On the Road: a Florentine travel bookstore with added-value

On the Road: a Florentine travel bookstore with added-value

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

On the Road is not only the title of the Beat Generation best-known novel. It is also a charming bookshop in Florence specialized in travel, the only one of its kind in the city. Opened in 2012, in this bookshop, the continents are classified by colors. “For me, Africa is red and not black – the color that anyone would associate with this continent,” says Martina. Martina owns the business. A bellissima donna italiana, kind, graceful, and refined who is, in fact, a simple woman bursting with life and sweetness. She is a great expert in travel literature and, no need to say, she is passionate about her job. But being a bookseller not only implies selling books: “It is exhausting.” There are many tasks hinter den Kulissen: select books, stay tuned for editorial novelties, accounting, expert advice, and affection. In addition to all these duties, Martina has time to organize book presentations with authors or workshops on photography and travel literature. On the Road not only sells guides but also novels focused on travels, maps, books on hiking and cycling routes, travel literature for children and last but not least, it gives priceless personalized attention.
On the Road – Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 32 A/R – 50134 Florence

Continue Reading
Donnini Cutlery or the survival of ancient crafts in Florence

Donnini Cutlery or the survival of ancient crafts in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

I love the combination right in the middle of Florence of modern shops and old handicraft ones with its tradition living through generations. Such trades grant the city vestiges of its medieval past as well as an air of genuine timelessness. For instance, Florentine artisan Leonardo Donnini´s masters sharpening: from knives to professional scissors or devices used to cut leather, which serve also as tools for other artisan colleagues in Florence. «I began working with my father in 1992, when I was still a teenager. Our bottega, shop and laboratory opened in 1930, and was in Via Gioberti. Since then, I have totally inherited my father’s trade, I have become one of the 11 Mastro Arrotini of Italy and I moved the store, Donnini Coltelleria, to Via G. Lanza 70. It is a pleasure for me to show my work and I would love to share my old craft with your readers.» The knife from the movie Hannibal was indeed manufactured in his shop.
Donnini Coltelleria, Via G. Lanza 70 – 50136 Florence

Continue Reading
Where to buy alcohol in Florence after 9pm

Where to buy alcohol in Florence after 9pm

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

It truly stands as a nuisance: right in the XXI century, the «Dry Laws» of Florence prohibit the sale of alcohol from nine in the evening in the historic centre or Unesco area. Because of it, the queues in supermarkets at quarter to nine are almost hysterical, with everyone rushing to get a little bottle of something … I’m one of them! Besides, the control is increasingly tougher, so it requires persuasive caution in mini markets. For instance, at the supermarket in Piazza di San Lorenzo, alcohol is provided only when going to the charcuterie section. Once there, they force you to put it in a backpack or in an opaque bag. Another option is to buy a bottle of wine «to go» in any restaurant in the city. The price is usually higher, so drinking after 9pm in Florence has become a sort of luxury, only available to few. Besides, if you are post-adolescent or relatively young looking, don´t even try.

Continue Reading
Central Market of Florence: tradition and modernity in one

Central Market of Florence: tradition and modernity in one

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Following the European trend of remodelling old food markets with new food stalls, the first floor of the central market of San Lorenzo (called Mercato Centrale Firenze, MCF) opened in 2014 to commemorate the 140th anniversary of its iron and glass building, which also houses the traditional market of the city on the ground floor. MCF offers confectionery, fresh fish, fried foods and dressings, fruits and vegetables, meat and salamis, mozzarella di bufala, chocolate, cheeses, ice cream, fresh pasta, wines, lampredotto and sandwiches. With seating for 500 people, MCF revitalized an area, which had been previously half-deserted, by residents departing the city centre. All the dishes prepared in the MCF are made with raw ingredients sold in the same central market. Touristphobics shall abstain.
Open every day from ten in the morning to midnight

Continue Reading
Galleria Frilli, the legendary studio and sculpture gallery of Florence

Galleria Frilli, the legendary studio and sculpture gallery of Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Founded in 1860, the family run Gallery-Studio Frilli quickly achieved international recognition for its marble replicas of classical, Renaissance and neoclassical sculptures. Indeed, walking through its comfortable rooms one feels in a Renaissance theme park. The sculptures seem just about to talk. Conceived with the purpose of decorating ostentatious residences in Europe, America and Asia, Frilli has the largest collection of models derived directly from the original pieces, museums and monuments from the Western world. That is why the works are considered real replicas and not mere copies. The family also created the bronze replicas at Lorenzo Ghiberti´s Gates of Paradise in the baptistery of Florence. Perfect for an LSD trip.
Galleria Frilli -Via dei Fossi, 26, 50123 Florence FI 

