PALAZZO BELFIORE APARTMENTS IN FLORENCE

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HONOURING ANNA MARIA LUISA DE’ MEDICI

The 18th of February marks the anniversary of the death of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, the last member of Florence’s powerful Medici dynasty. Florence has a lot to thank Anna Maria Luisa for;  it was her famous pact, known as the Patto di Famiglia which ensured the Medici art collection remained in Tuscany and the reason that today, Florence is known as the City of Art.  This important event took place on the 31st of October, 1737 between Francesco Stefano di Lorena,  husband of Empress Maria Teresa D’Austria, and Anna Maria Luisa de’Medici Electress Palatine.  Through this agreement, Anna Maria Luisa offers all the art collections of her family to the new Grand Duke as long as they remain bound forever to Florence and Tuscany.

Every year on the 18th February, Florentines honour her legacy with a historical parade through the city centre.  Dressed in period costume, the parade leaves from the Palagio di Parte Guelfa, and then travels along via Pellicceria, Via Porta Rossa, Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, Via Por Santa Maria, Via Vacchereccia, Piazza Della Signoria, Via Calzaiuoli, Piazza S. Giovanni, Borgo San Lorenzo, Piazza S. Lorenzo, Via Canto dei Nelli, before arriving in Piazza Madonna Aldobrandini, where a wreath of yellow flowers (yellow was the favourite colour of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici) will be left on her tomb in the Cappelle Medicee.

At 11:00 am the parade will return through the city to Piazza di Parte Guelfa.

The Comune of Florence also commemorates this historical day by offering free entrance to all the civic museums for the whole day as well as guided tours of the Cappelle Medicee.

  • Museo di Palazzo Vecchio– Piazza della Signoria 1 – Opening hours – Museum: 9.00-19.00 – Tower : 10.00-17.00
  • Museo Novecento– Piazza Santa Maria Novella 10 – Opening hours: 11.00-19.00
  • Santa Maria Novella– Piazza Stazione 4 e Piazza Santa Maria Novella – Opening hours: 9.00-17.30
  • Cappella Brancacci– Piazza del Carmine 14 – Opening hours: 10.00-17.00
  • Fondazione Salvatore Romano– Piazza S. Spirito 29 – Opening hours: 10.00-17.00
  • Museo del Bigallo– Piazza San Giovanni, 1 – Opening hours: 10.30-16.30
  • Museo del Ciclismo Gino Bartali–  Via Chiantigiana, 175 – Ponte a Ema – Opening hours 10.00-13.00
  • Museo Stefano Bardini– Via dei Renai 37 – Opening hours : 11.00-17.00

 

If you want to relive Anna Maria Luisa de ‘Medici, this Sunday 17th at Palazzo Pitti and Monday 18th February 2019 in Palazzo Vecchio you can meet the historical character of Anna Maria Luisa de ‘Medici.

The Municipality of Florence in collaboration with the Associazione MUS.E and the Gallerie degli Uffizi propose an evocative event re-enacting a woman whose choices have been decisive for the definition of Florence City of Art as it is known today in the whole world.  The public will have the opportunity to meet Anna Maria Luisa de ‘Medici on Sunday 17 at Palazzo Pitti, in the spectacular Sala del Fiorino, and on Monday 18th in Palazzo Vecchio, which thus pays tribute to the last Medici representative on the anniversary of her death. together with free entry to the Florentine Civic Museums.

The meeting with the character, followed by a debate with the public, will be an opportunity to better understand the features of the figure and to immerse themselves in the context of 18th-century Florence, starting an unprecedented and engaging dialogue with history.

The event is scheduled on Sunday 17 February in the Sala del Fiorino at Palazzo Pitti with three performances at h15.00, h16.00 and h17.00 and on Monday 18 February at Palazzo Vecchio in the same hours; appointments are free and are reserved only for those who will book at contacts 055-2768224 and 055-2768558 (subject to availability).

Participation in the meeting does not include admission to Palazzo Pitti, whose access is subject to payment. For whom: for young people and adults When: Sunday 17 at Palazzo Pitti and Monday 18 February at Palazzo Vecchio h15.00 – h16.00 – h17.00 Where: Sala del Fiorino, Pitti Palace, Piazza Pitti 1, Florence and Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza Signoria, Florence Participation in the meeting is free; reservation is mandatory. Access to Palazzo Pitti is not included (tickets may be purchased for entry). For information and reservations: Mail info@muse.comune.fi.it Tel. 055-2768224, 055-2768558

We chose to honour Anna Maria Luisa de’Medici by naming one of our apartments after her.  Choose our Anna Maria Luisa Apartment for your next stay in Florence.

