Author Gravater

Paco Neumann

Paco Neumann is a journalist, photographer, proofreader, flâneur and perpetual amateur currently living in between Florence, Berlin and Tenerife. He´s been a regular contributor to fashion, art, trend and lifestyle magazines and worked for news, advertising and communication agencies

Firenze Jazz Festival 2019: where Florence’s streets become a jazz club

Firenze Jazz Festival 2019: where Florence’s streets become a jazz club

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Jazz bassist Furio Di Castri founded the Firenze Jazz Fringe Festival (FJFF) intending to bring jazz to the general public. It converts churches, squares, and other Oltrarno premises into the stage for the concerts. Past editions already counted around 40,000 participants. During five days, from September 11 to 15, the festival, now renamed as Firenze Jazz Festival, returns to Florence offering 40 live acts in different locations. The program stands out for the coexistence of new productions and renown international artists concerts. Firenze Jazz Festival is an innovative and sustainable show pursuing a cultural alternative in which the participation of the public is crucial. It is, above all, an event by and for the people, which is involved in the street performances, concerts, improvisation and DJ sessions. …

Continue Reading
Where to eat lampredotto, the typical Florentine fast-food

Where to eat lampredotto, the typical Florentine fast-food

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

I guess the last thing a vegan would eat in Florence is a trippa sandwich … The sandwich of the working class is the lampredotto — the Florentine fast-food par excellence. The panino di trippa o lampredotto consists of flour sèmelle local bread roll, stuffed with boiled and sliced beef entrails, rolled and seasoned with spicy sauce. This speciality is served in the trippai (little stands in the street which only serve guts). It is quite cheap and generous in size, prepared to kill hunger on the spot but providing a bunch of calories and cholesterol, as the sandwich is dripping grease.…

Continue Reading
Casa Musicale G. Ceccherini: the sound of music in the heart of Florence

Casa Musicale G. Ceccherini: the sound of music in the heart of Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Julie Andrews sang in the movie how «the hills are alive with the sound of music». We could imagine this chant not in the Alps but at the Tuscan peaks instead: «I go to the hills when my heart is lonely, my heart will be blessed with the sound of music». At Casa Musicale G. Ceccherini, besides offering space for different courses, repair and rental of instruments, it is possible to buy a cello or a piano, an electric guitar or an amplifier, a solfeggio book or a violin string. I am not a regular of this unique music store in the heart of Florence, but from the cortile of my apartment — which overlooks one of its multiple rooms — I am amused by distinguishing how different piano students evolve every day. Naturally, this is sometimes a truthful delight; some others, just an ordeal.
Casa Musicale G. Ceccherini – Via de’ Ginori, 31R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Continue Reading
Florence, in the city of David

Florence, in the city of David

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

The soul of David spreads throughout Florence as a ubiquitous and sheltering presence. All the cities have their symbol: the Statue of Liberty, the musicians of Bremen, the Berlin bear, the Eiffel Tower, the cock of Barcelos, the Christ of Corcovado, the Big Ben … The flower of the lily shares with the David the leadership of popularity in the city of the Renaissance.…

Continue Reading
The tolling of the bells: the heartbeat of Florence

The tolling of the bells: the heartbeat of Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Not everything in Florence is a matter of renaissance «facade». The city could be experienced by sight, but also by taste, its smells, trough touching as well as through hearing. I hate traffic noise, but I love the rumour of the crowd and the Florentine bells. In my different stays, it has been impossible for me to avoid the ones of Santa Croce, of the Duomo, neither of San Lorenzo´s. The bells produce an energetic and penetrating sound but always embody some relaxing and peaceful vibe, spiritual purposes aside. I like to think that the sound of the bells equals the heartbeat of the city. One that has lived for so many centuries but remains alive, flourishing and young at heart. Indeed, I feel offended when a visitor complains about this particular sound. That certainly unveils my true love for this city.

Continue Reading
Gardens of Florence #9: giardino di Boboli, the paradigm of a 16th century Italian garden

Gardens of Florence #9: giardino di Boboli, the paradigm of a 16th century Italian garden

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

The Boboli Gardens date back to 1418, when Luca Pitti bought its land in Oltrarno with the intention of building the magnificent Pitti Palace, later owned by the Medici family. The landscaping was commissioned by the Medici to Niccolò Tribolo, the famous architect responsible for the gardens of their villas of Castello and La Petraia. However, after the premature death of Tribolo, it was Bartolomeo Ammannati who finished the job. The Boboli is the paradigm of the 16th century Italian garden, as well as one of the largest historical parks in Florence. Around the main axes are placed avenues, hedges, terraces full of statues and fountains. The first operas of history were also represented in its open air amphitheatre.
More info

Continue Reading
A Florentine flâneur: the art of wandering the streets of Florence

A Florentine flâneur: the art of wandering the streets of Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

The figure of the flâneur is associated with the rise of “urban life” and especially with Paris, one of the first major cities of the industrial era in which appeared the flâneur as the person who wanders through boulevards, shop windows, and passages. This wandering character was conceived by authors Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin, who defined the authentic flâneur as an attentive and wise voyeur, and far from being a frivolous, banal, idle, superficial and clueless passer-by, he is above all a deep observer of the city, a restless traveler with no definite direction, and a forerunner (without a camera) of the documentary photography.…

Continue Reading
Glamour and garbage disposal in Florence

Glamour and garbage disposal in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

I think to myself quite a lot of nonsense every time I throw the garbage in Florence. Depending on where one resides, garbage disposal in Florence requires a walk of 200 or 300 meters to the nearest container. In other cities you can do so in pyjamas or in slippers, with tousled hair and bleary-eyed, but in Florence certain composure and sophistication is needed. You never know whom you could meet on such particularly long journey ……

Continue Reading
Gardens of Florence #5: il giardino di Santa Maria Novella, flowers and fruits of Florentine tradition

Gardens of Florence #5: il giardino di Santa Maria Novella, flowers and fruits of Florentine tradition

PHOTOS & ENGLISH / SPANISH VERSIONS BELOW

The garden of the prestigious perfume brand Santa Maria Novella is located in Firenze-Castello, close to the Medician villa of La Petraia. In this 161,458 ft² paradise still operates the ancient tradition of harvesting the hortus conclusus, just as the Dominican friars used to do in the monastery as of thirteenth century. In the garden and orchard of Santa Maria Novella grow all extracts and essences needed for the elaboration of the perfumes and other products of the legendary brand. The aroma of plants, trees and shrubs; the butterflies and lizards; the Tuscan sun; the Duomo of Florence in the distance … A perfect anti-stress frame prone to relaxation in a pure natural state. (Un)fortunately, it is not open to the public, so better ask for an appointment. (visiteofficina@smnovella.com).
More info

Continue Reading
The best pasta in Florence at Trattoria Il Giova

The best pasta in Florence at Trattoria Il Giova

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Although I am not a big fan of pasta, I must admit that I have started to look at it differently after my regular lunches at Il Giova in FlorenceThe place is small, modest and there is nothing remarkable in the decoration, but the food … the food is simply amazing! At Il Giova, the menu is so varied that they can serve spaghetti alle vongole, salmon ceviche or frying fish and seafood.…

Continue Reading