Last month we went to Florence, which is famous for art history, but not many people know that it is full of design destinations well, which you can not miss if you are a design lover.
Here below a list of places to visit, for shopping, food, and very special accommodations. You are going to see two boutique hotels with interiors that are going to get you amazed.
Numeroventi: design residence
Numeroventi was born renovating three floors of Palazzo Galli Tassi, which is a residence for those who wish to stay in Florence, but especially for the artists, to whom the accommodation is offered for half the price, together with support in their artistic process and promotion of their artworks in Florentine galleries. At the moment you have four apartments available to be booked, which are both modern, and with vaulted, frescoed ceilings, furnished with design pieces. We talked to one of the partners, and he told us that a members club will open soon, with activities involving selected card-carrying members, such as journalists, artists, politicians, investors. The idea is to create a hub where different players can meet, and support each other in the development of artistic ideas. The top floor will also open very soon as a co-working space to welcome any artist from outside the residence. Moreover a Beauty Bar will be inaugurated on the street, designed to attract women, which they hope will constitute the 60% of members.
Palazzo Galli Tassi,
Via de Pandolfini 20,
Ub Firenze per l'arredo
I found Ub on a pic scrolling through Instagram, it looked like a small wallpaper shop, but it turned out to be a chamber of wonders. Ub is specialised in the sale and rental of vintage, and modern antiques objects, and furniture, located in the rooms of an historical shop that used to sell wallpapers, just a short walk from the Duomo of Florence. That is a space to share, which, if necessary, can host exhibitions, cat walks, tastings, temporary showrooms, artistic performances, live music and original ideas. An ideal place for lovers of design and vintage objects, for those who are constantly looking for rare objects and can recognise the beauty in the ravages of time. The name of the shop comes from the initials of Ubaldo, the person who had the idea of this space, and who has been finding old objects for 15 years, returning them back to their original vocation, or redefining their intended use, turning them into something never seen before. Ubaldo is the mind and the hands behind the Ub style, which you can recognise in many venues and Florentine houses.
via dei Conti 4R
Officina Profumo Farmaceutica
Officina Profumo is a place worth a visit even if you are not going to buy anything. This fragrance-herbalist shop is inside an ancient interior, which distinguishes by sturdy walnut furniture, marble floors, precious lampshades, flasks and pots in which they used to cook old-time recipes, and especially the stunning frescoed vaults. The history of this pharmacy begins in 1221, when Dominican monks, from the near Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, started to grow herbs to produce balms, ointments and medicines for their infirmary. After many years during which the friars studied the properties of herbs cultivated inside the monastery, the pharmacy opened its doors to the public in 1612. Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy is in via della Scala 16, in the convent complex of Santa Maria Novella. It is the most ancient historical pharmacy of all Europe, being active for almost 4 centuries. The pharmacy still uses traditional methods of preparations and still sells essences, and perfumes made with monk’s traditional recipes. You will also find a small museum inside, where you will find old terracotta vases and many curiosity about the pharmacy and old-times medicines.
Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
Via della Scala, 16
The historical space where La Ménagère is located was the first Florentine shop of homeware opened in 1896, and today it is renovated and reintroduced as a concept-restaurant, a hub collecting more than one identity. It is a no-conventional place, where the setup and design serve as binding to create an informal environment where high end kitchen, flowers and home decor meet and live together. Industrial materials, upcycle and design objects, and bespoke furniture fill the 1500 sqm space with a contemporary twist. Here you can come to eat, and buy flowers and accessories for a design table top.
via Dè Ginori, 8/R
OltrarnoSplendid is a boutique bed and breakfast with 14 individually-designed rooms tucked away in the centre of Florence’s coolest Oltrarno area, just minutes from the Ponte Vecchio and historic centre. The eclectic team that created both SoprArno Suites and AdAstra Florence – Francesco Maestrelli, Matteo & Marco Perduca and Betty Soldi – have once again filled each space with their unique style of diverse furniture, bespoke works of art and visionary perspective. Original frescoes, authentic wall features, in-room bathtubs and curated corners shape an unexpected place to stay from which to discover the abundance of Florence. The project recovered an ancient decadent building, bring new life to it in the trendiest neighbourhood.
Spread over the two top floors of an 18th century palazzo, the 14 rooms overlook a peaceful internal courtyard or look out onto the historic Via Dei Serragli, just a short walk from the centre. Every room has a different look and feel: faded wall textures have been brought back to life; a 200 year old wraparound Toile de Jouy wallpaper has been preserved and accentuated; softly coloured wall frescoes have been surprisingly discovered and then restored under the scrupulous eye of the Belle Arti. All these original features live side by side with contemporary iconic furniture and eclectic details.
Sesto On Arno
SE·STO on Arno is a futuristic structure built with glass walls on each side, so to let the natural light in and emphasize the unique position which gives a breathtaking view over the city of Florence, the Arno and the hills surrounding. Inside you find a bar, a restaurant and a lounge area, new spaces which allow you to relax in the heart of Florence, while outdoor is possibile to sit on two terraces with a magical atmosphere.
All the area at the South of Arno river is trendy, with less tourists, and therefore more liveable, with many design shops and workshops. Below some places to note down.
Osteria Belle Donne – typical cuisine
via delle Belle Donne 16r
Sbrino, Gelatificio Contadino – organic ice cream
via Dei Serragli 31
Trattoria La Casalinga – typical cuisine
Via dei Michelozzi, 9r
Brindellone – typical cuisine
Piazza Piattellina, 10
Gurdulù – design restaurant
Via delle Caldaie 12 R
Santa Rosa Bistrot – typical cuisine
Manifattura – design drinks
Piazza di S. Pancrazio, 1