Where, How & When...  

Location

 
This building is located in the Piazza Santa Croce area, the beautiful square of the city center, where every year is played the "Calcio storico fiorentino, one of the oldest football game in the world!

Closed to all main cultural sites in Florence, it is also important part of the city night life (check below for suggested restaurants and bars).
Still great area to live into, because of its closeness to residential amenities like the STANDA supermarket, shops, post office, restaurants, and bars.

The quartiere:

With its markets, small secluded gardens, artisan craft shops, and some of the best restaurants in town, Santa Croce is a quarter for connoisseurs. Still authentic, and just enough remote from the incessant flow of tourists, this quarter is well equipped to ensure a pleasant stay.
It's the best choice for the most attentive and curious travel.

Very interesting:

Part of Santa Croce's convent has been set up as a museum, mainly to harbour artistic victims of the 1966 Arno flood, which buried the church under tons of mud and water. You enter through a door to the right of the church facade, which spills into an open-air courtyard planted with cypress and filled with birdsong. At the end of the path is the Cappella de' Pazzi, one of Filippo Brunelleschi's architectural masterpieces (faithfully finished after his death in 1446). Giuliano da Maiano probably designed the porch that now precedes the chapel, set with glazed terra cottas by Luca della Robbia. The rectangular chapel is one of Brunelleschi's signature pieces and a defining example of (and model for) early Renaissance architecture. Light gray pietra serena is used to accent the architectural lines against smooth white plaster walls, and the only decorations are della Robbia roundels of the Apostles (1442-52). The chapel was barely finished by 1478, when the infamous Pazzi Conspiracy got the bulk of the family, who were funding this project, either killed or exiled. From back in the first cloister you can enter the museum proper via the long hall of the refectory. On your right as you enter is the painting that became emblematic of all the artworks damaged during the 1966 flood, Cimabue's Crucifix, one of the masterpieces of the artist who began bridging the gap between Byzantine tradition and Renaissance innovation, not the least by teaching Giotto to paint.

Small quiet gardens where you can seek silent spaces for reading, are at the back of the Church of Santa Croce and in Borgo Allegri number 18.


Parking

Trying to drive in the centro storico is a frustrating, useless exercise. Florence is a maze of one-way streets and pedestrian zones, and it takes an old hand to know which laws to break in order to get where you need to go -- plus you need a permit to drive into the city centre if you are not a resident, and every access is controlled through video cameras..

Public transportation :
- The bus stop which takes you to the train station (Bus n.14), is in Via dell'Agnolo.
- Taxi number: 055 4242

Shopping

For fashion addicts and fashion victims who are already familiar with the city and who are planning another stay in Florence, here is a made-to-measure itinerary...

Home to the historical names of Made in Italy fashion such as Gucci, Emilio Pucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, Florence is an excellent opportunity to satisfy a few whims. So, go on, put your hand in your pocket and get ready to take some vintage souvenirs home to furnish your apartment with or some food delicacies to please your taste buds and those of your friends and some accessories and famous-label clothes to show off and wear on special evenings.

The morning is the best time to wander round the markets and flea markets looking for those unique items and best bargains. In Florence there are many markets to look round: the one in San Lorenzo is famous for its food delicatessens, then there is the Mercato delle Pulci, that is held every day in Piazza dei Ciompi with its antique stalls and the Cascine market in viale Lincoln.
Take a quick look at the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, the old pharmacy where you can be essences and beauty products and at Bojola in via dei Rondinelli n° 25r, an old crafts shop opened in 1892 you can buy leather goods such as bags, suitcases and wallets.

Your afternoon will be dedicated to a trip outside the city, for shopping, Around Florence there are many famous-label outlets. The most important is The Mall (Via Artina n° 63, tel. 055 8657775), that can easily be reached by car, train or by Shuttle Bus from Florence,there is a wide choice here of clothes and accessories from past seasons by Armani, Gucci, Sergio Rossi, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli and many other labels, at reduced prices.

