Posts Tagged ‘florence’

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4
Sep

Paper Lanterns and Cotton Candy: Festa della Rificolona 2015

Many centuries ago, in the eve of the Nativity of Virgin Mary, the peasants of Tuscany used to travel to Florence to pay tribute. Wearing their best gowns, they entered the city at night, so they carried big lanterns to light their way. This is the origin of the Festa della Rificolona, a Florentine tradition full of fun and mischief! But why Rificolona? What does that mean? Well, a “rificolona” is a woman that dresses vulgarly or in a tacky way. Peasants put on their best clothes, but children from Florence still made fun of them and call them “Rificoloni!” when they passed by.

Festa della Rifficolona

Source: toomuchtuscany.com

Today, kids are still at the heart of this Florentine tradition. A parade starts at Piazza del Duomo and takes the participants to Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, carrying their paper lanterns and singing traditional songs. Once they arrive, the party begins! Activities for children and cotton candy fill the square, and hand-made paper lanterns mix with Pikachu and Dora the Explorer-shaped ones. The celebration ends with an impromptu bonfire and the lanterns are burned in the middle of the piazza before the amazed eyes of kids.

Festa della Rificolona

Source: florenceforfree.co

You won’t want to miss on the fun the evening of September 7. The parade is meant to arrive at the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata at 8.30pm, so plan your schedule carefully and let your inner child come out to play! After indulging in candy and fun, make sure to get a good night sleep at Il Salviatino.

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26
Aug

Oltrarno: A Walk Through Florence’s Artisan Quarter

On the other bank of river Arno, between the Ponte Vecchio and Santo Spirito, lays a neighborhood often overlooked by tourists. Its narrow streets and inviting doors keep one of the best secrets in Florence: the Artisan Quarter.

Oltrarno, literally “the other side of the Arno” in Italian, has housed the finest artisan traditions of the city for centuries. In its streets, you will feel the Renaissance leaking through the pores of botteghe and studios. Although many of these workshops are starting to decay due to industrial production and the disinterest of younger generations, the crafters who still work here truly honor art and handmade products—the most beautiful homage to Florence’s legacy.

Source: Francesco Guazzelli

Source: Francesco Guazzelli

Our advice for visiting the Artisan Quarter is that you let yourself wander through the streets and breathe this magical atmosphere. Ironworkers, bookbinders, woodworkers, furniture antique shops, jewelries and cafés—everything here is worth taking a look at. However, there are some key checkpoints that you won’t want to miss.

Source: Deborah Guber

Source: Deborah Guber

Make sure you pass through Giacomo Giachetti’s workshop, which is stunningly decorated by all of its iron pieces. Also meet the famous Enrico Giannini, whose family has been binding books exquisitely for five generations. The Gianninis were the inventors of the marbled Florentine paper, a true delicacy. Bartolozzi & Maioli still repair wood for celebrities and millionaires, and their work is absolutely gorgeous. Also, if you’re lucky, you’ll have the opportunity to watch Roberto Ugolini and his apprentices working on custom-made leather shoes for men.

Source: Rachel Liquindoli

Source: Rachel Liquindoli

After discovering one of the most beautiful spots in the city, we’ll be waiting for you at Il Salviatino, your favorite hotel in Florence!

Source: www.the-journal-of-style.com

Source: www.the-journal-of-style.com

Source: Jessica Stewart for  www.contextflorence.com

Source: Jessica Stewart for www.contextflorence.com

Source: Francesco Guazzelli

Source: Francesco Guazzelli

 

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20
Aug

From Middle Ages to Surrealism: Dalí Meets Dante

At the beginning of the Divine Comedy, Dante is lost and wanders through the forest, haunted by beasts. There he finds Virgil, who takes him in a journey to the depths of hell, then to purgatory and finally to paradise. Dante’s poem made him one of the most famous Florentine figures of history and it was a source of inspiration to many after him. One of them, of course, was Salvador Dalí, the renowned Spanish surrealist artist. Dalí dedicated great part of his artwork to exploring dreams, the grotesque, the mundane and spirituality—for which Dante served as a great inspiration. He even illustrated the whole Divine Comedy and now his artwork can be seen in Florence!

