Florence: Sneak Peek

As much as I loved Rome, was so excited to take the train straight to Florence.  As soon as we arrived, I immediately knew the energy of this city was way more my speed.  Florence is much smaller than Rome, more fashionable and a lot more picturesque. A river runs through the town and beautiful bridges create an architectural pattern.

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Al booked Hotel Via Porta Rossa, which just so happens to be situated right between between two of my favorite Italian luxury brands, Pucci and Missoni.  It was already a winner before I even walked through the door.  And what a lovely door it is…

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As soon as we walked through those big, beautiful red doors my heart started palpitating. It was love at first site.

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It. Is. Amazing.  This was our EXACT suite…

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That’s right, Italian moldings from the 1200s mixed with Zeppelin chandeliers and Panton chairs. Bonkers good.

It made me feel all glamorous while getting ready for our first night out in Florence.

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Originally we were going to eat at Brown Sugar, which is known for fabulous food, but a little bit off the beaten path; so we opted to get drinks and appetizers at a Cafe Rivoire in the main square for optimal people watching.

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This was our view looking up…

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I never turn down an opportunity to dine al fresco, but as you know, I still have to sneak a peak of any and all interiors…and it was good…

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Beautiful gallery wall of original art…

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Murano glass chandy…

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Lovely brass handle into the restroom…

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And charming gender labels…

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Once the sun set, the sky was spectacular…

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I enjoyed dining at table 54, so I drank cocktails in addition to wine and pretended to be at Studio 54…

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We ended up eating dinner at the restaurant in the Gucci Museum across the square.  It was super duper luxurious.  Our lovely server was also the sommelier; she was sweet, informative, and gracious.

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The next day I was up and at em, ready to continue exploring the beautiful city!  And by explore, I mean drink more wine!

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While wandering up another never ending hill, we completely lucked out by finding Giardino Bardini.  This is a must-visit, picturesque garden overlooking all of Florence.  Luckily there is an onsite cafe because I was starving.  The food was delicious, but the views from teh cafe were even more impressive.

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 After drinks and snack we explored the grounds and Al went on photog duty.

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He waneted me to climb over a fence and pose in front of a trimmed hedge, which of course I did, but then some lady started shouting at me in Italian and made me get off.  It would have been a pretty shot though.  Wah wah..

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But we met these nice folks…

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And I made friends with a pretty lion…

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After the garden we were off to more art museums! We went to the Uffizi Gallery which is home to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, one of my all time favorite paintings.

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I actually had a postcard of the famous painting framed in my childhood bedroom.  Seeing it in real life was overwhelmingly powerful.  Understandably, the museum prohibits patrons from taking pictures of the painting, but I was real, REAL close to snapping an iPhone pic.  Luckily, I restrained myself.  I’m quite the Daredevil, but I’m not trying to go to Italian prison over an Instagram of Venus.

But I was still happy because there were lots of busts for me to play with…

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Busts on busts on busts…

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The view from the museum was so beautiful …

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And it reminded us that there were lots of other beautiful things in Florence to look at .

Stuff like vintage Gucci.

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After our fantastic experience at the Gucci Cafe, we went back to visit the museum and it rocked my socks off.  I LOVE everything about the Gucci brand. Iconic gold Gs? Yes please!

After touring the museum we spent some time in the drool worthy book store where you are encouraged to sip coffee or a cocktail and spend as much time as possible exploring their hundred and hundreds of beautiful books.  I would have been way more studious if I went to school with a library like this.

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The sommelier came by and recognized us from the night before, then came back with a bouquet of flowers for me!  I felt so special!

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We ordered a G&T and a sangria, and this is the spread that was delivered. Savory and Sweet snacks, and Gucci embossed napkins, coasters, and condiments.  I’m telling you, I have never seen such impressive branding.

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And Al was real excited to have someone else treat me to food and flowers, for once.

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Moral of the story, if you are in Florence, please visit the Gucci Muse.  It’s just stunning.

But I still needed to eat more, and I wanted to eat more whilst gazing over the river. So we went exploring around the river to find a restaurant to do just that.

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And we found Golden View Restaurant that was ON POINT. The dining room and adjoining Open Bar have balconies that open up over the river, and layers upon layers of original art to admire on the interior.  Plus out of this world food and wine.

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I mostly enjoyed their appreciation for mannequins as art.

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It was fun walking home at night with the bridge storefronts closed.  It was quite a juxtaposition from the daily hustle and bustle.

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We got to admire the river at night.

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And attempted to take selfies…

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A colorful art installation made from pitchers covered the streets in front of Louis Vuitton…

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Before hitting the streets the last day in Florence, I had to admire the details of our hotel for a few minuets.

A Moreno glass chandy covered by a sheer drum shade…

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Lovely gray and white marble checkered flooring under red velvet seating, and antiques.

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I was most delighted with an antique elephone.  I don’t think it worked but I tried.

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And kept on trying…

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And tried some more…

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No one ever picked up, so I just lounged for awhile…

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And then used the WC…

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I admired the columns in the oldest hotel in Italy.  Via Porta Rossa was built in the 1200s and has been a hotel ever since.  Crazy, huh?

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Then what did we do?

SHOP!

We first went to the Ferragamo flagship store that also is home to the Salvatore Ferragamo museum, which we spent some time in.

This picture shows the shoe molds Ferragamo used for stars such as Bette Davis and Audrey Hepurn.

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The oversized bird cage and lanterns held precious shoes worn my famous leading ladies.

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My favorite is the famous Rainbow platform heel made for Judy Garland after she filmed The Wizard of Oz.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent excessively shopping.  A highlight for me was being surrounded by yummy Missoni knitwear.

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I LOVE shopping in Florence!  A lot of store owners bring their furbabies into the store.  This guy was one of my favorites…

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I was beside myself giddy, although Al seemed a little sick after we returned to the hotel…

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But I know the best way to cheer him up…..food and drink!

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He was happy yet again!

We ended up getting drinks after at Sky Bar, rooftop bar on top of the Continental Hotel.

skybarThe view was crazy good, I can’t wait to share the pictures we snapped from our new Canon.

The next day we were on a train once again, this time headed to paradise, otherwise known as Cinque Terre.  Stay tuned, it’s to-die-for good!

Comments

  1. Sooo jealous of this! P.S. OBSESSED with your B&W striped dress and your hair that day. I need to figure out how to get my hair to curl like that!

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

  2. Karen Vahl says:

    This brought back so many wonderful memories of several days spent in Florence with Ron! Absolutely love Florence!!!

  3. Excellent blog post. I definitely appreciate this
    website. Stick with it!

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  1. ITALIAN SWAG says:

    […] that it’s hard to find exactly what you want, especially two.  We decided to stop in the Florence store and by total coincidence they had two matching belts in our sizes and color choices (black and […]

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