Easter 2014 in Florence: museums, events…

Happy Easter in Florence

Sunday 4/20: The Uffizi Gallery and the Academy Museum will be open from early morning and around 10.00 am in the Duomo square there is the famous Explosion of the Cart with fireworks.

Monday 4/21: Uffizi and Academy special opening day!

Restaurants: all open both for lunch and dinner

Shops: closed on Sunday, open on Monday

 

Happy Easter! 

 

Getting married in Florence: how to do

Do you want to celebrate your wedding in the city of the Renaissance? Here at the Relais Grand Tour Firenze we are used to accommodate wedding small groups, and it is always a great experience. You know there are lots of things to do very far in advance, including to reserve places to stay while in Florence for friends and families, contact the Municipality of Florence, contact a good wedding planner, choose the Wedding Dress, keep mom quiet.

Today I want to give you some short informations about ceremonies, rates, rules, etc. that the Municipality of Florence can offer to the non-residents citizens.

You can choose different places to celebrate your Wedding in Firenze, all of them managed by the Municipality of Florence:

- Palazzo Vecchio (in the Sala Rossa, or Sala Lorenzo, or Salone de’ Cinquecento, amazing places, both in good and bad weather), Complesso del Giardino delle Rose (in Viale Poggi, excellent during Spring and Summer, not in the city center, but easy to reach), Museo Comunale Bardini (Via dei Renai,terrific view of the city), or Villa Vogel (Via delle Torri, outside the city, in a green area).

- Price range is euros 500.00 up to euros 5000.00, depending by the place, the time, etc.

- Wedding date can be booked from 6 months in advance, and you can contact them via Email: matrimoni@pec.comune.fi.it or via Telephone: +39 055 2768518 – 2768299 – 2768211 – 2768575  Monday through Friday 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.- Tuesday and Thursday also 2,30 p.m. to 5,00 p.m. 

Just click here and you can find the full text of the official informations directly on the Firenze Municipality website, Marriage page

This is the Official Firenze Municipality Brochure Getting Married in Florence 

with our Major Matteo Renzi , who is actually the President of the Italian Council, wrote:

“Those that cannot be born in Florence choose to get married there,” to paraphrase the
Italian screen writer Ennio Flaiano.
I am always struck by the number of couple who choose our city for one of the most
important moments of their life. Florentines do so, bound by an indissoluble affection
towards their own city, but also many Italians and foreigners who choose the beauty
of Florence to seal their choice of a life together.
Every time I go abroad, it amazes me to find wherever I go this unconditional affection
towards our city: without a doubt because of the beautiful treasures that history has given
us, but, as I like to think, also because of the quality of life and hospitality, because of the
spirit and the wit of the Florentines.
For this reason, we have decided to open up further special historical locations to you,
offering you a greater choice and becoming enthusiastic and passionate companions of your
vows Your wedding ceremony can now take place not only the classic Sala Rossa, but also
the Sala di Lorenzo and the majestic Salone dei Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio. Those
who prefer instead a more unusual location can choose between the hidden beauty of the
Museo Bardini and the breathtaking view over our city seen from the Giardino delle Rose.
Each is a choice of beauty that we hope may bring the best of luck at the start of your
journey together.

 

Taxi in Florence: how does it work

taxi in florence

There are just 2 taxi companies here in Florence, and they practice very similar tariffs. One is under the phone number 0554390 and the other is under the phone number 0554242. Here at the Relais Grand Tour B&B we are used to call taxi here at the main entrance for our guests, but they can go to the nearest taxi station in Piazza San Marco. I suggest you to limit the use of taxis while into the city center: due to the total closure of the traffic around the Duomo square, actually it takes less time to take a walk than to take a taxi, which has to turn around the city to get to your place. Both Taxi Companies operate in and outside the city, from airports, train stations etc.

From the Firenze train station to our B&B it is about 5 minutes by taxi, for about 10.00 euros including luggages. From the Firenze-Peretola aiport to our B&B it is about 23-25.00 euros and it takes around 30 minutes.

You have to know that:

-        A taxi minimum ride is of about 6.00 euros.

