Sponsored links


Procession in Florence

January 6 Florence city center: Three Wise Men Procession. Join the 3 wise men as they make their way to visit the Baby Jesus on the Epiphany (in italian "Befana"). The procession starts at 2pm from Piazza Pitti and ends at 3.30 pm in Piazza del Duomo. For info: 055 - 2616051.


New Year's Eve dinner in Florence

Il cenone di San Silvestro 2008 FLORENCE NEW YEARS EVE DINNER MENU' - December 31, 2008 New Year's Eve - just dinner
Osteria del caffè Italiano restaurant (here some pictures)
- New Year’s Eve - 6 courses € 100 per person and a special dessert.
tuscan restaurantOsteria del Caffè Italiano is a tuscan restaurant in a historical aristocratic building. Celebrate New Year's Eve dinner in Florence in a gorgeous restaurant close to Piazza Santa Croce where the original tuscan food is prepared as in the past.
- Capon and mushroom broth with traditional passatelli pasta made with Parmigiano cheese
- Lasagne with porcini mushroom
- Tortelli stuffed with potatoes and pigeon sauce
- Cardoon soufflé with pecorino cheese and saffron
- Beef fillet with turnip and Brunello di Montalcino sauce
- Traditional “zampone” pork leg and lentils
Our special New Year’s eve cake and “petit fours”
for reservation and bookings: tel. +39 055.289368 email: info@caffeitaliano.it

Alle Murate restaurant (here some pictures)
- New Year’s Eve - 5 courses € 150 per person and a bottle of Spumante
romantic restaurant in florenceAlle Murate is an italian restaurant in Florence with a charming and elegant atmosphere, perfect for those who crave a relaxed, romantic dinner, under the frescoes of italian poet Dante Alighieri. New Year's Eve December 31, 2008
- Capon stock with hand made ravioli and Valdarnese hen’s special egg
- Red prawns from Sicily, turnip tops sauce and bresaola from Chianina beef
- Tortelli stuffed with burrata and ricotta cheese, sea bass ragout
- Pumpkin soufflé, foie gras, black cabbage sauce
- Free range lamb from Casentino country: leg stuffed with artichokes, stewed shoulder and fried chop
- Variation on chocolate and citrus fruit: dark chocolate cake with tangerine sauce, orange jelly and white chocolate mousse
Spumante included, Wines are not included
for info and reservation please send an email to: silvia@allemurate.it
Ristorante Alle Murate Via del Proconsolo 16/r Tel. 055240618

Sud Restaurant (here some pictures)
- New Year’s Eve - 4 courses € 75 per person
informal restaurant in florenceA nice and informal restaurant close to Palazzo Vecchio, Florence: it's a light, bright informal space with pale white tables, peperoncini (hot pepper) on the walls and a friendly atmosphere. Cuisine from the south of Italy.
- Focaccia (sort of bread) with tomatoes and oregano, Anchovies and potatoes cake, Crispy sweet pepper and buffalo ricotta cheese
- Broad beans purèe (potatoes cream) and chicory
- Lasagne stuffed with eggplants and Mediterranean macere, Pachino tomatoes sauce
- Wild pork chop with southern wine must
….and at midnight we’ll toast together with Prosecco wine, Cotechino pork and lentils dish and our traditional southern desserts
for reservation and bookings: tel. +39 055.289368 email: info@caffeitaliano.it


Merry Christmas to all of you!

I wish you a merry Xmas in peace and joy!


New Year's Eve in Florence... free live open air music!

New Year's Eve in Florentine piazzas (squares):
Piazza Sant'Ambrogio: jazz/funk/demential music with italian band "Skiantos" and dj session under the market loggia. Fish and chips in Largo Annigoni, the square above the new car parking. From 9 pm.
Piazza Santo Spirito: italian live music from 10 pm to 2 am.
Piazza della Signoria: classical music concert with a repertory of Strauss (valzer, polke, ouverture), Bizet (Carmen), Offenbach and Brahms.
Piazza della Passera: live music.

Be careful if you are planning to walk in the streets during that evening. Usually there are drunk people and broken bottles everywhere...


Christmas Concert

Wednesday, the 24th, the Traditional Christmas Concert at the "Verdi Theater" (via Ghibellina 99). Songs from popular tradition for a vocal quartet and orchestra, such as the famous "Adeste Fideles". Songs from the choral traditions from Mediterranean countries, from Northern Europe, from America. Plus the Concerto Grosso n.8 and a composition by Niccolò Castiglioni, the Concertino per la notte di NATALE (that means little concert for Christmas evening). Concert starts at 9.00 pm.


New year's eve celebration in Florence, italy

Yesterday on a local newspaper I read the bad news: no more free concerts in Florence for New Year's Eve celebration. For those who love to listen to the new years eve concerts in classical music, there will be only 2 concerts.
The Classic Chamber Concert in Piazza Signoria, on December, the 31st, directed by Giuseppe Lanzetta, with a repertory of classical music.
The concert of "scuola di musica di Fiesole" (music school of Fiesole) in the morning of the New Year, at Teatro Comunale, the main theater in Florence. From the 11.30 am. This is the repertory:
R. Wagner (1813-1883) from I Maestri Cantori di Norimberga, Ouverture
G. Bottesini (1821-1889), Variations by Nel cor più non mi sento
Alberto Bocini, contrabbasso
N. Rota (1911-1979) from Concerto per contrabbasso, Marcia
Alberto Bocini, contrabbasso
W.A. Mozart (1756-1791), from L’impresario teatrale, Ouverture
E. Satie (1866-1925) Jack in the box
J. Sibelius (1865-1925) from Karelia Suite, Marcia
A. Ponchielli (1834-1886), from La Gioconda, Danza delle ore
Free admission.

This saturday don't miss the free Christmas concert in piazza Tasso, 7: from 9.30 pm there will be the "big band" performing GEORGE GERSHWIN, HANS ZIMMER, IRVING BERLIN and Christmas songs. Free entrance.


Hotel in Florence for New Year's Eve

Where to sleep in Florence for New Years’ Eve days...

Following an email wrote by one of my reader, I decided to give you some advises on where to sleep for New Years Eve.

Hotel Giada is close to San Lorenzo where there the famous open and indoor food market is. The hotel is very simple but the owner is a very nice young guy who knows how to treat customers. A double room is around € 130, 00. It is very close to the train station of Santa Maria Novella.

Hotel Columbus, a 3 stars hotel on the homonymous Lungarno (Colombo) is again a very simple one but if you want just to sleep one night and if you are not to pretentious, it has some very good fares.

If you are looking for a long term rental apartment close to Ponte Vecchio, with half board or for a flat in San Lorenzo area...

The alternative is a bed and breakfast: in Viale Don Minzoni there is one that it is not bad.

You can email also the Ostello 7 Santi, near the Stadium. They also have double rooms.

Another Youth Hostel is Youth Hostel 2000 in the San Frediano area, V.le R. Sanzio 16, a double is around € 39,00.

