Tag Archives: Florence

Golden Moments – Golden Views

Golden View Open Bar

Golden View Open Bar
Via dei Bardi 58r (Ponte Vecchio)
50122 Firenze
39-055-214-502
info@goldenviewopenbar.com
www.goldenviewopenbar.com

A golden moment, a golden wine, and above all else, a golden view – of the Ponte Vecchio and its shimmering reflection in the waters of the Arno.  This Florentine restaurant/wine bar opened in 2001, dining rooms perched over the river, offering unobstructed views of the old bridge.  The décor is contemporary, sleek yet understated; a perfect visual balance for the fabulous view framed by large windows that slide open this evening to welcome a summer breeze.

Golden View -Chef Edo diGiulioChef Edo di Giulio manages to keep everyone happy with his culinary skills and cheerful presence in the dining room when he comes to check on his dinner guests.  His cooking is superb, novel re-creations of traditional Italian dishes, featuring specialties from the land and the sea – a spaghetti with shellfish for my friend while I feast on tagliolini Amiata, a thin pasta with a beef and veal ragù, and peas and porcini mushrooms, a dish inspired by nearby Monte Amiata.  A Pinot Bianco sees us through to meal’s end, desserts that were stellar creations made by their in-house pastry chef.

Golden View Bar - fruit dessertThe young waiters and waitresses are friendly, energetic and speak enough languages to communicate with an international clientele. The Golden View is open from 11:00 a.m. until the wee hours of the morning – continuous hours to cater to every wish – a family craving pizza in the middle of the day, business friends discussing their affairs over a glass of wine, ladies enjoying a sweet pastry and a coffee together, or sweethearts celebrating a romantic evening.

Golden moments…

 

copyright – Ginda Simpson – http://www.rooms-withaview.comhttp://www.gindasimpson.com

 

A View over Florence at La Loggia

Ristorante La Loggia

Ristorante La Loggia
Piazzale Michelangelo, 1
50125 Florence
055-234-2832
www.ristorantelaloggia.it
booking@ristorantelaloggia.it

 

 

History, Location, Cuisine… La Loggia has it all.  In conjunction with the creation of the Piazzale Michelangelo designed by architect Giuseppe Poggi, La Loggia was originally built in 1865 to house a Michelangelo museum.  The tree-lined avenues leading up from the banks of the Arno to the impressive piazza, the square itself, and the Loggia were all part of an ambitious plan to give the city a facelift following, and in celebration of, the unification of Italy and the establishment of the new government in Florence.  Instead, in 1876 this lovely neoclassical building became the Panoramic Restaurant destined to become a historical institution, not only for its architectural beauty but also for its cuisine, and the part it still plays in the social life of the city, drawing Florentines and foreigners from all over the world to its tables.

From the tables in the dining room, and through the arches of the loggia, or from the rooftop terrace, La Loggia offers incomparable views of the city – the Arno, the Ponte Vecchio, the turrets and towers and domes of Dante’s city – most spectacular of all the Duomo, especially when softly illuminated at night.  This evening the dining room tables are graced with silver chargers set on fine table linens, with fresh flowers.  The atmosphere is relaxed, yet elegant.  Our waiter opens a bottle of Chianti Classico, Tagliafune 2005, produced for the restaurant by the University of Florence’s Agricultural Department.  It has earned a DOCG classification, and it is well merited.  La Loggia has a team of six chefs, and during high season, six more join the team.  Tonight Franco Carnivale has prepared some marvelous dishes, but the filet mignon of Tuscan beef, made with lardo and a reduction of Chianti wine is superb.  In fact, Chianti also starred in our pasta course, flavoring the very tasty ragú that topped fresh pici.

Soft music makes conversation easy and silent moments enjoyable.  As we sip the sweetness of Passito di Pantaliera, Sicily’s noted Moscato, it is easy to understand why La Loggia has remained popular for 130 years, whether one comes to dine or to simply enjoy an aperitif as shadows lengthen and day turns into dusk.  Claudio Nobbio, in his poem entitled “Aperitivo sulla terrazza di Firenze” ends his day – and his verse – with these words:

In the meantime, they bring me an iced aperitif

And it is in these moments that I love Florence

Even more…

 

copyright – Ginda Simpson – http://www.rooms-withaview.comhttp://www.gindasimpson.com

A Toast to the Views

2016c-view-from-palazzo-magnani-feroniPalazzo Magnani Feroni
Borgo San Frediano, 5
50124 Firenze (FI), Italy

+39 055 2399544
info@florencepalace.it
www.florencepalace.it

As we rest in our richly frescoed room of the Palazzo Magnani Feroni, I study its long history. Oh, the stories these walls could tell us of this elegant residence, a story which began in the 15th century when it was constructed by the Serragli Family. A century later, the palace was divided into two parts which were later reconnected in 1770 when purchased by the extremely wealthy Marquis Ubaldo Feroni. The Feroni renovations included the widening and refurbishment of the courtyard and of the principal stairwell. The ground floor and first-floor apartments underwent extensive redecoration. The spacious areas of the interior of the ground floor were designed to be used as stables, carriageway and storage area for the coaches. In 1821, the Feroni heirs sold the property to the Magnani, a prestigious family who owned important silk looms and paper mills.

