I’m just wrapping up another fabulous trip to Florence to add the finishing touches to an apartment that we’ve been working on and to oversee our other Huff Harrington projects here.
When we were first hired to handle several renovations in Florence, I didn't know if I could bond with this city. It had been years since I’d spent time here and had recently fallen in love with rival Rome so I wasn’t sure I could move over to team Florence. That changed when I started to count the things I loved about Florence which went from 5 to 10 and now I’m up to 12 and could easily go to 20 if I had enough room!
What are they? Well, in order of preference (sort of):
The artists! Giotto, Masaccio, Fra Angelica, Michelangelo and Leonardo and all the artists who’ve worked here over the years. All it takes is a quick visit to any one of the dozens of churches to admire the works of these great artists, and see their influence all over the city.
Gelato, Artichokes and Brunello! I don’t have a sweet tooth but I make exceptions for pistachio gelato (I add salt!). And who knew there are 50 different ways to serve artichokes? Oh and I mistakenly ordered Brunello one night at dinner and I’ve become an unfortunate convert ever since (it’s a little pricey!).
The size! You can actually traverse the whole historic city in a day by foot and everything is super convenient. And I love that they limit cars in the city. Plus, it just takes us 10 minutes to walk up the hill to this beautiful countryside (where the reward is a gorgeous view AND a delicious lunch!):
Shoe stores! And in particular, my go-to Manina where they not only have great selections at excellent prices but also make custom leather shoes. Oh and did I mention the leather? Like buttah!
The people! Mio Dio, they are so friendly. But boy can they chat! Don’t think you can do anything in a hurry here (which I think is another plus!).
The history! I’m still learning it but what I love is not just amazing history of a city built with vision and financed by a culturally sensitive group of patrons but also the appreciation that everyone has of their past. I could go on and on about this!
The architecture! And here I mean the doors, the windows, the facades, the hardware, the brass plates and the general eye candy that treats you every time you walk down the street.
Olive trees, lemon trees and boxwoods! That’s what’s indigenous to Tuscany in general, and we’re putting them on every terrace that we’re working on.
The view of the Arno!
Even at night. Never tires.
(I took this photo on the way to the airport at 5 a.m. - that's the Ponte Vecchio and its reflection in the water. Can you believe it?!)
The location! In just 15 minutes by car, you can be out of the city and wandering through the gorgeous Tuscan countryside. So even if Florence feels compact, the greater outdoors is just a few miles away. And speaking of outdoors, the parks!
The airport! This maybe should move up to No 1 because I love flying in and out of Florence. It’s so easy, and just a couple of minutes from downtown.
The stripes! Usually in marble, permeate the architectural scene … and I can never get enough of them!
In fact you'll be seeing those same Florentine stripes in a few of the interiors we're designing!
So team Florence, you’re winning right now.
And speaking of … Here is a sneak peek at a gorgeous apartment in this magical city that we've just finished for our friends at Italy Perfect! I know I can easily come up with my 12 favorite things about the Maestro apartment, so stay tuned.
Firenze, lo amo!
PS: Want more Florence? Follow us on Instagram @huffharrington and @huffharringtondesign for news on some of our projects in Florence.