If you want some more news about New Years Eve see these posts…
- low cost dinner in a farm house close to Florence
- restaurants in Florence with special menu for the New Year's Eve
- some ideas to spend the New Year's Eve in Florence


Low cost New Years Eve dinner in Tuscany

If you want to spend a lovely, intimate low cost New Years Eve, the agriturismo Le Pialle in the Florentine hills countryside is just what you need! The Dinner costs only € 35, 00 and if you stay sleep there it’s only 60,00 with a little difference for the New years’ Eve dinner; and for those of you who don’t fancy cooking for Xmas they can offer the Xmas lunch at € 30,00! The Agriturismo (farmhouse) Le Pialle is just 20 km outside Florence in the most typical and genuine Tuscan countryside. They have horses, ducks, rabbits, hens and a cock!

The dinner of New Year’s Eve is a very special one: Aperitif with Prosecco and finger food, such as a warm pie with pecorino cheese and pears, warm spinach and ricotta pie with basil, then Florentine grated crespelle , pici sienese style, pork chop dressed with wine cooked in the oven, salad from their orchard, smashed potatoes and some tasting of different pecorino cheese form Mugello valley with different jam and honey, and then a fine chocolate cake, champagne to toast at the New year. Water and wine included in the € 35, 00. For info: tel. 055 8361265 or 3339101404

The Xmas lunch is very similar and it includes also wine and water for € 30, 00

Dining in Florence, Italy on New Years Eve

Here are some ideas for new year's eve 2009 dinner in Italy:

Tuscan restaurant in Florence: Osteria del Caffè Italiano (here some pictures)
Capon and mushroom broth with traditional passatelli pasta made with Parmigiano cheese
Lasagne with porcini mushroom
Tortelli stuffed with potatoes and pigeon sauce
Cardoon soufflé with pecorino cheese and saffron
Beef fillet with turnip and Brunello di Montalcino sauce
Traditional “zampone” pork leg and lentils
Our special New Year’s eve cake and “petit fours”
price 100 €

SUD Restaurant 31 December (see pictures of the restaurant here)
Focaccia (bread) with tomatoes and oregano, tortino sardo di alici e patate, Anchovies and potatoes cake
Crispy sweet pepper and buffalo ricotta
Broad beans purèe and chicory
Lasagne stuffed with aggplants and Mediterranean macere, Pachino tomatoes sauce
Wild pork chop with southern wine must
….and at midnight we’ll toast together with Prosecco wine, Cotechino pork and lentils dish and our traditional southern desserts
price 75,00 €

for info of both restaurants in Florence: info@caffeitaliano.it


Pitti Man fashion fair

Pitti Immagine 2009
Thom Browne and “The Men’s Fashion Show” Pitti Uomo 75
Pitti Uomo 75, the 2009 edition will feature a vast array of previews and special projects from special guest Thom Browne as well as designers Comme des Garçons and Allegri Wednesday, January 14, American designer Thom Browne will present his new menswear collection for autumn-winter 2009/10. The event will take place at the Institute of Aeronautical Military Sciences. In conjunction with Pitti Uomo 75, Oliviero Toscani, together with Sterpaia, Bottega dell’Arte Communication and Oliver Saillard (curator of the Musèe des Arts Decoratifs, Paris) will curate Workwear: Work for Seduction, an exhibition in culture and fashion. Inauguration of the event will be held at Stazione Leopolda on Tuesday, January 13th.

Pitti Woman’s Precollection 3
From Tuesday January 13th through Friday, January 16th, Florence will host the third edition of Pitti W_Woman Precollection, the Pitti Immagine salon-event dedicated to women’s fashion. Events, which will be held concomitantly with Pitti Uomo 75, will take place in the Dogana and Villa Vittoria, both a short distance from Fortezza da Basso. Seventy international names in design will present previews of their collections for autumn-winter 2009/10. Special guest, Giambattista Valli will preview the new line Thursday, January 15th in the Salone dei Cinquecento, Palazzo Veccio. This is to be a refined and exclusive event.

Pitti Bimbo 68
This one-of-a-kind international event offers a complete sampling of children’s fashion, bringing together different styles from sportswear to elegant classics and different designers from big names to independent creators. Design and textile as it relates to the world of children’s fashion will also be featured. Attesting to the interest in and quality of this event are new additions Diadora Heritage, Diesel Footwear, Paul Frank, Ballantyne’s children’s line, the Dekker Kid collection and the Pitti Bimbo debut of the USA’s Gold Rush Outfitters. Events to be held between Thursday, January 22nd and Saturday, January 24th.

Pitti Filati
From Wednesday, January 28th through Friday, January 30th, the new edition of Pitti Filati will host an audience of international buyers and fashion designers. The topics on the proverbial table to include new levels of creativity in response to current trends. Attendees will surely receive useful tools with which to approach the evolution of fashion.

Vintage Selection 13
From January 28 to February 1 Statzione Leopolda will be host to Vintage Selection 13. The event will be a combination exhibition and market, featuring clothing, accessories and vintage design items. Take a look at fashion gone by in this Vintage Selection archive, and gain an understanding of where it’s going

Taste 4
Taste is an exposition dedicated to flavours and ideas. This original journey was conceived of by Gastronaut Davide Paolini and is devoted to the cultural and organic diversity of food. More than 170 contributors have been selected from across the country on the basis of excellence and niche products. Taste will be held from the 14th through the 16th of March, 2009 at Stazione Leopolda as part of Pitti Immagine. For more information, contact taste@pittimmagine.com.

Fragranza 7
By the end of the three-day event that was Fragranze 6, approximately 1,300 industry players had gotten involved (a 20% rise over the previous year’s statistics and including a doubling of foreign buyers). In addition, a substantial number of lovers and conniseurs of world frangrances attended the events open to the public. At Fragranze 7, to be held from September 11 through September 13, 2009, facilitators anticipate a continued growth of success.

Pitti Immagine Milan
The next edition of Salons Woman Touch! and Neozone Cloudnine, to be held from the 1st through the 3rd of March, will be staged at NHOW Hotel in Via Tortona 35 and Padiglione Visconti, Via Tortona 58 in Milan.

See also Pitti Uomo Immagine 72 and Sundek Party for Pitti Uomo 74


Pietro Annigoni Museum in Florence

A brand new location for the most extensive collection of Annigonian paintings in existence: the museum at Villa Bardini.

Exhibits will be altered annually in order to allow visitors and aficionados the chance to view the entire collection over time. Instalments will be arranged by thematic element, as determined by the curators.

In this first phase, the board is offering the public access to a wide array of Annigoni’s early works, most of which relate to the artist’s family life (his first wife, Anna Maggini, his children Benedetto and Ricciarda, his father and his mother). Included are the paintings Solitudine II and Solitudine III, Cinciarda, Vecchio Giardino, Interno di Studio, la Soffitta del Torero and Morte del Mendicante as well as medals, lithographs, designs and objects found in the master’s study after his death, including his famous rocking chair, his easels, his paint boxes and the dummy he used as a model for his metaphysically-themed endeavors.

Milan born artist, Pietro Annigoni, is notorious for his rejection of modern and postmodern techniques in portraiture. He chose instead to paint predominantly in the style developed during the Renaissance. Taking this into consideration lends itself to hightened fascination for the viewer since his works, even those in this first installment of the exhibit, range from the abstract to Dali-like images of surrealism to works that are easily mistaken for photographs. (The best examples of the latter are Annigoni's twelve drawings of Florence in the aftermath of the German raids.) As one strolls through the galleries, it becomes profoundly evident that Annigoni's high opinion of himself was was not out of line with his aptitude and also that he gave various styles and techniques a chance before wholeheartedly ridiculing them in his less-than-subtle manner.