Palazzo Magnani Feroni has remained in the same family for over two centuries and in recent years the decision was made to transform their private residence into a luxury residence where today’s guests could experience an aristocratic slice of life in a Renaissance palace. To maintain the palace’s original style, great care was taken to preserve its architectural features while incorporating 21st century comforts. The family’s heritage is evident in the furnishings, tapestries, and portraits on display. The twelve suites are on the three floors of the palace. The staff can arrange a private dinner in your room or on the terrace, a service we took advantage of on our first night, when we enjoyed a simple feast in the privacy of our suite. The sumptuous salon with its magnificent chandelier centered over a banquet table serves as the breakfast room, where offerings are fit for a prince.

But the treasures do not end here. They are simply magnified from the palace’s rooftop terrace where the panoramic views of Florence could easily make you sing for joy in a voice that only you can hear. Hold your wine glass up to a sunset view and drink in the golden light of this Tuscan city.

Read more about my books featuring other lovely hotels and restaurants:

three-italy-book-covers_modificato-1

Italian Wanderlust

ITALY – the Beauty and the Feast

and Rooms with a View.

More about my other books.

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All content on artfulroomswithaview.wordpress.com/, both images and writing, is copyrighted material © Ginda Simpson unless otherwise indicated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this content without express and written permission from Ginda Simpson is prohibited.

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LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

2016c-hotel-pierre-webHotel Pierre
Via De’Lamberti 5
50123 – Firenze

Tel.+39 055 216218
www.hotel-pierre-florence.com
pierre@remarhotels.com

Tucked away on a quiet street off the main pedestrian thoroughfare of Florence is a stately palazzo converted into a hotel several decades ago. By keeping our approach to the sidewalk, we almost missed the simple yet elegant architecture and decor of its facade which welcomes guests to its warm hospitality. But the real selling point is Location, Location, Location. Within a five-minute walk of Hotel Pierre are the key sights of Florence – the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo, the Porcellino Market, making it easy to come back and forth to the comfort of your room and rest between visits.

The breakfast room is bright, its main colors of melon and dove gray seem to compliment and reflect the buildings that are visible outside its windows. One is the beautifully etched building across the street embellished in an architectural decoration technique known as sgraffiti, in which the design is scratched into the colored surface, exposing the white plaster beneath. The colors of this particular structure are a mauve-brown and white, a visually pleasing effect.

But what isn’t visually pleasing about this city? And the pleasure is in the wandering with no purpose but to enjoy its treasures. At some point, though, it is necessary for the visitor to rest from his travels, thoughts of art and cuisine stilled and bone-weary, drop into a dreamless sleep. Hotel Pierre provides each room with quiet comfort, whether for a quick siesta or a full night of restorative sleep.

And in the early morning, it is tempting to slip away from your hotel to share the deserted streets and squares with the pigeons. Hotel Pierre offers you its immediate neighborhood, beckoning you to savor its delights at leisure. Then simply wander back to your room and ready yourself for their generous breakfast buffet. You will be glad you did.

Read more about my books featuring other lovely hotels and restaurants:

three-italy-book-covers_modificato-1

Italian Wanderlust

ITALY – the Beauty and the Feast

and Rooms with a View.

More about my other books.

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All content on artfulroomswithaview.wordpress.com/, both images and writing, is copyrighted material © Ginda Simpson unless otherwise indicated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this content without express and written permission from Ginda Simpson is prohibited.

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Towering Views

2016c-view-from-antica-torre-di-tornabuoni-1-web

Original watercolor painting of the view from Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1

Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni n.1

via Tornabuoni n.1
50122 Firenze
Tel: +39 055 2658161
info@tornabuoni1.com
www.tornabuoni1.com

The Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1 is celebrating its 15th year since opening in 2001 as one of the first residenze d’epoca or historic residences/inns of Florence. Nestled among the many old palace residences of the Strozzi neighborhood, it has been beautifully restored, occupying the fourth and fifth floors of a medieval tower with incomparable views of every landmark of the city. I believe that the Tower succeeds in more than marking an anniversary, it celebrates a way of life reminiscent of a time when life was slower-paced, more graceful, more soul-satisfying. One only has to look up from their tables in the intimate breakfast room or from one of its terraces, to know how privileged they are to be a guest in one of its twelve rooms, one of them a luxury suite.

This 13th-century palazzo was owned by the Gianfigliazzi family until the end of the 18th century. Hospitality is not new to the old tower, as it housed the Pensione Piccioli in the 20th century, a small inn that was to become a favorite stop for many famous aristocrats, writers, and artists. That atmosphere of warmth still prevails and the clientele, not surprisingly, are not merely tourists in Florence, but travelers who appreciate the elegant and sophisticated charm of its interior while savoring the care and thoughtfulness of an attentive staff.

