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).
The opportunity appeared in the form of Pitti Uomo 87, world’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
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
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
#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
#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
#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
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
My favorite Florentine dinner would include:
Starter: Tonno e fagioli – Tuna and bean salad
First Course: Zuppa di cipolle – Onion soup
Seventh secret: See the whole Florence view
Main Course: Casseruola alla fiorentina – Florentine casserole
Side Dish: Fritto misto – Mixed fried vegetables
Cake: Bongo – Chocolate profiteroles
Last secret: Stay at a Palace Rezidence, which still boasts the original 16th century floor