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Three good movies about Florence

Friday, February 20, 2009

Here are three movies that I really like: all those films had been shot in Florence, and that’s the only thing that they have in common! Different genres, different years, different styles… but all those movies represent an atmosphere, an aspect of Florence, and put the spotlight on some of the million different sides that this wonderful city can offer to the observer.

Hannibal (2001)
Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta, Giancarlo Giannini, Zeljko Ivanek, Frankie Faison, Francesca Neri.
Music by Hans Zimmer.

A classical thriller, the famous sequel of the silence of the lambs (then followed by Red Dragon), to discover the thrilling side of Florence.

The Stendhal Syndrome (la Sindrome di Stendhal)
Directed by Dario Argento
Starring: Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Marco Leonardi
Music by Ennio Morricone.
Another thriller, but in a totally different style: that’s Dario Argento with the great Ennio Morricone, that’s suspense and thrills in original Italian Style!

My Friends (Amici Miei)
Directed by Mario Monicelli
Starring Ugo Tognazzi, Gastone Moschin, Philippe Noiret, Duilio Del Prete, Adolfo Celi, Bernard Blier, Milena Vukotic, Silvia Dionisio, Music by Carlo Rustichelli.
A great italian director, Monicelli, with one of the best italian actor of the seventies, Ugo Tognazzi, and one of the best French actor, Philippe Noiret, in a bitter comedy that takes place in Florence, at the end of the 60s and the beginning of the 70s.
This film is about friendship, and about acting like a child even if you’re adult; four friends who organize together idle pranks (called zingarate, "gypsy shenanigans"). The jokes in this movie entered in the Italian culture and they’re now became a sort of piece of popular history.

10 Ten Things I Can't Live Without in Florence

Monday, February 16, 2009

1 . Pizza, bread and pastries at Pugi, the best bakery in Florence. You can find Pugi at:

P.zza S. Marco 10
Tel. 055 280981

Via S. Gallo 62/R
Tel. 055 475975

Viale De Amicis 49/R
Tel. 055 669666

2 . Meat! Big bloody steaks, that’s the masterpiece of Florence, and I love it!

3 . Celebrations for San Lorenzo day (saint Lawrence), June 24th. Huge fireworks and lots of people in the streets.

4 . My bike. Forget your car in Florence, if you don’t want to waste time in traffic jams use bus, bikes or feet!

5 . Air conditioning. Summer in Florence is incredibly hot...

6. Shopping and hanging around in the city markets. My favourite one is Sant’Ambrogio: fruits and vegetables, meat, clothing, shoes, books, and more…

7 . Rock Bottom Records Shop. Here I buy food for my soul: a great selection of rock ‘n’ roll, beat, garage, punk, vinyl records, both new and second-hand, at reasonable prices.

8 . A compact umbrella, the one you can store in a bag. When it starts to rain, it could last forever :-(

9 . Sales! Fashion! Shopping! Sales in Florence are a jungle but I’m a beast!

10 . A cup of tea or a cappuccino with my friends at the Caffè La Loggia in via Pietrapiana.

Wedding in Florence

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Today it’s Valentine day so my post is dedicated to all the loving people of the world!

A Romantic wedding in Florence is a dream, and a lot of people come from all over the world to get married here.
There are several agencies that offer a complete wedding-planner service: you can get married in the suggestive Sala Rossa, the “red room” of the town-hall (Palazzo Vecchio), or in a church of any religion: Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and more.

Surely the most perfect place to have a romantic wedding in Florence is the church of San Miniato al Monte, an ancient Romanic church on the top of the green hills around the city, just a few meters away from Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can have a breath-taking view of the whole city.

Those agencies offers complete packages containing wedding, documents, interpreter, flowers, makeup and hairstyle for the bride, transportation, professional photographers, wedding reception, special travels for the couple, etc, etc…

Here are some useful links if you’re dreaming to get married in Florence:


Trippa and Lampredotto - Florence Street Food

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Trippa (tripe) and Lampredotto are two dishes that perfectly represent the Florence popular culinary traditions, eating them is an experience you can’t miss.
Born from the street foods of artisans and workmen, tripe and lampredotto, have been an important part of the Florentine tradition for almost ten centuries. Florence and Tuscany are famous for the meat, that is an important part of traditional cousine, and innards are very common, as in the past every piece of the animal was precious, even stomach, liver and stuff like that.

For those who might not have ever thought that these innards of the animal could even be eaten, the two most popular dishes are explained.
La trippa (tripe), is the part of the digestive organ found between the esophagus and the stomach of the cows. It can be prepared in many ways, even if in Florence it is mainly found cooked with tomato sauce (trippa alla fiorentina), but I use to cook it also with mushrooms, with or without tomato sauce, or with tomato sauce and parmigiano.

Tripe (Trippa)

Lampredotto (offal) also comes from the stomach of a bovine, but is more tender, thin and flat, and it’s not white, but light brown.


The meat is boiled in a broth of herbs and vegetables, then finely sliced and as served as a sandwich. Salt and pepper, green sauce and hot sauce are the traditional toppings, and a glass of red wine is the perfect drink. You can also ask for “lampredotto bagnato”: a piece of the bread is soaked in the broth.
Lampredotto is sold in some typical lampredotto-stands, small wheeled-kiosks placed in the streets, where you can stop, take your sandwich and step away, we call this kind of stand “lampredottaio” or “trippaio”.

The best lampredottaio in Florence are:

- Piazza de’ Cerchi (near Piazza della Signoria)
- Via Gioberti (near Piazza Beccaria)
- Piazza di Mercato Nuovo (Mercato del Porcellino)
- San Lorenzo Market (the stand is called “Nerbone”)
- Via del Verrocchio (behind Sant’Ambrogio market)

Top 10 things you can't miss in Florence

Sunday, February 1, 2009

When you have an holyday in Florence an entire year wouldn’t be enough to see all the beautiful thing of Florence.
Here’s a Decalogue of the most important cultural and architectural issues that you can’t really miss in your trip to Florence: the most important museums, churches, and suggestive corners of the city.
If you are well organized you can see all those things in about 4 intensive days.

1- Uffizi museum – masterpieces of Botticelli, Giotto, Cimabue, Masaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello and many others.

2- Palazzo Pitti- it houses several minor collections in addition to those principal of the Medici family.

3- Piazzale Michelangelo – an incredibly beautiful panoramic view of Florence from the hillside, and a wonderful roman church nearby, San Miniato al Monte.

4- Market of San Lorenzo – the city market, with clothings, leather goods, typical food…

5- Galleria dell’Accademia and Michelangelo’s David… the masterpiece of Michelangelo, the statue of David, it’s here!

6- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore – the cathedral of Florence, with the magnificent Brunelleschi dome.

7- Ponte Vecchio – how romantic! A bridge over the Arno river, sided with small ancient buildings which house traditional jewelery shops.

8- Oltrarno – a typical old neighbourhood with traditional shops, small hidden streets and beautiful fiorentine houses.

9- Santa Maria Novella church – a wonterful example of the early italian gothic style, that’s my favorite church!

10- Piazza della Signoria – probably the most famous view of Florence, with Palazzo Vecchio facing the square.