-        Tariffs depend on time and distances, not only from the distance. So, in case of traffic, you will pay more than usual.

-        Do not make your taxi waiting for you: time starts from the moment they arrive at your door.

-        There is a supplement after 10 pm and on Sundays.

-        A ride from the Firenze airport to the city center is about 20-25.00 euros.

-        Each luggage in the boot of the car is 1.00 euro.

-        Tariffs are clearly explained on sign on each taxi.

-        Payment: usually is on cash. If you want to pay by credit card, ask for a specific taxi with credit card service.

My advice: just take it from/to the train station Firenze SMNovella if you have luggages, and from/to the Firenze Peretola airport, or to go outside the city center in the evening (dinner at Fiesole or to the Piazzale Michelangelo at night). 

More on http://www.4390.it and http://www.socota.it 

Street food: Relais Grand Tour Tips for panino part 2

In our last post we talked about the panino in Florence at Mercato Centrale and at Lì per Lì, two places very close our bed and breakfast Grand Tour Firenze Relais & Suites.

Today I want to give you other advices, going from our place to stay to the Ponte Vecchio Old Bridge.

-        I Due Fratellini: this very small place with no seats is one of the most favourite by locals. Bottles of red Chianti wine, fresh bread Panini, and prosciutti, salami, cheese, meat. Just make your choice and add a small glass of wine. Price range euros 2.50 – 6.50, actually. Located in Via dei Cimatori, close to Signoria sq. – open all days 9.00am – 7.00pm

-        All’Antico Vinaio: the place is small but they have some tiny tables for a short break. Try their famous focaccia with sbriciolona (a kind of salami with fennel), or a plateau of cheese and salami. Locals and tourists, very busy. Price range 3.50 – 8.50, actually. Located in Via de’ Neri, two steps from the Uffizi Gallery – open all days 9.00am- 10pm

-        Trippai stalls: they take the name from “trippa” (tripe) which locals adore in the panino. They offer sandwiches with tripe or with lampredotto (similar), with boiled vegetables and hot sauce, or simply with a “salsa verde”, a green sauce with persil, garlig, potatoes and a drop of vinegar. The price range is euros 4.00 – 6.50, actually. One of the stalls is on your way to go to the Ponte Vecchio, located at the Mercato del Porcellino (known as the Logge del Porcellino). Anoter is in Piazza de’Cimatori, not far from Via Calzaioli, between the Duomo sq. and Signoria sq. – open all days 9.00am – 7.00pm

You can eat delicious food in Florence and save money. Take your panino, seat on a medioeval stair, and enjoy the lunch under the Florentine sun before to back home at the Relais Grand Tour

I will give you other tips, stay tuned :)

Getting to the Relais Grand Tour by car

Getting to Florence by car

If you decide to come to Florence by car, you have to be informed that all the historic city center is closed to the traffic for the non-residents. Our B&B Grand Tour Firenze is located in the ZTL, and I have to say that Firenze is not the best city for traffic signals.

-        Must have a GPS on your car. This is very very important if you want not to get lost and receive a fine by the Municipality Police (at home, after a few months)

-        Tell us in advance, so that we can give you the best directions to find our B&B easily

How to:

  •  Come to Florence by car and stop at the B&B: in this case just follow our instructions and go to park your car at the Garage Sant’Orsola located in Vicolo di Sant’Orsola (a very small street).  If you have a GPS put this address: Via Santa Caterina D’Alessandria. Once there, drive straight until the crossroad with Via Guelfa. Turn on the left part of the Via Guelfa and drive straight until the 2nd crossroad (you will pass under a ZTL camera, don’t worry about that). On your left there is Via Santa Reparata, we’re at the n. 21 at about 20 meters from the corner. On your right there is the “P” sign for Parking of the Garage Sant’Orsola.  This is the place to leave your car while you stay in Florence at the Relais Grand Tour. Price range for the Garage is 23-30 euros daily, depending on car size. They will put you in a special list for tourists with car, and you will not receive a fine by the policeLeave the car there and take a short walk to our place. *Please: if you see you’re getting lost, then stop the car and give us a phone call. We will try to drive you back to the right place. 
  •    Come to Florence by car and return it at the car rental in the city center: in this case you cannot come at the Relais Grand Tour first. Just go to the car rental first, then take a taxi from there to the B&B.
  •   Come to Florence by car and return it at the car rentals close to the Firenze Peretola aiport, just take a taxi from there. It will be about half one hour far, for about 25.00 euros.

