. Map E2

Torchio (Il) Inspired by the ancient Florentine hand crafting tradition, Il Torchio creates bookbinding products with refined materials such as Florentine leather, hand-marbled paper and coloured cloths, also devising new artisan articles with contemporary materials and techniques. www.legatoriailtorchio. com.Open Mon-Fri 10am-1.30pm/2.30pm-7pm; Sat 10am-1pm. Via de’ Bardi, 17. T: 055 2342862. Map G6

FOOD & WINE SHOPS Caffè 1926 This bistrot in the Sant’Ambrogio district does a selection of Tuscan wines, Italian spumanti and champagne, served in a Bohemian atmosphere amidst little tables and large windows. Huge selection of over 380 makes of rum, unique in the whole of Florence. Open from lunch to after-supper, also hosts events. cafe1926firenze.com. Via G.B. Niccolini, 30/r (Sant’Ambrogio district). T: 055 2346296. Map L2

Enoteca Bonatti Opened in Florence in 1934, this family-run wine shop offers a wide selection of wines and spirits from all over Italy and abroad, with a particular focus on France. www.enotecabonatti.it. Open Mon 3.30pm-

VEGAN With recipes based on the products of the Florentine countryside, this delicatessen offers organic zero miles food, made the same day. Recipes with cereals and legumes, seeds and seasonal products. Among the specialties: reseitan – stone-ground Tuscan durum wheat semolina with water, salt and lentils – plus vegan cheeses based on walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, oats or rice flour. www.giumellavegan.it. Open Mon-Fri 10.30am-8pm. Via Lorenzo di Credi, 12/r. T: 393 8221084. Off Map

Pegna With over 150 years behind it, this shop has become part of Florentine history. Just steps from the Duomo, a historic drugstore with all kinds of Tuscan, Italian and international specialities: rare cheeses, salumi and prosciutti. Plus a vast choice of wines and imported products like spices, coffee, tea and chocolate. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 11am-7.30pm. pegna.it. Via dello Studio, 8. T: 055 282701. Map G3

Signorvino In the heart of the city just steps from Ponte Vecchio, the shop has a choice of 1500 labels of selected wines from the best Italian cantinas, applying the same formula used in its 15 outlets across the country. It also does simple quality food from the various regions. The terrace has a wonderful view of the Arno and Ponte Vecchio. www.signorvino.com. Open daily 9.30am-midnight. Via de’ Bardi, 46/r. T: 055 286258. Map F5

creating a look or dressing up any type of garment. A magical blend of contemporary and classical taste. www.angelacaputi.com. Shop and workshop: Open Tues-Sat 10am-1pm/3.30pm-7.30pm. Via S. Spirito, 58/r. T: 055 212972. Map D4 • Boutique: Open MonSat 10am-1pm/3.30pm-7.30pm. Borgo SS. Apostoli, 44-46/r. T: 055 292993. Map F4

Annamaria Cammilli A Florentine brand of reference in design jewellery, it has been present with its creations in shop windows and display cases all over the world for over 30 years and is synonymous with a unique, unmistakable Italian style. Attention to detail for rings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches, often drawing inspiration from nature and the floral world. www.annamariacammilli.com. Open Mon 3pm-7pm; Tues-Sat 11am-7pm; Sun 3pm-7pm. Via Vacchereccia, 12/r. T: 055 2608617. Map F4

Aprosio Aprosio came about as a workshop in 1993 and creates jewellery accessories and products for decorating interiors, with glass beads from Murano and Bohemia crystal glass. www.aprosio.it. Open Mon-Sat 10.30am-7pm. Via del Moro 75-77/r, 12/r. T: 055 210127. Map E2

Cassetti 1926 In the spectacular context of Ponte Vecchio, the Cassetti multibrand boutique is known for both fine watchmaking and haute joaillerie, and has a studio that develops innovative projects with its own artisan collection. www.cassetti.it. Open daily 10am-7pm. Ponte Vecchio, 54/r. T: 055 287361. Map F5

Damiani

JEWELLERY & WATCHES

Master craftsmen since 1924, Damiani has a long goldsmithing tradition which it has always interpreted with innovative spirit. Line purity, a refined, elegant classic as well as contemporary spirit, are the distinctive values of Damiani jewellery. Their collections are realized by master goldsmiths in full accordance with the best Italian tradition and admired throughout the world. www.damiani.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 7/r. T: 055 290208. Map E4

Angela Caputi Giuggiù

Dodo

COSTUME JEWELLERY The brand is renowned throughout the world. Sophisticated, original creations made from unusual materials such as plastic and resin, combined to create unique objects both in terms of colour and shape. Her creations have been used as accessories by famous television and film producers. The accessory as a focal point, capable of

The gold Dodo jewellery line, created in 1995 by Pomellato, is by now a classic either for gift or collection purposes. It sells an array of animal charm pieces, each of which has a particular meaning. www. dodo.it. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11.30am-7pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 39-41/r. T: 055 2741573. Map E4

ANGELA CAPUTI GIUGGIÙ In the centre of Florence, in an old 17th-century building known as “Palazzetto Medici”, a few steps from the Ponte Vecchio, are the boutique and the creative heart of Florentine designer Angela Caputi’s brand Giuggiù. Her imaginative plastic jewellery items, much loved by international customers, are genuinely unique pieces of fine craftsmanship. In the Borgo SS. Apostoli boutique it is also possible to purchase a selection of clothing items and accessories that complete the brand’s collections. www.angelacaputi.com Borgo SS. Apostoli, 44/46. T: 055 292993. Map F4 Via S. Spirito, 58/r. T: 055 212972. Map D4

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SHOPPING Fani Gioielli

Tax Free Refund Guide 1. VAT (in Italian: IVA) is a value added tax on goods and services, and is part of the European Union’s value added tax system. 2. In some cases, travellers may be granted a VAT refund. This refund does not cover the services supplied by hotels, restaurants, taxis or agencies. 3. You may be eligible for a VAT refund provided that: • you are a non-EU resident; • the goods purchased are intended for personal or family use only and are carried in your luggage; • the overall value of the goods purchased exceeds 154,94 Euro (VAT included); • the purchase is certified by an invoice. This invoice should include a description of the goods purchased, your personal information as well as the details of your passport or any other equivalent document; • the goods leave EU territory by the end of the third month after the month that you bought them; • several specific customs formalities are complied with; • the invoice is returned to the Italian retailer within four months after the purchase was made. 4. The goods purchased and the relevant invoice must be shown at the customs exit point when leaving EU territory (if you intend to pack the purchased items into your check-in luggage, you must go to Customs BEFORE checking in). 5. After leaving EU territory, the traveller must return the original invoice, regularly endorsed by the customs office, to the Italian retailer. Said invoice must be returned within four months from the date when the document was issued. 6. The refund can be made directly by the Italian retailer (however, make sure that the shop you’ve chosen displays a “Tax Free Shopping” or “Euro Tax Free” sign in its window). 7. Several Tax-Free companies are able to offer immediate VAT cash refunds when the goods leave either Italian or EU territory (thus exonerating the passenger from having to return the invoice to the retailer). However, this procedure only applies at major international airports or main border crossings. Most major department stores have Tax Free Refund offices. 8. The services provided by Tax-Free companies imply the payment of a small administrative sum which is directly deducted from the amount of VAT refunded to the traveller. 9. In the event of a traveller not receiving a VAT refund within a reasonable period of time, he or she should re-contact the Italian retailer or one of the aforementioned companies. 10. However, please note, VAT cannot be refunded directly by customs offices. Source: www.adm.gov.it/portale/ee/citizen/vta-refund

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Starting out as a family-run shop over 50 years ago, Fani Gioielli is now an established fine jewellery and luxury watchmaking firm, with two points of sale, in Florence and Siena. An extensive range of prestigious jewellery brands, including Pomellato, Dodo and Vhernier; it is also an official Rolex and Tudor retailer. www.fanishops.it. Open Mon 3pm-7pm; Tues-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 3pm-7pm. Via de’Tornabuoni, 72/r. T: 055 212075. Map E3

Massai Orafi Founded in 1950 by Florentine master goldsmith Franco Massai, it boasts over 60 years in the field of Florentine fine goldsmithery. With the techniques of the past it produces unique, rigorously hand-made pieces and is a point of reference for Florentines and others besides. EDITOR’S TIP A visit to the workshop is a unique experience: on the top floor of a 16th-century tower house, for over 200 years master goldsmiths have practised the ancient fretworking, carving and engraving traditions typical of the Florentine goldsmithery art. www.massaiorafi.it. Open Mon-Fri 9am-1pm/3pm-7.30pm. Via delle Terme, 13. T: 055 294800. Map F4

Officine Panerai Situated in the centre of Florence, birthplace of the fine watchmaking trade, this historic boutique boasts a unique design and a strong identity that Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has enhanced by working with the idea of the “art workshop”. A space on the first floor is devoted to special sales and another is reserved for periodic exhibitions of watches from the historical Museum; on the ground floor, a watchmaker is at customers’ disposal to carry out repairs and share his passion with Panerai enthusiasts. www.panerai. com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-7pm. Piazza San Giovanni, 14/r. T: 055 9040013. Map F2

Rolex Boutique-Cassetti 1926 In the unique and exclusive setting that is Ponte Vecchio, the Rolex boutique has three storeys: the ground floor is dedicated to sales, with three display tables; the first floor has two rooms for reserved sales; the second floor has a fully equipped customer care centre, where qualified Rolex technicians are available to look after the precious timepieces. www.cassetti.it. Open daily 10am-7pm. Ponte Vecchio, 29/r. T: 055 2741044. Map F5

Tiffany & Co. Located in the luxury shopping street par excellence, the Tiffany & Co. boutique is housed in one of the most beautiful Palazzi in the city. There is plenty of space inside for gold and silver fashion collections, such as ’Tiffany City HardWear’ and ’Tiffany T’, jewels with purest diamonds, the iconic engagement rings, design creations by Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso and rigorously Swiss-made men’s and women’s watches. www.tiffany.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 11am-7.30pm. Via de’ Tornabuoni 37/r. T: 055 215506. Map C4

Vacheron Constantin Boutique In the unique and exclusive setting that is Ponte Vecchio, this boutique is the oldest fine watchmaking design house in the world, founded in 1755 in Geneva. The façade of the boutique is also known for the tabernacle with a painting of the Madonna with Child and Saint John that marked the presence of an ancient oratory of the Holy Sepulchre, which came under the control of the Knights of Malta in the early 14th century. www.cassetti.it. Open daily 10am-7pm. Ponte Vecchio, 52/r. T: 055 2396028. Map F5

This resin choker by ANGELA CAPUTI GIUGGIÙ belongs to the ‘Oro’ line: the gold leaf inserts stand out against the black resin, creating an unusual interplay of contrasts.

LEATHER Cuoieria Fiorentina From the famous ancient hand-crafting tradition of the Florentine “pellai” [leather craftsmen], typical of this area of Tuscany, here unique, inimitable products are created with extreme care and top-quality natural materials. A vast range of leather handbags, travel bags and accessories (belts, wallets, briefcases…), for him and for her, offering excellent value for money. Another strong point is the personalization of the products, organised to satisfy the tastes and requirements of customers, who can count Michelle Obama among their number. www.cuoieriafiorentina. it. Open Mon-Sat 9am-1pm/3.30pm-7.30pm. Via de’ Nicola, 11. T: 055 6505091. Off Map

Gianni Chiarini Established in the 1990s, this brand is the expression of ancient artisan wisdom in the creation of contemporary bags and accessories, with an idea of pure design. A fresh, modern and cosmopolitan brand, but at the same time sophisticated, which has its roots in the heart of Florentine beauty. giannichiarini.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 2pm-7pm. Via della Vigna Nuova, 52/r. T: 055 2654306. Map D3

Il Bisonte Florentine leather goods brand Il Bisonte came about in 1970 thanks to Wanny Di Filippo’s passion for leather objects. Housed in the boutique in Palazzo Corsini on the Lungarno are its beautifully handcrafted bags, travel bags, briefcases, wallets, diaries, belts and other accessories epitomising the best of Tuscan workmanship. The brand’s key focus is on materials, including its iconic cowhide: a natural, highly sought-after vegetable tanned leather which has the advantage of improving with age. www.ilbisonte.com. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm: Sun 11.30am-6.30pm. Via del Parione, 31-33/r. T: 055 215722. Map E4

PASSION SHOPPING AquaFlor A perfume shop with the charm of past times, dedicated to the hand-crafted manufacture of perfumes made using natural and rare raw materials, personalisable through the choice of fragrances. A studio run impeccably by maître parfumier Sileno Cheloni. www.aquaflor.it. - www.aquaflorfirenze.com Open daily 10am-1pm/2pm-7pm. Borgo Santa Croce, 6. T: 055 2343471. Map H5

Dr. Vranjes Home fragrances and elegant furnishing accessories made by hand in Florence for more than 30 years. Florence is home to the laboratories and the


[RINASCENTE]