ANIMALIA FASHION AT PITTI PALACE

 

Palazzo Belfiore is conveniently located just one block away from Palazzo Pitti which makes it an ideal location for our guests when visiting Florence.

The latest temporary exhibition being held at Pitti Palaceis called Animalia Fashion and is a fabulous collection of Haute Couture fashion inspired by the natural beauty of the animal world.  Insects, snakes, shells, fish, swans and even spiders take over eighteen rooms in the form of not only the clothes but also with master paintings and exhibits from the Museo di Antropologia ed Etnografia.

Clothes, shoes and accessories that seem more like sculptures, or more correctly, wearable-art by well-known contemporary fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Prada, Christian Lacroix, Lanvin, Balmain, Azzedine Alaia & Emilio Pucci to name a few of the impressive line-up, are on display in the Museum of Costume and Fashion inside Pitti Palace.

The exhibition showcases nearly 100 items created between 2000 and 2018, loaned by famous fashion houses and emerging stylists alike.  Curated by Patricia Lurati, who devised the exhibition as the setting for an imaginary museum, explains : “In an emotional dialogue with this zoo of fabrics, feathers, leathers and more, the visitor is surprised and involved in the discovery of the wonders of the animal world, which becomes a source of inspiration for designers and creates unexpected juxtapositions in the observer’s imagination“.

The exhibition is included in the admission ticket to the museums of Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens and has the same opening hours.

Please contact us if you would like us to organise tickets or a private tour of Pitti Palace for you.

ANIMALIA FASHION 

8 January – 5 May, 2019
Museum of Costume and Fashion, Pitti Palace
DAYS : Tuesday – Sunday
HOURS : 8.15am – 6.50pm

ANIMALIA

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FLORENCE LIGHT FESTIVAL

Since the end of November a festive atmosphere has been building in Florence in anticipation of the annual Florence Light Festival. Twinkling light installations can be seen lining the streets and adorning restaurants and shops.  The massive fir Christmas tree and nativity scene have been positioned in their usual spots in the Piazza Duomo and the preparation all culminated on last Saturday the 8th, when the entire city became illuminated by the commencement of the largest ever F-Light festival. The month long event offers excitement for everyone in the form of video-mapping, projections, art installations, light games, educational activities, special “torchlight” visits to museums, and shows.
This year’s theme, F-Light Your Mind: the thought of Leonardo da Vinci, boasts magnificent displays projected on many historical buildings throughout the city. This theme was chosen by the MUS.E to celebrate the legacy that the artist and scientist left in those respective fields on the 500 year anniversary of his death. It evokes themes of innovation, creativity, mystery, and enlightenment. These displays utilise the famous facades of locations such as the Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Vecchio as canvases for projections that range in topics from important events in Florentine history to the genius of da Vinci’s works.
Apart from the projections on the well loved monuments, there are also special lighting installations intended to shed light on hidden gems in Florence. Included is Piazza della Signoria, where lights shine on the walls and vaults of the Loggia de ‘Lanzi.  A magical, mysterious atmosphere is created by the way the light plays off of the Roman sculptures. This piazza also promotes the City of Florence’s awareness campaign in the form of the hashtag #EnjoyRespectFirenze as well as the F-Light logo and slogan.
Another interesting addition this year is the lighting of a Christmas tree in Piazza Santa Maria Novella and installations in districts outside of the historic center of the city. The decor of the tree is inspired by the architecture of the basilica behind it. In the districts there are installations outlining the five points of the city: the fountain of the Fortezza da Basso, Piazza Niccolò Tommaseo in Settignano, Piazza Elia da Costa, the Isolotto walkway, and the San Donato park in Novoli. Another new aspect included this year are the permanent lighting installations. These include the Basilica of San Miniato and the Piazza Santissima Annunziata and are meant to enhance their beauty, liveliness, and celebrate special occasions such at this holiday season.
The home stadium of the ACF Fiorentina is also part of the festivities. The LED lighting system on the stadium proudly shines the colors of ACF Fiorentina and the four historic districts of Florentine soccer.
The universal energy the festival draws is represented in the flame at the heart of the festival. This symbolizes the light of knowledge as well as the warmth of shared community and heritage the city cultivates. With its beautiful exhibits and historical lessons, the Florence Light Festival is something that must be experienced during the holiday season!
photo by musefirenze.it
photo by Controradio
photo by musefirenze.it

REFLECTIONS FROM OUR INTERN – CATHERINE

Californian Intern, Catherine Slabaugh shares her experience working with Your Place In Florence.

