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.
Hotel Globus 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.
The breakfast 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 their
and please send them Journeyman's regards. These are nice,
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?
Service throughout 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: 055/28.25.76
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 delle Parione).
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.