Five times during his lifetime, the artist's portraits were featured on the cover of Time magazine in the US, but perhaps his most famous portrait is one of Queen Elizabeth II (above). Examples of his brilliance can be found on display in the Vatican Museum, Windsor Castle, The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Annigoni died in 1988.

It goes without saying that the Villa and surrounding Gardens in and of themselves –a valued effort in restoration by the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze – provide an excellent added incentive to visitors as well as the perfect location for the museum. The area surrounding Costa San Giorgio (almost beneath Piazzale Michelangelo and two steps from Santa Croce) is one of the most evocative in Florence, with views of the city superior to those of any other vantage point in the region.

The Villa Bardini is located at Costa San Giorgio 2 in Florence with an alternate entrance at Via dei Bardi 1r. From October 1st through March 31st the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. From April 1st through September 30th hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

For more information, call 055-2638599 or 055-2346988


Where is Florence?

Florence is one of the most visited tourist destinations of the world. At least once in a life time, you’d like to take a close look at the David of Michelangelo, or the Venere of Botticelli, or visit the Uffizi Gallery, the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens, the Brunelleschi’s Dome, etc. etc. As a matter of fact, there are few places in the world that have such a huge concentration of monuments and masterpieces in such a small space. But even if Florence is a small town, you still may need some “instructions for use” specially if it’s your first time…

Some of you asked me how close is Florence from Tuscany... or is Florence on the tuscan coast?

Traveling to Florence
Florence is the main town of Tuscany, and it is just at the center of Italy: 300 km south from Milan and 280 north from Rome. That’s way Florence offers easy access: a couple of hours are enough to reach Florence international Airport from all major European hubs, which may also provide comfortable connections from all over the world as well. Florence, owing to its position, has also fast and efficient rail and motorway connections with the rest of the country.

Florence Airport
Florence Airport (Amerigo Vespucci) is served by many domestic and international flights with daily flights. The airport is just 4km north-west of Florence. Public Bus companies SITA ("aerobus") and ATAF run a bus service between the airport and Santa Maria Novella Station.

Traveling by plane to Florence from some of the main European towns:
Amsterdam: 1.50 h.
Barcelona: 1.35 h.
Bruxelles: 1.55 h.
Budapest: 1.30 h.
Frankfurt: 1.30 h.
Geneve: 1.30 h.
Goteborg: 2.25 h.
London: 2.00 h.
Madrid: 2.10 h.
Munich: 1.20 h.
Oslo: 2.50 h.
Paris: 1.55 h.
Praga: 1.30 h.
Stoccarda: 1.20 h.
Tirana: 1.30 h.
Vienna: 2.35 h.

And Italian towns:
Cagliari: 1.05 h.
Catania: 1.35 h.
Milan: 1.00 h.
Palermo: 1.15 h.
Rome: 1.00 h.

Distances by car:
Bologna: km.105
Genova: km.225
Milan: km.300
Naples: km.490
Pisa: km.95
Rome: km.280
Siena: km.70
Torino: km.395
Venice: km. 255

Pisa Airport
Pisa Airport (named Galileo Galilei), has more connections to long distance destinations and it’s not very far from Florence. Pisa Airport (on average) is at a 1.00 hour –1.30 hours by train and even less by car (on the “Strada a Grande Comunicazione Firenze-Pisa-Livorno” toll free) from Florence. There are also shuttle coach services run by private companies (you can buy tickets directly in the Pisa airport). Pisa may be interesting for budget travelers because is served by a great number of budget airlines (such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Thomsonfly).

Thanks to its central position Florence is connected to the main north-south Italian railway. Frequent services run from Florence's principal station, Stazione Santa Maria Novella, to the other major Italian cities (Rome is less than two hours away and Milan less than three). Next to the Church of Santa Maria Novella, the station puts you directly in the centre of Florence and within walking distance of many hotels. A few services (mostly night-time ones) stop at Campo di Marte, a secondary station to the east of Florence city centre (close to it anyway).
Traveling times by train from main Italian towns:
Bologna: 0.55 h.
Genova: 3.00 h.
Milan: 2.46 h.
Naples: 3.36 h.
Pisa: 0.50 h.
Rome: 1.30 h.
Torino: 4.00 h.
Venice: 3.00 h.

Bus and Coach
Bus and coach services connect Florence to the rest of Tuscany and Italy. Buses stop in various locations close to Stazione Santa Maria Novella. SITA, who run many regional services, have their own bus station (the Autostazione Sita) on Via Santa Caterina da Siena, a few yards from the railway station. Another good company, LAZZI, is just on the other side of the station square and offers several connections to rest of Tuscany (specially western part) and also main Italian and European towns.

Moving in Florence
The city centre is relatively small, and great part of the attractions are in the very center or in nearby areas, thus you can visit great part of the town by foot. But be careful! Don’t forget to watch out for speeding cars and moped traffic, and cross all streets with extreme caution.
Pubblic transportation system is based on ATAF orange buses, they are not very expensive and almost reliable if not comfortable (in rush hours they may be overcrowded). You can buy bus tickets in many shops along the streets (news papers stands, tabaconists, etc.), but after 7.30 pm it may be difficult to find them, while getting the ticket on the bus is more expensive and drivers usually don’t have change!
Taxis (white cabs) are quite expensive but offer a good service and late at night are the only transport service easily available: there is a radio-taxi service that permits you to get a cab whereever you are.

Moving safely
Florence isn’t a dangerous town. Generally speaking the town center is safe also late at night. A couple of suggestions may prove useful: late at night (after midnight) the Santa Maria Novella Station area may be a little dangerous specially for women walking alone. Best suggestions for women alone late at night is not to answer to anybody bothering and keep on moving. If you’ve been drinking to much be sure to have a taxi bringing you home. It’s easy – bar tenders are used to help tourist in difficulty - and less expensive than a lost (or picked) wallet! Be careful on busses specially when they are crowded: there are lots of pickpockets and they are really clever in identifying tourists. Keep purses and wallets under strict surveillance! Don’t be ashamed to ask for help (aiuto in Italian and you pronounce it something like: i-you-to!) if you feel in any danger or difficulty. Italians usually love to be helpful!


Shopping Antiquities and Modern Malls in Florence

From antique markets to the Italian version of the American mall, there is a variety of shopping available throughout the city of Florence.

The antique market at Piazza Ciompi is a great place to spend the morning exploring and browsing through the history of Florence. Although small in size, it is filled with beautiful jewelry, luggage, clothing, silver products, and much more. Prices in the market range depending on the type of item being purchased, as well as its age and condition. The market is made up of small booths run by vendors each is completely filled with hundreds of things to sort through and discover. The density of the market and the amount that is in such a small place can be slightly overwhelming so be sure to allow yourself a few hours if you want to really explore and take the time to look through everything. If you feel like only spending a short time here, it is still definitely a place to visit since it is filled with unique people and objects and will definitely make you feel connected with Florence, its history, and the Florentine people. If you are looking for anything trendy, clothing, or anything specific, stick to the center of Florence. However, if you would like to find a selection of unique, beautiful, and historic artifacts of Florence, Piazza Ciompi is the perfect place.

