Mangiare e Dormire

“Eat and Sleep” Good food and good wine are plentiful in Italy. Even a simple pasta dish with just olive oil tastes extraordinary. Here are a few restaurants I tried — mostly recommended by friends and locals.   Osteria Del Cinghiale Bianco (the White Boar) in Florence serves good reliable typical Tuscan cuisine.   Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina is a quaint wine bar located across Palazzo Pitti that also serves traditional and modern Italian cuisine. They specialize in small production, high end wines.   I was at Cibreo Trattoria when I last visited Florence 13 years ago and the experience was…

Basilicas

The Cathedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, or commonly referred to as the duomo, is Florence‘s most iconic landmark. Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, it’s construction took almost 150 years starting in 1926. The facade was designed by Emilio de Fabris and the dome by Filippo Brunelleschi.     Basilica Santa Croce has an austere interior compared with its magnificent neo-gothic facade. Though some may come to see the tombs of Michaelangelo, Dante, Gallileo and Macchiavelli, the real highlights are the Giottto frescoes and the Brunelleschi‘-designed Capella de’ Pazzi.       Founded in the 4th century, the Basilica di…

Tutto Bene

“All is good“. Well, it is more than good! For serious art lovers, Florence is delightful and inspiring. I had to go back to my two favourite art institutions – the Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell’Academia. Nothing beats making a reservation for both galleries in advance. For an extra 4EUR fee for each ticket, one gets to bypass the long queues. The Uffizi was uncrowded at 8:30 in the morning, which rewarded me with some serious solo time with the gallery’s masterpieces that included Boticelli’s Birth of Venus, Michaelangelo‘s Tondo Doni, and Piero della Francesca’s portraits of the Duke and Duchess…