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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

Monica Magnani’s Florence

Monica Magnani’s Florence

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Se qualcuno mi dice ‘Firenze’ la prima cosa che mi viene in mente è fuggire via. Firenze, a volte, io la guardo e mi sembra diventata un luogo comune, un cliché inventato per far contenti i turisti. Firenze per la nave da crociera è il percorso di due ore, per gli amanti clandestini è la città di un fine-settimana, per le famiglie sono i musei delle vacanze di Pasqua, per le gite scolastiche è il capitolo sul Rinascimento, per gli animi malinconici è lo struggimento della sindrome di Stendhal. Io, da questa Firenze, ho continuamente voglia di scappare e forse mi piace proprio perché, poi, quando sono fuggita via dai luoghi comuni, è così bello aver nostalgia di questa città! Firenze, per chi ha voglia di scappare, ha molte vie di fuga: per alcune ci vuole un mezzo di trasporto, per altre, invece, basta un paio di scarpe comode.

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Castello Ginori di Querceto, celebrating nature and life in the Tuscan countryside

Castello Ginori di Querceto, celebrating nature and life in the Tuscan countryside

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Crickets, cicadas, tafani, pheasants, wind, rain, silence … The sounds of nature. But also the colours of sunrise and sunset, the hue of the grapes, the forest-trees, and the countryside … The flavours of wine and a splendid menu at Locanda del Sole restaurant … The aroma of the wetland after the rain … The texture of the olive tree logs and the stone walls covered with ivy. And the compassion of the sun. The days pass by peacefully between swimming pool moments alone and 20 kilometres hiking treks … between wines from the Ginori Lisci winery. The time has stood still. We are in the Ginori Castle of Querceto, enjoying with the five senses. This place is an antidote to stress (the poison of the first world), and it makes us forget about the exhausting urban life, of which we are – sometimes – slaves without redemption.…

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Brands made in Florence #2: Madova Glove Factory, the best gloves in town

Brands made in Florence #2: Madova Glove Factory, the best gloves in town

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The Donnini family has been producing high-quality hand made gloves since 1919, although their store opened in 1954. Stablished in via Guiccirdini 1R, next to their factory, both located near the Ponte Vecchio, Madova frequent clients are usually Korean, Japanese, American and Italian. The most notorious tiny glove shop in town is carefully designed, with its numerous shelves and drawers, where the gloves are conscientiously packaged and stored, classified by their shapes, sizes, and colors and available for both, men and women. Gloves made with first-class deerskin, lamb, or napa leather, and lined with silk, wool, or cashmere. Being all of them designed and manufactured in-house, some models are simple whilst others are perfect for sophisticated outfits.…

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Martina Castagnoli´s Florence

Martina Castagnoli´s Florence

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Se mi chiedi qual’è la mia città, infondo penso che forse è la cristallizzazione della mia idea di Firenze e non so neanche se davvero esiste più, ma vi ci porto lo stesso … Magari riuscirete anche voi a vedere un po’ di quell’incanto con cui la guardo io. La mia città, quando la vedi dall’alto, riesci a cingerla tutta in un abbraccio e i tetti rossi le conferiscono quell’aria rassicurante come lo sono certi oggetti del passato, che ti riportano alla tua infanzia, che quasi ti sembra di sentirne l’odore di naftalina che avevano i cassetti delle nonne.…

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History of art according to Florence or the Renaissance chapter at high school

History of art according to Florence or the Renaissance chapter at high school

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History of art was, without a doubt, my favourite subject at high school. By then, Italy was for me a distant and unknown country, it seemed so far as on another planet, and I did not even know what Tuscany meant or where in the map Florence was. At the age of 17, everything seemed so phantasmagorical and unreal … How unusual, the unpredictable ways to which life sometimes leads. Especially to those who try to escape from routine. I then loved the art history classes taught by María Luisa, always conducted in the dark. During those hours, I felt invisible and safe (at that time, my face was plagued by acne). We contemplated slides showing the art treasures explained with genuine devotion by the teacher and took notes of things that I thought I would never see on site. María Luisa inoculated me with the love for art and subtly with a passion for Florentine wonders. Today, 24 years later, I do not even remember her surname.

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Gilda Bistrot, Paris in Florence

Gilda Bistrot, Paris in Florence

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In the Florentine neighborhood of Sant’Ambrogio, in piazza Ghiberti, Gilda Bistrot fully embodies the style and atmosphere of Parisian bistros: soft lighting and candlelight, wooden furniture, antique porcelain, and vintage accessories. The art nouveau permeates every corner of the restaurant. Gilda is like a small museum of great taste and excellent food. Its gastronomic proposal includes not only traditional Florentine dishes but also covers gastronomy from all Italian regions. It is the perfect place for a first date; success is guaranteed, at least in the aesthetic and the culinary ……

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Gardens of Florence #12: Serre Torrigiani

Gardens of Florence #12: Serre Torrigiani

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It is a real privilege to visit the Torrigiani garden and greenhouse (serre) in Florence. Linked to the Serre Torrigiani greenhouse, Vieri Torrigiani Malaspina has always devotedly taken care of the garden. You can see this is his real passion when he talks about its charms to visitors. «I was born in this garden, and I have spent here and in the countryside all my entire life. I graduated as Agrarian Engineering in Florence, and in the seventies, I expanded the existing small plant nursery to exploit it as a company, besides taking care of the garden for my family and me,» comments Vieri. At the same time, I think to myself, “What a marvellous thing to have grown up here.” Torrigiani is one of the oldest aristocratic families of Florence. The first fashion show linked to the Pitti fashion events took place in this location.

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Gardens of Florence #10: giardini Villa Fabbricotti and Baden Powell, between decadence and bucolic solitude

Gardens of Florence #10: giardini Villa Fabbricotti and Baden Powell, between decadence and bucolic solitude

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In this less-traveled park, not especially projected to attract tourists, on a Saturday noon you will find a couple of people lying on the benches sunbathing, reading, drinking beer or walking dogs. The fact that it looks semi-abandoned gives it an attractive decadent appearance. Formerly the Fabbricotti villa and the park belonged to the Strozzi family.…

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Gardens of Florence #14: Giardino Villa La Pietra

Gardens of Florence #14: Giardino Villa La Pietra

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Villa La Pietra is currently the headquarters of New York University (NYU) in Italy. Its garden is by far my favourite private garden in Florence and it is one of the most renowned in Italy. Built by the Acton Family between 1908 and the beginning of the Second World War, its design is very much inspired by the real Renaissance gardens of Florence, though it also contains elements of the many gardening trends and styles popular since then.…

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Gardens of Florence #3: giardino Bardini, splendour in the grass

Gardens of Florence #3: giardino Bardini, splendour in the grass

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Florence reaches its climax in early April as wisteria flowers blossom at Giardino Bardini. This historic garden, built with fountains and statues in English and Baroque style, is placed on a steep hill of Oltrarno. Its open green space was made public after restoration in 2007. Best to explore it is — possibly with someone loved — at eight in the morning, when just gardeners are around. Further wonders include the Belvedere, Giardino Boboli or the hike up to Costa San Giorgio and Porta San Giorgio, before pleasantly walking down to Porta San Niccolò along the trace of the old city wall.

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