The Gigli mall is located about 30 minutes outside Florence and is an American style mall filled with a variety of Italian stores. The mall includes a food court, indoor market, furniture stores with bathroom vanity, and a large selection of stores perfect for clothing shopping. Most of the stores are moderately priced and salespeople were friendly and helpful—which is a nice change from the clothing stores in the center of Florence. The Gigli mall is a great way to spend the afternoon. For students studying in Florence, or visitors on an extended stay, the mall is a great place to do some real shopping. However, for tourists spending a short time in Florence, it can easily be skipped since it is not really a tourist attraction, but simply a place for italians to do their every day shopping.

Piazza Ciompi can be reached by on foot 10 minutes from the Duomo. By taking Via dell’Oriuolo from the Piazza del Duomo which leads into Via Pietrapiana at Piazza Salvemini.

The Gigli mall can be reached by C.A.P. bus from the Stazione Centrale di Santa Maria Novella. The cost of a bus ticket is 1.40 euro and they leave the station every half hour.

See also the post about outlet shopping near Florence, the Barberino Outlet, the Vintage store in Florence.


More ideas to spend a marvellous New Years Eve in Florence

If you are a COSPLAY fan you cannot miss this extravaganza night at the room club in via della Fornace 9, in Florence with the special participation of Cosplayer coming from Tokyo. You can disguise yourself with your favorite super hero or heroine costume to greet the 2009 in this new and untypical way. The special night starts at 10,30pm until the dawn. Info line: www.kokedo.com - cosplayevent@gmail.com

Then for the lovers of dancing you have two choices: one at Saschall Theater the other at THE disco in Florence, YAB, than stands for “you are beautiful”.
Saschall. The party starts at 8, 30pm with the dinner with more than 8 different dishes (11 to be precise), with live music and live show and then from 11,30pm until 6am the real party starts directly from Pacha in Ibiza. This the official Pacha tour from Ibiza. Happy music - Commerciale - House con i dj's Kiko Navarro (Pacha recording e Pacha Ibiza), Paola Poletto (Korova Lab), e Marco Bertani.
Prices are from € 100 (dinner and dancing) to € 135 (dinner, dancing and reserved table including a bottle of champagne). After dinner with dancing is € 55, 00 including a drink. Free shuttle bus from the train station square in Santa Maria Novella for all night long.
YAB. The historical disco in Florence opens its door with a party called “ROUGE” and the atmosphere will be like the old Paris with warm red color ambience. The special dinner starts 9,30pm with a rich menu and then live music. The menu is a mix of Tuscan tradition. Dinner with dancing € 110,00. The entrance to the disco € 50 including a drink. For both parties please call Matteo Cel: 339.6914933 or email him at matteo@capodannofirenze.it
MSN: matteo.ulivi@hotmail.com

For those of you just wish to dance there the Twenty-one, another historical disco in the centre of Florence completely renovated. It is composed by three rooms: one for chatting and listening to some music; a second one more cozy, with tables where you can toast to the New Year with a glass of Champagne and the third, the dance floor! Entrance and drink is € 35, 00.
For info and purchase the tickets: Matteo Cel: 339.6914933
Twenty-One Via dei Cimatori 13

see also New Year's Eve dinners, more dinners for New Years Eve


Florence New Year Eve 2009

Here are some researches people have done on my blog. I will try to help them to find what they are looking for. If you need other info about events in Florence during Christmastime, just ask.

Christmas dinner florence restaurant music: few restaurants in Florence are open for Xmas. I Know that Rifrullo restaurant has a special Xmas lunch>>

Florence Italy Christmas market: the most famous Xmas Market in Florence is the one of Heidelberg: wood stands with products from Germany plus typical food. From December 3rd to December 21st as every year in the square of Santa Croce.

New years eve 2008 Florence: there are big parties around the city such as the Fortezza Florence new year's eve: music and dancing till late. At Saschall there will be the official Pacha Ibiza Party: dinner and dancing till 6 in the morning.

Where to spend new years 2008 in Florence Italy: here are some suggestions.
Osteria del caffè Italiano: tuscan menu in a gorgeous location (see some pictures here).
Ristorante Sud: spicy food from the South of Italy, such as Puglia and Sicily, very cheap.
Alle murate: elegant and luxury restaurant with Dante Alighieri's original frescoes.

Ice skating Florence Italy: open from late November until the 6th of January. On Xmas day a big Santa Claus will be there for kids.

New Year eve in Tuscany: in Siena there will be the annual free concert in Piazza del Campo. The singer performing this year is very famous here in Italy: Antonello Venditti (I am sorry he sings in italian!).


The Best Aperitivo in Florence

Aperitivo is one of Italy’s most charming traditions and one of Florence’s best kept secrets. The term is just a rough translation of the English “cocktail.” In terms of history and etymology, that is what it is. Somewhere in Turin some years ago, some gentleman invented something called vermouth, paired it with light snacks and proposed it as an “opening” to the evening meal.
Over 2 centuries aperitivo has evolved to become the evening meal. Nowadays in Italy, it is customary for the locals en route from work to stop by a favourite bar or club, partake in a cocktail with friends and enjoy a veritable buffet of pastas, vegetables, finger sandwiches, salads and, yes, even light snacks. A leisurely aperitivo eliminates the hassle of preparing a proper meal after a long day at the office, and it comes at a much smaller cost than dinner at a restaurant. On average, the price for one drink and access to the spread is between 7 and 10 euro.
The second course (the one involving meat) is not a typical component of aperitivo. A choice of first courses (pasta or rice), a number of side dishes and a selection of breads and sauces usually make up the evening’s menu. In bars, you are likely to find the day’s left over sandwiches on offer as well, and, in some venues, you may even find ethnic dishes.
Hours for aperitivo are usually between 7 and 9 p.m. The locals tend to arrive a little later, so follow suit if you’re looking to fit in, but be sure not to wait too long. The kitchen only prepares as much food as it expects to serve. If you really want to get a seat, avoid the locali near movie theatres and avoid them especially on Wednesdays (when the new releases are featured). If, on the other hand, you opt for aperitivo on a night of Fiorentino soccer, you are sure to have your choice of tables at any venue.
Trendy Aperitivi
Be sure to dress your best if you don’t want to stand out as un-Florentine.
Oibo (Greci 1, near Santa Croce) open at 7:30p.m., cost €8 www.oibo.net 055-2638611 (here in the picture)
Rifrullo (Via San Niccolo 55/r) open until 10:30p.m., cost €10 www.ilrifrullo.com 055-2342621 On Sundays great buffet.
Negroni (Via dei Renai 17) open at 7 p.m., cost: €8, adult clientele www.negronibar.com 055243647
Zoe (Via dei Renai 13/r) open at 6p.m., cost: €8, student clientele 055-243111
Dolcevita (Piazza del Carmine) open 7:30p.m, cost: €10 www.dolcevitaflorence.com 055-284595
Boston T (Viale Europa 160) open at 6p.m.. cost: unknown www.boston-t.it 055-6533307
Rosso Rubino (Viale Europa 96/98) cost: unknown www.rossorubino.eu 055-6584924
Touristic Aperitivi
You can get away with a T-shirt and jeans, but you’ll miss out on authenticity
Noir/Ex Capocaccia (Lungarno Corsini 12/14r) cost: €9-10 www.noirfirenze.com 055-210751
Slowly (Via Porta Rossa 63) open at 7p.m., cost: unknown www.slowlycafe.com 055-2645354
Colle Bereto (Piazza degli Strozzi 5) open until 10p.m., best Thursday, cost: unknown 055 283156
Alternative Aperitivi
Here you’ll find good food, many students and a dose of counterculture
Kitch (Viale Gramzci 1/3/5) open 7:30p.m., cost €7, student clientele, 055-2343890
Tangram (Via dei Serragli 3/r) light aperitivo, cost: €3.50 www.tan-gram.it 055-2382431
Strizzi Bar (Via G. Mariti and Viale Redi) open at 6p.m., cost: €3, student clientele
Serafini (Via Gioberti) open until 8p.m., cost €6
Cafè Deluxeè (Piazza Indipendenza) open at 8p.m. live music, www.cafedeluxee.com 055-485749
Seasonal Aperitivi
Great outdoor venues serving exceptional food, but only during weather permitting months
Moba Villa Bardini (Costa San Georgio 4) open at 7:30p.m., cost: €10, beautiful views (here in the picture)
Hotel Minerva (Piazza SMN 16) Thursdays, cost: €15 www.grandhotelminerva.com 055-27230
Traditional Aperitivi
The locals’ choice for food and ambience... and a scarcity of tourists
Pigmento Cafè (Via Erbosa 12/r) cost: unknown, live music, www.pigmentocafe.it 055-6584766
Boston T (Viale Europa 160) open 6p.m., cost: unknown www.boston-t.it 055-6533307
Rosso Rubino (Viale Europa 96/98) cost: unknown www.rossorubino.eu 055-6584924
Cafè de Paris (Piazza Dalmazia 7/r) cost: €7 www.cafedeparis.it 055-4220505


