Article: Tonie Pepperstreet
Photography: Elena Florence
After many months muddling my way through lockdown I, like many others, began to feel the need to explore, or wanderlust. The days of English summer sun were numbered and my patience for long queues, clad in a mask, outside the supermarket wore thin. It just so happened that my restlessness coincided with the final weeks of my rental contract, so instead of doing what any organized adult would do and find my next home, I booked cheap flights, stuffed a suitcase with just about every piece of clothing I had and was off. Destination: Italy.
I touched down in Milan and spent days immersed in fashion, food, and sophistication. While this was a much-needed relief from a dreary London Lockdown, it did not quite provide that. whatever the Italian for je ne sais quoi is… since then I moved onto Venice, Verona, Rome & Bologna all of which deserve their own piece to extoll their beauty, charms, and FOOD.
However, there is one city which has captured my every attention and I quite simply do not possess the will power to move on from here. The beauty, the culture and the romanticism of this city have incited a rush of life & creativity in me and I would be lying if I did not say it is thanks to everything about Florence itself.
There is a magical energy in Florence, one which flows through every crack and crevice of each Perforate stone that makes up this city. I am, quite frankly, addicted and, as of today, have overstayed my planned trip by three weeks…
Piazzale Michelangelo. “Only 15 minutes’ walk,” the charming Italian barista told me as I paid for my morning cappuccino (read heaven). Well, anyone who has been to Florence will know that this mere 15 minutes from Ponti Vecchio Bridge,
is up an incline set to rival any of my gym treadmills best effort and, after weeks of Italian dining, not quite the simplest trek. Despite the unexpected glute work-out, this tourist hotspot has topped my list of places to see in this city; It is the perfect spot for self-reflection, imagination and, obviously, scenic photos.
While you would be forgiven for thinking, as the name may suggest, that Piazzale Michelangelo is a work of the great artist himself, it is in fact a homage to him: a space to provide a showcase of Michelangelo’s work, David, who stands proudly? Casually? I can never really decide, on a podium there. There was even a museum built by Poggi to host more works of the artist, one which never did fulfil that purpose but, I will add, is now home to La Loggia, a restaurant with a wonderful coffee shop and panoramic views.
I have frequented this spot more than I can count, turning up in the early morning hours to watch the day begin for the rest of the city, as well as in the evening as the Florence night-life starts and the locals wind down. One thing is for sure, you could arrive at any time day or night and the view would never fail to steal the breath from you.
3 top restaurants.
Serre Torrigiani - Beautiful restaurant in a secret garden atmosphere.
Il Pizzaiuolo - Real authentic Italian Pizzeria where only Italians go.
Brucia Tegami - Esquite food on the outskirts of Florence