I sometimes find that I have a difficult time with men; not because I am difficult to be with, but because I am such a strong woman. I've found that most men do not like that, even when they think they do. It's a rarity in itself to find friends that truly understand me, yet alone a companion, and I think my friend W is the same way. She recently tied the knot in Tuscany, and I was thrilled to hop on a plane and meet her in Firenze to celebrate her nuptials. It was my first time in Firenze, and what better reason to explore a new city, than to go for a good friends wedding.
We are both unabashed Midwesterners, although you would never know it. Through our Korean-links, our friendship is as deep as its roots and I couldn't be more proud to witness such a beautiful day of my fellow K-pop star friend. I spent about four days in Firenze, which was jam-packed between wedding activities, shopping at the outlets, visiting the Duomo, gazing at David by Michaelangelo, walking through the Boboli gardens, seeing the Mafia tree (yes, they have an actual Mafia tree), trying to find the only two gay clubs in Firenze (Tabasco* and Crisco*), and consuming large amounts of Gelato. We started our wedding festivities at local restaurants like La Buca Dell'Orafo, got some rays and champagne at rooftop bar La Terrazza Lounge at Hotel Continentale, and had colorful cocktails every night at Locale.
I ended up booking an AirBnB versus a hotel and it was absolutely perfect. The apartment had central air, super high ceilings, and there was a lift to take you to the top floor where the apartment was located (which helped substantially since I was not traveling light). It had a funky Art Deco style to it, and every detail was thought through from the lighting to the hidden tropical sleeping nook.
My AirBnB was only ten minutes away (on Via della Vigna Nuova street on the North side of the river) from the Santa Maria Novella train station, which made it very convenient to get to. Since there is not a direct flight to Florence from New York City, I flew into Milan and then took the train from Milan to Florence. Once you arrive at Santa Maria Novella train station, it's central enough where you can walk anywhere from there or take a taxi, but the taxi lines were long, and generally speaking, taxi's are quite a nightmare in Florence, so I just walked with my bags through the cobblestone streets to my AirBnB.
Should you find yourself in desperate need of a taxi, called +39-0554390 or +39-0554242 and you can order one, but note that they start charging you the moment you place the call and you'll probably have to call back a few times to even get one if you don't speak Italian and most only take Euros, so make sure to have enough cash on you. It took me about thirty minutes to get to Villa Poggio San Felice (the beyond gorgeous, family-style villa that the wedding was hosted at) and it cost around €40.
I disappeared on two separate adventures before wedding activities started to go to Prada Space and The Mall, two outlets worth the journey, just right outside of Firenze. I will write about how to get to them on my Firenze City Guide here, as it was quite the trek, but absolutely worth it. My outfits for Florence were a mixture of unique and classic vintage, vibrant Dolce and Gabanna, and Prada. I wore Celine one night, but tried to keep it as Italian as possible. Every July 1st and January 1st, the prices at The Mall are slashed. For instance, if something is €3K original price, it may be €1200 at The Mall, then an additional 50% off so €600 when reductions hit (i.e., the perfect time to go!). Stay tuned for my next update from Lake Como!
*Tabasco is unfortunately closed for good and Crisco has a strict Gay-Men-Only policy.
Coco Wears: Vintage Cotton Halter Dress, Hat, and Vintage Straw Bag. Photographer: Me, Mitsu, & Winter Location: Firenze, Tuscany, Italy. City Guides: Firenze.