Chrismas Time in Florence: events, markets, concerts


From November 30th until January 6th everyone can assist to 27 free concerts spread all over Florence in churches, bookshops and theaters. Various concerts with Ensable vocale on December 12th at 9pm in the SS Apostoli church then the Gospel choir at Auditorium Clinica Medica of Careggi on December 14th at 10,30am. The in all the major bookshops of Florence such as Seeber, Edison, Feltrinelli and Martelli a lot of other churches such as Santa Maria Maggiore in vi de’ Cerretani, the SS Apostoli church, San Lorenzo, san Frediano in Cestello, San Firenze will host concerts throughout the month of December. The concerts will have as protagonists not only big Italian names but also some guests from the European music scene.
On December 20th there will be 3 concerts all at 9pm in the convent of San Salvatore al Monte where the music school of Fiesole will play music from Mozart instead in the church of San Firenze there will be the recital of the organist Olimpio Medori. For info: Tel 055 783374

December 4th at 5pm in Libreria Martelli, Via Martelli “FILM…only music” Violin, piano, dancer, music by Webern, Gershwin, Rota and Morricone.

Saturday December 6th at 9pm church of Santa Maria Maggiore, via de’ Cerretani organ player Sergio Militello, music by bach, Dubois ad Guilmante

Sunday, December 7th Rock in classic music by Queen, Wham, Beatles, E.John and Sting performed at Theatre Cantiere Florida in Via Pisana 111/r at 9pm

Sunday, December 7th at 9pm in the church of SS Michele and Gaetano in piazza degli Antinori concert of the Florence Academy. Music by Mozart, Schurbert and fauré

Tuesday, December 9th at 6pm in the Edison bookshop: path between books and thoughts. Ensemble choir. Xmas music and spirituals.

Wednesday, December 10th at 9pm in the San Lorenzo Basilica music for violins. Veracini, Vivaldi, tartini music.

Friday, December 12th at 9pm in the SS Apostoli church. Polyphonic ensemble with music by Stabile, Palestrina and Byrd

Saturday December 13th at 9pm in the Sala della Compagnia, Via di Soffiano 2, Quartet with flute, music by Mozart

Sunday, December 14th “FOR JOY GOSPEL CHOIR ORCHESTRA AGIMUSARTE” at 10,30pm at the auditorium of the Clinica Medica of Careggi, music by Vivaldi and Corelli

Ensemble of Polyphonic music of Florence in the church of San Leonardo in Arcetri at 4,30pm.

Monday, December 15th Concert for violin and violoncello and piano at the Kunstitestorische Institut of Florence, Via Giusti 44. Concert starts at 6,30pm.

In the church of Orsanmichele at 9pm concert for violin and piano, music by Debussy

Tuesday, December 16th Chiesa di san Firenze concerts start at 9pm Recital for piano, music by Haden and Pieranunzi

Church of San Frediano in Cestello concerts starts at 9pm. Duo, opera singer and harp. Music by Gounod, Mozart and Frank

Wednesday, December 17th Libreria Feltrinelli at 6pm concert for guitar, music by Villalobos, Piazzolla

Saturday, December 20th Cenacolo of the church of Santa Croce Young orchestra of Florence, traditional music and spirituals. Concert starts at 9pm

Convento san Salvatore al Monte, Via di san Salvatore al monte 9. Concert of the school of muisc of Fiesole. Concert is at 9pm

Wednesday, December 24th Basilica of SSAnnunziata at 9,30pm Organ. Recital of the organ player Pier Paolo Donati, music by Cavazzoni, Guami, Frescobaldi

Santa Croce XMAS MARKET and ice skating in Florence

From December 3rd to December 21st as every year in the square of Santa Croce you can stroll around the little market houses. You can buy all the traditional and typical products of 15 different countries.
The Xmas market is organized by the association of shops, the Region of Tuscany and Confesercenti. This is a truly occasion to start to think about gifts and ideas for Xmas decoration.
And this year too you can go ice skating at the Parterre, in Piazza della Libertà. The cost for hiring the skates are of 6 euro (same price since 2000) . the scheduling time are from 9/10am 10,30/11am 12am/1PM; in the aftrenoon from 2,30/3,30pm 4/5pm 5.3/6.30pm 7/7,30pm; evening from 9/10pm 10,30/11,30pm ; (Friday, saturday and sunday from midnight to 1am). On Xmas day the littles ones will be host by father Xmas in person, instead on January 6th there will be the turn of the "Befana". On San Silvestro night (31th of December, New Year's Eve) the parterre will open to welcome the new year!!!
For info tel. 055/0517447


Museo Annigoni in Florence

pietro annigoni museum in FlorenceMuseo Annigoni at Villa Bardini has just opened its doors to the public (from November, the 15th). More than 6000 masterpieces have been gathered to be shown altered annually in order to allow visitors the chance to view the entire collection over time. Pietro Annigoni was born in 1910 and he died in 1988. This is the first official museum that Florence dedicates to this important artist.
More than 120 paintings will be displayed for 1 year, than they will start rotating the entire collection.
5 times during his lifetime, the artist's portraits were featured on the cover of Time magazine in the US, but perhaps his most famous portrait is one of Queen Elizabeth II. Other famous portraits: Margaret, Margot Fonteyn, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the Pope Giovanni XXIII. Examples of his brilliance can be found on display in the Vatican Museum, Windsor Castle, The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Where: Villa Bardini is located at Costa San Giorgio 2 in Florence with an alternate entrance at Via dei Bardi 1r.