The best shopping

THIS PAGE IS KINDLY SPONSORED BY RINASCENTE

In the heart of Florence, you’ll find Rinascente: the ideal place to shop for the best in fashion, accessories, beauty and design, where the renovation is in progress. The store has recently opened at the second floor a new remarkable area dedicated to men’s collections and shoes. The Rinascente department store in Florence, located in Piazza della Repubblica, which has been the commercial heart of the city since the Roman Age, is spread over a total area of 3,300 square metres with seven floors devoted to fashion, beauty, food and lifestyle. As with the other points-of-sale around the peninsula, the space is giving its look a makeover to make shopping even more captivating and engrossing. The thread running through that is driving the renovation of the Florentine store is artisanship, a concept that is very dear to the city. The restyling involves all the store’s spaces and will be completed towards the end of 2020. After the restoration of the fourth floor, offering a transversal shopping experience combining fashion, quality craftsmanship, design, beauty products and food, the third floor featuring the Women’s Clothing and the Women’s Shoes areas truly is a hotbed for artisanal

products devoted entirely to women’s fashion. A new guise for the department store, which proposes, side-by-side, clothes for her from accessible luxury and advanced contemporary brands, ready to wear options, lingerie, bags, fragrances, jewellery, sunglasses, shoes from luxury brands as well as urban style sneakers. Don’t miss the brand-new second floor, with all the best of men’s clothing and shoes. Foodies can enjoy the “Tosca&Nino, the taste of tradition” restaurant and bar, open from breakfast till after dinner, which focuses on rigorously selected Tuscan products to enable you to rediscover the pleasure of local food, from pappa al pomodoro to ribollita. STORE: Mon-Sat 9am-10pm; Sun 10.30am-8.30pm ROOFTOP | RESTAURANT | CAFÉ: Mon-Sat 9am-midnight; Sun 10.30am-midnight

>> www.rinascente.it Piazza della Repubblica. T: 055 219113. w w w.wh e re t ravel e r. com  27


SHOPPING headquarters of the Florentine home fragrance company founded and managed by the “nose”, the perfumer, namely chemist and cosmetologist Dr. Paolo Vranjes and his wife Anna Maria. In addition to the traditional production of ambient diffusers and “lamparfum” items, the brand has diversified its production with linen, cosmetics, perfumes and gift boxes, also giving a strong Florentine identity to the packaging, inspired by Brunelleschi’s Dome. drvranjes. it. Open Mon 3pm-7pm; Tues-Sat 10.30am-2pm/3pm7pm. Via San Gallo, 63/r. T: 055 494537 Off Map • Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm; Sun 11am-7.30pm. Via della Spada, 9/r. T: 055 288796. Map E3• Open Mon 3.30pm-7.30pm; Tues-Fri 10am-1.30pm/3.30pm7.30pm; Sat 10am-7.30pm. Borgo La Croce, 44/r. T: 055 241748. Map l3

La Ménagère

CONCEPT STORE A delightful concept store of around 1500 square metres that includes a shop with design objects for the home, a florist, in addition to a restaurant and a bistro. Located right in the city centre, in the space that was once occupied by the first Florentine household item shop, it combines

industrial and recycled materials and design objects for a contemporary result with a romantic touch. www. lamenagere.it. Open daily 7am-2am. Via de’ Ginori 8/r. T: 055 0750600. Map F1

Marioluca Giusti A Florentine Maison producing practical, elegant design objects for the table and more besides, in a style between fusion and pop. Its synthetic crystal glass and melamine collections are enhanced every year with new models with colour shades ranging from white to black to transparent, to brighter colours such as fluo. Its products are particularly appreciated by important international personalities such as the Princes of Monaco, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, Steven Spielberg, Valentino and the Missoni family. Its boutiques are characterized by total white walls with niches where the accessories are exhibited, as in a museum. It has several sites in Florence: Por Santa Maria, 16/r (open daily 11am-7pm); Via della Spada, 16-20 (Open Mon-Sat 10am-1.30pm/2pm-7.30pm; Sun 11am-7.30pm). Flagship Store: Via della Vigna Nuova 88/r. Open daily 10am-7.30pm. T: 055 2399527. Map D3

Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

UNIQUE The oldest historical pharmacy in Europe (established in 1221), the Officina ProfumoFarmaceutica is housed in a part of the Dominican convent complex of Santa Maria Novella and has been open to the public for over four centuries (since 1612). Its products (perfumes, beauty products, medicinal herbs, herbal teas, sweets and chocolates) are sold all over the world in 75 single brand stores and represent a production par excellence on account of their quality raw materials and centuries-old handicraft techniques, with the aid of modern technologies. The frescoed monumental environments - Sales Room, Green Room, Ancient Apothecary and Sacristy - have been returned to their former splendour thanks to restoration work. www. smnovella.com. Open daily 9am-8pm. Via della Scala, 16. T: 055 216276. Map D2

The Merchant of Venice

NEW The new boutique is structured into a vast range of Eaux de Parfum and Eaux de Toilette, completed by products for personal care, for the environment and accessories. The essences are contained in packaging with designs inspired by the glassmaking tradition of Murano. Furthermore, the single-brand store provides a personalized layering service. www.themerchantofvenice.com. Open MonThurs 10.30am-1.30pm/2.30pm-7.30pm; Wed-Sat 10.30am-7.30pm. Via degli Strozzi, 28/r. T: 055 216559. Map E3

Valli Tessuti Alta Moda A reference point in Florence that offers its clientele the best made in Italy fabrics inspired by the most beautiful haute couture collections. The store carries a vast assortment of precious, sought-after cuts to make elegant dresses, prêt-à-porter and ceremonial attire both for men and women, but also coats, shirts and bridal gowns. vallitessuti.com. Open Mon 3pm7pm; Tues-Sat 10am-7pm. Via della Vigna Nuova, 81/r. T: 055 282485. Map D3

SHOES

Valdichiana Outlet Village, the magic of Christmas Valdichiana Outlet Village, the Tuscan “Land of Fashion”, lies in one of the most beautiful, distinctive and evocative corners of Tuscany, between the provinces of Arezzo and Siena, a short distance from fabulous locations such as Cortona and Montepulciano and at the intersection of important communication routes such as the A1 (Valdichiana exit) and the Siena-Perugia dual carriageway (Bettolle exit). Inside the village, which is reminiscent of a typical Tuscan town, you can find the most famous clothing labels from fashion and sport, in addition to footwear, accessories, jewellery, items for the home and much more besides. There are 140 stores present, with discounts of between 30% and 70% throughout the year, all amounting to a complete, high-quality commercial offer. For example, it is possible to find Adidas, Asics, Baldinini, Borbonese, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, K-way, Gant, Gap, Guess, Geox, Levi’s, Liu Jo Uomo, Lindt, Nike, Piquadro, Rebel Queen by Liu Jo, Replay, Samsonite, Skechers, Swatch, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Villeroy&Boch, Under Armour, Us Polo and many more besides. For the whole month of December the magic of Christmas will envelop the Valdichiana Outlet Village, thanks to the decorations, sparkling lights, a fantastic ice-skating rink, a magical Christmas train and a beautiful Santa Claus village. For info on opening hours and on the dates of the Black Friday promotions, visit www.valdichianaoutlet.it

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Aquazzura Created in Florence in 2011 and inspired by the luxury hand-crafting tradition, the brand combines a typically European refined aesthetic sensibility with modern Latin American elegance. Aquazzura shoes have been worn by trendsetters, Hollywood stars, European royalty and fashion insiders around the globe. www.aquazzura.com. Open daily 10am-7pm. Palazzo Corsini-Lungarno Corsini, 42. T: 055 291242. Map D4

Salvatore Ferragamo Situated in Florence’s main street for shopping, inside the medieval Palazzo Spini Feroni (the company’s historic workshop since 1938 and the site of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum), the Ferragamo boutique hosts all its fashion men’s, women’s, accessories and perfume collections. The brand represents Italian quality, contemporary elegance, innovation and tradition. The boutique occupies the entire ground floor of the building, inside large spaces decorated with 18th-century frescoes. The wing of the store that faces onto Piazza Santa Trinita hosts the “Ferragamo’s Creations” corner with the exclusive footwear line that revisits some of the brand’s iconic models. www.ferragamo.com. Open daily 10am-7.30pm. Palazzo Spini Feroni-Via de’ Tornabuoni, 4/r. T: 055 292123. Map E4


[ D A I LY T O U R S ]

Fashion outlets LUGANO MENDRISIO

Not far from Florence, in Tuscany but also in nearby EmiliaRomagna, don’t miss a trip to these shopping destinations offering discounts year-round.

BERGAMO BRESCIA

NOVARA

TRIESTE

MILANO

ALESSANDRIA TORINO

PIACENZA? Fidenza Village GENOVA

The Mall Sanremo

?

MAR LIGURE

VENTIMIGLIA

FORTE DEI MARMI

FERRARA

MAR

BOLOGNA ?

LUCCA

PISA

Castel Guelfo ADRIATICO The Style Outlets

Barberino RIMINI ? Designer Outlet THE APPENNINI MOUNTAIN RIDGE

FIRENZE SAN GIMIGNANO ? The Mall Firenze

LIVORNO

SIENA

Valdichiana

? Outlet Village

ANCONA

PERUGIA

BARBERINO DESIGNER OUTLET McArthurGlen Barberino is conveniently located adjacent to the A1 motorway, for easy access from Florence (just 30 minutes from the city centre). McArthurGlen also boasts “Serravalle” near Milan (the largest Designer Outlet in Europe), “Castel Romano” near Rome, “La Reggia” near Naples and “Noventa di Piave” close to Venice. Open daily 10am-8pm. • WHERE: take the A1-E35 motorway in the direction of Bologna and exit at Barberino. Daily shuttle bus service from Florence Santa Maria Novella train station (4 times a day). Meeting point: City Sightseeing Firenze Line A Stop No.1, Florence SMN Train Station, left-luggage office side. • WHAT: the perfect location to find your favourite designer brands at up to 70% off, all year round. With more than 120 boutiques, cafés and restaurants, children’s play area and free parking, surrounded by wonderful Tuscany countryside and architecture, Barberino Designer Outlet offers something for everyone. McArthurGlen.it/Barberino CASTEL GUELFO THE STYLE OUTLETS The point where quality, style and convenience meet: men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, sportswear, accessories and cosmetics with discounts of between 30% and 70% all year round. Castel Guelfo The Style Outlets is located in the Emilia-Romagna region, 1.5 hours from Florence. Open Mon-Fri 10am-8pm; Sat and Sun 10am-8.30pm. • WHERE: take the A1 Bologna-Ancona and exit at Castel San Pietro Terme. A free shuttle service is available daily from Castel San Pietro Terme railway station. 30  W H E R E F LO R E N C E I D E C E M B E R 2019

• WHAT: 110 boutiques by prestigious brands – THE MALL FIRENZE such as Baldinini, K-way, Flavio Castellani, Guess, The luxury outlet centre The Mall Firenze is a Pepe Jeans, Timberland, Trussardi and Vans – of gallery of the world’s most exclusive designers clothing and accessories for the whole family, at truly advantageous prices, offeringPESCARA customers CORSICA sportswear, items for the home and beauty a unique shopping experience. It is set in the products, with discounts of up to 70% on the heart of the Tuscan countryside, just 30 minutes retail price. from Florence. Open daily 10am-7pm (in June, ROMA • NOT ONLY SHOPPING: to make the day of July, August 10am-8pm). shopping even more enjoyable, the centre also • WHERE: take the A1-E35 motorway in the TIRRENO hosts art exhibitions, lots of eventsMAR and initiatives direction of Rome. Leave the motorway at the designed to involve the whole family. “Incisa-Reggello” exit and proceed on the right www.thestyleoutlets.it towards Pontassieve, as far as Leccio. Direct bus NAPOLI service from central Florence (Busitalia/Sita bus FIDENZA VILLAGE station-Via S. Caterina da Siena, near the central This is one of the 11 Villages in Europe and China railway station, €7). Exclusive door-to-door by Value Retail and one of The Bicester Village minivan service from centrally located hotels in Shopping Collection® Villages: a place where Florence (€35 round trip). Ask your concierge. SARDEGNA hospitality makes the shopping experience • WHAT: over 40 luxury stores (fashion, fragrance memorable. The Village is located in the Emiliaand footwear) featuring your favourite brands Romagna region, 2 hours from Florence. Open with discounts of up to 70% year-round: Gucci, daily 10am-8pm. Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dolce&Gabbana, • WHERE: halfway between Bologna and Milan, Jimmy Choo, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and near Parma. Take the A1-E35 motorway and exit Chloé (June 2018 Opening). at Fidenza/Salsomaggiore Terme. • NOT ONLY SHOPPING: the Gucci Caffè • WHAT: an exclusive shopping experience with Restaurant, on the top floor of the Gucci store, unique hospitality at the core of the services and is the perfect spot for a lunch break or just to with over 130 boutiques of the world’s leading savour a moment of relaxation after a day’s fashion and lifestyle brands at reduced prices (up shopping. www.themall.it to 70% off ), including Versace, Armani, Missoni, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Paul Smith and Michael Kors. VALDICHIANA OUTLET VILLAGE • NOT ONLY SHOPPING: the Village pays An authentic “Shopping Village” in the province homage to the region’s rich cultural and of Arezzo (1 hour from Florence), offering a gastronomic heritage. After your day of pleasant, relaxing atmosphere and a unique shopping, visit one of its restaurants to indulge shopping experience characterised by quality in delicious homemade pasta with fresh and convenience. It has several facilities and Parmesan cheese from nearby Parma. services, such as a beauty centre, a playground, www.fidenzavillage.com the library and several food courts where the


best local food and wines are on offer. Open daily 10am-8pm. • WHERE: take the A1-E35 motorway in the direction of Rome and exit at Valdichiana Bettolle. • WHAT: 140 designer and brand shops characterized by quality and convenience offering 30% to 70% discounts all year round and further discounts during sale periods: Adidas, Baldinini, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Diadora, Geox, Guess, Levi’s, Massimo Rebecchi, Samsonite, Tommy Hilfiger Under Armour and many others. • NOT ONLY SHOPPING: ample choice of the restaurants and refreshments, a modern playground, the possibility of recharging your electric car, free wi-fi, mobile phone recharge and, in the event of rain, the possibility of walking in the dry beneath the porticoes. www.valdichianaoutlet.it

