Wednesday, July 15, 2015

All Things Florentine - Firenze in a day.


Once in a while a brand comes along that creates a buzz that is so heard, everyone wants to wear it. Aquazzura is such a brand. Edgardo Osorio mixes a refined European aesthetic with a modern American sensibility and Latin flair. Inspired from the European tradition of high craft and luxury he creates modern shoes that are both sexy and incredibly comfortable and fun! The studio is in the historical Palazzo Corsini along with the newly opened flagship store on the banks of the Arno.

When I walked in to this beautiful store and had my eye on the flat lace ups... alas, all sold out.

The other notable shops will give you lessons on breaking your bank are the A.R.P. Advanced Retail Project on Via degli Strozzi, 4 and Luisa via Roma, both beautifully curated spaces. For not breaking the bank head to via dei Panzani, all the local Florentine and Italian brands have their outposts here. Gorgeous knitwear and shoes.


Lunch as has been my florentine tradition, I head out to a little hole in the wall called I Due Fratellini in Via dei Cimatori, around the corner from Piazza Della Signoria. They have speciality sandwiches - my favourite being the wild boar sandwich with a bicchiere of vino. You get to stand in the street and people watch until you are ready to return their glass.

The other fantastic options are 'Primo Piano' a luxe food court above the Mercato Centrale, here you can get any dish that you desire. Il Geso on Borgo San Frediano is charming, you place your order by writing it on a blackboard and they have a gorgeous vertical herb garden and a picture of Gandhi on one of the walls!

Take a break from Renaissance art and head to the Strozzina at Palazzo Strozzi.
They have regularly changing exhibits of contemporary art for around the world. You can see what's on on the website.
Visit either the Rose garden in the Oltrarno neighbourhood, 350 types of roses set in a 2.5 acres garden and a donated art collection of the French artist Jean Michel Follon. The other noteworthy garden to visit isthe Giardino Bardini just below the Boboli gardens, here you will find 6 fountains and the best views of town.

It's time for an apertivo, I head to meet friends at the fabulous rooftop bar of the Westin Excelsior Hotel. We enjoy amazing views, signature cocktails and great company.

On my next visit I intend to try the craft cocktail and apertivo trail. The experience is visiting tasteful bars and lounges in authentic areas where cutting edge mixologists toil with love and passion, crafting their own bitters,mixers and vermouth to a perfection- which puts commercial mixes to rest. This is run by Curious Appetite Travel.
Another on my wish list is to spend the day with Conquibus, this includes breakfast, a walking tour around the city, a cooking class at their home with lunch.

The Slow food movement is big in Europe and the place to eat is the Culinary Bistro, Piazza Tasso.
It has been described as " you are proof that there is heart left in this world for good, sustainable eats with soul'.
L'Brindellone is the local favourite for Tuscan food, Piazza Piattellina- reservations needed, not because it's fancy, just so popular.

Residenza Johanna and Johlea Antiche Dimore Fiorentine 90 Euro and up.
If you are in the mood to splurge then at the Westin Excelsior. 

Lastly, if you are still lusting for the Aqauzurra Shoes here are some similar available online.

1. Black lace up 60 GBP.
2. Nude heel 65 GBP.

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