Opening hours: From October 1st through March 31st the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. From April 1st through September 30th hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Closed on Monday and Tuesday. For more information, call 055-2638599 or 055-2346988.


Outlet Shopping

GUCCI, PRADA, PINKO or CK? So you hear that the outlets are a must see place upon arrival in Italy, right? Well, let me give you the dirty downlow- but keep it quite guys!

Barberino Designer Outlet, half an hour away from Florence and less than an hour from Bologna. More than 90 shops featuring the best brands with fashion products from previous seasons at prices cut by 30 to 70% all year round. In the heart of Tuscany, Barberino Outlet is located less than a mile from the main italian highway 'Autostrada del Sole', crossed by 90000 vehicles. Shopping is a completely different story at Barberino. A pair of fashion shoes? Breathtaking lingerie? An item for home? Here you will be able to find something truly exclusive, choosing among the best brands. The prices? Discounted all year long 30% to 70%! Don't miss it!
The area, covered by Bologna and Florence airports, enjoys excellent links with Florence, Pistoia and Prato through ordinary motorways. There's also a daily shuttle bus from Santa Maria Novella, Florence main railway station, to get there (just exit on the right of the station and you'll see the bus stop near the green area).
Address Barberino Designer Outlet: Via Meucci - 50031 Barberino di Mugello (FI)
INFOLINE: 055 842161

Prada outletThe Prada outlet, as it is frequently called is actually called SPACE and it is home to not only Prada. Other names such as Helmut Lang, Miu Miu and Jill Sander. The prices are spectacular- it is really flooring. A few years ago, the prices were even better when the Lira was in action, however, prices for PRADA have remained the same, unlike other Italian fashion houses. Make sure you take at least half of a day for your journey. Trains leave to Montevarchi, where the outlet is located, throughout the day. Once you get there, you hop in a cab and you are zipped right to the all white intimidating building. After you press the button for your personal number- get ready. Among the many aisles of ornate bags, intricate ties, and gleaming shoes, you can find some great deals.
SPACE (Prada) - Località Levanella, 52025 Montevarchi (AR) - Tel : +39 055 91 901
Opening hours : Normally seven days a week. Please call ahead to check opening hours as they are subject to sudden changes. Saturday is the busiest day. Admission is possible until 1/2 an hour before closing time.
How to get there:
By train, take the train to Montevarchi station and then get a cab (about 15 minutes).
By car: take the A1 autostrada - Exit 'Valdarno', Out of the toll turn right and follow signs for Montevarchi or Centro. At the big round about that has an IPER - COOP supermarket exit left. Then continue towards Arezzo. Pass through Montevarchi and 'Località levanella' after the village pass a gas station and then follow signs for I PELLETTIERI D'ITALIA in the 'Zona Industriale' on the left. The sign for the outlet is at a traffic light. On your left is a huge grey factory that is all Prada and the out let is in the back of the main factory complex. Prada is the hardest to find but the most worth the effort. Do not hesitate to show local people the address to get a direction, they are quite accustomed to lost fashionistas. During the off seasons, you can basically go to the outlets at anytime. However, during summer hours, all of Japan and California flock to that stainless steele ticket dispenser to get their ticket and wait...and wait...and have a cappuccio at teh chic bar next door....and guess what...wait some more until their number is called. Don't lose your ticket. If you liek an itme, a sales associate will stow it away under your personal number. After your 10 or 15 sweeps around the store, it time to check out. You tell them your number and they ring you up. Hurry before the exit lines get big. Some people buy large and keep going. There is always something here worthwhile to buy!

The Gucci Outlet, is also located outside of Florence at THE MALL. It is actually pretty expensive to get there and the prices are not anything to drop your cheeseburger for.
The other stores at THE MALL are Agnona, Bottega Veneta, Emanuel Ungaro, Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Loro Piana, Hogan, La Perla, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod's, Sergio Rossi, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent. All have older styles with high prices, however, you can always snag a good deal here and there.

THE MALL information desk opening hours are: from 9 to 18 non-stop Monday to Saturday
Tel +39 055 8657 775 Fax +39 055 8657 801

THE MALL address: Via Europa 8, 50060 Leccio, Reggello Firenze
Opening hours : from 10 to 19 non-stop Monday to Saturday and 15-19 on Sunday.
Please call ahead to check opening hours as they are subject to sudden changes.
How to get there: The mall provides a shuttle bus to collect clients from their hotels and take them to the out let. Seats may be reserved by calling THE MALL information desk.

New Year's Eve in Florence: dinners in florentine restaurants

Looking for a special way to ring in 2009? Look no further than the city of Florence.

From street festivals to restaurant specials to free concerts of every kind, the events that mark “Capodanno” in Florence are as various as they are astounding! Theaters in and around the city provide entertainment. Dining establishments dress up their menus, and, should you prefer to spend the evening under the stars, step out into the nearest piazza. You are bound to find a spectacle fit for the occasion. Pass San Silvestro’s feast day (and night) in cheerful company in Piazza Santa Croce with a free concert. This year, Maestro Giuseppe Lanzetta will direct the Philharmonic Orchestra of the European Lyric Theatre (Teatro lirio Europeo), showcasing Strauss and Verdi. Piazza Pitti is also a fine venue for a free classical concert. Following its success of last year, Capodanno al Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio will feature live music and excellent “Fish and Chips” for all. Wander over to Piazza Santo Spirito, where an association of local merchants will put on a grand evening. For the third year, the Uffizi Center organization will bring back its Capodanno Banquet and Ball, to be held near the Duomo of Florence in the center of the city, at palazzo Gaddi. And when it’s all over, New Year’s Day young musicians from the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole will perform a free concert in the Teatro del Maggio Musicale at 11:30 a.m.
Of course there will also be many festivals, parties and special dinners in other local venues and even theatres where the celebration will be interrupted only at midnight and only momentarily for a traditional toast.
Found what you were looking for yet? Read on.
The Finest Capodanno Dinners in Florence

Alle Murate Dining with Dante frescoes.. The fine restoration of the Guild has recreated an emblamatic location from 14th century Florence. These frescoes were intended to highlight the autonomy and greatness of Florence by portraying the genius of its humanists and poets, Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch. And the first of these is Dante. In the centre of the valuted ceiling is a magnificent circular representation of medieval Florence surrounded by its walls, the Arno river and the crests of the town of Florence, the fleurs-de-lis, the Guelph eagle and the cross. The recently restored 14th century premises of the Guild of Judges and Notaries in the heart of Florence, offer a unique experience in Florentine art and archeology, dating from the Roman epoca until early Renaissance. A life time experience: eating there for the New Year's Eve!
New Year's Eve December 31, 2008
Capon stock with hand made ravioli and Valdarnese hen’s special egg
Red prawns from Sicily, turnip tops sauce and bresaola from Chianina beef
Tortelli stuffed with burrata and ricotta cheese, sea bass ragout
Pumpkin soufflé, foie gras, black cabbage sauce
Free range lamb from Casentino country: leg stuffed with artichokes, stewed shoulder and fried chop
Variation on chocolate and citrus fruit: dark chocolate cake with tangerine sauce, orange jelly and white chocolate mousse
150 euro per person Wines are not included (Spumante included)
for info and reservation please send an email to: silvia@allemurate.it
Ristorante Alle Murate Via del Proconsolo 16/r Tel. 055240618
http://www.allemurate.it See some pictures of the restaurant here
While you are waiting to dine you can visit the frescoes with a free audio guide available in 7 languages.