“When I was first looking to study abroad, I knew I wanted my experience in Italy to be different than the average American-girl-in-Florence. I wanted a unique experience, something that challenged me to step outside of my comfortable world at home and pushed me to grow through the adversities I was bound to have. What better way to have all this than hold an Italian internship at a company I knew nothing about and no one at! 

Interning with Your Place in Florence at the Palazzo San Niccolò, Palazzo Belfiore and Palazzo Del Moro has been an incredibly unique and eye-opening experience. Few 20-year-olds are given the opportunity to hold an internship abroad, so I went in open-minded and full of curiosity as to what I’d be doing, who I’d be working with, and how an Italian business may be different from what I’m used to.

For some context, this Internship is the first job I’ve held where I entered a company knowing absolutely no one. This is also the first job I’ve held that has not been a job in the Religion industry. Thus, I was walking in rather blind and uncertain. 

I can’t say I had too many of the initial hurdles that may come to mind when you think of an American interning in Italy. My boss’s first language is English, the work I do, primarily social media, is something I’m quite comfortable with, and work days take on the same structure as they do in the States. 

However, the first couple weeks at the Palazzis were quite the adjustment period. My boss was learning what I was capable of and I was learning where I may fit in to the company. The most difficult adjustment for me initially was adapting to the Italian work style, a slower pace with time for conversation and time between projects. This was difficult for me, not accomplishing a million and one things each day made work days seems unsuccessful. In the past, I’ve always been given a rather extensive and ongoing to-do list at work and I’ve been comfortable enough with the company to create my own work. However, stepping in to a company you just heard of a few weeks prior, with people you met just last week, in an industry that is quite literally foreign to you takes away some of this autonomy. 

But as I developed a rhythm with my work and trust was established between my boss and I, work became much smoother. I found the importance in taking time to talk with coworkers and develop a more personal relationship with them. I found it okay to only accomplish five tasks in a day instead of my usual ten. I found myself dreaming up projects and carrying them out with positive feedback, as well as receiving critiques that have pushed me to look at social media in a much more professional way. This is my first time working for a larger company and as social media develops more and more each day, it takes a much stronger role in the development and outreach of a business.

Looking back on the past 12 weeks at the Palazzis, the greatest takeaways have to be some of the unique Florentine experiences I’ve been granted. The two that stand out the most are my visit to a local tea shop to showcase a partnership they have with our Palazzis on social media, and a private tour I took of the oldest Pharmacy and Perfume shop for a blog post I wrote. Representing an Italian company on social media that prides themselves on providing unique Tuscan experiences has encouraged me to truly dive into the Italian lifestyle and attempt to see Florence through the eyes of locals. I often talk with my boss about local events coming up, Tuscan delicacies she and her family prepare, and local artisan shops scattered throughout the city. 

Working with Your Place in Florence was a leap of faith into an industry I had never worked in before that has ultimately provided me with clarity on what I aspire to do in the future. I don’t necessarily think I’ll find myself working in the hotel industry or returning for permanent work in Florence, but sometimes we learn the most about ourselves through experiences that we may never have again. An eye-opening and incredibly unique Internship to say the least, and perhaps the most cherished gift I’ll take with me as I return home.”

OFFICINA PROFUMERIA-SANTA MARIA NOVELLA

A PRIVATE TOUR OF THE OLDEST WORKING PHARMACY IN ITALY

by Catherine Slabaugh

With over 400 years of Florentine history, the world-renowned Officina Profumo- Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella invites visitors nationwide to be entranced by their breath-taking perfumes, cosmetics, and more.

Upon entering, guests are welcomed with an awe-inspiring fresco that takes you back to the Profumo’s origins in the early 1600s. The Profumo was originally owned and operated by Dominican Monks who created herbal remedies for locals. In the early 1900s, the shop was turned over to the government and transitioned into a Profumo, selling luxurious and diverse products for visitors flocking in from around the world.

The Profumo is divided into six different spaces open to the public; the sales hall, green room, ancient apothecary’s shop, sacristy, museum, and herbal tea room. I found myself gazing at the intricate detail of each room and the elegant products on display, truly a breathtaking sight. Each visitor is welcomed into the shop warmly as Profumo workers invite you to experience their products and find one to take home with you.