Valdichiana Outlet Village

Castel Guelfo The Style Outlets

The Mall Firenze

Fidenza Village

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DINING

The “place to be” for Tuscan cuisine Not just shopping! Near Via de’ Tornabuoni, today - as over 130 years ago - the most authentic cuisine of the Tuscan tradition is on show at Buca Lapi, served in an environment with a unique charm. By Giulia Minero

S

ince 1880, in the wine cellars of the noble Palazzo Antinori, in the beating heart of the city, there has stood the oldest restaurant in Florence, bearing the evocative name of Buca Lapi. Before delving into the details of the venue, however, we need to provide a quick explanation of “buche” (holes). These premises, below street level with entrances from the main streets of the city, were once used as wine cellars, deposits or basements to keep wine and other products, whereas today they are used for restaurants with a particular vocation for local cuisine and distinguished by the characteristic exposed vaults. It is precisely the marvellous ceiling, the custodian of history for over a century thanks to a meticulous restoration and 32  W H E R E F LO R E N C E I D E C E M B E R 2019

covered with posters from yesteryear, that is the number-one decorative element of the location, embellished by the frescoed walls of the first room. The dishes on the menu, all strictly based on products from the territory, are prepared in a show-cooking kitchen and include warm crostini with sausage and ricotta, ribollita, wild boar with polenta, tripe in the grill pan or mixed fried vegetables. The pasta, the key element of wild boar pappardelle, pici senesi with meat sauce and wild fennel or cannelloni gratinati alla Buca Lapi, is homemade, respecting the most authentic Tuscan tradition. Of course, bistecca alla fiorentina could not be missing; thick and juicy, cooked on soft charcoal and brushed with extra virgin olive oil, to be enjoyed – ça va sans dire –

accompanied by a full-bodied Tuscan red wine, to be chosen from a large, carefully prepared wine list. >> Via del Trebbio, 1R. www.bucalapi.com T: 055 213768. Map E3


FOR MORE LISTINGS VISIT WWW.WHEREITALIA.COM/FLORENCE

TUSCAN CUISINE Benedicta

EDITOR’S TIP The Benedicta restaurant, to which the Michelin Guide 2017 assigned 3 forks, is a pearl hidden away in a side street near Santa Maria Novella, inside the Rivoli Boutique Hotel. Italian and Tuscan cuisine revisited in a contemporary vein, with a menu based on locally sourced ingredients that changes every two months depending on the season. Open 7.30pm-11pm; closed on Sun. From late April to October you can dine in the romantic flower garden. €€. www.ristorantebenedicta.it. Via Benedetta 12/r. T:055 2645429. Map D2

Bordino Trattoria High up in a little street just a stone’s throw from the Ponte Vecchio, the Trattoria Bordino is always crowded with both locals and tourists because of its quality food at very affordable prices. The dishes are traditional, with bistecca alla fiorentina grilled directly on wood charcoal the speciality. A wide selection of Italian wines accompanies the dishes in a pleasant, relaxed environment. €€. www.trattoriabordino.it. Via Stracciatella, 9/r. T: 055 213048. Map F5

Cammillo A historic Florentine trattoria not far from Ponte Vecchio. Inside it is as if time stood still: the (very long) menu has practically all the classic Tuscan recipes, plus a few you wouldn’t expect like prawn curry with pilaf rice, actually one of Cammillo’s signature dishes. Also very good are the croutons with chicken livers, the ribollita, tripe, bistecca alla fiorentina and stuffed rabbit. €€. Borgo San Jacopo, 57/r. T: 055 212427. Map E5

Cibrèo Ristorante In Florence and in the area near the Market of Sant’Ambrogio, Cibrèo is a trademark for eating well. The Cibrèo Restaurant offers territorial and regional cuisine that is sincere and vigorous, with no fear of strong ingredients such as olive oil, garlic or Tuscan kale, drenched in personality, in the image of its founder Fabio Picchi. The products are strictly seasonal and arrive from rigorously selected farm, fisheries, sheep and cattle breeders. €€€. www.cibreo. com/ristorante. Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 8/r. T: 055 2341100. Map L3

Da Burde The menu changes with the mood of the kitchen, and the seasons. Here you’ll find croutons with chicken livers, fiorentina, pappa col pomodoro, and ribollita. Highlighted by the Michelin Guide as excellent value for money, the atmosphere has remained that of the early 1900’s, as has the food, simple but rich in flavour. A well-stocked cantina, with Tuscan and Piedmontese wines but also French, including some fine champagne. €€€. www.vinodaburde.com. Via Pistoiese, 154. T: 055 317206. Off Map

IO Osteria Personale In the neighbourhood of San Frediano, which still conserves the charm of the most authentic Florence, surrounded by wooden ceilings and brick walls, a modern tavern that has a preference for the products of the territory, reinterpreting them in an innovative way. Among the titbits are crispy vitel toné, ravioli of wild salmon, whipped cream, ginger, herring caviar and dill or tagliatelle with raw red shrimps and seasonal mushrooms. €€. www.io-osteriapersonale.it. Borgo San Frediano 167/r. T: 055 9331341. Map B4

La Ménagère A concept restaurant not far from Battistero, combining restaurant, bistrot, florist and design

store. In an ambiance of industrial design, the restaurant offers a high quality menu at affordable prices, combining traditional dishes based strictly on seasonal products, with a penchant for experimentation in the mix of flavours and textures. €€. www.lamenagere.it. Via De’ Ginori, 8/r. T: 055 0750600. Map F1

Tuscan food

Latini (Il) Historic trattoria near Santa Maria Novella highlighted in the Michelin Guide. Besides bistecca alla fiorentina, there are pork chops and ribs on the Il Latini grill, as well as roast beef or lamb. Also available are Florentine tripe and peposo (peppery Tuscan beef stew), depending on the season. The cantina is well stocked with the best Tuscan wines, autochthonous and non, as well as the big French labels. €€€. www.illatini.com Via dei Palchetti, 6. T: 055 210916. Map D3

Locale Firenze A restaurant steeped in history, in an ancient building where by just descending a few steps you can travel - like in a time machine - from the Renaissance to 13thcentury Florence, to the wine cellars that conserve Roman remains. It is possible to stop for just an aperitif with sophisticated cocktails or stay for dinner with dishes from the tradition revisited in a contemporary vein. €€€. www.localefirenze.it. Via delle Seggiole, 12/r. T: 055 9067188. Map H3

Lungarno23 In the splendid setting of Lungarno Torrigiani, this restaurant is famous for its Chianina meat hamburgers, which are certified with the I.G.P. mark and come from small local farms. Forget the image of fast food, because here the hamburger is accompanied by fresh ingredients, hand-made sesame seed bread, freshly fried potatoes and browned onions. €€. www. lungarno23.it. Lungarno Torrigiani, 23. T: 055 2345957. Map G6

L’Ortone Situated in the emerging San Ambrogio foodie district, opposite the charming street market, the menu is based on typical Tuscan dishes, with a focus on traditional first courses and grilled specialities, including of course the fiorentina. If you want to try something more adventurous you can’t go wrong with the pork liver confit with kale and Boretto onions. €€. www.lortone.it. Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti 87/r. T: 055 234 0804. Map L4

Marione Trattoria The atmosphere of an old-fashioned trattoria in the historic centre of Florence. Here it is possible to taste the typical dishes of Tuscan cuisine surrounded by barrel vaults and baked brick floors. Ribollita, taglierini with truffle, bistecca alla fiorentina and Tuscan cured meats are among the most popular dishes. If you go at the weekend it is advisable to book in advance, because there is usually a long queue of people waiting outside. €€. www.casatrattoria.com/trattoriamarione. Via della Spada 27/r. T: 055 214756. Map E3

Opera Situated inside the Grand Hotel Adriatico, a few steps from the coolest “Oltrarno” district, the Opera restaurant offers dishes from both the Italian and the typical Florentine and Tuscan culinary traditions. In a relaxed and elegant atmosphere, with a music background of the most important operas, you can taste tortelli,tagliata, steak alla Fiorentina and the traditional Florentine dessert ’zuccotto’. Its wine cellar deserves a special mention. Open 7.30pm-10.30pm; closed on Sun. €€. www.hoteladriatico.it. Via Maso Finiguerra, 9. T: 055 294447. Map C2

Pappa col pomodoro

CANTUCCI. The finger-shaped almond biscuits are made by slicing up a long roll of baked dough while still hot. The dough is made with flour, sugar, eggs, butter and raw almonds. Tuscans normally dunk their ’cantucci’ in a fortified local wine called Vin Santo. CIBREO. Dish for strong stomachs, Cibreo is a typical main course of Florentine “poor cuisine” containing liver, chicken hearts, crests, eggs, lemon juice and onion. LAMPREDOTTO. This is Florentine street food par excellence. It’s a cow’s fourth stomach, known as the ’abomaso’, cooked in a herb broth and most commonly served in a panino soaked in the broth or topped with the local parsley-based green sauce. PAPPA COL POMODORO. Soup made of stale bread (unsalted), tomatoes, garlic, basil, extra virgin Tuscan olive oil, salt and pepper. RIBOLLITA. Soup made of stale bread, kale and beans (borlotti, toscanelli or cannellini). ‘Ribollita’ - literally means boiled several times - derives from the fact that in the old days peasants used to make a large pot and serve it, heated up, over a number of days, each time tastier than before. SCHIACCIATA. In Florence you’ll find this simple focaccia baked in a wood oven and dressed with olive oil and salt at any baker’s, but of course everyone has their own preference: soft and well oiled, crisp and salty, or made with ancient grains. (C.Z.)

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DINING

Michelin-starred restaurants Giovannini. A breathtaking view over Florence and across vineyards at the rear, these are just the cherry on the cake of a creative culinary proposal, which in this case too draws its inspiration from the local tradition, with a propensity for quality meat (the boiled sausages and ’soppressata’ are self-produced), but also for vegetables picked directly from the restaurant’s own vegetable and herb garden and for the hand-made bread using flour from ancient grains.

