Ready for the most exciting event this Spring? Here’s the moment when the colombina (metallic dove) travels along a wire and ignites the brindellone (cart) as part of the magnificent “Scoppio del Carro” or Explosion of the Cart, a treasured Florentine tradition every Easter Sunday in piazza del Duomo in #YourFlorence. The origins date from the exploits of the Florentines during the crusades and triumphant return in 1101 and have been impressing locals and foreigners alike ever since. Thank you @wakeuptotheduomo for allowing us this magnificent view! 💫
If you’ve been to #YourFlorence you’ve almost certainly walked down the city’s elegant artery of Via Calzaiuoli connecting Piazza della Signoria with Piazza Duomo. Its easy to want to hurry through the crowds getting to where you need to be but it would be a shame to miss out on Orsanmichele (the church that guilds built) or San Carlo dei Lombardi. Also among the big-name brands you might already recognize is the newly-inaugurated @benheartitaly shop, the dream of @hichambenmbarek who has brought his love for artisanal leather to this popular passing point. The shop offers a lovely space full of color, representative of his own exuberant personality— the same one that drove me to Santa Croce Sul Arno to meet those who work with Tuscan leather every single day, many for decades on shoes, jackets and belts. All have their own fascinating story. Bravo Ben for this amazing new location! Read more about it in the link in my bio and seriously, if mid-season leather jackets are what you have your eye on, this is where you want to go!
Nothing feels better than the joy of a four-day weekend to come and a few strategic holidays after that (April 25th, May 1st). It felt like every man, woman, child and dog was out and about in the stone squares of #YourFlorence enjoying this fine Spring weather. Buon weekend a tutti!
What a morning!
I dropped in to see the preparations of the #ScoppiodelCarro, the historical cart that each year explodes in Piazza Duomo, a Florentine tradition on Easter Sunday since the first crusade.
The explosives on the cart itself are prepared (around 2,000 in total) by the Pirotecnica Soldi family, who have been producing handmade fireworks since 1869, and have done the Scoppio del Carro event for the past 30 years.
Beyond fascinating to see this important behind-the-scenes preparation for such an important day in #YourFlorence and I’m excited to see the event again this year on Sunday morning!
Grazie ancora @bettysoldi
It is said that when Michelangelo saw Lorenzo Ghiberti’s (a former goldsmith) gilded east doors for the baptistery in #YourFlorence he immediately called them “the gates of paradise”. This was an important win for Ghiberti who won the job in one of the most important concorsi even had in the city. It took him 27 years to complete the task depicting 10 scenes of the Old Testament.
Nowadays they can be found preserved, restored and protected in the @museofirenze , but interesting enough remained here, in its original place, until 1943 when they removed during the Second World War. Unfortunately they were placed back and suffered heavenly during the great flood of 1966, finally replaced with a copy in the 90’s which is what you see today.
How many times have you stopped here to enjoy Ghiberti’s masterpiece? 😍
I might be back in #YourFlorence now but yesterday I took the morning for myself in Holland to visit one of the most impressive flower parks in Europe! @visitkeukenhof
Every year more than 7 million flower bulbs are planted in autumn to bloom in spring and there are over 800 different tulips present in the 32-hectare park, which also boasts flower shows, inspiration gardens and boat rides for this year’s theme “flower power”. An added bonus is that you can see the flower fields form the park and bike around the Bollenstreek after you’ve visited the gardens. It was very easy to get a bus from Amsterdam Centraal/Rai/airport but DO expect crowds.
It was a such a nice way to finalize this long weekend in Holland, have any of you been??
The power of social media! Sometimes instagram annoys the hell out of me with its superficiality and detox poop teas but at the end of the day I have met so many incredible people through instagram, Facebook and especially the blog. Case in point today’s meetup with the wonderful @irina_kneller who joined me for a “Hidden Corners” tour with Eva of @amsterdamodyssey — a boutique tour company based in Amsterdam, just what I typically look for when traveling. We discussed the city’s golden age and explored the backstreets of the Jordaan neighborhood, a neighborhood created for the working class in the 17th century around the Prinsengracht canal. The rich merchants who took advantage of the illustrious time of trade in Dutch history also created social housing, some with lovely courtyards that if you’re lucky, you can visit today. So fascinating and I would definitely recommend this tour for anyone wanting visiting the city. #GirlinAmsterdam#Traveldeeper
There’s something quite special about returning to a place a decade later, when the way you envision experiences and exploration has completely changed, though you still smile over those fond memories of the past. For me that place is #Utrecht, a medieval city full of laid-back charm and an easy 25 minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal. I only was there for a few hours but most of that time was spent well, diving into delicious Vietnamese fusion bites @thestreetfoodclub and catching up with a friend I first met ten years in Florence. Next time, I’m bringing the Frenchman 😉
Today was about celebrating heirloom family recipes from Taranto to Turin to Tuscany — a homage to #TortelliniatMidnight, the fabulous third cookbook by @emikodavies, our wonder woman. We each cooked recipes from the book and everyone knocked it out of the park. We had everything from fried mozzarella di carozza, insalata russa, Nonna Anna’s polpette, fried lamp chops, parmigiana di melanzane, zabaione, and even my favorite chocolate and amaretto bonet. So many gems I have to recreate at home; if you love to cook, THIS is the book for you!
Coffee break all’Italiana. This girl has had to cut way back on her caffeine intake to the detriment of my sanity. Any tips for pregnancy-friendly drinks that aren’t “water” are greatly appreciated 😅 #YourFlorence
I always thought it was supremely cool that those walking under these arches probably have no idea that above them was a secret corridor once used by the most powerful family in #yourflorence. Luckily we will be able to visit Vasari’s Corridor again in 2021 after a current extensive renovation project and at least you know it will certainly be worth the wait..