tuscan trattoriaOsteria del Caffe Italiano, Dine on fine Tuscan cuisine in the center of Florence (close to piazza Signoria and Santa Croce square). The restaurant is in a historical palace belonged to an aristocratic florentine family.
Taste the real Bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-bone steak), cooked on a real grill, and obviously italian pasta, pizza and tuscan specialties. You can order from the menu (a la carte) or choose the 5 dishes selection for a special dinner.
Here are some tuscan dishes you can find on the menu:
Tuscan croutons with: soprassata, Colonnata lard, sage-flavoured chicken livers, white cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes with basil. Platter of tuscan cheeses with sweet chutneys. Mixed mushroom and potatoes soup, Borrage purèe with radish, ribollita “The traditional Florentine vegetables soup”, Beans soup and crunchy pork rind, Scamorza cheeses, Mafaldine pasta with wild pork ragout, Ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and black cabbage sauce, Tortelli stuffed with potatoes and pecorino cheese from Pienza, Cinta Senese pork sauce, Oven-cooked lasagne.
Large mixed platter of freshly coked vegetables, Mixed platter of vegetable flan with stewed chickory, Lamb leg stuffed with artichokes and fried chop, thyme aroma, grilled chicken’s breast marinated in rosmary, garlic and lemon with vegetables, Stewed and crunchy polenta, Joint of beef braised in Chianti Classico with creamed potatoes, Veal lever with onion sauce and broccoli purèe, Choice of mixed boild meats with green sauce, preserves in vinegar,and hot Cremona mustard.
Wood fire grilled specialities
Fiorentine steak served with beans, coke green and roast potatoes
Brick roasted Valdarno cockerel with roast potatoes
Pork chop from Casentino country
Grilled or balsamic vinegar flavoured filet of beef
Osteria style sliced beef
Skewered meat with grilled vegetables
Remember to make a reservation: this tuscan restaurant is very popular in Florence and you can find it full! info@caffeitaliano.it

Capodanno 2008 2009 at Al Maracana, Via Faenza, 4 (Florence) Maracana hosts the one and only Brazilian New Year’s celebration in Florence, and boasts a spectacle of Brazilian dance.

Capodanno 2009 at Fortezza da Basso. Participate in this festival of dedication to Florence. Banquet by reservation.

Capodanno 2009 at Yab, Banquet by reservation with a special guest of Channel 5 and music and dancing to follow.

Auditorium Flog, Via Mercati 24-B, (Firenze) will feature live music and dance from 10:30 p.m.

Christmas Markets in Florence

Christmas Markets in Florence - Christmastime in Florence

In a country without Thanksgiving, the Christmas season is not so clearly defined, but for a city steeped in tradition, those surrounding the holiday are among its best. From the lighting of the tree in the Piazza della Repubblica to the annual opening of the ice skating rink at Paterre to choral concerts in the countless churches to visits from Befana and Babbo Natale, Florence knows how to celebrate. Still, perhaps the most notable of Christmas staples in a place where shopping is a way of life, are the many markets that fill the piazzas at this time of year. To name a few:

Mercato di Natale della Croce Rossa Italiana
The Mercato di Natale della Croce Rossa Italiana, organized by the Volontarie del Comitato Femminile, will be held from the 21st through the 23rd of November at Saschall, Lungarno Aldo Moro 3. The market will give shoppers the opportunity to browse a vast array of Christmas gift items. Proceeds too benefit those less fortunate in and around Florence.

Those interested in gift items from Germany and other parts of Europe will find what they are looking for at Weihnachtsmarkt, to be held in Piazza Santa Croce where crafts, foods and other typical products will be featured by merchants from the country that gave the world the Christmas tree. The market will be open from late November through December 16th. After December 17th, The Mercatino will replace the Weihnachtsmarkt at its venue. The Mercatino in Santa Croce will specialize in traditional Italian gifts and foods. Also featured will be a number of activities for children.

Florence Noel
The Stazione Leopolda will house the annual Florence Noel market, open from November 29th through December 8th from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday and on Monday, December 8th. Food, crafts and gifts of predominantly Tuscan origins will fill the merchants’ displays, but the main attraction is sure to be a visit to the house of Father Christmas. Tickets cost 7 euro.

Other small markets will be held in and around Florence. At Bagno a Ripoli, for example, will host “A tutto Natale” on December 9th and a special market, “A Natale con i Tuoi” (Christmas with your parents), on December 22nd. Proceeds from markets in Grassina and Antella will benefit Calcit (a cancer research organization). Greve and Strada, both in Chianti, will collaboratively present “Aspettando Natale: Mercanti Artigianali” in Piazza Matteotti and Piazza Landi, respectively. The exact dates and times of the Chianti markets are not yet available.


Florence marathon

Next Sunday in Florence there will be the 25th edition of Florence Marathon: more than 9000 participants from all the countries. Starting from Piazzale Michelangelo at 9.30 am, the marathon will be held through the streets of Florence. Arrival is at Santa Croce square.
Participants are coming from all parts of the world: from France (658 runners), from Germany (382), from Austria (248), from Spain (241), from Great Britain (230), Switzerland (117), USA (85), Denmark (73), Belgiium (71), Hungary (54), Slovenia (47), Netherlands (33) e Poland (31).
Car traffic will be stopped for the event.

Xmas fairs, Art exibitions and Japanese restaurants....

While we wait for the Xmas market from Heidelberg in December in Santa Croce square we can already taste the Xmas atmosphere at the Florence Noel from November 29th until December 2nd. The event will be, as usual, at the Leopolda station: Xmas expositions and gifts ideas. The main attraction will be the House of Father Xmas (Santa Claus). The entrance fee is € 7, 00.

If you have to organize an art event there is a new space in Florence called Artsenal63 in Via Santa Reparata 19r. On Saturday November 22nd opened an art exhibition called “GOLD” by Gabriele Mori a musician, painter, performer from Florence. This space with a surface of 400 square meters is excellent for big and small art event. Open to everybody. You can visit also their blog, http://artsenal63.wordpress.com

japanese restaurant in florenceThen, for ethnic food lovers I finally tasted the famous Japanese/Thai restaurant two people (readers of the blog) tried before me and thanks to the presence of a very nice and funny Japanese boy who was having dinner with me and other friends, I was able to try also other specialties rather than only sushi and sashimi. We tried a very similar pork chop served in a bowl full of rice, very popular in Japan. We had of course a “boat” of sushi and sashimi and I was very surprised of the excellent quality of the fish, both salmon and tuna were very fresh and delicate.
A mention also to dessert both the sushi fantasy and the chocolate one. I had an ice cream to the taste of green tea. For the full meal you would be spend about 30 euro.
NIWA Japanese and Thai restaurant
Via Ponte alle Mosse, 16/r
tel. 055 355736


Aperitif....to the hairdresser!!!!

