Discover your next panorama

Piazza della Repubblica has been the center of Florence since Roman times. It is the most famous result of the so-called “Risanamento”, the bourgeois renaissance of the city, when the urban plan of the city was redefined.

Today I’m going to explore Oltrarno by walking the streets of the city center and its historical, cultural and artistic richness.

First of all, I will indulge in some shopping, a few steps from home. My first stop is LUISAVIAROMA. In the 1930s, it was just a small hat shop on Via Roma. Back then, ladies would change their hats at least three times a day – in the morning, at tea time and in the evening. Today, the most innovative, emerging fashion talents are selected here.

Now I’ll stop at the best color shop ever: Zecchi Colori Belle Arti, on Via dello Studio, for a special art-filled gift. On this streets since ancient times, it has always been a go-to shop for Florentine painters and artisans.

My passion for historical shops is naturally nurtured by the wealth of shops in my neighborhood. A landmark in this area, the Pegna grocery shop is on the same street as Zecchi. Many Florentines fondly remember the times when they used to go to Pegna with their parents or grandparents, who needed to buy some special wax or whatever home supplies, and would always come home with some candy.

Open-air artistic heritage

Just a short walk from the shop is Ponte Vecchio, one of the symbols of the city as well as one of the most famous bridges in the world, and Oltrarno.

There’s many eateries and restaurants in Borgo S. Jacopo and Via di Santo Spirito, but I choose to book a table at Il Santo Bevitore.
I still have some time to visit the Church of St Felicity, one of the oldest churches in the city; inside, you can admire a Crucifix by Giotto and some frescoes by Pontormo.
After eating, I’ll walk along Via de’ Bardi, an old, narrow, long street parallel to Lungarno Torrigiani and overlooked by many noble palaces, churches and historical buildings. I keep walking to Porta San Niccolò, where the eponymous Tower was recently reopened, the landmark of a small, picturesque area.
From here, tourists from the world over climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo to look down.

At this point, I enjoy some greenery and contemporary art in the Rose Garden below. There are more than 1000 incredibly attractive botanical varieties, along with Jean-Michel Folon’s beautiful sculptures. Finally, I can enjoy a good glass of wine – Tuscan wine, of course – at Enoteca Fuori Porta, at the foot of Via del Monte alle Croci.

I’ll hurry up now. I really want to see the sunset at Porta di San Giorgio, next to Forte di Belvedere and the Boboli Gardens: the light reflected on the buildings is just magical.

Now I can walk my way back home, happy to stop in some of the many wine bars and eateries along the streets.

A panoramic view that embraces the city.