In addition to the historic and well established Enoteca Pinchiorri, with its prestigious three Michelin stars, there are six other Florentine restaurants that have been awarded one star. Let’s enjoy them together. Enoteca Pinchiorri Via Ghibellina, 87. T: 055 242757 enotecapinchiorri.it How do you manage to be honoured with three Michelin stars, the highest recognition, which is only achieved by a hundred restaurants worldwide? In the case of the Enoteca Pinchiorri, it comes from the winning combination of prime quality raw materials, the search for innovation, yet without forgetting the territory’s (great) culinary tradition, obsessive attention to every detail and an unrivalled wine menu, which includes highly prized labels, along with others that are little known but equally interesting. Then we can add the fact that the restaurant is located inside the 18thcentury Palazzo Jacometti-Ciofi and that its desserts are a delight for the senses. Borgo San Jacopo c /o Hotel Lungarno Borgo San Jacopo, 62/r. T: 055 281661 www.borgosanjacopo.com Overlooking the banks of the Arno, with a picture postcard view of Ponte Vecchio, the restaurant Borgo San Jacopo is perfect for a romantic evening. In this case the winning recipe is one that blends creativity, tradition and quality ingredients (lamb in sea water or Bresse rooster and octopus are an example of this), all washed down with wines chosen from a cellar of 900 labels. You can opt for the tasting menu (the potatobased one is unmissable) or à la carte. La Bottega del Buon Caffè Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini, 69/r. T: 055 5535677 www.borgointhecity.com/it/la-bottegadel-buon-caffe Zero food miles products gathered from the organic

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vegetable garden that the restaurant possesses in the Florentine countryside, meat reared by local farms and fresh fish. These are the strong points of the Bottega del Buon Caffè. On the Lungarno, in the shadow of the medieval Tower of San Niccolò, chef Erez Ohayon proposes a cuisine based on the use of seasonal ingredients, with a predilection for herbs and spices to bring out the flavours. The seasonal tasting menus include gems such as amberjack served in three ways (tartare, ’ventresca’, fillet) or home-made cappelletti with pigeon, butter and thyme. Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura Piazza della Signoria, 10. T: 055 75927038 www.gucci.com/it/it/store/osteria-bottura Located inside inside the Gucci Garden, the creative liaison between Gucci and Bottura celebrates two things Italy is renowned for: fashion and fine cuisine. Head of the team is Mexican chef Karime Lopez Kondo. The menu is an explosive blend of flavours ranging from Italy to the Orient and offers cosmopolitan titbits such as the “Taka-ban”, the classic Japanese steamed bun with pork belly and spicy sauce, or marinated Adriatic palamita with tortilla or fried aubergines in shiso sauce. In a very intimate setting, the bistro plays around the tones of green and pistachio and can welcome up t o 35 diners indoors. La Leggenda dei Frati c/o Villa Bardini Costa S. Giorgio, 6/a. T: 055 0680545 www.laleggendadeifrati.it Inside the Villa Bardini museum complex in Costa San Giorgio is the one-star restaurant La Leggenda dei Frati helmed by chef Filippo Saporito and his wife Ombretta

Il Palagio Borgo Pinti, 99. T: 055 2626450 www.ilpalagioristorante.it Inside the Hotel Four Seasons, in a sophisticated environment with tables both indoors and outdoors, Il Palagio bases itself on a culinary proposal that looks to the Italian and regional tradition with a touch of modernity, as in the terrine of foie gras with Vin Santo gelée or cheese and pepper cavatelli with red shrimps and baby squid. Chef Vito Mollica offers a menu that is a symphony of flavours, raw materials and colours, at times venturing far beyond the confines of Tuscany with dishes based on truffle, wagyu beef or three kinds of caviar. The wine menu includes more than 400 labels, 50 of which also served by the glass.

Ora d’Aria

PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Bottega del Buon Caffè

Ora d ’Aria Via dei Georgofili 11/r. T: 055 200169 www.oradariaristorante.com An hour of air to escape from culinary boredom. We don’t know if the owner had this in mind when he gave this name to his restaurant, just a stone’s throw from Ponte Vecchio, but it certainly gives that impression. Tuscan chef Marco Stabile is playing at home with dishes that are a reminder of granny’s recipes but tending towards a more creative contemporary style. Lovers of strong flavours can delight in dishes such as soft-crisp piglet or pigeon cooked in three ways. For lunch the choice of the “tapas” formula allows you to try a selection of small portions of gourmet dishes. The wine cellar boasts Tuscan wines, but also prized Italian and French labels and a highly select menu of beers.


DINING Osteria Badalì Located in the heart of a rather quiet district, San Niccolò. A culinary proposal that revisits the traditions of the past, all about long cooking times and essentials, starting with the study of old cooking texts found on the second-hand book stalls and based above all on homemade pasta and traditional soups, as well as pork products. €€. www.badaliosteria.it. Via dei Renai 11/r. T: 055 2264422. Map H6

Touch Bistrò Toscano Three young entrepreneurs who met over the hobs of the hotelier institute have made their dream a reality by opening this bistro that favours the use of seasonal ingredients selected from the nearby market of Sant’Ambrogio in the neighbourhood of the same name. The menu, which gives a touch of freshness to the Tuscan tradition, proposes, among other things, ravioli di ossobuco, fried egg and fagioli all’uccelletto, but also monkfish and squid. €€. touchflorence.com. Via di Mezzo 42/r. T:055 2466150. Map I3

cuisine (although you can still request a private room for up to ten people in classic 16th-century Florentine style). The bistecca alla fiorentina is excellent, as is the ribollita or pappardelle with Maremma boar ragù. €€. www.bucamario.com. Piazza degli Ottaviani, 16/r. T: 055 214179. Map D3

Buca Poldo A few yards from Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio, Buca Poldo serves characteristic Tuscan dishes including ribollita, pappa al pomodoro, fiorentina and boar stew, as well as a few forays into other regional cuisines. Although the majority of the courses are meat based, some fish dishes are also available. The kitchen is open on two sides, so that diners can watch the chefs at work. www.bucapoldo. com. Chiasso degli Armagnati, 2/r. T: 055.239.6578. Map F4

Buca San Giovanni

If you love “ciccia” (which is what Tuscans call red meat), you must not miss this steakhouse and delicatessen that is very famous in the city. Located in the heart of the historic centre, a few steps from Piazza della Repubblica, it obviously offers the typical bistecca alla fiorentina but also selections of Tuscan pork, cured meat boards or steak tartare and hamburger made rigorously with Chianina meat. €€. http://ituscani3.com.Via Dante Alighieri 18/r.T: 055 285356. Map F4

Buca San Giovanni is another of Italy’s historic restaurants. Originally the sacristy of the nearby Baptistery of Saint John opposite Florence cathedral, it was also the Rosicrucian masons’ secret initiation venue and countless notables from Florence and elsewhere have enjoyed a meal under its ancient vaults. There is no lack of classic dishes such as ossobuco alla Fiorentina (oxtail) and stracotto al Chianti (beef braised in Chianti), but the cuisine also stretches to other Italian regional specialities, such as bucatini all’amatriciana, spaghetti alla carbonara or linguine al pesto. www.bucasangiovanni.it. Piazza San Giovanni, 8. T: 055 287612 Map F

Zeb

Fiaschetteria Nuvoli

Just moments away from Piazzale Michelangelo and the Giardino delle Rose, Zeb - highlighted by the Michelin Guide - serves a host of traditional Tuscan dishes such as cappellacci, tripe, lampredotto, meat balls and stuffed rabbit. A tiny place, the diners eat at the bar, like a delicatessen (actually, its former identity). There is a large selection of Italian wines, with a special focus on small local producers. €€. www.zebgastronomia.com. Via San Miniato, 2. T: 055 2342864. Map H6

Just a few steps from Piazza Duomo is an obligatory destination for anyone who has ever wondered what Florence’s old wine cellars were really like in the past. Open from 8.30 in the morning until evening, it serves typical Tuscan specialities such as chicken liver croutons, cold cuts, tagliatelle al ragù, fried chicken or brains, ribollita, pappa col pomodoro and roast porchetta. There is also a vast choice of Tuscan wines, also available for aperitifs. Piazza dell’Olio, 15/r. T: 055 239 6616. Map F2

CANTINE

PIZZA

Antica Mescita San Niccolò

Pizza Man

Tuscani 3 (I)

Ever wanted to eat lunch in a 1000 AD Romanesque crypt? In Florence you can, at the Antica Mescita San Niccolò, which also used to serve as a customs post for wine originating from Chianti. Naturally, the wine is excellent and predominately Tuscan and the food also reflects the season and the local territory, with dishes such as cold cuts and mixed cheeses, ribollita, bistecca alla fiorentina and lampredotto, to name just a few. €€. www.osteriasanniccolo.it. Via San Niccolò, 60/r. T: 055 2342836. Map H6

Buca Lapi This is one of Florence’s oldest eating places. Crafted out of the wine cellars of the Renaissance Palazzo Antinori, it still preserves traces of over a century of history thanks to the meticulous restoration of the internal frescoes. Buca Lapi is particularly popular with lovers of the real fiorentina, but the other local Tuscan dishes are worth trying too, such as croutons, ribollita or wild boar with polenta. €€€. www.bucalapi.com. Via del Trebbio 1/r. T: 055 213768. Map E3

Buca Mario For years ordinary folk have rubbed shoulders with famous names beneath the bare brick ceilings of Buca Mario to enjoy simple, genuine Florentine

The “fiorentina”

Right in the city centre, this colourful Neapolitan school pizzeria with a fun atmosphere does glutenfree and 100% vegan pizzas as well as the traditional variety. Now those with a food intolerance or special dietary needs don’t have to go without a tasty pizza. €. www.pizzaman.it. Via dell’Agnolo 105/107r. T: 055 2480200. Map H4

Pizzaiuolo (Il) Just steps from the Sant’Ambrogio market, this is one of Florence’s oldest pizzerias. Here again the pizza is Neapolitan: wood oven cooked, with quality in-season toppings, mostly sourced from Campania. The rest of the menu also follows Neapolitan tradition, with first courses of fish and local desserts such as babà and pastiera. €. www.ilpizzaiuolo.it. Via dei Macci, 113/r. T: 055 241171. Map I3

Santarpia In a room with blue and brown tiles, the wood oven turns out pizzas made with choice, slow-rising flours, tomatoes from Vesuvius and mozzarella from Campania cheese makers. All accompanied by craft beers or wines from small producers. €. www.santarpia.biz. Largo Pietro Annigoni, 9/c. T: 055245829. Map L3

Buca Mario

Bistecca alla fiorentina is one of the most iconic dishes in Florence cuisine. But be careful: to recognize the original and tell it apart from the hundreds of impostors, there are a few tips you need to know. Cooking a “fiorentina” is a genuine ritual with unwritten rules that the visitor needs to know to avoid falling foul of the restaurant owner, paying over the odds and to make sure they get the real thing. WHAT. This succulent steak is obtained from a specific cut of a young Chianina cow, a part of the loin near the backbone which has a T-bone in the middle. It should be grilled at a very high temperature, so that a fine crust forms rapidly on the meat. All the flavour of this dish depends on the cooking: the meat must be brown on the outside but red, soft and juicy on the inside, hot, but not cooked through. This is the first vital rule: a fiorentina must be eaten rare. HOW. It should also be at least 3 or 4 cms thick, and weigh between 1.2 kg and 1.5 kgs, although bigger steaks are easily available. And here is another sore point. At a restaurant you pay for a fiorentina by weight. An average price to be sure of getting the real thing is around 50 euros a kilo. WITH. The traditional accompaniment is usually cannellini beans, washed down with a glass of Chianti. WHERE. Here are four restaurants where you can’t go wrong: Il Latini (www. illatini.com), Buca Lapi (www.bucalapi. com), Da Burde (www.vinodaburde.com) and Perseus (www.casatrattoria.com/ ristorante-perseus-firenze). (C.Z.)

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DINING

Top hotel restaurants Il Conventino a Marignolle c/o Villa Tolomei Hotel & Resort Via di Santa Maria a Marignolle, 10. T: 055 3920425 www.ilconventinoamarignolle.com A very romantic view and frescoed rooms in a wonderful 12th-century villa surrounded by a vast estate comprising 20 hectares of olive groves, vineyards and orchards. The kitchen proposes traditional Tuscan and Italian dishes, prepared with seasonal products from the estate or the nearby countryside. Regional specialities typical of Tuscany, as well as the favourites of Italian cuisine.

Hostaria Bibendum

Tradition, innovation and creativity: Where® highlights some culinary destinations to whet your appetite in several top hotels in Florence.

Borgo San Jacopo c/o Hotel Lungarno Borgo San Jacopo, 62/R. T: 055 281661 www.borgosanjacopo.com On the banks of the Arno, with a postcard view of Ponte Vecchio, the Borgo San Jacopo restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic evening. The traditional Italian dishes are reinterpreted using fine quality ingredients by Michelin-starred chef Claudio Mengoni, accompanied by collector wines from a cantina of 900 labels. Capriccio Restaurant c/o Hotel Montebello Splendid Via G. Garibaldi, 14. T: 055 27471 www.montebellosplendid.com The restaurant is designed to ensure tranquility, out of the tourist circuit, and to satisfy you with class service and haute cuisine dishes. Quality products and absolute freshness for a couple’s candlelight dinner or a special event. Flora & Fauno c/o Hotel Ville sull’Arno Lungarno Cristoforo Colombo 3/5. T: 055 670971 www.hotelvillesullarno.com Facing the river and immersed in the lovely garden of the Hotel Ville sull’Arno, Flora & Fauno offers a peaceful spot with a vintage country feel in which to explore the flavours and aromas of Tuscany. Classic traditional recipes revisited in a contemporary accent. The protagonists on the menu are the local ingredients, juxtaposed sometimes in new and unexpected ways, at other times sticking to tradition.

