Gardens of Florence #8: giardino dell’Orticultura, a locals’ garden in the city centre

Gardens of Florence #8: giardino dell’Orticultura, a locals’ garden in the city centre

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Born as an ‘experimental garden’ in the middle of the 19th century, the Via Bolognese park in northern Florence is today one of the most beloved and quiet places to visit during spring and summer. In addition to the renaissance Loggetta Bondi, in the giardino dell’Orticultura there is also a large glass and iron greenhouse, considered one of the most beautiful in Italy, as well as the rarest when built following design of Giacomo Roster. The greenhouse is used today for celebrating events, parties, food and cultural activities, while the garden houses the Municipal Library of Horticulture, hosting since 1862 horticultural exhibitions in order to promote the ‘knowledge of good horticultural practices.’ The feeling here is that of a ‘neighbourhood park,’ despite located not far from the tourist hustle in the historic centre. It has a bar with terrace which is frequented mostly by university students.

Continue Reading
Lyric Dance Company presents «PIAF. Hymne à l’Amour» at the Puccini Theater in Florence

Lyric Dance Company presents «PIAF. Hymne à l’Amour» at the Puccini Theater in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

«PIAF. Hymne à l’Amour,» the new choreography by Alberto Canestro performed on stage by the Lyric Dance Company, premiered on April 4 at the Teatro Puccini in Florence. After having explored great female figures, such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Khalo, Tamara de Lempicka and Maria Callas, Alberto Canestro dedicates his latest work to Edith Piaf, the celebrated French singer. «The voice of Edith Piaf has always hurt my heart»— says the choreographer — «as well as her biography, which fluctuates between the numerous difficulties in her private life and the triumphs in the artistic sphere.» Through dance, the Lyric Dance Company creates an intense portrait not only of Piaf as a woman, but also as a unique and exceptional artist, who was always able to provoke emotions with her music.

Continue Reading
Florence literary walk

Florence literary walk

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Searching for the ideal of beauty in all its artistic manifestations or for an oasis to feel safe from hostility, artists, writers, architects, filmmakers, designers, historians and intellectuals, in general, had historically made of Florence their home. In just one hour, it is possible to discover all the places where some of the most outstanding writers of recent times lived.…

Continue Reading
Rasputin, a secret bar in Florence

Rasputin, a secret bar in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

There is no doubt that prohibition awakens desire. Rasputin stands as a speakeasy: an exclusive bar behind closed doors, to which only a few are granted access. Indeed, all cities in the world have their secret bar. The speakeasy concept emerged in the first decades of the twentieth century in New York, in full swing of Prohibition. I’m not very fond of cocktails, as seeing a beautiful glass with just capacity for a cappuccino, priced 10 or 15 euros, from which one could only drink a sip almost as fast as a shot, makes me feel terribly upset. I prefer a jar of beer or a generous glass of wine, which despite the anxiety for drinking guarantees a prolonged delight. …

Continue Reading
Palazzo Guadagni, aperitif deluxe in Florence

Palazzo Guadagni, aperitif deluxe in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Rooftop views are unparalleled in Florence, proof of it is the rooftop garden bar at the Hotel Palazzo Guadagni. This ancient palace in the Oltrarno area has a privileged view from the loggia, which turns the palazzo’s terrace garden bar into a marvellous setting for having a red wine or a cocktail in Florence. It is a novel space neither overly exploited nor well known in Florence yet, thus you can take an aperitif as a local and without the need of a previous reservation. The views, the atmosphere and the service are simply unique and it is the perfect spot to amaze dates and visitors.…

Continue Reading
La Via del Tè: it’s tea time in Florence!

La Via del Tè: it’s tea time in Florence!

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

During my daily walks around Oltrarno, I had always noticed this tearoom in Via Santo Spirito. It is undoubtedly the typical place that catches your attention and makes you stop until the curiosity is satisfied. La Via del Tè (The Way of Tea) was founded in 1961 by Alfredo Carrai who, fascinated by the world of tea, took the personal challenge of introducing the tea culture in Italy, by then almost unknown. La Via del Tè conceptual stores sell more than 250 products, including whole-leaf tea from China, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan and Africa; scented blends; fruit infusions; herbal teas and all La Via del Tè own brand products: from classic cans, single-dose filters in transparent cloth or cotton muslin, to gift boxes, along with a selection of teapots, cups and accessories brought to the stores from all over the world. La Via del Tè has two other branches in Florence: one in Piazza Ghiberti and the other in Via della Condotta. They not only serve tea in its exquisite rooms, but also sell teapots, ad hoc utensils and homemade pastries.
La Via del Tè – Via di Santo Spirito 11, 50125 Florence

Continue Reading
Gosh: cocktails & pink flamingos in Florence

Gosh: cocktails & pink flamingos in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Taking a cocktail surrounded by pink flamingos is precisely what happens in Gosh, the coolest (and a bit pretentious) cocktail bar in Oltrarno. I like to ascertain if its decoration is the result of an in-depth and well-paid interior design studio or simply due to the exquisite taste (or not) of its owner. In fact, it is noted that the owner of Gosh, Alexander Vartivarian, comes from the fashion world (he worked for Elie Saab and was trained in Polimoda). In Gosh there´s vintage furniture and the original cocktails are based on ginger, spices, flowers and mezcal, all served in metal jars, in my opinion, with too much ice. Not only the decoration of the place is the choice of Alexander himself, but also the menu and the music — «Gosh» is actually the name of his favourite song. Aperitivo, snacks are served between 18 and 21 hours. Cocktails are better when in twilight, in its relaxed atmosphere. They also offer boring cocktails without alcohol.
Gosh – Via di Santo Spirito 46R – Florence – from 6p.m. to midnight, even later on weekends.

Continue Reading
La Cité: books, music, coffee and wine in the heart of San Frediano

La Cité: books, music, coffee and wine in the heart of San Frediano

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

Books, art, wine and music. La Cité is defined as a polyvalent cultural space, responding to demands for the eclectic interacting of today. Since 2007, this two-storey café-bookshop of Borgo San Frediano (Oltrarno, Florence) has become a small cultural island, a city within the city itself. La Cité is just the antithesis of the classic bookstore-supermarket franchise and is described as a place of research and meeting, as well as a reading room, where cultural diversity and languages ​​are mixed. Their selection of texts is preferably of critical, independent and creative publications. Over the 5000 titles included in its catalogue one can find new and used books, newspapers and editorial oddities. Before sale browsing and reading books is allowed. In addition, each week, book presentations are organized with the presence of authors, critics, musicians and artists, as well as public debates on current affairs. Ideal spot for blind dates, too.
La Cité – Borgo San Frediano 20R, Florence. Open every day, from 9 to 2 a.m. On Sunday it opens at 3 p.m. – WIFI connection

Continue Reading
Tabernacles: religious street art in Florence

Tabernacles: religious street art in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

There is no doubt that the tabernacles are a key element of the oldest streets of Florence. More than a religious character, it seems to me that they have quite an exquisite kitsch appearance. The city currently houses around 1200 tabernacles, of different styles and periods — some are true masterpieces. Catholics fought against heresy not only with preaching, but also by placing sacred images on the streets, houses, shops and public buildings which endure today. In Oltrarno there is still a large number of these particular street sanctuaries, available for a worldly prayer at any time of the day or night. The ancient Romans were already devotees of this form of religious architecture, for they built small temples in the streets with sacred images that protected both the house and the travelers.

Continue Reading