8 Of The Best Kept Secrets Of Florence

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Have you ever been to Florence or dreamt of going there?

It was on my vision board to go to Florence in 2014, but for some reason it did not happen. As always, ‘Not now‘ does not mean ‘Not ever‘ so I kept waiting for the perfect moment, when the opportunity will appear and I will be able to visit Florence, with the love of my life (since it is such a romantic destination).

Mihai herman and roswitha moti florence ponte vecchio

Myself and Mihai in our first day in Florence, on Ponte Vecchio.

The opportunity appeared in the form of Pitti Uomo 87world’s most important platform for men’s clothing and accessory collections and for launching new projects in men’s fashion, when I got to go with my boyfriend, the CEO of Male Extravaganza to represent the blog. (I am the other co-founder)

You might want to see Pitti Uomo 87 Street Style Photos

 

roswitha moti streetstyle pitti uomo 87

Myself at Pitti Uomo 87, day 2 and day 4. Pearl head band made by Blushing Goodies. Fur jacket made by Gabrielle Roman.

With only dreams in our pockets, we left everything behind and decided to start the new year in a powerful way, conquering all our fears. Since, nothing was organized (which is a total nightmare for a control freak as I used to be), everything was unexpected and we left ourselves in the hands of the universe, meeting people and opportunities we never could seen coming. Sometimes, not planning and just living is the best possible way – if you subtract the anxiety of not knowing what will happen next.


First secret: Learn how to reconstruct old masterpieces: a golden frame

reconstruct gold frames in florence

To add gold foil and finish a frame like this takes up to 3 days, if the wood is prepared. If not, it might take a lot more. This lady is so nice and she will let you watch her work, plus she will explain the whole process. Priceless!

 


Spending 4 days in Florence, was the best thing that happened so far in 2015. I got to know a few secrets that tourists don’t know about and experience the true life of Florence. I am not a sucker for popular spots anyways, so this was just perfect!

Let’s see what makes Florence such a want to see place.

5 Of The Most Amazing People Were Born Here

#1. DANTE ALIGHIERI

His first studies were in rhetoric, grammar, philosophy, literature and theology, but everyone knows about him because of his masterpiece the Divina Commedia (Italian for “divine comedy”) – which is expressing a literal view of the medieval culture. It is said the the whole purpose of this was to preach the necessity of a moral and religious renewal for everybody, in order to get ready for the after-life and to ascend to Heaven, eternally saved. (aboutflorence.com)


Second secret: Learn how to paint in wood and see an old masterpiece

best held secrets of florence-

The prices for such a painting are between $3,000-$5,000, because it takes up to 3 months to finish one! This is art! Plus, the one with Ponte Vecchio it is made to look like a 3D picture – amazing!

 


#2. GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO

Another writer, he followed Dante’s work and actually wrote a biography of Dante in 1364.  “Ninfale Fiesolano”, which is aa short poem in ottava rima, is the best, in style and invention, of his minor works. But everyone knows him for “Decameron”, which was finished in 1353, but which has been written before the Black Death reached its height in 1348. This work is describing the pest, but also one hundred stories told in turn by 7 ladies and 3 young men who go away to escape the pest.


Third secret: Learn to restore old books

best held secrets of florence-3

This man knew perfect english, he was so calm and he told us how books were made in ancient history and how he turns paper into a unique piece of art.

 


#3. FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI

Although he started as an artisan in silver and gold, he lost a design competition for the bronze doors of the Florence Baptistery, to Ghiberti, which made him turn to architecture. (This is a powerful example of how failing leads to extraordinary results) He is known for executing the dome of the unfinished Gothic Cathedral of Florence, also known as the Duomo. His masterpiece is a great innovation both artistically and technically.


Forth secret: Enjoy real hot chocolate

best held secrets of florence-4

Probably one of my favourite spots, because it is so delicios! And I got to talk with the co-founder and she told me all about cocoa and teas and their business story! It was such a delightful time. Love the fact that in Florence you can still find family owned businesses.

 


#4. CENNI DI PEPO, ALIAS “PIETRO CIMABUE”

A painter known for his famous “Madonna” painting, when people bore it in triumph to Santa Maria Novella, with such jubilation that the area where the painter lived was afterwards called the Borgo Allegri.

#5. LEONARDO DA VINCI

One of my favorite people of all times – the one I would love to go to dinner with and talk about everything and anything! Plus I love his book, which I have not finished, but planning to this year, called How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. I am speechless when I need to talk about him, because he is a genius, not only in one niche but in so many: artist, engineer, medic and psychologist. I am in awe, please take a look at the book above, you will discover so many things about this brilliant man.


Fifth secret: Eat best pizza, the one that locals eat

best held secrets of florence-5

We did not want to leave Italy, without eating pizza. We asked around for the best place and we were referred to Toto’s. We indulged on 5 slices and were in heaven. My favourite: the zucchini one – although all of them were tasty – and cheap! (the perks of knowing secrets)

 


This fact made me wonder, how come these people, besides all other famous ones that lived in Florence, not necessarily were born here, were all so creative and talented? Why Florence? It might be the weather or the food? I will go with the food.

The Florentine Cuisine

Tuscan people live of local produce, mellow cheeses and grilled meats. They drink plenty of wine, since it is the home of Chianti wine. AboutFlorence states that “in the heart of Florentine cookery lie four fundamental ingredients: bread (plain, unsalted, well-baked with a crispy crust and light and airy inside); extra-virgin olive oil, without any doubt the best even for frying, grilled meat; Florentine steaks of beef, roasted or wine-braised game such as boar, deer and rabbit and lastly, wine itself.”


Sixth secret: Get the best exchange rate

best held secrets of florence-6

After we ran out of Euro’s it was time to exchange some $. When I heard the sum they were willing to give me I almost fainted – 58 euros for $100 – are you kidding me? Always be prepared 🙂

 


My favorite Florentine dinner would include:

StarterTonno e fagioli – Tuna and bean salad

 

Tonno e fagioli - Tuna and bean salad

Found on Yummly.com

First CourseZuppa di cipolle – Onion soup

 


Seventh secret: See the whole Florence view

best held secrets of florence-7

It is a free! Don’t miss it, cause it is a lovely place to enjoy a cup of coffee!

 


Main CourseCasseruola alla fiorentina – Florentine casserole

Side DishFritto misto – Mixed fried vegetables

CakeBongo – Chocolate profiteroles

 


Last secret: Stay at a Palace Rezidence, which still boasts the original 16th century floor

best held secrets of florence-8

Because of Federico- the co-owner, we were able to find out all the other secrets! It is amazing what one person can do. This place was our home and we felt great. If you love history, want to stay in an apartment and be in the centre of Florence, check it out 🙂 – If you tell Federico, you heard about it from us, he will give you a discount 🙂

 


Care to share other secrets about Florence? We are all eyes and ears!

By | 2017-06-13T20:30:03+00:00 January 21st, 2015|Lifestyle|

About the Author:

I am passionate about Fashion, Style, Lifestyle, Wellness, Education, Life Coaching, Writing, Reading and watching motivational videos. I love life and people. I think we all have a gift and i want to help people discover it, because a life lived without a purpose and joy is in vain.