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Golden Restaurant c/o Golden Tower Hotel & SPA Piazza Strozzi 11/r. T: 055 287860 www.goldentowerhotel.it The cuisine is based on the authentic flavours of Florentine and Italian wine and food, whose trump card is the guaranteed freshness and quality of the ingredients, chosen personally by the chef. Intimate and refined atmosphere, with high class furnishings and fittings. Il Giardino Restaurant c/o Sina Villa Medici Via Il Prato, 42. T: 055 2771891 www.sinahotels.com A temple of flavours in the sophisticated ambiance of the Sina Hotel Villa Medici, an aristocratic 18thcentury palace, recently renovated and restored to its former splendour. The restaurant, with its winter garden which can be opened during the summer months, has been studied in every detail with an exclusive design. Seasonality and territoriality are the basis for Il Giardino’s cuisine, interpreted by chef Luigi Incrocci. The menu presents interesting creations of the best Italian and international tradition, revisited in a modern mood. The philosophy behind the restaurant’s cuisine is to amaze the guests dish after dish. The wine cellar has 60 wine labels. Hostaria Bibendum c/o Helvetia & Bristol Via dei Pescioni, 8/r. T: 055 2665620 www.starhotelscollezione.com This restaurant located in a magnificent 19th-century palace offers a menu inspired by tradition with a penchant for local producers and ingredients. Alongside more contemporary Italian dishes, a fully-rounded experience of Florence has to include Tuscan specialities such as panzanella, Chianti salumi and cheeses, pappa al pomodoro and honeylacquered duck, as well as desserts like cantucci with Vin Santo and Florentine sponge cake with Buontalenti gelato and vanilla topping.

Il Palagio c/o Four Seasons Hotel Firenze Borgo Pinti, 99. T: 055 2626450 www.ilpalagioristorante.it A sophisticated ambiance with tables both inside and outside, Il Palagio is a Michelin-starred restaurant whose culinary offering looks to Italian and regional tradition with a modern touch. Chef Vito Mollica ventures far beyond the confines of Tuscan cuisine with dishes based on truffles, wagyu beef and three types of caviar. The wine list comprises more than 400 labels, of which 50 are also served by the glass. The hotel also has two other restaurants: La Magnolia and Trattoria al fresco. Irene c/o Hotel Savoy Piazza della Repubblica, 7. T: 055 273 5891 www.roccofortehotels.com Inside the Hotel Savoy, a sumptuous fin-de-siècle building with an extraordinary collection of art works, the restaurant boasts a menu inspired by chef Fulvio Pierangelini, who together with head chef Giovanni Cosmai has designed a series of classic and new versions of Tuscan tradition, using the best local and seasonal products. J.K. Lounge Restaurant & Bar c/o JK Place Firenze Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 7. T: 055 5321910 www.jkplace.com Here are Tuscan and Italian specialities made with local and seasonal ingredients, preferably organically farmed. In the summer months the elegant dining room, styled as a cosy living room, opens onto the terrace in the marvellous Piazza di Santa Maria Novella. La Cucina del Salviatino c/o Il Salviatino Via del Salviatino, 21- Fiesole (FI). T: 055 9041111 www.salviatino.com Majestic 15th-century villa in the hills of Fiesole, with a captivating view of Florence. Cuisine with strong links to the local territory and the seasons, with a prevalence of meat courses, though there is no shortage of fish and vegetarian dishes. The historic orchard and organic vegetable garden ensure zero food miles.


DINING

Il Conventino a Marignolle

Il Palagio of truffles. Truffles are served all year round: from antipasto to dessert, savour the best varieties of fresh Tuscan truffles, from the Black Truffle and Tuber Borchii, to the more expensive White Truffle and Tuber magnatum Pico. Classic truffle items are flanked by other sophisticated dishes: tagliolino, egg, tartare. The menu also includes classic Tuscan dishes. Se•Sto on Arno c/o The Westin Excelsior Florence Piazza Ognissanti 3. T: 055 27152783 www.westinflorence.com Local flavours and seasonal products for a Tuscan cuisine with a touch of innovation and an unforgettable view of Florence. On the sixth floor of The Westin Excelsior, SE•STO on Arno combines a restaurant, lounge, bar and garden enclosed by sweeping picture windows that make the most of the unique position and breathtaking view over the city.

La Loggia Le Bistrot c/o Villa Cora Viale Machiavelli, 18. T: 055 22 87 90 www.villacora.it The location in itself is extraordinary: an ancient park that dominates the Boboli Gardens, the aristocratic residence that once hosted princess Eugenia, wife of Napoleon III, and the French pianist Claude Debussy, among others. The menu, created by Executive Chef Alessandro Liberatore, offers traditional Tuscan dishes made exclusively with seasonal and for the most part locally sourced products. In winter the restaurant occupies the exquisite oriental Sala Moresca with its frescoed cupola ceiling, while in the summer it moves poolside to the winter garden. Relais Le Jardin c/o Hotel Regency Piazza M. D’Azeglio, 3. T: 055 245247 www.regency-hotel.com Located in the elegant Sala Zodiaco, amidst huge mirrors, candles and a veranda that in summer opens onto the private garden, the restaurant’s chef Sandro Baldini proposes a rich array of Italian and Tuscan dishes (home-made pasta and regional specialities such as truffles, porcini mushrooms, costolette alla fiorentina and others besides) that vary depending on the season’s ingredients, always fresh and of the highest quality.

Ristorante La Chiostrina c/o Bernini Palace Piazza San Firenze, 29 (Piazza della Signoria). T: 055 288621 hotelbernini.duetorrihotels.com One of the most elegant and sophisticated restaurants in the historic centre, housed under a 16th-century portico. The menu draws on the most genuine local flavours, such as the celebrated pappa al pomodoro, for a sensory journey through Tuscan cuisine. Besides regional specialities, the menu also offers international dishes. Ristorante La Loggia c/o Belmond Villa San Michele Via Doccia, 4 - Fiesole (FI). T: 055 5678200 www.belmond.com This imposing 15th-century loggia is worth the visit even just for its magnificent position looking over Florence. Regional Tuscan specialities revisited in a contemporary accent by Executive Chef Alessandro Cozzolino. Savini Tartufi Truffle Restaurant c/o NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa Via Porta Rossa, 19. T: 055 3995913 www.savinitartufi.it/restaurants/savini-firenze Palazzo Bartolini houses one of the three restaurants in Italy run by Savini Tartufi, a family-owned business famed for nearly 100 years for its exclusive selection

Villa La Vedetta c/o Villa La Vedetta Viale Michelangiolo, 78. T: 055 681631 www.villalavedettahotel.com Just moments away from the Piazzale Michelangelo belvedere, with a breathtaking view over Florence, is this discreet and elegant restaurant with a rich wine list, mainly focused on fine Tuscan reds. Local cuisine, with products and recipes typical of the region, so with meat, though there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options too. Winter Garden by Caino c/o The Saint Regis Florence Piazza Ognissanti, 1. T: 055 27163770 www.wintergardenbycaino.com Immersed in the fin-de-siècle atmosphere of the Hotel Saint Regis Florence, the Michelin-starred restaurant Winter Garden by Caino, was born out of a creative liaison between chef Valeria Piccini and executive chef Gentian Shehi. Their menu shines an innovative spotlight on the wonderful local cuisine, with suggestions from all parts of the globe. It ranges from the classic Tuscan dishes for strong stomachs such as tripe and lampredotto to more refined proposals like lobster tail on cream of topinambour and mandarin. The desserts, too, are a joy for both eyes and palate, in particular their original take on tiramisù.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Solve the mystery and save Florence! “The Medici Game” has arrived: discovering the dark secrets of the grand dukes with the videogame set in the Pitti Palace, available in seven languages from the main digital stores. By Elena Peverata

A

n inexplicable homicide at Palazzo Pitti. A young art historian with a passion for the Medici family who is trapped overnight in the huge palace. An intricate series of esoteric mysteries associated with the palace, jealously guarded by a secret sect. These are the ingredients of “The Medici Game. Murder at Pitti Palace”, the first videogame devoted to an Italian museum and to the famous grand ducal dynasty. Specially created for the Uffizi Galleries, the game is structured as an investigative adventure where the player, in the guise of young scholar Caterina, moves through the richly furnished rooms of the palace, tackling dangerous adversaries and solving countless riddles concealed within the masterpieces of its museums, while the secrets of the legendary 38  W H E R E F LO R E N C E I D E C E M B E R 2019

family are revealed before their eyes. The plot is dotted with historical-artistic insights into the protagonists of the events of the Medici, while the locations have been faithfully reconstructed based on a meticulous photographic campaign intended to give the players every detail of the fascinating aura of the grand ducal palace and the Boboli Gardens. The player/Caterina, armed with just a camera and her knowledge, will have to put all energy into solving the mystery as soon as possible, before an obscure centuries-old curse places their very survival and that of the whole of Florence at risk… Download from Google Play and AppStore (€2.29) 7 languages (Italian, English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese).

>> www.themedicigame.com


FOR MORE LISTINGS VISIT WWW.WHEREITALIA.COM/FLORENCE

APERITIVI

BRUNCH

Chiaroscuro

Ditta Artigianale

Opened in 1999 as a place to celebrate coffee, Florentines today are attracted by the original and genuine snacks. Coffee, hot chocolate and aperitifs served in a popular bar-cafe furnished with a retro touch. Until 9.30pm. www.chiaroscuro.it. Via del Corso, 36/r. T: 055 214247. Map G3

Easy living Better known to Florentines as the “spiaggina” (little beach), its location is quite singular: this strictly summer-only bar is built right on the river-bed of the Arno, opposite Torre San Niccolò, from where patrons can enjoy a leisurely aperitif with a stunning view of Ponte Vecchio, often with live music. There is always a cooling breeze, a big plus in a sweltering Florence summer. www.easylivingfirenze.it. Piazza G. Poggi. T: 055 2341112. Map I6

Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura The style of one of the world’s favourite fashion brands, a star chef and an incomparable location, surrounded by Florentine art. Popular at any hour, aperitifs are a particularly draw. www.gucci.com. Piazza della Signoria, 10. T: 055 75927038. Map F4

Il Rifrullo In 1981 it was the first American Bar in Florence and it has never lost its appeal as a rendezvous for both Florentines and visitors, renovated several times but still a landmark. You can enjoy its rightly acclaimed aperitifs and abundant buffet in the garden in summer or in front of the fire in winter. www.ilrifrullo. com. Via San Niccolò, 55/r. T: 055 2342621. Map H6

Rivalta Cafè Aperitifs, DJ set and Italian menu in a chic venue that combines modern furnishings and frescoed ceilings. The sight of the Arno at dusk always attracts a crowd. www.rivaltacafe.it. Lungarno Corsini 14/r. T: 055 289810. Map E4

Rooftop Bar La Terrazza Cocktails and champagne on an elegant patio furnished to contemporary taste, looking over at the medieval Consorti Tower. On the top floor of the Hotel Continentale. www.continentalehotel.com. Vicolo dell’Oro, 6. T: 055 27265987. Map F4

Se·Sto on Arno The Westin Excelsior opens its bar for aperitifs every evening from 7pm to 9pm. Two large terrazze provide a 360° view over the marvels of Florence. www.westinflorence.com. Piazza Ognissanti, 3. T: 055 27151. Map C3

Founder Francesco Sanapo finished sixth in a contest held in Melbourne in 2013 involving competitors from 60 countries to find the world’s best coffee barista. Back in Florence, he opened this bistrot which, besides the exceptional coffee, serves a brunch menu (from 9am to 3.30pm) ranging from Greek yogurt and crudités to bacon and French toast. Designer atmosphere. www.dittaartigianale. it. Via dei Neri, 32/r. (Santa Croce district). • T: 055 2741541 or Via dello Sprone, 5/r. (Santo Spirito district). T: 055 0457163. Map E5

Foody Farm “The right food from the right places” is the motto of this little restaurant where the quality and traceability of the ingredients is the holy grail. An original and genuine light lunch, with the option of half portions. Tuscan street food and fast food, including lampredotto and pecorino, chianina and croutons, besides pasta and soups. 11am till midnight. Intimate bistrot in the Santa Croce district. www.foodyfarm.it. Corso dei Tintori, 10/r. T: 055 242327. Map H5

Procacci This delicatessen founded in 1885 has become an institution, and not only in Florence, especially for its truffle-based specialities and impeccable selection of wines. Combines a gourmet food shop and wine bar in a relaxing atmosphere, with delicious snacks to eat in. 10am till 9pm (Sunday from 11am till 8pm). Historic venue in the heart of Florence. www.procacci1885.it. Via de’ Tornabuoni, 64/r. T: 055 211656. Map E3

Teatro del Sale Theatre-club-lounge-restaurant inspired by Florentine celebrity chef Fabio Picchi – formerly patron of the legendary Cibreo restaurant – and cofounder, president and artistic director Maria Cassi. Every day from 12-noon it serves a highly original brunch of buffet food and hot snacks at a fixed price of 15 euros (20 euros on Saturday and Sunday). From Tuesday to Saturday (7.30pm-9pm), dinner with after-dinner show, both at a fixed price of 30 euros. www.teatrodelsale.com. Via dei Macci, 111/r. (Sant’Ambrogio district). T: 055 2001492. Map I3

CONCERT VENUES & THEATRES Teatro Comunale

About street photography If you have a weakness for scenes of everyday life, a visit to the Market of San Lorenzo is a must. Every day artisans populate the streets with stalls displaying hand-crafted leather masterpieces. For a very colourful photo, frame the market in the foreground frontally, with the Basilica of San Lorenzo standing out in the background, so as to create a chromatic contrast between the multi-coloured leather bags and the neutral tones of the church. Or else amuse yourself trying to intercept the fun artworks by French street artist Clet. In particular, in the zone that goes from the Garden of Villa Bardini to San Miniato al Monte you may notice curious road signs that have been modified to recall scenes or characters from Florentine literature and art. An example? The no access sign seems to be carried by David, or the arrow indicating the obligatory direction transformed into Pinocchio’s nose. (Facebook: @CLET).

