Riccardo Ferragamo tells us all the best, coolest, but even more genuine addresses of Florence, in this Florence city Guide that could be everything but definitely not trivial.
Duomo e Campanile di Giotto (Santa Maria del Fiore). Better the outside than the inside. You have to go up to the bell tower. Hard but worth it.
City Center. There are so many things to see that’s impossible to recommend it all. Santa Maria Novella, Piazza della Repubblica, Via Tornabuoni, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizzi Museum, ponte Vecchio, Santo Spirito and San Lorenzo are a few. But the best part of the show is to walk throught theese attractions feeling to be in an open air museum.
Giardino di Boboli (Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze, tel. 055 229 8732). Maybe it’s the best garden of the entire region, with its boxwoods, fountains and panoramic sights. Its the place where The city and the Chianti region meet toghether so you’ll have a double view. The palace is nice to see as well.
Museo degli Uffizzi (Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, tel. 055 238 8651). The third biggest museum in the world for number of art pieces. Could be the only reson to come.
Forte belvedere (Via di S. Leonardo, 1, 50100 Firenze, tel. 055 055). The forti s beautuful and inside they often organise cool exibition. During the Pitti time here some of the most lavish parties take place.
Florence fashion Museums (Galleria del Costume, Museo Ferragamo, Museo Cappucci). The city has a fashion trail because few know thet italin fashion was born in Florence. The Galleria del Costume is the only museum entirely dedicated to fashion in Italy, while the Ferragamo Museum and the Cappucci Museum retrace the stories of the two maison in relation with the changing of costumes in the XX century.
Piazzale Michelangelo (Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze). Even if it’s touristic and full of tours buses the view from here is too stunning.
Chianti Tour. If the weather is nice and you have a day to take entirely, aboslutely go to Chianti Region. Rent a car or a motorbike and go up and down on its panoramic hills full of wineries. The perfect trip ends up with a ‘chianina’ meat lunch or dinner and a good glass of red wine. In the case stop over to eat at Cecchini’s.
Historic Soccer Match. (Piazza Santa Croce, 50100, Firenze). Every year, the day of San Giovani, patron Saint of Florence (24th June), there is the final match of this historic game ‘historic soccer’, more similar to rugby than to soccer though. All the players are on costume and they organise the soccer field in Piazza Santa Croce. Terrible beating during and after the match. It’s part of the tradition itself.
Aperitive on the Continental Hotel rooftop bar (Vicolo dell’Oro, 6R, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 27262). Have a relaxed drink on the comfortable couches of the roof top terrace of the Contintal Hotel. The perfect end of the day.
RICCARDO FERRAGAMO FAVORITE PLACES
Abbazia di San Miniato a Monte. (Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze, tel. 055 234 2731). Romanic abbey and cloister. It’s one of the most beautiful in Europe. THis place gives a peace that you cannot find anywhere else. And the view on florence from its terraces and gardens is unique.
Curva del pittore. From Piazzale Michelengelo you need to go back to the center by walk, on the little stairs that conduct you to the river. Suddently you’ll find a bench on a curve, and watching at Florence you’ll understand why all the painters have always come here to portrait the city.
Continentale (Vicolo dell’Oro, 6R, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 27262). Very conveniently located and all the rooms have a great view on the river.
Portrait Firenze (Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli, 4, Firenze, tel. 055 2726 8000). Ferragamo’s family hotel, it could be defined as a contemporary classic design hotel.
Leone blu (Piazza Carlo Goldoni, 2, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 290270). The palace was the family house of the ancient Ricasoli Family, and now it has been converted into a luxury design hotel.
Riva Loft Florence (Via Baccio Bandinelli 98, tel. 0557130272). Charme apartments located in a quite area just few minutes walking from the very city center.
Cammillo (Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r, 50125 Firenze, tel. 055 212427). One of the most known restaurant of Florence. Many say it’s just touristic, while thre is a plenty of authentic families from Florence that come here often.
Tre panche (Via Antonio Pacinotti, 32/R, 50131 Firenze, tel. 055 583724). Very small restaurant on the way to Fiesole with 3 tables. Reservation is a need. Known for truffle.
Caffè dell’oro (Portrait Hotel, Lungarno degli Acciaioli, 2, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 2726 8912). You eat with a marvellous view on Ponte Vecchio. The cuisine is typical tuscan but in a place with a contemporary elegant design. We could say a design-classic
Da mariano (Via di Parione, 19, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 214067). This is a grocery shop where you can buy typical products of high quality and where they make the best sandwiches in town. To try is the panino with ‘lampredotto’ or the truffle sandwich.
