This year I spent one
week in Florence all by myself and it was so enjoyable.
Much of the reason it was so much fun stemmed from the female-centered
tips offered to me from other JourneyWomen both prior to
my departure and while I was there. What might have been
a good time in a fantastic city became a fantastic time
in a fantastic city. Thank you so much, everybody! Now in
true JW style I pass these suggestions on to other women
heading off to explore Florence...
was Margaret in Vancouver, Canada who told me that
she never fails to stay at the three-star, Hotel Globus
when she's in Florence. After being a guest there,
myself, I understand why. To begin, the location is
perfect -- less than a ten-minute walk from the central
train station (if you use a small suitcase on wheels,
the walk is perfectly easy), steps away from San Lorenzo
Market (fun shopping) and not far from many of the
famous churches and museums you will be exploring.
In fact, the church bells were my alarm clock, chiming
at 7:45AM each morning. A delightful way to start
an Italian day.
is a little gem recently renovated by it's young owners,
Serena and Michel. Think Milan meets Florence on a
minimalist, moderate scale -- creams, beiges, browns
-- pot lighting, chrome trim, orchid plants, bamboo
shoots and modern art gracing the walls of the reception
area. My single room with tiled bathroom was not large
but very workable and stylish. From the in-room safe
to heated towel racks and hair dryer to the WebTV
that allows a connection to your hotmail account,
all of a travellers needs are easily met.
room has the feel of a small cafe offering welcoming
service and the kind of breakfast that women will
love. Take your pick -- croissants, rolls, toast --
low-fat yogurts, both fresh and dried fruit, packaged
cheese and pates, crackers and cappuccinos. Hotel
Globus is definitely a home away from home. Visit
and please send them Journeyman's regards. These are
nice, nice people!
It was Sal in
Toronto that connected me to the three-star Hotel
Goldoni and staying there was a delicious experience
as well. This hotel is situated in elegant surroundings
in the city's historical center, a stone's throw from
the Arno, and about two blocks from the famous Ponte
Vecchio. Located behind the facade of a prestigious
building, you must ring to get in and take the small
lift to the second floor reception area.
My single bedroom
with shower was small but very comfortable and boasted
all the usual amenities. Decoration throughout
is traditionally European with dark woods and damasks
in soft shades of blues and deep reds. The breakfast
room with marble floor, wine and gold decor and swag
curtains is elegant without a trace of stuffiness.
I learned from the hotel brochure that "..during
his tour of Italy in 1770, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
was an honored guest of the hotel." I wonder
if he enjoyed his carrot and apple breakfast yogurts
as much as I did?
was excellent and offered with a smile. Hotel Goldoni
sits on a wonderful street (Borgo Ognissanti, 8) filled
with bookstores, antique shops and restaurants that
will delight you for hours. Highly recommended! Fax:
great little lunch spot...
It was the young
woman at the travel agency that directed me to Rose's
up the street for lunch. "It's a local
favorite -- especially for women,"
she said. Named after the owner's grandmother, this
is the perfect little spot to enjoy when you've had
one too many pieces of pizza on the run. Their menu
runs the gamut from a long list of salads and omelets
(perfect with a glass of wine) to enchiladas, burgers
and a myriad of stuffed pitas. Strictly veggie? Rose's
served up a huge plate of grilled vegetables and fresh
mozzarella accompanied by a bottomless basket of warm
brown breads. Desserts like strudel with honey, fresh
fruit salad and home-made muffins were tasty and not
stuffed with extra calories. Try to arrive before
12:30 and you should find a spot. Once the shops close
for lunch it will be a bit harder to be seated (Via
in Florence where leather fashion abounds, it helps
to get a referral if you plan on doing any buying.
It was American JW reader, Nancy who met me for dinner
one evening and showed off her latest Italian purchase
-- funky, butter-soft black gloves with different
color leather between each finger. What fun they were
and very nicely made. The next day I, too, made my
way to Roberta's,
a tiny leather shop located on Borgo S. Jacapo 78r
(a tiny street that runs parallel to the Arno between
Ponte Vecchio and Ponte S. Trinita ) and owned by
a sister-brother team. Their merchandise is impressive
and prices were far better than those in the "tourist"
part of town. Pick from unlined or lined (silk or
cashmere) gloves in every colour of the rainbow. I
bought the gifts for the important people in my life
at Roberta's. They loved them and I stayed well within
my budget. Website: www.robertafirenze.com.
leather jackets, shoes and cooking...