Teatro Goldoni

From May to September the Grand Hotel Minerva, next to Santa Maria Novella, opens its magnificent panoramic terrazza with swimming pool to outside guests. Aperitifs from 7pm. www. grandhotelminerva.com. Piazza di Santa Maria Novella. T: 055 27230. Map E2

The city’s largest theatre occupies approximately half a block between corso Italia, via Magenta and via Solferino. The main theatre has seating for around 1800, but also part of the complex is a foyer called the “Piccolo Teatro”, which can hold a little under 600 spectators. The name “Comunale” [Municipal] dates back to 1933, when the Florentine Maggio Musicale was established (see entry), but the theatre itself dates back to the second half of the 19th century. www.operadifirenze.it. Corso Italia, 16. T: 055 27791. Map B2

Zoe

Teatro Verdi

Cocktails and apericena accompanied by hookah, in a bar with essential modern furnishings and soft lighting. For years a favourite with the younger crowd, always a lively atmosphere in the trendy San Niccolò district. www.facebook.com/ zoebarfirenze. Via dei Renai, 13. T: 055 243111. Map H6

The largest “Italian-style” theatre in Tuscany is located in Florence, in the historic district of Santa Croce, and hosts all genres of performance. Inaugurated in 1854, since 2000 it has been owned by the Orchestra of Tuscany, which is based there. www. teatroverdifirenze.it. Via Ghibellina, 99. T: 055 212320. Map H4

The theatre is in the centre, beside the old city walls, next to the historic Stazione Leopolda. The garden that welcomes visitors is Piazzale Vittorio Gui, named after the founder of the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina and the Florentine Maggio Musicale. Symphony concerts and operas are performed in a contemporary space in a large wood-covered hall. www.operadifirenze.it. Piazzale V. Gui, 1. Off Map

Three Sixty

Inaugurated in 1817 in the presence of Ferdinand III of Habsburg-Lorraine, thanks to its proximity to Palazzo Pitti it soon became the court theatre. Ovalshaped, with 80 boxes distributed over four orders, it experienced a period of abandonment. After a restoration, it returned to its original pomp in 1998, with a historical design by Italian director and actor Luca Ronconi. www.operadifirenze.it. Via Santa Maria, 15. T: 055 2779309. Map C6

Teatro del Maggio

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WWW.ALESSANDROMOGGI.COM

SIGHTSEEING |

MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS

Amid faith, art and history Universally recognised as one of the locations symbolising the city, consecrated in 1059 in honour of its patron, Saint John, the Baptistery of San Giovanni is one of the oldest places of worship in Florence. By Giulia Minero

L

ocated opposite the complex of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery owes part of its renown to its particular octagonal plan structure - typical of the baptisteries of antiquity - surmounted by a pyramidal dome consisting of eight segments, the richly decorated interior of which bears the signatures of great Renaissance artists of the calibre of Cimabue and Coppo di Marcovaldo. Among the masterpieces contained in it, in addition to the funerary monument in memory of the “Antipope” John XXIII created by Michelozzo and Donatello, the precious gilded mosaics of the dome representing the Angelic Hierarchies and Universal Judgement stand out, dominated by the great figure of Christ the Judge. 40  W H E R E F LO R E N C E I D E C E M B E R 2019

The exterior of the Baptistery, on the other hand, entirely covered in slabs of white marble from Carrara and green marble from Prato, is famous for its three bronze doors, of immense historical and artistic value. The South Door, by Andrea Pisano, dating back to 1330, illustrates the life of Saint John the Baptist in 28 inlaid panels, the North Door, by Lorenzo Ghiberti, imagines the life and passion of Christ through 20 panels, and with a further eight, the four evangelists and four “fathers of the church”, while the East Door, located opposite the Cathedral and known by the epithet conferred on it by Michelangelo, of “Porta del Paradiso” (Gate of Paradise), consists of ten gilded panels representing scenes from the Old Testament.

Gate of Paradise, detail.

>> Battistero di San Giovanni Piazza San Giovanni. Map F2 www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo.it


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ATTRACTIONS & MONUMENTS

www.museicivicifiorentini.comune.fi.it. Piazza della Signoria. T: 055 2768325. Map G4

Duomo and Cupola

There has been a bridge at this point of the River Arno ever since before the year one thousand; yet, between floods and reconstructions, the official date of foundation of the current Ponte Vecchio is given as 1345. For the entire Middle Ages the bridge hosted greengrocers’, fishmongers’ and butchers’ shops, who used the river to dispose of their waste in a hurry. At the end of the 16th century, however, when it became the “noble” zone of the city, the goldsmiths and jewellers started to arrive, and they have been there uninterruptedly to this day. To celebrate this history, on prominent display on the bridge is a bust of Benvenuto Cellini, the greatest goldsmith of the Renaissance. Access is gained to the bridge between via Por Santa Maria and Lungarno degli Archibusieri and between Borgo San Jacopo and via de’ Guicciardini. Map F5

Completed in 1436, the religious building, whose official name is “Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore”, is third in terms of dimensions after St. Peter’s in Rome and St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The most important artists of the period participated in its creation (the bell tower is by Giotto), while the famous multi-coloured marble façade dates back to the 19th century. Brunelleschi’s Dome, still the tallest construction in the city, is a symbol known all over the world: it is possible to climb to the top (exclusively on foot) up its 463 steps. www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo. it. Piazza del Duomo, 3/5-6. T: 055 2302885. Map F2

Battistero Located opposite the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery of St. John the Baptist is the building that completes the considerably striking appearance of the square. Its origins are uncertain, but its first official dating is at least in the 12th century. It is characterised by an octagonal plan, lined with a dome of eight segments, covered by a pyramid roof. The outside is decorated with white marble from Carrara and green marble from Prato, characteristics of the Florentine architecture of the Romanesque period. It has three famous doors, sumptuously decorated, and an interior that, with its marble and mosaics, is reminiscent of that of the Pantheon. Used in antiquity for the investiture of knights and poets, its praises are sung by Dante in the Divine Comedy. www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo.it. Piazza di San Giovanni, 8. T: 055 2302885. Map F2

Campanile di Giotto 84.70 metres high and around 15 wide, a manifestation of 14th-century Florentine Gothic architecture, the Giotto’s bell tower is one of the four main components of the complex of Santa Maria del Fiore, in piazza del Duomo. Lined with white, red and green marble, like that adorning the Cathedral, the majestic squarebased bell tower, designed by Giotto in 1334, can be visited by climbing no less than 414 stairs up to the top, from where you can enjoy extraordinary views of Brunelleschi’s Dome. www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo. it. Piazza del Duomo. T: 055 2302885. Map F3

Ponte Vecchio

Palazzo Pitti and Giardino di Boboli The symbol of wealth and power, the building was inhabited by the Medici, then by the HabsburgLorraines and, after the Unity of Italy, by the Savoy family. The original architecture dates back to the 15th century and “Pitti” is the surname of its first owner. The building is located on the left bank of the river, at the foot of Boboli Hill. They are one of the most important examples of Italian-style gardens in the world and are considered a genuine open-air museum. Currently they are the site of four different museums: the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Palatine Gallery and the Royal Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Fashion and Costume. They are connected to Forte di Belvedere. www.uffizi.it/palazzo-pitti. Piazza de’ Pitti, 1. T: 055 294883. Map E6

Piazzale Michelangelo Piazzale Michelangelo is the most famous and appreciated panoramic point in Florence, with its views seen all over the world in million of postcards and reproductions. Dedicated to the city’s most famous artist, the square has bronze copies of some of Michelangelo’s most famous sculptures. Access to the Piazzale can be gained by car, along the treelined Viale Michelangelo, or on foot, by climbing the monumental flight of steps known as the “Rampe del Poggi”. Map I7

San Miniato al Monte Not far from Piazzale Michelangelo, stands the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte, a medieval religious building situated at one of the highest panoramic points in Florence. The most spectacular access is gained via the monumental flight of steps (which is not advisable, however, for those with problems walking). The outside of the church is decorated with green and white marble, typical of Florentine Romanesque, while a 12th-century mosaic decorates the central part of the façade. www. sanminiatoalmonte.it. Via delle Porte Sante, 34. T: 055 234 2731. Off Map

Mercato Centrale Built at the end of the 19th century, the project was entrusted to Giuseppe Mengoni, the architect of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, who was inspired by Les Halles in Paris. Since 2014, on the first floor of the historic covered market there has been a complex containing dozens of small restaurants, leisure activities and street food options, and this has now become a point of reference for informal but good quality cuisine for both Florentines and tourists. www.mercatocentrale.it. Piazza del Mercato Centrale/Via dell’Ariento. T: 055 2399798. Map F1

Piazza della Signoria This is the central square of Florence, the seat of civil power and social heart of the city. L-shaped, it is located at the centre of medieval Florence south of the Cathedral. Already important in the Roman Age, the square has been gradually enhanced over the centuries; facing onto it are Palazzo Vecchio (see entry), the splendid Loggia della Signoria, the Tribunale della Mercanzia, Palazzo Uguccioni and Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali. Also prominent in the square are the Fountain of Neptune and a series of statues of Renaissance origin, representing one of the most important sculptural cycles in the world. The most famous is certainly Michelangelo’s David: the one on display in its original position is a copy, whereas the original is conserved in the Galleria dell’Accademia. Map F4-G4

Palazzo Vecchio Located in piazza della Signoria, today it is the seat of the Municipal Council of Florence. It is the finest synthesis of 14th-century civil architecture and is one of the best known civic buildings in the world. Its imposing façade, abounding in history, the charm of its magnificent courtyards and its precious interiors make it a site visited daily by hundreds of people.

Palazzo Pitti and its dynasties A palace for three dynasties, Palazzo Pitti is an extraordinary building located in the Oltrarno district, at the foot of ther Boboli Hill. The famous Boboli Gardens, which are the park of the palace, take their name from this hill. Palazzo Pitti contains four different museums: the Treasures of the Grand Dukes (ground flloor and mezzanine) with vases made of semi-precious stones, rock crystals, ambers and ivories and an exceptional collection of Oriental porcelains; the Palatine Gallery and Monumental Apartments (noble floor) with the world’s largest concentration of works by Raphael, the Gallery of Modern Art (second floor) hosting an important group of paintings by the Macchiaioli school; the Musem of Fashion and Costume (Palazzina della Meridiana) with 6,000 items from the 18th century to today. Open Tues-Sun 8.15am-6.50pm. www.uffizi.it/palazzo-pitti. Piazza de’ Pitti, 1. Map E6

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SIGHTSEEING |

MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS

Santa Croce Together with Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito, it is one of the “great basilicas”, a point of reference of the Franciscan order: a radiant example of Tuscan Gothic, it owes its sober appearance of wooden trusses and terracotta floors to Franciscan charisma. Giotto painted some of his great masterpieces here and the French writer Stendhal experienced that profound artistic agitation that has been known since then as the “Stendhal syndrome”. The basilica contains the monumental sepulchres of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. www. santacroceopera.it. Piazza Santa Croce, 16. T: 055 2466105. Map H4

FIRENZECARD

www.firenzecard.it

Santa Maria Novella Together with Santa Croce, San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito, it is one of the “great basilicas”, a point of reference of the Dominican order. Its foundation dates back to the end of the 13th century but work on it continued for centuries, so the church, with its elegant façade by Leon Battista Alberti, is a harmonious synthesis of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The church of Santa Maria Novella hosts exceptional works of art by Masaccio, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Filippino Lippi, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Paolo Uccello. www.smn. it. Piazza Stazione, 4 - piazza Santa Maria Novella, 18. T: 055 219257. Map D2-E2

Santo Spirito Together with Santa Croce, San Lorenzo and Santa Maria Novella, it is one of the “great basilicas”, a point of reference of the Augustinian order. The church has given its name to the entire surrounding neighbourhood, “Borgo Santo Spirito”, located “Oltrarno”, that is on the left bank of the river. A jewel of Renaissance architecture, the church was the last great project by Filippo Brunelleschi. www. basilicasantospirito.it. Piazza Santo Spirito, 30. T: 055 210030. Map D5

San Lorenzo Together with Santa Croce, Santo Spirito and Santa Maria Novella, it is one of the “great basilicas” of Florence, founded, according to the tradition, by Saint Ambrose, the first bishop of Milan, in the fourth century AD: it is therefore one of the oldest churches in the city. Its current appearance, however, is the result of the last major reconstruction work that took place in the 15th century at the wishes of the Medici and under the direction of the great architect Filippo Brunelleschi. Its bare stone façade was intended to receive a rich marble decoration designed by Michelangelo, which unfortunately was never executed. The interior is a masterpiece, also embellished by sculptures by Donatello of rare expressive intensity. www. operamedicealaurenziana.org. Piazza di San Lorenzo, 9. T: 055 216634-055 214042. Map F2