We’re waiting for your at the Relais Grand Tour!

Exhibitions in Florence: a gorgeous Pontormo & Rosso Fiorentino from 3/08, 2014

Rosso Fiorentino & Pontormo in Florence

I love these two artists. So unconventional and original, their paintings are of that “modern manner” which made the very interesting point of the Italian Cinquecento season. They were born in 1494 but each one took a different mode of expression, a different style, even they were training in the same artistic environment in the first half of the 16th century.

The exhibition Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino: diverging Paths of Mannerism in Palazzo Strozzi celebrates two of Tuscany’s most outstanding artists. I suggest a visit because I think this event will be unrepeatable since there are some paintings coming from foreign private collections and museums (from the Louvre, too), and some masterworks have been restored for the occasion.

Since you’re in Florence, you can imerge in the athmosphere of Rosso Fiorentino and Pontormo and discover the place where they spent life and worked at their masterpieces.

Most of their works will be moved to the exhibitions, but there are so many additional masterpieces of these two “brother twins”, that cannot can be moved from their original places. You can easily reach them in a short walk  from the Grand Tour Firenze B&B, and . Let’s discover the city center through these artist, it will be very fun and unconventional!

Here you can see, download and print the Florence city map connected with Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino.   The sites are marked and provided with information about opening hours, a brief description and a picture. The service is offered by Palazzo Strozzi Foundation.

PONTORMO AND ROSSO FIORENTINO DIVERGING PATHS OF MANNERISM
Palazzo Strozzi 8 marzo/March-20 luglio/July 2014
a cura di/curated by Carlo Falciani e Antonio Natali
Open: Daily holidays included 9.00-20.00, Thursday 9.00-23.00
Visitors admitted until one hour before closing time
Reservations tel. +39 055 2469600
prenotazioni@palazzostrozzi.org

Street Food: Relais Grand Tour tips for panino part 1

street food florence

Street food in Florence is an excellent idea, especially because is not expensive and it offers various food specialties easy to take away.

The Relais Grand Tour is located very close to the Mercato di San Lorenzo San Lorenzo Market where you can find the best street food ever: go there not later than 1.30pm and you will enjoy the glorious panini with meat at Nerbone’s, where locals go from mid-morning. Here you can find boiled meat (called bollito or lesso) with various type of sauces, from the “salsa verde” (gree sauce with persil, potatoes and garlic) to the “salsa piccante” the very hot-sauce with hot italian peppers. Cow meat, but not only. Try also the “panino with lampredotto” or “panino with trippa”, but don’t ask what is that… just taste it and you will enjoy it.

Inside the San Lorenzo Market, you will find other good places where to ask for a panino: with prosciutto, or prosciutto and pecorino cheese, or salame, or whatever you want, including vegetables.

Also, if you love fish, there is a stand of fresh fish where you can ask for a “cartoccio di pesce fritto“, the florentine version of “Fish&Chips” in a yellow paper.

Outside the San Lorenzo Food Market, there is another place we love: it is called “Lì per Lì“, in Via XXVVII Aprile, just 2 minutes walk from our place to stay. This has just 2 small tables and they serve paninis and small home-made courses like past or roast-beef. You can personalize your panino with vegetables, cheese, salami, meat, eggs, etc…

San Lorenzo Market: open Monday-Saturday 7.00am – 2.00pm, Piazza del Mercato Centrale, same time for Nerbone

Lì per Lì Focacceria: open Monday-Friday 10.30am-6.30pm, Via XXVVII Aprile, corner with Via San Zanobi.

Follow us for other address, and come to meet us here in Florence at the Relais Grand Tour!

Go on the official website and see the special offers!

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