Louise M shoes and 5 of my Favourite Places in Florence
Posted on February 12 2018
Louise Matson, founding director of Louise M shoes gives a personal update of the progress of the latest shoe collection and 5 of her favourite places to visit when in Florence.
Written by Louise Matson, Founding Director of Louise M shoes.
My recent trip to Florence was full of expectations, emotions, and wonderful exploration. The purpose was to inspect the shoes while in the manufacturing process. I simply love Florence and manage to always absorb new information and experiences.
Here are my top 5 places to visit when in Florence.1. Rooftop cafe/bars
A wonderful way to experience Florence is from the rooftops. Although many rooftops of the major hotels are closed during the Winter, the Sesto on Arno at the Westin Excelsior Hotel offers an appertivo smorgasbord while watching the sunset over the Arno River, and the Rinascente shopping centre offers a rooftop cafe overlooking the beautiful and busy Piazza della Republic. Take the escalators within the Rinescente to the top cafe.
2. Luxury B&B's.
This trip involved stays at three different B&B's. Why three? I won't go into the detail but each was for a different reason. The Dimora degli Angeli is the one I most like to stay at. It is located near to but not too close to the train station for easy access, around the corner from the Duomo, and a block from Piazza della Replubbica where I love to sit and people watch while writing in my journal each evening. The Dimora degli Angeli has a lift, a communal kitchenette for those early morning and after dinner cups of tea, and a secure homely feel. The Dedo Hotel and Hotel Centrale are the other two B&B's that offer great accommodation at a reasonable rate. Both have lifts, air conditioning, and breakfast included.
3. Free Walking Tours
In any city I visit I tend to always look up the free walking tours. These tours of course do cost you something at the end, but only if you have enjoyed the tour and you pay what you believe is a fair amount. This time in Florence I experienced La Bussola free walking tours. I enjoyed the Friday morning tour so much I decided to go on the Saturday afternoon tour as well. The guides were local residents, graduates in Art History and Architecture respectively and gave us great tips on where to eat, drink and shop like a local. Explore the streets and piazza of Santa Spirito, it's away from the tourist hot spots and where you will find the locals hanging out.
A few of my favourite cafes and restaurants that I enjoy going to each time I am in Florence, and I like to discover new ones as well. My go to places are Caffe Gilli for a glass of Franciacorta and people watching, La Menagerie for an Aperol Spritz and dinner, Orbica Mozzarella bar set in a beautiful palazzo courtyard, and for a super cheap lunch (6 euro Panini and Wine) I Fratellini. Sit on the kerb and enjoy the casual local experience. Also try Eataly for 1.50 euro coffee.
So many of these to choose from. There are the fashion designer museums of Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, Art museums such as the Accademia Gallery where Michelangelo's original David is housed, it is so beautiful, and the absolutely incredible Medici Chapels. The Royal Suites of the Pitti Palace is on my list for next time. The summer queues are lengthy so I recommend visiting Florence in the off season, it is less hot and easier to walk the streets while enjoying the beautiful buildings surrounding you.
Although the shoe delivery will be delayed, which is a little frustrating, just like aircraft delays it is best to ensure that everything is as it needs to be before take off. The shoes look beautiful and it is worth waiting a little longer. The trip to Florence was wonderful and I hope you will be inspired to put it on your list of places to visit when next in Italy.
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