My husband and I are certainly made to feel special as we sit quietly on our private terrace and gaze at the Arno, the Santa Trinità belltower, and to our right the dominating Duomo. As if this were not enough to satisfy us, in the evening we shift to the Torre’s terrace for an aperitif and a sweeping view that includes the Palazzo Vecchio, the Santa Trinità Bridge, the domes of Santo Spirito and San Frediano, and a patchwork of terracotta rooftops. There are other terraces and other views and oh, how spoiled we feel!

Read more about my books featuring other lovely hotels and restaurants:

three-italy-book-covers_modificato-1

Italian Wanderlust

ITALY – the Beauty and the Feast

and Rooms with a View.

More about my other books.

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All content on artfulroomswithaview.wordpress.com/, both images and writing, is copyrighted material © Ginda Simpson unless otherwise indicated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this content without express and written permission from Ginda Simpson is prohibited.

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Florence – A Terrace with a View

2014c - Plaza Hotel Lucchesi

Original Watercolor by Ginda Simpson View from Plaza Hotel Lucchesi

Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 38
50122 Florence
39 055 26236
http://www.hotelplazalucchesi.it
lucchesi@toflorence.it

In a city where terrace views are astounding, the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi offers a panorama that simply takes one’s breath away. Imagine lounging poolside on a terrace with a vista that includes the exquisite Duomo, the stately tower of Palazzo Signoria among other turrets and domes, the sacred structure of Santa Croce, and the elegant copper cupola of the Jewish Synagogue!

What’s more, the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi offers a proud history, beginning in 1860 as an inn when Pensione Lucchesi was named after its founders. It was during this period that Florence was made the capital of the newly formed Italian Republic. From 1865 until 1871, the city tore down their medieval walls and grew to be an urban center of great importance. The inn attracted many renowned guests, artists and writers, and of particular note, the Italian King Umberto I.

In 1952, it became the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi, following the annexation of the adjacent building and the addition of two floors. Despite two world wars and the devastating flood of 1966, the hotel has not only survived, but also thrived. Under new management, it is undergoing a thorough renovation, adding back some lost architectural features, placing it among the most beautiful hotels in the city, with all the amenities of the 21st century. Its position along the Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia has always been a favorable one, even more so today, offering a quiet respite from the bustle of the city center, yet within easy walking distance of all the sites.

I may not be a notable guest, but I do feel privileged to be a guest at the Plaza Hotel Lucchesi, a place where the preservation of history and modern innovation are so seamlessly stitched together. Our room is comfortably furnished, in a color palette of white, sandy beige and taupe, providing a very restful ambiance – that is if one can sleep with such an up-close view of Santa Croce from one’s private balcony!

View-Lucchesi3c (21) copia

Read more about other lovely hotels and restaurants in Italy,  Rooms with a View and Italian Wanderlust, by clicking on their covers:

Rooms cover      italian wanderlust 2

More about my other books.

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All content on artfulroomswithaview.wordpress.com/, both images and writing, is copyrighted material © Ginda Simpson unless otherwise indicated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this content without express and written permission from Ginda Simpson is prohibited.

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Fiesole – a delightful spot for lunch

View from the restaurant "La Reggia"

View from the restaurant “La Reggia”

La Reggia degli Etruschi
Via San Francesco, 18
Fiesole
Tel: 055-59385
http://www.lareggiadeglietruschi.com
Owners: Marco & Leonardo Cirillo

A steep climb from Fiesole’s central piazza takes you in the direction of the old San Francesco Convent and what once was an Etruscan acropolis. If the climb leaves you a little breathless, so will the views of the Fiesole hillside and the misty panorama of Florence punctuated by the Duomo’s famous cupola. A meal at La Reggia degli Etruschi offers views and an incomparable cuisine. Father and son team, Marco and Leonardo Cirillo, took over the restaurant in 2003 and to experience Leonardo’s cooking makes the climb worth every step. If arriving on foot is a challenge, a simple phone call to the restaurant from the central piazza, will see that a driver comes to the rescue.

Upon arrival, tease your taste buds with any of the varied antipasti. We had the sformato di verdure in creamy tomato sauce. For primo, Leonardo suggested green ravioli with a nettle and ricotta filling. Bathed in a buttery sage sauce, these were made with the most delicate handmade pasta I have ever tasted. But reigning supreme over the menu were the beef specialties – to be ordered prepared in a variety of ways, the most popular being the traditional bistecca fiorentina or the tagliata on a bed of fresh arugula. Their wine list is extensive, and their cantina boasts over 600 labels.

Leonardo’s modesty is endearing. He claims almost shyly that his is a simple cuisine, a skill that came naturally to him without any professional training. Well, he is a natural and his offerings are simply perfect. And because he uses the freshest ingredients in uncomplicated ways, the result is satisfying, without being overfilling. A dessert, coffee and a leisurely walk downhill is all that is necessary to complete a most memorable day in Fiesole.