Thursday, April 30

Florence City Guide: Shop, Play, Taste

“In Paris, you learn wit, in London you learn to crush your social rivals, and in Florence you learn poise.” - Virgin Thomson

What to Buy:

What to Buy: Fall in love with jewelry from Pointe Vecchio, a bridge famous for it's architecture and hanging shops. There are a variety of different styles and a reasonable range of prices. Bellini is a charming jewelry shop named after my favorite cocktail (a bellini consists of Italian Prosecco wine and peach juice). Here you will find statement pieces made out of silver and gold. Dainty Florentine Fleur-do-Lis earrings are an ideal gift. A little luxury goes a long way.

Florence is the leather capital of Italy. Great deals on leather goods can be found everywhere. Walk around a couple shops and browse through prices before making a purchase.

Where to Eat: Trattoria Za Za: From Ben Affleck, beautiful models, and Italian locals, this restaurant is one of the best in Florence. If you tire of pasta, they serve up a delicious chicken and truffle sauce dish that won't leave you feeling guilty. Authentic Italian food with a warm, inviting ambiance. Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26r tel: +39 (0) 55 215 411

Where to Play: Astor: This posh, cosmopolitan bar plays fashion show coverage on two big screens all night long. Mix and meet beautiful people from all around the world. Located right by the Duomo. Hard to miss.

What to Drink: Chianti wine is a must-have. Made in the Tuscan region, this native drink can be paired perfectly with a Florentine meal.

What to See: Michelangelo's David is an artistic marvel. The sheer size and precision of realism is absolutely astonishing. David is perfection in statue form. Sadly pictures are not allowed, but you will remember that image for the rest of your life. David is found in the Accademia Museum.

Where to Save: The Mall: Premium outlets right outside of Florence. Find La Perla lingerie, Gucci, and Fendi merchandise up to 50 percent off.

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