MUSEUMS & EXHIBITION SITES

Firenzecard costs €85, allows access to 78 museums and is valid for 72 hours from the initial entry to a museum on the Circuit. It can be purchased online or from one of the authorised sales points in Florence. It includes: • 1 entry ticket + 1 exhibition supplement + 1 priority ticket for each museum on the Firenzecard circuit • Priority access to museums without booking, except for the Dome, Galleria degli Uffizi and Galleria dell’Accademia, where the booking is required but free. Library €8.50. www.bmlonline.it. Piazza di San Lorenzo, 9. T: 055 2937911. Map F2

Cappella Brancacci The Church and the Convent of Santa Maria del Carmine, dating back to the mid-13th century, house the Brancacci Chapel, a masterpiece that is universally renowned for the frescos of the cycle of Scenes from the Life of St. Peter by Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale. Executed in 1425-1427, they were left unfinished and were eventually completed by Filippino Lippi between 1481 and 1482. You are advised to book (T: 055 2768224-8558). Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun and holidays: 1pm-5pm. Full ticket price: Wed-Fri €6; Sat-Sun-Mon: Brancacci Chapel+Fondazione Salvatore Romano €7. www.museicivicifiorentini. comune.fi.it. Piazza del Carmine, 14. T: 055 2768224558-2382195. Map C5

Cappelle Medicee Since 1869 the Medici Chapels have been a state museum, but their history is closely associated with that of the Basilica di San Lorenzo, of which they are part. The museum consists of the New Sacristy, designed and conceived as regards its sculptural furniture by Michelangelo, the Chapel of the Princes, a monumental mausoleum built using semi-precious stones, the Crypt, where the Medici Grand Dukes and their relatives are buried, and the Lorenese Crypt, which contains the funeral monument to Cosimo the Elder. Open daily 8.15am-1.50pm. Closed: 1st, 3rd, 5th Monday and 2nd, 4th Sunday of the month,. Full ticket price: €8. www.bargellomusei.beniculturali.it/musei/2/ medicee | www.operamedicealaurenziana.org. Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6. T: 055 282984. Map F2

Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana

Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi

Part of the museum complex of the Basilica di San Lorenzo, it is one of the finest examples of the architecture of Michelangelo. Commissioned by Pope Clement VII (a Medici) and completed at the wishes of Grand Duke Cosimo I in 1571, entry is gained by ascending the monumental staircase designed by Michelangelo and built by Bartolomeo Ammannati in 1559. The Library conserves approx. 11,000 Greek, Latin and Oriental manuscripts, often richly miniated, dating from the 5th to the 19th century, in addition to papyruses and rare print editions. Open Mon-Fri 9.30am-1.30pm. Full ticket price: Basilica + Medici

Palazzo Strozzi is one of the finest examples of private architecture of the Renaissance and a dynamic cultural centre that hosts international level exhibitions, ranging from ancient art to the Renaissance, to contemporary art. Always present are an exhibition devoted to Palazzo Strozzi, the café and the museum shop, which looks out onto the Renaissance courtyard, where concerts, performances, contemporary art installations and theatrical plays are organised. Open daily and holidays 10am-8pm, Thurs 10am-11pm. Museum full ticket price: €12. www.palazzostrozzi.org. Piazza Strozzi. T: 055 2645155. Map E3

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Forte di Belvedere At the end of the 16th century, Ferdinando de’ Medici commissioned Bernardo Buontalenti to design a fortress on the top of Boboli Hil. The fort currently hosts top-level events and exhibitions. Open exclusively on the occasion of temporary exhibitions. Full ticket price: €3. www.museicivicifiorentini.comune. fi.it. Via San Leonardo, 1. Map F7

Galleria degli Uffizi The Gallery occupies the whole of the first and second floors of the large building erected between 1560 and 1580 based on a project by Giorgio Vasari; it is one of the most famous museums in the world on account of its extraordinary collections of ancient sculptures and paintings. The collections of paintings from the 14th century and the Renaissance contain a number of absolute masterpieces: from Giotto to Botticelli, from Leonardo to Canaletto. There are also important collections by German, Dutch and Flemish painters, including Dürer, Rembrandt and Rubens. Open TuesSun 8.15am-6.50pm. Closed on Mondays. Museum full ticket price: €20. www.uffizi.it. Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6. T: 055 23885.Map F5

Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze The Galleria owes its vast popularity to the presence of a number of sculptures by Michelangelo: the Prisoners, St. Matthew, but above the famous David, transported here from Piazza della Signoria (where it was replaced by a faithful copy) in August 1873. Housed in the adjacent premises are works coming from the Academy of Design, the Academy of Fine Arts and the convents themselves, which were abolished in the Napoleonic Age. And also, the Gipsoteca, or Hall of Models, the collection of Russian icons and musical instruments of the courts of the Medici and Lorena families. Open Tues-Sun 8.15am-6.50pm. Closed on Mondays. Museum full ticket price: €12. www. galleriaaccademiafirenze.beniculturali.it. Via Ricasoli , 58/60. T: 055 2388609/612. Map G2

Museo degli Innocenti The Museum is located in the ancient Spedale degli Innocenti, designed by Brunelleschi. Opened in 1445 as a refuge for abandoned children, today it continues its function as the “Institute of the Innocents”. The museum itinerary combines the documentary and historical-artistic heritage, and in its Gallery hosts


MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS

precious artworks by Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Bartolomeo di Giovanni, Piero di Cosimo, Neri di Bicci and Luca and Andrea della Robbia. EDITOR’S TIP On the terrace the elegant Caffè del Verone offers beautiful panoramic views. Open daily 10am-7pm. www.istitutodeglinnocenti. it. Piazza Santissima Annunziata, 13. T: 055 2037308. Map H1

Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure An elegant collection of works made of semiprecious stones and multi-coloured marble and scagliola, paintings on stone and oil paintings, instruments, plus an extensive collection of stone samples. The works are displayed in chronological order from the early 17th century to the 1880s. Open Mon-Sat 8.15am-2pm. Closed on Sundays and holidays. www.opificiodellepietredure.it. Via degli Alfani, 78. T: 055 218709. Map H1

Museo di Palazzo Vecchio For over seven centuries Palazzo della Signoria, or Palazzo Vecchio, has been the symbol of the city’s civil power, and today it is still the seat of the Municipal Council of Florence. Built in 1299, over time it has undergone numerous enlargement and transformation projects. Along its labyrinthine routes are rooms and private environments sumptuously decorated by some of the most famous artists of the Florentine Renaissance, with period furnishings and exceptional masterpieces. Open daily, 9am-11pm; Thursdays throughout the year: 9am-2pm. Museum full ticket price: €10. www.museicivicifiorentini. comune.fi.it. Piazza della Signoria. T: 055 2768325. Map G4

Museo di Santa Maria Novella The complex of Santa Maria Novella includes the 13th-century Dominican Basilica and the monumental cloisters. The church contains extraordinary works such as Giotto’s Crucifix, Masaccio’s Holy Trinity, Brunelleschi’s Crucifix, the Tornabuoni Chapel by Ghirlandaio and his workshop and the Strozzi

Chapel by Filippino Lippi. The cloisters present rare examples of the Florentine painting of the 14th and 15th centuries. Open: Mon-Thurs 9am-7pm. Full ticket price: €7.50. www.smn.it, www.museicivicifiorentini. comune.fi.it. Piazza Stazione, 4 - piazza Santa Maria Novella, 18. T: 055 219257- 055 282187. Map E3

Museo Giardini di Boboli Stretching out behind Pitti Palace are the marvellous Boboli Gardens. It was the Medici who were first responsible for designing their layout, creating the model of the Italian-style garden that was to become an example for many European courts. Populated by ancient and Renaissance statues, adorned with grottos - including the famous Buontalenti Grotto and large fountains, such as those of Neptune and the Ocean, they are a genuine open-air museum. The terraced area includes the Rococò pavilion known as the Kaffeehaus and the Limonaia, the Lemon House. At the centre of the Rose Garden is the Palazzina del Cavaliere, which houses the Porcelain Museum. Closed first and last Monday of the month. Full ticket price: €10. www.uffizi.it. Piazza Pitti, 1. T: 055 23885. Map E6

Museo Nazionale del Bargello This imposing building, built between the 13th and 14th centuries as the seat of the Podestà and the Council of Justice, was a lowly prison between 1574 and 1858. The Museum conserves a highly important collection of Renaissance sculptures, with masterpieces by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Verrocchio, Michelangelo, Cellini and Giambologna, and prestigious collections of “lesser arts”. Open daily 8.15am-1.50pm. Museum full ticket price: €9. www.bargellomusei.beniculturali.it/musei/1/bargello. Via del Proconsolo, 4. T: 055 282902. Map G4

Museo Salvatore Ferragamo This is a museum devoted to the history of the Ferragamo company, to the life of its founder, Salvatore Ferragamo, and to his creations. Every year it organises exhibitions that investigate the

| SIGHTSEEING

relationship between fashion and art. The museum is situated in Palazzo Spini Feroni (1289) – which was purchased by Ferragamo in 1938 to make it the headquarters for his company and his workshop – and in its rooms it displays masterpieces of Florentine art from the 17th and 18th centuries. Open daily 10am-7.30pm. Full ticket price €6. www.ferragamo. com/museo. Palazzo Spini Feroni, Piazza Santa Trinita, 5/r. T: 055 3562-846/466. Map E4

Museo Stefano Bardini A connoisseur of art and an unbridled merchant in antiquities, Stefano Bardini (1836-1922) donated his private collection to Florence, where it was displayed in the Neo-Renaissance building that housed his antiquarian gallery. There are over 2000 items there, including sculptures, paintings and objects of applied arts, from ancient art to that of the 18th century, with a major presence of works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Open Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon 11am-5pm. Full ticket price €6. www.museicivicifiorentini.comune. fi.it. Via dei Renai, 37 (Ponte alle Grazie). T: 055 2342427.Map G6

Orsanmichele A unique, extraordinary monument, in which civil and religious functions are combined. Built as a granary, in the mid-14th century it was consecrated for Christian worship. On the ground floor the Church houses a grandiose marble tabernacle by Orcagna. The originals of the numerous sculptures (works by famous Florentine artists from the 15th and 16th centuries) that adorned the niches outside on the four sides of the imposing stone cube are conserved in the museum on the first floor. On the second floor you can enjoy a fine panoramic view of Santa Maria del Fiore. Classical music concerts are held here. Church (ground floor): open daily 10am-4.50pm. Free entry. www.bargellomusei.beniculturali.it/musei/3/ orsanmichele. Via dell’Arte della Lana, 1. T: 055 2388606. Map F4

Santa Maria del Fiore

PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The monuments of the complex of Santa Maria del Fiore, the symbol in Florence throughout the world, are a single large open-air museum, a unique combination of art, faith and history located in the city’s main square, the religious, historical and artistic centre of Florence. The Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore), Brunelleschi’s Dome, the Baptistery of Saint John, Giotto’s Bell tower , together with the Crypt of Santa Reparata and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo are all visitable with a single ticket that can be purchased online (full price €18), with prior booking necessary for the Dome. www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo.it. Piazza del Duomo. T: 055 2302885. Map G2-G3

Villa Bardini and Gardens

PONTE VECCHIO The bridge is characterised by a solution with lowered arches which makes its profile unmistakable. Grafted onto the high part of the bridge is the Vasari Corridor, the strategic passageway that was built at the wishes of Cosimo de’ Medici to connect the administrative buildings to his private residence without exposing the sovereign to any danger.

The most beautiful view of Florence earned it the name “Villa Belvedere”. Today Villa Bardini, a place rich in history, art and culture, has become an exhibition centre, which, along with temporary exhibitions, also hosts the Pietro Annigoni Museum (www.museoannigoni.it), dedicated to the great realist painter, and the Roberto Capucci Museum (www.fondazionerobertocapucci.com, currently being restructured). In addition, there is also a Michelinstarred restaurant inside it, La leggenda dei Frati (see "Dining"), and surrounding it are four hectares of woodland, an Italian-style garden and a kitchen garden and orchard. Open Tues-Sun 10am-7pm. Closed on Mondays. Full ticket price €8. Full ticket price €10 (with Boboli Gardens and the Porcelain Museum). www.villabardini.it. Costa San Giorgio, 2 Via dei Bardi, 1/r. T: 055 20066233. Map G6-G w w w.wh e re t ravel e r. com  43


PHOTO © SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

ESSENTIALS

The museum city Within its historic centre (declared a “UNESCO world heritage site” en bloc) Florence contains a unique concentration of historical and artistic attractions. Here is some guidance for you to enjoy it.

