Novità: One of the Best Study Spots in Florence

All things new.
They may not be new to Florence, but they’re news to me.

This past month we made a big decision and a big move out of the city center. We’re really only a 15-minute bike ride from Arno so it is hardly “far,” but it feels like a whole new city. While leaving the overcrowded centro has had a slew of advantages, it has also taken some adjusting. We’re so used to the luxury of having a place close-by to go when tired of wondering the city or after a three hour Uffizi tour. My latest goal, therefore, has been to find new and wonderful places closer to the city center to spend my free hours studying, reading or just relaxing. This post is dedicated to my favorite of these recent discoveries, Caffè Letterario. As with most items in this blog series, it has been around for ages and has just taken me ages to find. And as per usual, I wish I had found it so much sooner!

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Novità: Brunch in Florence

All things new.
They may not be new to Florence, but they’re news to me.

Brac_FlorenceI admit that in that last few years I have almost entirely converted to the Italian breakfast of an espresso coffee and a pastry over the American toast, bagels, bacon, sausage, eggs, and drip coffee. I’ve come to look forward to my simple and delicious sweet treat and its eye-opening companion. However, every few months, there comes a day (usually a Sunday) where I need something more. I need the saltiness of lunch, the sweetness of breakfast, in the portion size of most people’s dinner, at an atypical time, and I need to wash it all down with a coffee, tea, smoothie and/or a mimosa. What I need people, is brunch, and I assume I’m not alone.
 
There is no word for brunch in Italian, which should tell you all you need to know about trying to find the aforementioned meal in this country. In my English-Italian dictionary it explains that “brunch” is a unique blend of breakfast and lunch, but gives no one-word translation. If you want to ask an Italian friend to join you for this unique feast, you would simply say “Facciamo un brunch?” This always seems a bit silly to me, but it’s a genre of meal that is clearly not Italian and calling it by its original English name maintains the separation between diverse cultural mealtime choices.
 
There are a few places that have popped up in Florence to help feed this deeply rooted (I’m talking DNA deep here) need for brunch. Want a bagel or a muffin (or, for holidays, a pie)? Go to Mama’s Bakery. Need an enormous omelet or eggs benedict with American drip coffee or a cappuccino smoothie and a side of french fries? Go to The Diner. But if you want classy and affordable (but also manageable size-wise) pancakes, french toast, Italian inspired salty crepes or egg scrambles with fresh smoothies, juices, and an impressive list of teas, all in the quiet, hidden courtyard of a bookstore? Well then there is only one place you can go: Brac.
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Novità: The Bardini Museum

All things new.
They may not be new to Florence, but they’re news to me.
bardini_museumIt can be increasingly difficult to see and do new things in Florence when you’re constantly taking visiting friends and family to the same ten places that they “can’t miss” and, unsurprisingly, feeling less inclined to play the tourist by yourself once they’ve left. There are so many things I still haven’t seen. It’s as if every time I’m motivated, another friend is passing through and I’m visiting the same old haunts again*. In an effort to never say, “I still haven’t seen that” again, I made a list of places in Florence that, pitifully, would all still warrant the above response and I made a promise to start seeing them. That is how I finally made my way to a lesser-known (but wonderfully charming) museum known as the Bardini. I hope with this post I can motivate others – veterans and newbies alike – who, like me, may have not found the time or felt the inclination to add the Museo Bardini to their lists.
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Novità: New Favorite Store In Florence

All things new.
They may not be new to Florence, but they’re news to me.

company_storeI don’t want to pretend to be some savvy shopper who knows all the ins and outs of Florence’s consumer culture. But I do frequent the vintage spots and I do keep my eye open for those special stores that break the mold. Admittedly, there are not as many as you might think. Tourism being what it is, often the same store in a different form but selling the same paper, leather bound books, and renaissance inspired quills will do the trick.
Well a few weeks ago, I found one that broke the mold. Many molds. More molds than I knew there actually were.
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