We arrived for our private tour early in the morning and were quickly surrounded by a vast array of tourists and locals, eyeing the historic yet elegant products. Perfumes, cosmetics, home fragrances, wax products, liquer, and even a product for your pet can all be found in this ancient palazzo.

Stepping into the first room, originally one of the chapels of the monastery, the sales hall features a beautifully restored fresco that represents the four continents, showcasing the Profumo’s presence around the world. The room holds their perfume, soap, and cosmetic products, truly hand-crafted delicacies.

Turning right from the large sales room, we were taken to the green room and ancient apothecary’s shop. The green room features portraits of each Profumo owner, beginning with the earliest Dominican Monks. Here we gazed upon their candle and wax products, home fragrances, and other household accessories, showcased beautifully amongst fall décor to highlight the season.

Connected to the green room is the ancient apothecary’s shop, the original sales hall from 1612 to 1848. We were taken back in time to the Profumo’s ancient herbal remedies as the elisir, teas, herbal supplements, and specialty liquors were on display. The way in which the Profumo holds on to their historical roots and adapts their products for the needs of visitors today is quite inspiring.

The final room is the small sacristy and museum that gave us a peek into the past lives of the Dominican Monks, complete with a restored fresco of the passion of Christ and ancient machines and ceramics once used in the perfume creation. If you are looking to relax and absorb the ambiance of the space, you will be pleased to know that the Profumo holds their own tea room and café where guests can indulge in a cappuccino or cup of tea, while viewing the handmade chocolates, candies, honey, and tea for sale.

I highly recommend experiencing the Profumo through a guided tour, as there are countless anecdotes and stories you will only learn when walking through the palazzo privately. It is here where I learned about the Profumo’s private enclosed garden, home to all the company’s flowers and herbs used in each product, truly ‘Made in Italy’.

There were two products that stood out to me in particular during my visit to the Profumo. Perhaps the most well-known item that continually draws people in is the Acqua di S.M. Novella Perfume, originally created for Caterina de’ Medici in 1533 and sold today using the same original formula. Another eye-catching product is the historical Santa Maria Novella Water, known as Acqua Antisterica, developed in 1614 for calming and digestive purposes.

As the Profumo holds true to their historical roots, they continually develop products that sweep visitors off their feet. Spending a morning at the Profumo is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that cannot be replicated. I highly recommend incorporating a visit during your stay here in Florence, as this may be the most unique, and elegantly-smelling, a Florentine experience you will have!

GUEST EXPERIENCE TESTIMONIAL

Last month we had some of our guests enjoy two of our exclusive experiences during their stay with us.  It is always such an honour to receive emails like the following from happy and satisfied guests and so we just had to share!

“Dear Federico,

I want to send a quick note to thank you for a wonderful vacation.  My mom, daughter and sister had the best time!  We loved staying at the apartment.  The location is great, the hospitality you showed us, the accommodations….everything…just perfect!  One thing we didn’t get a chance to do that we had hoped was to visit the tea shop.  The tea was fantastic!  

The tours you recommended were among our favourite things.  My mom is still talking about the sidecar tour and the wine tour my son and his friend (who had been on other ones) commented to me that tour you arranged on Sunday was the best they had been on!  It is worth noting that the driver (he is in one of the pictures) was terrific!  We had so much fun!  

Everything…every single person…was just great!  

Thank you again.  We are already looking forward to visiting Florence in the future and staying again at the Palazzo Belfiore!

Jodi”

REFLECTIONS FROM OUR INTERNS

Our most recent interns, Andrea and Alessio were enthusiastic additions to our team and it seems that they enjoyed the experience as well.  Here Andrea Bonardi shares a few words about his time as an intern in our palazzi;

“During our school-work project, me, Andrea Bonardi, and my classmate Alessio Ridolfi had the opportunity to work at “Your Place In Florence”.

We worked in two different buildings: Palazzo San Niccolò and Palazzo Belfiore. Since our first day we had the feeling of a lovely atmosphere with a great, available and collaborative team ready to answer any doubt we had, making us feel comfortable with the place we worked in. We two worked manually for the most part of the time, having the opportunity to see every detail of the rooms of the residence. Since we were greeting and hosting not-italian people every day we also had the opportunity to speak the languages we are learning in school. Again, since the first day we really appreciated the modern furniture inside every room and the room service provided to our guests (thing we were doing for the majority of the time besides greeting and helping our guests). In Palazzo Belfiore we really liked the fact that many people/families from all around the world (literally from Australia to Canada to Saudi Arabia) felt comfortable despite language and culture differences. In Palazzo San Niccolò we also had the opportunity to assist a wedding which happened in the same Palazzo San Niccolò. In this place, we also appreciated the vintage but modern furniture in the lounge, in the lobby and in the rooms. In Palazzo Belfiore, the rooms are also lovely but with an “older” style referring to Florence’s origins: 1400-1500 look but with a touch of modern appearance. By the way, guests really seem to enjoy all the welcome cards and gifts that both Palazzo Belfiore and San Niccolò offer.”