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lorence’s labyrinthine plan, made up of alleyways and sidestreets, derives from its medieval origins. Yet the city’s period of maximum splendour was undoubtedly the Renaissance, of which countless masterpieces remain. With less than four hundred thousand inhabitants and covering an area of little more than a hundred square kilometres, Florence is practically impossible to tour by car, and in fact the centre is to a large extent prohibited to vehicle traffic. We suggest, if possible, that you tour it on foot, to best enjoy its beauties, but you can also count on quite an efficient public transport network (which, however, is severely limited during the nighttime hours, so take care after midnight). Taxis and bikes can reach all the strategic points, whereas private cars are usually 44  W H E R E F LO R E N C E I D E C E M B E R 2019

only allowed into the centre to load and unload your luggage at your hotel (but always ask your concierge, also so you can receive indications of where the car parks are located in the centre). To find your way around the city, it is a good idea to keep well in mind that Florence is developed along the two banks of the River Arno. All the roads that run alongside the river, on both sides, are called “Lungarno” and it is only the second part of the name that changes. Lungarno degli Archibugieri, for example, is right in the centre: it is there that the Vasari Corridor passes and the Uffizi looks out over it. The whole area on the other side of the river, to the south, is called “Oltrarno” by the Florentines. It was originally outside the historic centre, but today it contains important attractions, such as Pitti Palace, the

Boboli Gardens and Borgo Santo Spirito, the city’s most bohemian neighbourhood. For decades the Florentine naming system has had a peculiarity that is gradually disappearing, but some traces of it can still be found: the civic numbers, in fact, were divided between “black”, which denoted he residences, and “red”, for businesses. Some red numbers still remain, so bear that in mind. Finally, some suggestion for improving your visit. The Tuscan regional capital is one of the cities with the highest tourist density on the entire planet: wherever you wish to visit, book in advance (or have them book for you at your hotel). You should also bear in mind that the serious overcrowding takes place around mid-morning, so if you are an early bird then that could give you a significant advantage.


FOR MORE LISTINGS VISIT WWW.WHEREITALIA.COM/FLORENCE

Emergency

UNIQUE | FAST TRAINS NETWORK FROM FLORENCE

AMBULANCE – T: 118 POLICE – T: 055 3285 FIRE SERVICE – T: 115 PASSPORTS Questura di Firenze, Via Zara, 2.

T: 055 49771.

Taxi TAXI FIRENZE 4242.IT T: 055 4242 - www.4242.it TAXI FIRENZE 4390 T: 055 4390 - www.4390.it

www.apptaxi.it/firenze: available for iOS and Android, it has more than 4045 licensed taxi drivers. Fixed taxi fares to airports From Amerigo Vespucci Airport to Florence (city centre): €22 (plus baggage supplements and extra fee for night or holiday travel). From Florence (city centre) to Pisa: €140 / Bologna: €180 / Rome Fiumicino: €550 / Milan Linate: €550 / Milan Malpensa: €650

Trains The most important railway station is Santa Maria Novella (SMN), in the central Piazza della Stazione, and regional, interregional, high-speed and international trains arrive at and depart from there. Florence offers fast-track access to major cities across Italy thanks to its high-speed trains: • Bologna: 35 min • Rome: 1 hour 20 min • Milan: 1 h 40 min • Venice: 2 hours 5 min • Naples: 2 hours 52 min • Turin: 2 hours 55 min TRENITALIA Railway Company - Info T: 892021.

www.trenitalia.com. ITALO - Info T: 060708. Italo Assistance T: 892020.

www.italotreno.it.

Airports AEROPORTO DI FIRENZE PERETOLA “AMERIGO VESPUCCI” (FLR) (4 km from the centre of Florence). The airport, to the North-West of Florence, lies between the “Firenze Nord” exit from the freeway and Florence’s industrial area near Prato. Call centre T: 055 30615. www.aeroporto.firenze.it • Connections to the airport VolaInBus Shuttle Service (www.fsbusitalia.it) from S.M. Novella Station (Piazza della Stazione). Every 30 min, travel time approx. 30’ (5am-8pm) and approx. 1 h (10pm-midnight). Tickets can be purchased on board, at the BusItalia-Sita Nord ticket office near the S.M. Novella Station (Via S. Caterina da Siena) or at ATAF ticket offices (www.ataf.net). One-way ticket: €6 - round trip ticket: €10. AEROPORTO DI PISA “GALILEO GALILEI” (PSA) - (80 km from the centre of Florence). Call centre T: 050 849300. www.pisa-airport.com • Connections to Florence-S.M. Novella Station and Aeroporto di Firenze Peretola Shuttle Services: 1) Terravision – One-way ticket: €4.99 - round trip ticket: €9.98. Every 30 or 60 min, travel time approx. 70’ (9am-midnight) and approx. 1 h (10pm-midnight). www.terravision.eu 2) Autostradale – T: 02 30089000. One-way ticket: €7.50 - round trip ticket: €13.50. Every 30 or 60 min, travel time approx. 70’ (9am-midnight) and approx. 1 h (10pm-midnight). www.autostradale.it

Getting around Florence ATAF - Azienda Trasporti dell’area Fiorentina/ Local Public Transport Company - www.ataf.net Infoline daily 6am-9pm. Green Line T: 800 424500; from mobile: T: 199 104245. ATAF Point-Customer Care Railway Station Firenze S.M. Novella – Offices no. 8 and no. 9. Open Mon-Sat 6.45am-8pm. Lost and Found on ATAF vehicles: Mon-Wed-Fri 9am12.30pm; Tues-Thurs 2.30pm-4pm. Via Veracini, 5 (int. 5). T: 055 334802. Ordinary ticket (€1.20) valid for 90 minutes. Can be used on buses, trams or trains. Ticket 2x90’ (€2.40). Ticket 4x90’ (€4.70). Daily ticket: 24-hour ticket (€5). 3-day ticket (€12). 7-day ticket (€18). Daily Family: one-day ticket for one family of 4 (€6). Nottetempo Ticket: one-day ticket from 10pm to 3am). NEW A further step in the digital transformation of Florence’s public transport: today you can travel on buses (ATAF, Volainbus and The Mall) by paying fast and safe with your debit/credit/pre-paid contactless cards. The Tramway T1 “Leonardo” connects S.M. Novella Station in Florence to Scandicci (www.gestramvia.com). The new line Tramway T2 “Vespucci” connecting the Airport with S.M. Novella Station has been activated on February 2019. Electric buses move around the historic centre and also reach the pedestrian areas (C1-C2-C3-D lines). WHERE TIP Route C1 is convenient for visiting the most important museums in Florence.The entire historic centre

of Florence (which is approximately the part located within the 19th- century ring-roads or viali, which is a protected UNESCO heritage site) is a “Zona a Traffico Limitato” (ZTL), or restricted traffic zone. Bicycles, electric vehicles, motorcycles and scooters are allowed to enter.

Tourist Information INFOPOINT FIRENZE TURISMO www.firenzeturismo.it 1. Train Station Infopoint > Piazza della Stazione, 4. T: 055 212245. Open Mon-Sat 9am-7pm; Sun and holidays 9am-2pm. Multilingual tourist information and sales point for Firenzecard. 2. Tourist Information Office > Via C. Cavour, 1/R. T: 055 290832. Open Mon-Fri 9am-1pm. Free brochures and complaints service. Sales point for Firenzecard. 3. Bigallo Infopoint > Piazza San Giovanni, 1. T: 055 288496. Open Mon-Sat 9am-7pm; Sun and holidays 9am-2pm. Quick information service. 4. Airport Infopoint > Piazza San Giovanni, 1. T: 055 315874. Open daily 9am-7pm. TOURIST CONTACT CENTRE – T: 055 000 Info about services for tourists, exhibitions, events, opening times of museums, how to move around the city. Available daily 9am-7pm in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish. Via email (touristinfo@comune.fi.it) you can ask for information in any language, including Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Arabic (answers within 24 hours). w w w.wh e re t ravel e r. com  45


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Camping w w w.wh e re t ravel e r. com  47

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5 STARS Belmond Villa San Michele – Via Doccia, 4 (Fiesole) • Off Map Bernini Palace – Piazza S. Firenze, 29 (Piazza della Signoria) • Map G4 Four Seasons Hotel Firenze – Borgo Pinti, 99 • L1 Golden Tower Hotel & Spa – Piazza degli Strozzi, 11/r • Map E4 Helvetia & Bristol Firenze – Via dei Pescioni, 2 • Map E3 Hotel Regency Firenze – Piazza M. D’Azeglio, 3 • Map L1 Hotel Savoy – Piazza della Repubblica, 7 • Map F3 Il Salviatino – Via del Salviatino, 21 (Fiesole) • Off Map Lungarno – Borgo San Jacopo, 14 • Map F5 Montebello Splendid – Via G. Garibaldi, 14 • Map B1 NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa – Via Porta Rossa, 19 • Map E4 Palazzo Vecchietti – Via degli Strozzi, 4 • Map E3 Portrait Firenze – Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli, 4 • Map F4 Relais Santa Croce – Via Ghibellina , 87 • Map H4 Sina Villa Medici – Via Il Prato, 42 • Map B1 The St. Regis Florence – Piazza Ognissanti, 1 • Map C31 The Westin Excelsior, Florence – Piazza Ognissanti, 3 • Map C3 Villa Cora – Viale Machiavelli, 18 • Off Map Villa La Vedetta – Viale Michelangiolo, 78 • Off Map Ville sull’Arno – Lungarno Cristoforo Colombo, 1/3/5 • Off Map Villa Tolomei Hotel & Resort – Via di Santa Maria a Marignolle, 10 • Off Map 4 STARS AC Hotel Firenze by Marriott – Via L. Bausi, 5 • Off Map

Adler Cavalieri – Via della Scala, 40 • Map C1 Albani Firenze – Via Calzaiuoli, 6 • Map F3 Continentale – Vicolo dell’Oro, 6/r • Map F4 Dei Cavalieri Relais Monna Lisa – Borgo Pinti, 27 • Map H2 Executive Firenze – Via Curtatone, 5 • Map B2 FH55 Calzaiuoli – Via Calzaiuoli, 6 • F3 FH55 Grand Hotel Mediterraneo – Lungarno del Tempio, 44 • Off Map Gallery Hotel Art – Vicolo dell’Oro, 5 • Map F4 Ginori al Duomo – Via de’ Ginori, 22/24/26 • Map F1 Glance Hotel In Florence – Via Nazionale, 23 • Map E1 Grand Hotel Adriatico – Via Maso Finiguerra, 9 • Map C2 Horto Convento Firenze – Viale L. Ariosto, 13 • Map B4 Hotel Cellai – Via 27 Aprile 14, 52/r • Off Map Hotel Degli Orafi – Lungarno degli Archibusieri, 4 • F5 Hotel Londra – Via Jacopo da Diacceto 16/20 • Map C1 J & J – Via di Mezzo, 20 • I3 Kraft – Via Solferino, 2 • B2 L’Orologio – Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 24 • Map E2 Mercure Firenze Centro – Via Nazionale, 21-23/r • Map E1 NH Anglo American – Via G. Garibaldi, 9 • Map B2 NH Firenze – Piazza V. Veneto, 4 • Map A1 NilHotel – Via E. Barsanti, 27 • Off Map Novotel Firenze Airport – Via Tevere, 23 (Sesto Fiorentino) • Off Map Palazzo Gaddi (S) – Via del Giglio, 11 • Map E2 Palazzo Ognissanti Hotel – Via Maso Finiguerra, 12/r • Map C2 Palazzo dal Borgo – Via Della Scala, 6 • Map D2 Pierre – Via de’ Lamberti, 5 • Map F4

Pontevecchio Suites & SPA – Via De’ Belfredelli, 9 • Map E5 Rapallo – Via Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, 7 • Off Map Roma –Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 8 • Map E3 San Firenze Suites e SPA – Piazza di S. Firenze, 3 • Map G4 San Gallo Palace – Via Lorenzo Il Magnifico, 2 • Off Map Santa Maria Novella – Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 1 • Map E2 Torre Guelfa – Borgo SS. Apostoli, 8 • Map F4 UNAHOTELS Vittoria Firenze – Via Pisana, 59 • Off Map LUXURY HISTORIC ACCOMMODATIONS Antica Torre Tornabuoni – Via de’Tornabuoni, 1 • Map E4 Be One Art and Luxury Home – Via dei Brunelleschi, 1 • Map F3 Palazzo Niccolini al Duomo– Via De’ Servi, 2 • Map G2 4-STAR BOUTIQUE HOTELS AdAstra – Via del Campuccio, 53 • C6 Grand Amore Hotel & Spa – Via de’ Servi, 38/a • Map H1 Messori Suites – Via A. Giacomini, 25 • Off Map Palazzo Castri 1874 – Piazza Indipendenza, 7 • Off Map Riva Lofts Florence– Via Baccio Bandinelli, 98 • Off Map Rivoli Boutique Hotel (S) – Via della Scala, 33 • Map D2 SoprArno Suites – Via Maggio, 35 • D5

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