Continue Reading
Mrs. Macis in Borgo Pinti: «A small corner of Paris in Florence»

Mrs. Macis in Borgo Pinti: «A small corner of Paris in Florence»

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

According to the friend who first recommended it, the atelier shop and lab of Carla Macis stands since 2005 as «a small Parisian corner in Florence.» Carla Macis, who once worked for Emilio Pucci, is the designer of the brand. She is the one in charge of the colourful feminine clothes of vintage appearance, overflowing with good humour and extroverted prints. «I do not create custom clothes, I make my own line in sizes S, M, L”, she tells me. “The process begins with the fabrics, as I was trained as a textile designer and not as a fashion designer, so I pay more attention to research of the materials. However, they result very feminine and tend to enhance the figure of the woman without being explicit or sexy.» Carla Macis gets her inspiration from the 50´s fashion and films. Her clothes have been defined as the «good humour dresses.» These are pieces for women of all ages, between 20 and 70 years old, with a great personality. «For those who, when they put on my clothes, wish to be recognized at the first glimpse.» Undoubtedly, Carla Macis is not afraid to mix. She feels a predilection for wool in all its forms; and creates accessories, too. No wonder she is even recommended by Lonely Planet.
Mrs. Macis – Borgo Pinti 38, 50121 Florence

Continue Reading
The custom-made perfumes of AquaFlor Firenze

The custom-made perfumes of AquaFlor Firenze

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

This perfumery handcrafts made-to-measure perfumes and it is located in the Palazzo Serristori Corsini Antinori, a few steps from the Santa Croce Basilica. The store consists of three spacious rooms connected through a sublime olfactory experience. The furniture is composed of ancient pieces, chosen carefully as an invitation to laxity, delight and contemplation. The old shelves of the Hall of Essences contain more than 1500 unique substances. «Creating an original perfume» — says Sileno Cheloni, master artisan at AquaFlor Firenze — «is like building the biography of an individual: cut the present in half, as if it was a tree, to read the circles of life representing years, important events and emotions.»
AquaFlor – Borgo Santa Croce 6, 50122 Firenze FI

Continue Reading
What San Lorenzo street market hides

What San Lorenzo street market hides

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Starting from Via dell’Ariento, in front of the Cappelle Medicee and its surrounding streets, this walk is flooded with characteristic white canopies around the Central Market of San Lorenzo and its peculiar «wall» of street stalls. As a resident, I am used to this area of town and its typical noise of shopkeepers dragging their mobile stores in the early morning and at night. I sure love it. Walking on the sidewalks not only helps to avoid the crowds of the main street, but also helps to discover some alternative treasures (bars, cafés, restaurants, trattorie, shops … not excessively crowded such as Bondi or Casa del Vino) that are hidden among the usual stalls, where they generally sell the same items, every two or three steps.

Continue Reading
Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio, the other popular market of Florence

Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio, the other popular market of Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

In comparison to the bigger central market of San Lorenzo, its twin in the city, the smaller Sant’ Ambrogio, is even better. It caters in a local, neighbourhood style, resulting as more authentic. It has an area partly open, where clothes, fruits, vegetables and groceries are sold outside; inside, there´re grocery, meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and mini restaurants. Opposite the market was the old monastery of Santa Verdiana, once used as a female prison, and now stands the Faculty of Architecture. Located in piazza Ghiberti and projected in 1873 by Giuseppe Mengoni, the original urban plans included — after the destruction of the old market — the creation of three modern outlets in the historical centre: the central market of San Lorenzo, the market of Sant ‘Ambrogio and a market which was never built, the San Frediano market. Open from Monday to Saturday from 7 a. m. to 2 p. m.
Practical info

Continue Reading
The experienced scissors of Matteo

The experienced scissors of Matteo

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

In this barbershop, with its own seventies-style decoration, Matteo has been practicing hairdressing for almost half a century. He sometimes tells about his life and miracles while having your hair cut, some others he may just mutter some words, but Matteo is always affable and helpful. One gets lost in his tribulations and mental trivialities while being encountered with the sharp, clean, metallic sound of his scissors and the Italian music coming out of Radio Margherita in his transistor. With Matteo it is not necessary to worry about how your cut will be, as you are in good and experienced hands. In addition to hairdressing and the service as barbershop (haircut for 15 euros, beard cut for 10 euros), the place offers solarium, manicure, pedicure, facial and body treatments for men and women. Absolutely recommended!
Via dei Neri 26 / r

Continue Reading