Zoe (Via de’ Renai, 13/R, 50125 Firenze, tel. 055 243111). Perfect place for a quick salad or pasta. It’s a very social place. The cheesecake is really suggested.
Buca Lapi (Via del Trebbio 1r, 50123, Firenze, tel. 055 213768). No need of description for this restaurant that has the absolutely best stakes in town.
Borgo San Jacopo (Borgo S. Jacopo, 62, 50125 Firenze, tel. 055 281661). Elegant restaurant on the river with italian menu. For those who want a high cuisine pause even when visiting the city.
Amblè (Chiasso dei del Bene, 50123 Firenze, tel.055 268528). Organic food, sandwiches, salads and a few plates. Everything has fresh and bio ingredients. The location, where al the furniture is on sale, is very charming. There is a courtyard where you can eat in the beautuful season.
Teatro del Sale (Via dè Macci, 118, 50122 Firenze. Tel. 0552001492). You eat in a proper teathre and the owner screams continously. It has fix menu with reasonable prices.
Giacosa (Via della Spada, 10/r, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 277 6328). This Roberto Cavalli bar is the place to go to see and to be seen. The food is good but the showpiece is the dessert.
Caffe florian (Via di Parione, 32, Firenze, tel. 055 284291). Newly opened. It’s a proper teahouse in contemporary venetian style. It’s indeed the Florence branch of the famous cafe Florian in Venice.
Gelateria la Carraia (Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25-red, 50124 Firenze, tel. 055 280695). The best ice-cream shop in Florence. The problemi s the long line to get an ice-cream in the summer.
BARS FOR APERITIVO/AFTER DINNER
Volume (Piazza Santo Spirito, 5/R, Firenze, tel. 055 238 1460). Very suggestive bar with a museum and a library. Sometimes i go there when it rains and i get a book from the library and watch at it with a wine glass in my hands.
Odeon (Piazza degli Strozzi, 8, Firenze, tel. 055 21565 4). It’s the place to go after dinner to see friends. There is a terrace with heatings and air conditioning so you can stay out all year long.
Rivalta (Lungarno Corsini, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 289810). When the weather is nice you might go there to have a glass of wine at the sunset and drink it sitting on the wall on the river.
Procacci (Via Tornabuoni, 64/r
50123 Firenze, tel 055 211656). Old and hystorical winery located in the high end shopping street Via Tornabuoni. A fashionable break for a Tuscan glass of wine.
Colle bereto upstairs (Piazza degli Strozzi, 5, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 283156). Downstairs you find the bar and the cafee while upstairs you find the club with huge windows on one of the most beautuful square in Florence. It’s hard to get in if you don’t know the ghuy at the door so you might book a table.
Flo (Viale Michelangelo, 82, 50125 Firenze, tel. 055 650791). In the summer it definitely my favourite club. It’s on a hill overlooking the city and you dance with the city in front of you.
WHERE TO SHOP
Ferragamo (Via dè Tornabuoni, 4r-14r, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 292123). This flagship stpore is located in one of the most beautiful palace in the city center. Shopping in Florence = Salvatore Ferragamo
Jules e Jim (Via del Moro, 58R, Firenze, Tel. 349 7066961). Vintage store with very rare pieces. Many fashion designers come over in seek of inspiration.
Art – antique and contemporary (Via Maggio). Via maggio is a road completely full of art galleries. Here you can find the finest italian antiques and also great contemporary italian art.
Principe di Firenze (Via del Sole, 2, 50123 Firenze, tel. 055 292764). Clothing shop where many florentines buy their entire wardrobe. Very classy and with an italian touch. In the nex door shop there is the outlet with much more reasonable prices.
Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella (Via della Scala, 16 – 50123, Firenze). Parfumes, creames, soaps, liquors and much more in this pharmacy-as-it-was. Everithing produced with the recipes of 500 years ago.
TOP SECRET ADDRESS
Mago Merlino Tea House (Via dei Pilastri 31, 50121, Firenze, tel. 055242970). The owner of this incredible tea house defines himself as the last of the Mohicans. To get in you have to take off the shoes. Than you drink tea and you smoke narghile. You need to be member but you can do the association directly there. It’s a crazy place from the design to the mood you breath. To find it open is quite difficult because it doesn’t have a time schedule. But you shall try the same.
Article by Federico Sigali