This post is devoted to my beloved borgo, where I spend my daily life and discover the beauty of Florence day by day. Thanks for being the inspiration of this blog since day one!
“How is life in Florence?! Show me around one day when I visit there!” One of the most popular sentences from my friends in China since I moved to Florence.
If I am the local tour guide for my friends I may not take them at all to the Duomo, the museums, or the Ponte Vecchio, etc. They can find information of those places from thousands of resources on-line and off-line, and they may be already familiar with those must-do items in each of those famous tourism spots, probably more than I do! I would take my visitors (friends) to those local districts, where they find one-next-to-the-other houses with the terracotta roof, those green and dark-brown color shutter windows, and the campanelli (door bells) next to the vintage doors. AKA, the Borgo!!!
Borgo is where you can live like a local. Spare just minutes and go further into the district, you are already off those tourist traps, and find some authentic places.
It is true that in a city like Florence, where residents and tourists mingle, it is hard to tell where is more local. A Florentine preferred restaurant can be full of tourists. In the lane opposite to Palazzo Pitti (less than 1 minute walk), there is the Piazza della Passera (the pussy square), where you find good restaurants, one of the best gelato shops in town, and people greeting friends with drinks! It is a place popular among residents, as well as young tourists who like to hang out in the local neighborhood.
Il Magazzino is a restaurant in the square, where you find creative Italian cuisine. Their most popular dish is the lampredotto sushi: rice wrapped with crispy seaweed, with chopped lampredotto on top. My must-order every time I go there! Other unique dishes in Il Magazzino include beef tongue slides (liked by my Asian friends a lot), chin meat of cow, vegetarian dishes, etc. It’s different from those traditional Tuscany dishes you usually eat, but definitely worth trying.
Address: Piazza della Passera 2-3, Firenze
Facebook: Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino
Gelateria della Passera serves ice cream that shares the top reputation. My husband stops by for gelato almost every time we pass this place. Many Florentine we know like this place, as well as expat friends that have lived in Florence for many years.
Gelateria della Passera
Address: Via Toscanella 15R, Firenze
Don’t think avoiding those popular tourist spots by staying in the local districts is a good way to save money. Well, it may or may not be true! You may accidentally walk into one of those chic boutiques, and later find out there are 100euro, or even more, added to your credit card debit while walking out of the shop. Many of us Chinese fellows are THE MALL lovers, but to shop for those one of a kind, statement pieces from Italy, you need to travel deep into the alleys to find the hidden gems.
Patricia Al Kary is a designer brand who has earned a name by its precious handbags. The characters of having metal accessories coated in gold, paying extreme attention to the inside from materials to secret pockets, Patricia Al Kary has been recognized by fashion icons, bloggers, and many women who love beautiful bags.
The showroom is in old part of Florence Palazzo Frescobaldi, where I had a chance to visit recently. Patricia, the designer, showed me her newly launched small leather goods collection, as well as the made-to-order section, which allows dedicated writing and application of special colored snake skin.
Patricia Al Kary
Address: Via Santo Spirito 11, Firenze
Another boutique located a little hidden is marie antoinette firenze, 100 meters off the Ponte Vecchio where many fashionable and vintage goodies are collected. Certain items are used, however remains classic with good price. marie antoinette firenze also makes products of its own, each item is with limited quantity but high quality. New products arrive everyday, which makes this little shop a little heaven for any girl who is looking for chic, classic, or statement pieces.
The two stylish and friendly owners Geraldine and Cinzia, as well as their cute dog Livio, add a touch of warm welcome to the guests.
marie antoinette firenze
Address: Piazzetta Dei Del Bene 6/5, Firenze
Kisses to the cozy districts in Florence that has so much to offer and to be discovered. To Borgo, with L. O. V. E. !