Source: libreriamo.it

Source: libreriamo.it

The exhibition organized by the Fondazione Ambrosiana will take place until September 27 at the Galleria delle Carrozze (Palazzo Medici Riccardi). Dalí reinterprets Dante’s journey from a psychoanalytic point of view and portrays the oneiric atmosphere of the Divine Comedy, including his very personal symbols and supernatural figures. But it’s not all seriousness at this exhibition! Children are also welcomed to approach art and history. There are several workshops for them, with special guided tours and activities in which they make their own reinterpretation of the Divine Comedy.

Dalí Meets Dante is open to the public Monday to Sunday, from 10 am to 7 pm. For more details, check out this link.

After following Dante in his journey, come home safe to Il Salviatino, your favorite hotel in Florence!

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30
Jul

3 ‘castelli’ not to miss in Tuscany

Fairytales are probably a childhood memory for most of us. As a child, who didn’t love listening to those thrilling stories of knights and princesses? Who didn’t want to defeat the evil villain, fight the dragon and become king or queen of the kingdom? In Tuscany, we are lucky that the charm of ancient times still lingers around us. So today, grab your helmet, put on your gowns and prepare to relive some of the most exciting tales—we are visiting three castles that you will not want to miss for anything in the world!

1. Castello di Vincigliata (Fiesole) The Vincigliata Castle has had many owners since its construction in the 10th Century, but it was an English lord, Sir John Temple Leader, who restored it in 1840. There is a legend surrounding the castle, that tells the story of Bianca, the most beautiful lady in town, and Costui, her one true love. However, their families were terrible enemies, so they decided to marry in secret. When he rode to the castle, where she lived, his brothers murdered him to prevent the wedding. Bianca died from a broken heart and it is said that her ghost still lives in the castle, protecting impossible loves.

Source: castellidivincigliata.it

Source: castellidivincigliata.it

2. Castello di Verrazzano (Greve in Chianti) Famous for the vineyards that surround it, Castello di Verrazzano is one of the most visited castelli in Tuscany. Built in the 15th Century, the castle was home to the noble Florentine family of Da Verrazzano, from where it inherited its name. The family transformed the castle into a villa, with space for a factory, gardens and the renowned vines that produce Chianti Classico wine. The chapel hosts Ghirlandaio’s Eterno Padre and it is said that traveler Giovanni Da Verrazzano was born here.

Source: verrazzano.com

Source: verrazzano.com

3. Castello di Porciano (Stia) The Porciano Castle has spent much of its lifetime in ruins. First owned by the powerful Counts Guidi in the 11th Century, they abandoned it in 1442 and since then, it has passed from owner to owner. Finally, in 1963, the family of the current owner decided to restore it completely. It is one of the few castles in Tuscany that is still used as a private residence and, fun fact, Dante Alighieri stayed in the castle while on his exile from Florence!

Source: nuova-era.net

Source: nuova-era.net

You can also have a fairytale experience while staying with us at Il Salviatino, your favorite hotel in Florence. Il Salviatino is also from the 14th Century and hides lovely details that you’ll surely enjoy.

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24
Jul

Biking through the hills of Fiesole

There are many different ways of discovering Florence. Whether you take a cruise down the Arno river or you decide to take a Segway, you will surely discover something special in each tour. For those who enjoy exercise as much as sightseeing, the bike seems the perfect option to visit every little corner of the city.

There are many routes you can take in Florence and its surroundings and especially in Fiesole, where Il Salviatino is located. The website http://fiesolebike.it is a useful tool to plan your trip and check the routes that adjust to your level of expertise. Here we bring you some of our favorite self-guided tours, so warm up and get ready to bike!

