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Florence for Friends

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Birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is renowned for its history and culture—a city of fascinating museums and soaring monuments, elegant piazzas and tranquil gardens. Capital of the Tuscany region, it is also celebrated for its wine and traditional cuisine.
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Via della Chiesa, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This authentic neighborhood bar, Il Chicco di Caffè (aka Lola’s), is run by Maurizio whose Mom, Lola, cooks for a truly egalitarian mix of local artisans, staff from the nearby Gucci headquarters, students and people like me (I live next door!) at...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
While in Florence this May, my husband and I decided not to walk to the top of the dome of the Duomo but, instead, to make the climb to the top of the tower next to the Duomo to get a great view of the dome itself. I shot this from the stairwell...
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Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It's in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt...
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Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
While visiting Florence in May, my husband and I made the trek to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a panoramic view of the city. We wandered around a bit to try to find a quieter place from which to enjoy the view of Florence and came upon this...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Walking through the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence one night, I caught many glimpses of normal life for Florentines, from solitary people walking the dog to groups of young people crowded in restaurants, sharing laughs and evening drinks. No...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Tuscany is deeply connected to the land—the crops that grow here, from fruit and vegetables to olives and wine grapes, are central to Tuscan cuisine. Mercato Centrale, housed in the original 1874 market building, is a working showcase for...
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From the outside, L’è Maiala looks like any other cozy restaurant serving authentic Italian fare. But what you don't know is that you can pay by currency other than money. Yes, take fresh fruits, veggies, wine, olive oil, or anything else and the...
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Via dei Tavolini, 19r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
On a cool night in November, walking alone from an outdoor food market in the center of Florence, I decided to indulge my sweet tooth yet again. I stopped for a "snack," one that I would never eat just before dinner back home yet couldn't get...
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r, Piazza di San Giovanni, 19, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
This café is the embodiment of tradition and style, equivalent to Gamberini in Bologna. The classy wood boarding, beautiful decoration, and staff in traditional dress transport you back to the old days. You have to pay first at the cashier (which...
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Piazza di Santa Trinita, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The most beautiful view in Florence is undoubtedly high above the city on a rooftop watching the sunset splash across Florence with a 360 degree view. Experience what it's like to live like a local in one of the most beautiful cities in the world....
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Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I love immersing myself in Florentine luxury in this Medieval palace that the Grandpapa of Italian shoe design, Salvatore Ferragmo bought in 1938. The downstairs museum pays homage to the master with fantastic displays—including molds he made for...
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Via Maggio, 47, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This shop is delightfully curious. The displays mix paper art like collages and laser cut-outs with collections—cameras, desk chairs, or both. There's a wall display of antique Penguin books arranged in a grid to show their stark black and white...
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Via S. Giuseppe, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked behind the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence is Scuola del Cuoio—the school of leather. To get into the school, one must go through the church's side door, walk under the church's tunnels, and climb up a nondescript set of stairs. There,...