A long-standing destination for fashion folk and buzzing with tradeshows like Pitti Uomo, Florence is a must-visit, says City by City Travel Associate Editor Emily Cater
With Pitti Uomo, Pitti Bimbo and Pitti Filati trade shows kicking off in the coming days/weeks in Florence, the international fashion crowd are set to descend on the city, thirsty for fresh inspiration across the menswear, kidswear and textiles markets respectively. As days at trade shows are long and frantic (trust us, we know), and time is of the essence, we’ve put together this round up of the best places to eat, drink, shop, and things to see in your free time, hopefully making life that much easier.
Lungarno Acciaiuoli, 4 50123 / 39 055 27268000
These uber stylish rooms and suites are part of the Lungarno Collection owned by the Ferragamo family (yes, that Ferragamo family!) and are located right next to the famous Ponte Vecchio, offering panoramic views of the river Arno. The interior was designed by Michele Bonan, so expect luxurious velvet and marble suites with luxe touches including cashmere throws, vintage photographs and sober, yet chic decor. If the mood takes you, ask for a river view suite with a balcony, an extra €150 but worth it for a picture-perfect breakfast or sunset aperitif.
BREAKFAST ON THE GO…
Via del Corso 30/32 50121 / 39 055 215952
Right in the heart of the city, this cafe and juice bar serves fresh, healthy and organic breakfast bowls, wraps, salads, and juices with good vegan options. The staff are always cheery and the atmosphere itself is as buzzing as the coffee, sure to wake you up first thing.
For something edgy:
A PIEDI NUDI NEL PARCO
Via del Proconsolo, 1 50122 / 39 055 218099
The industrial-inspired decor of this boutique is the perfect backdrop to the dark and edgy women’s collections by a range of international and often independent designers. Don’t miss the equally stylish men’s boutique just around the corner.
For traditional Florentine leather goods and handbags:
Via del Parione, 31r 50123 / 39 055 215722
This classic Tuscan label features high-quality leather goods such as handbags, luggage and accessories. They have a natural cachet which wears well over time.
For the best designer labels and inspiring VM:
LUISA VIA ROMA
Via Roma, 19/21r 50123 / 39 055 9064116
One of Florence’s most interesting one-stop fashion stores, Luisa is famous for its highly original and ever-changing window displays. Inside, find a great choice of accessories and cutting-edge designer collections for men and women.
Because it’s an absolute Florence classic:
Via de’ Tornabuoni, 4-14r 50123 /
39 055 292123
Salvatore Ferragamo earned his fortune custom-making shoes for stars such as Audrey Hepburn. Set in a 13th-century Renaissance palazzo, this flagship carries Ferragamo’s clothing and accessories, though elegant footwear is still the label’s focus. Don’t miss the Ferregamo museum in the same building on the lower ground floor.
Piazzetta del bene, 7a 50123 / 39 055 268528
Hidden away near the riverfront is this cool, laid-back restaurant, perfect for enjoying a fresh sandwich and a drink at lunchtime. Everything here, including the retro furniture and tabletop wares, is for sale.
Palazzo della Mercanzia, Piazza della Signoria, 10 50122 / 39 055 759233027
Really, a trip to Florence is incomplete without a trip to the Gucci Museum on the pretty Piazza della Signoria. Spread over three-floors, this stunning medieval palace houses Gucci pieces throughout the years alongside contemporary art exhibitions. Expect to see the origianl luggage pieces from which the brand first made its name, a 1970’s Gucci upholstered car, equestrian-inspired bags and leather goods, and of course a curated display of some of its much-loved dresses worn by celebrities including Blake Lively and Jessica Chastain. Don’t miss the Gucci bookshop and cafe on the ground floor.
Via del Trebbio, 1r 50123 / 39 055 213768
We love this charming spot on Via Trebbio offering a truly authentic Italian dining experience, with delicious Tuscan fare including possibly the best steak in the city. Add to this fantastic service and an intimate interior, dimly-lit but with colourful vintage travel posters covering the walls, and you have all the ingredients of a great evening.
Via Della Spada, 10r 50123 / 39 055 2776328
Loved by locals and fashion fans alike, this historic cafe was where the Negroni was originally created back in the roaring 20s, and remains today the perfect spot for a nightcap now it has been taken over by Roberto Cavalli and adorned in his signature opulent prints.
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