Published on May 15th, 2017 | by Ozlem Avcioglu

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Florence Guide : Most Elegant, Stylish, Hot Places

I love Italy’s open air museum city Florence. You can feel Michelangelo and Machiavelli, Donatello and Dante, the Renaissance in every corner of the city. It is one of the world’s greatest artistic capitals, with statues, sculptures, historic churches and palaces adorning the streets. But this is not an austere historical city stopped in time. Alongside the art galleries and beautiful piazzas are fine hotels, restaurants, boutiques, designer shops, and lively cafes. I have visited Florence recently and noticed that new hotels, museums, stores, restaurants and bars have been popping up.. and prepared a list that covers all the cool, new and must see places..

Must Visit Place in Florence

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s top art museums – it houses some of the most important works of the Renaissance, including works by Leonardo da Vinci. Like a very precious treasure chest, the Uffizi Gallery will grant itself to visitors just a little bit at a time: from where to get tickets, getting through lines to get inside then taking two flights of Renaissance-era stairs before you arrive at the actual entrance to the museum. Finally, the Gallery unveils its stunning frescoed ceilings and the start of its collections. The museum is organized as a long labyrinth of rooms with amazing works of art displayed roughly in chronological order along a U-shaped Renaissance building which was never created to be a  museum. Cosimo de’ Medici had entrusted his favorite architect Giorgio Vasari to create a grandiose building right next to Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of power, to host the magistrates, the seats of the Florentine Guilds, a vast theatre and judiciary offices (hence the name “Uffizi” which means offices in Italian).

Gucci Museum located in the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia.  The museum provides the history of the Florentine fashion house. It contains a permanent exhibition of the iconic pieces of the brand, such as bags, clothes, and accessories, among many others. In addition to a series of contemporary art installations, it contains a library, a cafeteria, and a small boutique.

Best Hotels of Florence

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, probably the best Four Seasons of the world  is set in a former 16th-Century convent near Giardino della Gherardesca, one the oldest, largest and most elegant Florentine gardens in the city. The hotel is an ornate Tuscan residence of unparalleled luxury in the treasure trove of antiquity that is Florence. With its entrance leading to an impressive courtyard decorated with 16th-Century Stradano frescos,  the theme of original Florentine art and craftsmanship runs throughout the hotel’s 116 rooms and suites, yet no two rooms are alike. Located on the ground floor of the hotel , Il Palagio restaurant awarded one Michelin star, features vaulted ceilings, elegant décor and lovely views of the inner gardens. Large French doors open to a terrace that offers al fresco dining during clement weather. A seasonal menu features regional cuisine prepared with a contemporary twist, accompanied by exceptional Italian wines. As the primary spot for people to meet in the Hotel, the Atrium Bar is the place to see and be seen in Florence. In the evenings, live piano music adds a soothing tone.

Hotel Savoy Florence

Hotel Savoy has the best location.. Situated  in the heart of Florence on Piazza della Repubblica, halfway between Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo. The hotel combines contemporary Italian design with artworks inspired by Florentine fashion traditions..encompasses everything that’s great about Florence – historical architecture, elegant style and five-star Italian hospitality. It’s a place that instantly attunes you to the culture of the city, where you can taste the best of Tuscan cooking and sip on the finest local wines.

Hotel Adastra

Overlooking the largest private garden in Europe, with the fragrance of flowers and plants and a blissful quiet in the air, AdAstra is the Hôtel Particulier of Florence. The result of a collaboration between the architect Francesco Maestrelli and Marco and Matteo Perduca, it is home to seven rooms on the main first floor of the villa, and two immersed in the Torrigiani garden in Oltrarno – the most real and authentic Florentine district. AdAstra occupies the first floor of the ancestral family mansion, where the main rooms and the splendid salon are surrounded by a magnificent terrace of 270 square metres overlooking the garden. The other rooms line the picturesque Via del Campuccio or are immersed in the green of the annex of the Angiolino. Every room has a different look and feel, each personalised in its own way.

Best Restaurants of Florence

La Ménagère, a new restaurant in the heart of Florence was a celebrated marketplace at the end of the 19th century filled with tableware and other goods for the home. La Ménagère has now been transformed into a restaurant, with areas for flowers, fragrances and a home accessories boutique to boot. Reimagined by the architecture and design office q-bic and filled with Karman lighting, La Ménagère’s interior has been carved into ten different spaces. A relaxed café, decorated with vintage furniture, doles out pastries and coffee, while the more glamorous bar offers up experimental cocktails. Adorned with fiberglass lanterns and concrete pendant lights suspended from its vaulted ceiling, the main restaurant is the space’s focal point. The restaurant serves fine Italian fare with a reverence for ingredients. Its a very good place to have breakfast or lunch

Savoy Hotels restaurant Irene has views across Piazza della Repubblica. Fulvio’s menu is entirely inspired by the best local and seasonal produce and the Tuscan classics. And its terrace is the best spot of the city to watch people..

Buca Lapi is the oldest restaurant in Florence. It was founded in 1880 in the Palazzo Antinori cellars and still shows evidence of more than a century of history, thanks to a very careful restoration. The kitchen is visible because “looking is as important as tasting”; our tasty food is rich and heavy, served in large dishes, always following the traditional Tuscan cooking. Buca Lapi is known for its tasty Florentine steak.

La Giostra has a character all of its own.  The current owners  Soldano, who are the son of the original chef/owner–seems to do basically whatever he pleases. From hanging flashing Christmas lights from the ceiling, to playing 1990’s/early 2000’s emotional pop rock loudly in the dining room, to wearing his body weight in bling, this guy’s personality makes this restaurant what it is. In perfect English he describes favorite dishes, such as the taglierini con tartufo bianco, a decadently rich pasta with white truffles. The constantly changing menu has terrific vegetarian and vegan options, and any meal that does not include truffles is significantly less expensive than those that do. For dessert, this might be the only show in town with a sublime tiramisù and a wonderfully gooey Sacher torte.

Best Bars of Florence

Rasputin is the first speakeasy, secret bar named after the emblematic figure.It has no sign outside: disguised as a chapel of sorts, look for the tiny entrance with two-seat wooden pew, crucifix on the wall, vintage pics and tea lights flickering in the doorway. Inside, it’s back to the 1930s with period furnishings, an exclusive vibe and barmen mixing excellent prohibition-era cocktails. The reservation line can only be shared through word of mouth. They don’t allow photography inside and they keep a watchful eye on social media fanatics. If you manage to get ahold of the reservation line, the only clue you’re given is the street name, forcing you to wander through the 500-meter-long street until you discover the inconspicuous entry.

See and be seen at the magnificent La Terrazza Bar in Florence, a cocktail bar at the top floor of the medieval Consorti tower of the fashionable Hotel Continentale.The ultimate location in Florence to meet for a cocktail surrounded by the most impeccable views of the Arno, Brunelleschi’s Dome, San Miniato, Palazzo Vecchio and Forte Belvedere.

Best Shops of Florence

Boutique Luisa Via Roma has long been Florence’s fashion hub. Now it has opened its doors to the next generation of stylists, the boutique, offers feature authentic men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories from the most important designers in the fashion industry. Its has a lovely terrace on the second floor. Michele Negri is another Florentine institution which sells hand made women shoes bags and clothing.

 


About the Author

Ozlem Avcioglu

Each city has its own light, identity and color ️Traveler photographer writer owner of Haaz design. Based in Istanbul and NY, live around the world.



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