Italy

view-from-piazzale-michelangelo

A Twenty Something Tour of the Town – Florence

With summer officially knocking on the door, a trip I took from two summers ago has me wishing I was back in Florence.  During this summer abroad six of my close friends and I had the privilege of soaking up the best in Italian cuisine, cocktails, and of course you can’t leave Italy without some fine Italian leather!  Can someone PLEASE take me back! Here is a look at some of my favorite spots in one of my favorite places on earth: Florence, Italy.

Il Latini – A lovely family style Italian restaurant.  There are two seatings at the restaurant and expect massive lines to get in the door for both!

La Giostra – best pear ravioli in the world

Grom – I highly recommend the Creme de Grom

The Secret Bakery – This hole in the wall is a true treasure of Florence.  Opening up after hours you are lucky if you can find the bakery and snag a chocolate croissant!

Acqua al 2 – the pasta sampler is a must!

Procacci – best specialty foods made with truffles!

Art Bar – Here you will find the most thoughtful and artfully created drinks in the world.  Try the passion fruit caprioska!

Infinity – beautifully crafted leather goods

Ponte Vecchio – Notorious for high prices and gorgeous jewelry; great for window shopping!

Bobboli Gardens and Pitti Palace

Piazzale Michelangelo – The views walking up and from the piazzale are stunning.

San Lorenzo Market – a great spot for weekly shopping, people watching or to grab a bite to eat.

This brief list doesn’t begin to touch the surface of what Florence has to offer.

If you haven’t been, it is a must!

vuitton-staircase

Louis Vuitton Roma Etoile

   

On January 27th, Louis Vuitton inaugurated their first Maison in Italy, Roma Etoile. Cate Blanchett and French actress Catherine Deneuve were just two of the many who celebrated the iconic fashion line’s historic opening. Twitter followers were treated to exclusive photos of red carpet entrances via live updates @LouisVuitton_IT.

 

The store is literally set on a cinematic backdrop replete with a dramatic elliptical staircase and a screening room which aims to support the Italian film industry. The location is an old cinema redesigned by architect Peter Marino, famous for his edgy biker style and no less for his awe-inspiring retail stages.

 

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High Art + High Fashion

I love when art and fashion come together. It seems like such an obvious relationship yet we’re still very excited at each occurrence. I believe it has to do with making the uber world of art feel just slightly less stodgy when linked with the more glamorous vernacular of fashion.

There is Salvatore Ferragamo’s Museo de Ferragamo. Francois Pinault’s Punta della Dogana and now Bernard Arnault’s Gehry-designed, Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation, set to debut in Paris next year. In the works since 2006 the $200 million home for Arnault’s private collection is set to open in late 2012. According to Forbes, “The museum will hold Arnault’s vast corporate and private collections of art, including 20th-century classics from Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore and Andy Warhol mixed with modern work by Agnes Martin, Frank Serra, Jeff Koons and Pierre Huyghe.”

When this opens, we will be on the lookout for the most fabulous parties that Paris can handle.