SETTEMBRE IN PIAZZA DELLA PASSERA

Palazzo Belfiore is proud to once again be sponsoring the annual event, Settembre in ‘Piazza della Passera’!

This year marks the 17th edition of the event after taking a sabbatical last year.  The festival was conceived by Stefano Di Pucci, owner of Trattoria 4 Leoni together with the cultural association “In Piazza”, under the direction of Alessandro Di Puccio and in collaboration for the organisation with Momy Manetti.  The initial plan was to include all the main squares of the Oltrarno, with the idea of using art to enhance the territory and an opportunity to meet and discover new talents.

The piazza has come alive this week with two concerts each evening from 11th – 14th, all with free admission and the idea this year was to involve young students in the event.  The ‘Giovani in Piazza’ format, created with the Jazz department of the Florence Academy of Music offers young talents in the sector the opportunity to open the first three evenings.

Palazzo Belfiore was honoured to have Scott Hamilton stay with us on Wednesday night. One of the greatest jazz saxophonists around and in demand the world over, his playing has best been described by fellow tenor saxophonist and writer, Dave Gelly: “Following a Scott Hamilton solo is like listening to a great conversationalist in full flow. First comes the voice, the inimitable, assured sound of his tenor saxophone, then the informal style and finally the amazing fluency and eloquent command of the jazz language.”

EXPO CHIANTI CLASSICO

The town of Greve in Chianti will host the 48th edition of the Expo Chianti Classico this September from the 6th-9th.  Wine lovers from everywhere will descend on the town during these days to sample some of the best Chianti Classico that this territory is famous for, from more than 60 different wineries.

On Thursday, the festival starts at around 5 pm and finishes at 10 pm.  Friday, from 11 am to 10 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm.

Upon arrival, buy a wine glass from the Segretaria (the price in 2017 was 10 euros).  You will be given a ticket that allows you to taste up to eight of the wines offered at the stands.

Don’t forget that we can organise a private transfer to and from the event if you are staying with us during these days so don’t hesitate to ask us if you would like us to take care of the details.

For more details and the whole program visit the Event website : www.expochianticlassico.com

FERRAGOSTO

August 15  is one of the most popular and biggest holidays in Italy.  Known as Ferragosto, which literally translates as ‘holiday in August’, this day originates from Roman times when the first Emperor, Augusto decided to establish a day off in the middle of the hottest month.

Expect most businesses to be closed and most cities to be deserted as most Italians will be at the beach or escapiing the heat in the mountains.  If you decide to go to the beach on the 15th August, be prepared to get wet as it is also a tradition to throw buckets of water over anyone in close proximity – of course this is most popular with the kids and teenagers but beware if you happen to be in the path of a water-fight! Whatever your plans this Ferragosto, if you do happen to find yourself in Florence, you will have plenty of choices of things to do and see!

In Florence, most of the museums will be open and below is a quick quide to the opening hours :

The Uffizi Gallery is open as usual from 8:15am until 6:30pm

Palazzo Vecchio will be open from 9:00am until 11:00pm while The ‘Torre di Arnolfo’ will be open from 9:00am until 9:00pm.

Santa Maria Novella will be open from 12:00pm until 6:30pm

Museo Novecento will be open from 11:00am util 8:00pm.

Forte Belvedere which is currently showing the exhibition ‘Gong’ by Eliseo Mattiacci will be open from 10:00 – 20:00 but you must book prior to arrival.

The Bardini museum will be closed for the Ferragosto holiday.

 

 

There are also a number of musical events and concerts to be enjoyed in Florence.  At the ‘Giardino dell’Orticultura there will be a concert by the Alyen Roy Band which is a mix of jazz, swing, bossa nova and fusion.  The show starts at 7:00pm. San Salvi park will also be hosting a concert by quartet ‘Banditaliana’ founded in 1992 by organist Ricardo Tesi.  Bookings are recommended. You can also enjoy a dj set and aperitivo at the ‘Spiaggia sull’Arno / River Urban Beach, on the banks of the river Arno in front of Piazza Poggi.