Art & Antiques

The antiques business is clustered where the artisans have always lived and worked: the Oltrarno.
Dealers' shops line Via Maggio, but the entire district is packed with venerable chunks of the past.
On "this side" of the river, Borgo Ognissanti has the highest concentration of aging furniture and art collectibles.

Restaurants

Sesame - Is just around the corner from the Cathedral Santa Croce, in the heart of Florence. The open space restaurant spreads out over 500m2 of floor space over several floors, with a wonderful Mediterranean patio, terrace and bar, all oozing Moroccan feel! The cuisine is shaped by the new concept of Mediterranean fusion with strong ethnic influences.
Address: Via delle Conce, 20/r # 055.2001381

Ai Ciompi - It serves typical Tuscany dishes in a warm and friendly atmosphere., is in front of a tiny market suddenly adds an extra hundred exhibitors. The stalls are scattered even in the adjacent streets making the occasion even more interesting, multiplying the possibilities of finding something missing in your collection and perhaps giving you an opportunity to buy an origninal souvenir of your stay in Italy.
Address: Via Pietrapiana 36/38r # 055 2344100

Osteria dei Benci - A few minutes from Santa Croce, this charming osteria serves some of the most eclectic food in Florence. Try the spaghetti degli eretici (in tomato sauce with fresh herbs). The grilled meats are justifiably famous; the carbonata is a succulent piece of grilled beef served rare. When it's warm, you can dine outside with a view of the 13th-century tower belonging to the prestigious Alberti family. Right next door is Osteria de'Benci Caffè (¢-$), serving selections from the menu from 8 AM to midnight.
Address: Via dei Benci 11-13/r # 055 2344923

La Giostra - The clubby La Giostra, which means "carousel" in Italian, is owned and run by Prince Dimitri Kunz d'Asburgo Lorena, and his way with mushrooms is as remarkable as his charm. The unusually good pastas may require explanation from Soldano, one of the prince's good-looking twin sons. In perfect English he'll describe a favorite dish, taglierini con tartufo bianco, a decadently rich pasta with white truffles. Leave room for dessert: this might be the only show in town with a sublime tiramisu and a wonderfully gooey Sacher torte.
Address: Borgo Pinti 12/r # 055 241341

Cibreo - The food at this upscale trattoria is fantastic, from the creamy crostini di fegatini (a savory chicken-liver spread) to the melt-in-your-mouth desserts. If you thought you'd never try tripe -- let alone like it -- this is the place to lay any doubts to rest: the trippa in insalata (cold tripe salad) with parsley and garlic is an epiphany. Construe chef Fabio Picchi's unsolicited advice as a sign of his enthusiasm for cooking; it's warranted, as the food is among the best and most creative in town. Around the corner is Cibreino, Cibrèo's budget version, with a shorter menu and a no-reservations policy.
Address: Via A. del Verrocchio, 8/r # 055 2341100

Secret of Pinzochere street: The pastry shop on number 12r starts serving cakes already at 02:30 am (just in case you have sudden hunger pains in the night).


The Red & the Black

Florence's address system has a split personality. Private homes, some offices, and hotels are numbered in black (or blue), while businesses, shops, and restaurants are numbered independently in red. This means that 1, 2, 3 (black) addresses march up the block numerically oblivious to their 1r, 2r, 3r (red) neighbours. You might find the doorways on one side of a street numbered: 1r, 2r, 3r, 1, 4r, 2, 3, 5r . . .

Florence keeps proclaiming that it's busily renumbering the whole city without the colour system -- plain 1, 3, 5 on one side, 2, 4, 6 on the other -- and will release the new standard soon, but no one is quite sure when. Conservative Florentines who don't want their addresses to change have been helping to hold up the process. This is all compounded by the fact that the color codes occur only in the centro storico and other older sections of town; outlying districts didn't bother with the codes and use the international standard system .

































































































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