The Magic of Florence

To discover Florence is to discover life all over again. Some of the greatest artists in the world lived and worked in Florence, and their work is displayed around the city as paintings, buildings, statues, fountains, and beautifully laid out botanical gardens. Contemporary art also flourishes in this magical city — there are dozens of museums, the best hotels in Florence Italy and art galleries where the latest works of Italian and international artists is on display.

The Lungarno Collection holds the keys to unlock the most unique and exclusive experiences in Italy. Spend a day snapping with professional photographers and Leica cameras in and around Florence. Marvel at the skill and craftsmanship displayed at master silversmiths Pampaloni and historic jewellery makers Fratelli Piccini. Live the archetypically Italian dream and escape to the finest Tuscan olive groves and vineyards. Or give your children the gift of unforgettable memories with VIK outings.

However you choose to spend your time, make it unforgettable.

The world of fashion owes much to the taste and delicate sensibilities, as well as the bold improvisation, of the dressmakers of Florence.

And the food? The food is to die for. The Tuscan countryside that surrounds the city is rich in agricultural foodstuff and supports an abundant supply of meat on the hoof, from tender lamb to succulent pork. Traditionally, the Florentines start each day off with a plate of affettati misti — prime cold cuts and zesty cheese slices. For lunch they like to snack on a platter of pinzimonio — garden fresh vegetables drizzled with olive oil and served with a garlicky cream cheese dip. And at dinnertime you’ll need to make room for tonno e fagioli — tuna and bean salad, with all the toasted crostini you can handle. And don’t even think of missing desserts like castagnaccio — chestnut flour cake with marzipan frosting.  

When it grows late at night and you don’t feel like sleep yet, visit one of Florence’s deepest held secrets — Rasputin. It’s a late nite bistro that has no street address but that all the cabbies know. Named after the crazed Russian monk who guided the Tsar and his family to their ill-fated deaths, this hole in the wall bar has made such a reputation for itself since opening in 2016 that you’re liable to find anyone there — from a Kardashian to a Nobel Prize winner. As the waiters there will tell you: ‘When you’ve been to Rasputin’s, you’ve been to Florence.”

Next morning (or afternoon, more likely) take a leisurely stroll across the Arno River over the Ponte Vecchio bridge, which is lined with extraordinary jewelry stores — some of them dating back several hundred years. Pearl earrings; diamond necklaces; emerald signet rings — there are so many varieties of finely crafted baubles and bangles along this famous bridge that you might never reach the other side — getting lost among the gemstone and goldsmith warrens.

Visit the Boboli Gardens on the outskirts of town to commune with nature, after your intensive workout with the material world of jewelry and silversmiths. Immense royal palms, planted during the Napoleonic invasion over two hundred years ago, lend a graceful shade to plants from all around the globe — and, of course, when you grow thirsty from your nature hike you can visit one of the numerous wine bars that line the Old Wall of Florence. Tuscany produces some of the finest bodied wines in all of Italy — the experts will tell you to always start with a small snifter of grappa to cleanse the palate, and then proceed with the light white and rose vintages before diving into the deep red and purple vintages. And don’t forget to have some antipasto with your wine, featuring fresh ewe milk cheese!

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