1. Round trip through the hills.This is a circular way that will take you through breathtaking landscapes, while proving your stamina! It is mostly uphill, so Firenze will lay at your feet. Stunning!
http://www.fiesolebike.it/fiesole-essence-of-tuscany/

2. Fiesole-Firenze.Our all-time favorite is this one-way trip from Fiesole, through the hills, and to the heart of the city. If you follow instructions correctly, you will end at the Piazza del Duomo and will have the opportunity to bike along the Arno river.
http://www.fiesolebike.it/fiesole-florence-the-greenway/

Source: fiesolebike.it

Source: fiesolebike.it

3. The Tuscan countryside.For the bravest, this tour will take them to the heart of the hills of Fiesole. Just beware: it will challenge your legs, so you better be ready to pedal! Unpaved paths are frequent, but the beauty of the landscape will surely make up for it.
http://www.fiesolebike.it/fiesole-nature-just-behind-the-door/

After your exercise, you can enjoy a refreshing swim at Il Salviatino pool, your luxury hotel in Florence. You’ll make the most out of your vacation in Italy!

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1
Jul

Saldi: 3 tips for a successful shopping spree

Whether you are a casual shopper or a real fashion victim, saldi (or sales) are the best occasion to purchase those items you’ve been wanting all year. If you’re lucky to be in Florence this time, you will be delighted at Via Tornabuoni, Via della Vigna Nuova or Via del Parione. But we know that the excitement for these opportunities can sometimes make you take the wrong decisions. That’s why here at Il Salviatino, we bring you the 3 essential tips to have a successful shopping spree.

1. Make a list. Even though that fourth bag seemed like a good idea at the store, at the end of the day you’ll probably regret it. Be a wise shopper and make a list of everything that you want to buy. Sticking to it will keep your budget and your wardrobe space under control!

Source: Bergdorf Goodman

Source: Bergdorf Goodman

2. Plan an itinerary—especially if you are abroad. In Florence, Via Tornabuoni and Via della Vigna Nuova are the streets to go if you’re looking for luxury boutiques. It’s important that you know which shops you want to visit and where they are, so you don’t lose valuable time wandering around!

3. Don’t overthink! In saldi season, there is no time to lose. If you are unsure about how that shirt fits you, you probably won’t find it when you come back for it. Remember to pay close attention: before buying any item, make sure that the shop accepts returns. If it does, keep the receipt! This strategy might save you from a terrible shirt purchase.

After a day of saldi, Il Salviatino, your luxury hotel in Florence, will receive you with open arms!

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24
Jun

5 gorgeous day trips to take while staying in Firenze

If you have some extra days while staying with us at Il Salviatino, your curiosity might push you to explore outside Firenze. And you should! Tuscany is full of hidden gems to enjoy. We encourage your wanderlust with the 5 must-take day trips that can add a high note to your Italian holiday.

  1. 1. Lucca. (1h away by car / 2h30 away by public transport) This small village, also known as the city of 100 towers and 100 churches”, is famous for the medieval walls from the 16th Century that surround it. You should not miss the Guinigi Palace and Tower, il Duomo de San Martino and Via Fullolungo. Also, if you’re coming this summer, you’ll definitely enjoy the Lucca Summer Festival!

    Source: Flick

    Source: Flickr

  2. 2. Pisa. (1h20 away by car / 1h30 away by public transport) Although it is worldwide famous for its Leaning Tower, there is much more to see and do in Pisa! Pay close attention to the rest of the buildings in the Square of Miracles. You will also enjoy a walk through Piazza Vittorio Emanuelle and a brief shopping spree in Corso Italia. Don’t forget to pop into the Logge dei Banchi, the impressive space that hosted wool and silk markets in the past, next to the Arno river.

    Source: Flick

    Source: Flickr

  3. 3. San Gimignano. (1h away by car / 2h30 away by public transport) You will be impressed by the sheer beauty of a little medieval town like San Gimignano. Don’t miss the 14 towers that survived time, the Collegiata from the 11th Century and the Palazzo del Popolo. We highly recommend that you stay for the stunning sunsets!
  4. 4. Siena. (1h15 away by car / 2h away by public transport) With its pedestrian roads and its gothic beauty, Siena is the perfect city for a day trip. You will see the spectacular Mangia Tower from a distance, so make sure to follow it until you get to the huge Piazza del Campo. If you are lucky enough, you might catch a Palio! The Duomo, the Palazzo Piccolomini and the Fonte Gaia are also must-sees.

