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36 Hours in Florence

Published on July 26, 2010 5:35 PM | Comments

36 Hours in Florence

Published: July 16, 2010

Evidence of a revitalized Florence is everywhere — from the opening of trendy restaurants to the banishing of cars from landmark piazzas.

The NY Times has done its "36 hours" feature to Florence - which was the most emailed article on their website for a few days - I just have to weigh in with my takes on some of the things mentioned (as you can only imagine the thousands of people who are going to be influenced by that article):

1) DECONGESTED DUOMO - yes, it is great.

2) MODERN MAESTROS - "contemporary art scene is heating up" - not willing to go that far yet, but it makes good copy I guess. Florence is a provincial town, I don't see a couple of new galleries changing that over night.

3) A TUSCAN SUPPER - have had lunch at the Osteria Tornabuoni. It was good. I like the main dining room a lot, and the private room downstairs is amazing. But I wish this place (like almost EVERY OTHER PLACE in Florence) wasn't so Tuscan. Where is the "new" in this town?

4) PRETTY PLEASE - spa at the Four Seasons... sounds good to me. You can also try SKIN

5) PASS THE PANINO - 'Ino is great! Been meaning to write about this place for ages. I love Le volpi e l'uva also.

6) LEFT BANK - shopping - I can't comment on it, don't know the place

7) A FRESH VIEW - the Bardini Garden is a tranquil spot. I rarely see many people there however, and wasn't aware of vegetables? Have I missed something???

8) PRIZED BEEF - ah - Lungarno 23. The article makes no mention of the fact that it is impossible to get in! Good luck - we tried for a couple of weeks and gave up... if you call for a reservation, they say they are full during the week, and then for Friday, they tell you to call - and say they are full. And if you show up... they say they are full. A little too trendy at the moment for my taste. I guess you have to be a Florentine A-Lister to expect to get a table.

9) LOUNGE FEVER - "Volume" in Piazza Santo Spirito - I will have to check it out.

10) PARADISE FOUND - totally agree about smaller museums and shows in Florence. There are so many things to see.

11) URBAN TAN - I don't know - the beach along the fairly dirty river is just not that attractive to me... I couldn't call it "an ideal spot for a sun-drenched espresso".

I also think the hotels quoted are okay but kind of expensive - there are newer hotels in town with much better rates, like the Hotel Porta Rossa, and The Hotel L'Orologio. Or check Venere for some really good deals.

Anyway that is my take - tell me why I am wrong (or right) in the comments!

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