After having spent the entire day at the BTO, the fair of tourism on line, I ended up with a terrible headache.
I had an appointment with my favourite hairdresser and I was happily surprised that on Monday, as they close late in the evening, they asked Salamanca, the Spanish restaurant beside them to bring some tapas, the Spanish aperitif and between a shiatsu massage and a coffee; it is nice to grab some tacos and sauces with sangria. Jo explained me that if they have to stay open late in the evening it is nice to offer something to customers and I have to admit that this is “taking care of customers”…

Via Ghibellina 74r
Open from Monday to Saturday (Monday opens in the evening as well).


What's on this weekend in Tuscany

A rich week end of events....
japanese festival in FlorenceThis week end at Villa Strozzi, in via Pisana, Florence, the Lailac Japanese centre organizes again the Japanese festival.
It will be not a fashion event to underline all the news coming from that country but a truly jump in the Japanese culture where LAILAC tries to promote the language, the writings, the arts, food and so on. Trough ancient dances, ancient tradition and martial art the event will be at the LIMONAIA of Villa Strozzi, in via Pisana 77 from November 14th to November 16th from 11an to 8pm.

vintage store in Florence-Then on Saturday November 15th from 5pm to 9pm the guys from Officina Vintage opens their second shop few steps from the Medici Chapels, in via del Giglio 41/r. Clothing and accessories from the 70ties and the 80ties. Buffet for free.
-Tuscan buffet at Serafini Bar in Via Gioberti. This bar will stay open until 9pm to offer their customers a rich aperitif where the quality is essential. Tuscan appetizers, ribollita, ham, salami and cheese all from Tuscany.
-If you are still looking for Tuscan food don’t miss in largo Annigoni very close to the St.Ambrogio market the second wine and food biennale where you can taste different kind of food from Tuscany but also from other regions of Italy: lampredotto, arancini (from Sicily), focacce form Genoa, northern Italy pork and other things such as cakes, and a taste of different beers.

And if you fancy going outside Florence…

- Arezzo: Agritur, a fair dedicated to agriturismi
- San Miniato, between Florence and Pisa, there is the famous fair of the white truffle, another place where you can taste and buy this precious stone is also close to Siena, in San Giovanni d’Asso.
- In Certaldo there is the sweet fair of chocolate
- In Montespertoli at Castello of Sonnino the fair of bread and extra virgin olive oil and also the exhibition of white truffle again.
- And finally in Rufina on Sunday November 16th from 9am in the historical centre, the fair of the saint patron, S Martino. Concerts, wine tasting and chestnuts, games. Information: 055 8396529


Vintage store in Florence


A young, talented, creative group of friends opened Officina Vintage last year in a hidden corner outside the historical centre of Florence and it was immediate success. Now, after one year, they are ready to open another shop this time in the historical centre of Florence just few steps from the Duomo, in via Del Giglio 41/red. At Officina Vintage you can find vintage clothing of the 70ties and 80ties : a more complete selection of clothing and accessories dedicated to all Vintage lovers and those who want to dress with a very personal taste but especially to own a unique and
inimitable item.
The grand opening of this second shop will be on Saturday, November 15th from 5pm until 9pm in Via Del Giglio 41/red, near the Medici chapels. Come to visit this colorful shop full of creative ideas: the verve of these four guys will conquer you!!!
Time openings:
Monday from 3pm to 8pm
Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to
2pm – 3pm to 8pm
Sundays (until Dec. 31st) 10am to 2pm – 3pm to 8pm


New year's eve 2008 , Florence, Italy

Here are some events for new years eve celebration in Florence Italy 2008.
special dinner for the new years eve in FlorenceAt florentine Restaurant Le Murate in the center of the city, close to Piazza Signoria and Piazza Santa Croce, there will be a special menu for the dinner of the 31st of December.
In a charming location, with the original and unique frescoes of Dante, you have the opportunity to taste some italian specialties. As an appetizers Capon stock with hand made ravioli and Valdarnese hen’s special egg. Then Red prawns from Sicily, turnip tops sauce and bresaola from Chianina beef. As first dish tortelli stuffed with burrata and ricotta cheese, sea bass ragout. After this a Pumpkin soufflé, foie gras, black cabbage sauce.
The main course is Free range lamb from Casentino country: leg stuffed with artichokes, stewed shoulder and fried chop.
For dessert a variation on chocolate and citrus fruit: dark chocolate cake with tangerine sauce, orange jelly and white chocolate mousse.
Price for the dinner 150 euros.
For info and reservation: silvia@allemurate.it
see some pictures of the restaurant here

Other dinners and events? soon on this blog! I will tell you all the party and celebration of 2009 in Florence!
See also christmas markets in Florence with the Florence Noel market 2008 at stazione leopolda.
See also the post about my dinner at this elegant restaurant in Florence.

Wine and olive oil tasting in Chianti

Last Sunday, I went with some friends to visit a farm in the surrounding areas of Siena, in Badesse, for a wine and extra virgin olive oil tasting.
The farmhouse, Il ciliegio, has been organizing for the past 3 years a full day dedicated to the tasting of some typical Tuscan products such as ham and salami, bruschetta, fettunta, polenta, ribollita, chestnuts with also the opening of the wine cellars. It is such a beautiful idea to spend some time in the country side especially with the November sun.
We liked also the exterior part of the farm where we saw animals, new born rabbits, vineyards and olive trees in a magical atmosphere.
wine cellarsIt is praiseworthy to see Luca, the young owner of the farm to dedicate his life to work in the fields or with animals.
Luca also explained us how they keep the wine in French barrique and how the grape raisins need to stay and rest in a dry place before they become the famous Vinsanto, for six months. I also tried the buristo (the interior of pork), nothing exceptional, but it was good to try.


Wine and food biennale in Florence

From November 10th until 24th Florence will host the first Wine and food biennale: a rich festival where you will have the chance to taste our best products.
We start with the opening day, the 10th with homage to a symbol of Florentine gastronomy, the Florentine T-bone steak. (here in the picture) On Tuesday, the 11th there will be a charity event with the partnership of Caritas Firenze together with the producers of Chianti IGT.
From November 13th until 16th in largo Annigoni (sant’Ambrogio area) stands will propose a mix of traditional Tuscan food together with other Italian products or even ethnic food, such as kebab.
On Saturday November 15th from 3pm to 7pm it will be the occasion to taste the Wine of 2007 and the Riserva of 2006 at Villa Poggio Reale
Instead the following Saturday, November 22nd at Villa Malenchini (Antella), a Medici villa, there is the annual extra virgin olive oil with cooking lessons taught by excellent chefs.
On Sunday November 23rd only 80 lucky people will have the opportunity to taste a fine selection of the best Riserva Chianti Rufina, introduced by the famous gastronomic journalist Leonardo Romanelli.
Then, grand final on November 24th with a lecture on how the food in Florence has changed between today and its glorious past.
Lastly in these two weeks 80 restaurants in Florence will propose in their menus, different kind of old recipes.

Link sponsorizzati