    Source: Flickr

    Source: Flickr

  5. 5. Pistoia. (45 min away by car / 1h20 away by public transport) Pistoia, in the center of the Tuscany, is the closest city to Firenze. You will be impressed by the Cattedrale di San Zeno, in the Piazza del Duomo. In the Palazzo el Comune you will find some of the finest works of art from Pistoian artists of the 20th Century. We recommend that you finish your day at Sant’ Andrea, the beautiful church where the outdoor market of Pistoia is celebrated.

After a long day travelling, Il Salviatino, your favorite 5-star hotel, will welcome you home. Make the most of your holidays with us!

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18
Jun

Il Calcio Fiorentino: my dirty little secret

Oh darling, you won’t believe what happened to me here in Florence! You know that we’re staying some days here, at the lovely Il Salviatino, making the most of Steve’s holidays. Everything was going fine until last Sunday 14th, when Steve and I were having a nice walk around the city center; we suddenly saw something that took my breath away.

I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing… many sweaty, strong, wild young men beating and kicking each other in the very Piazza Santa Croce! I went pale at the vision, but somehow I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Steve discovered that it was the celebration of something called ‘Il Calcio Fiorentino’, a kind of ancient tradition there in town.

Source: http://www.elauhel.fr/

Source: http://www.elauhel.fr/

The thing is that, I don’t know how, but I ended up by liking it. I even found myself getting excited at the event and shouting at the players and routing for the white team! Well, after that we went back at Il Salviatino and we asked the reception team about the game. We were informed about and… well, we became huge fans.

Do you remember that I told you that we were going to go back to Southampton on June 23rd? Well, darling, don’t be waiting for us that day at the airport. We found out that the final match is going to be held on June 24th and we’re definitely not missing it.

Source: Flickr.com

Source: Flickr.com

I guess that, right now, you must be as shocked as me, after having read this news. I can’t recognize myself, believe me! Anyway, don’t worry darling. After it all ends, I’ll take a nice massage at Il Salviatino’s Spa to recover and find my true self again. But, in the meantime…

Go whites!   

Love,
Joanne

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27
May

The hottest international artists visit Tuscany

Every year some of the hottest international artists visit one of Tuscany’s nicest places, the town of Lucca (1h away from Florence by car), to participate in The Lucca Summer Festival, which this years celebrates its 18th edition.

Many pop legends came to Lucca in the past and next July’s appointment is not going to be an exception: Bob DylanBilly Idol, Mark Knopfler and Robbie Williams are only some of the stars who’ll delight with their music both the local and the international audiences.

Are you a music lover? Are you staying at Il Salviatino in July? Then check the dates here! Perhaps you’ll have a reason to visit not only Florence, but also Lucca while enjoying a good gig.

Once more, if you need further information on the festival, you can take a look at its site: Lucca Summer Festival 2015 

Any doubt? Rely on your favorite hotel in FlorenceSalviatino.com 

The Tuscan summer is waiting for you!

lucca-summer-festival-2015 (1)

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12
May

Museo Nazionale del Bargello: 150 years!

This year Florence celebrates the 150 anniversary of one of its most important museums: il Museo Nazionale del Bargello. Founded in June 1865, this beautiful palazzo hosts many masterpieces by some of the biggest Italian geniuses, including Donatello, Michelangelo and Verrocchio, among others.

Most of the visitors normally praise it for being less crowded than the Uffizi Gallery, for the sculptures and for the building itself, which is worth the visit.

From Il Salviatino, your luxury hotel in Florence, we advise you that, in case of coming to town soon, don’t miss the chance to drop by il Palazzo Bargello and to be a part of this great celebration.

bargello

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