Tell anyone you're going to Florence and they immediately get a glazed look in their eyes followed by quotes filled with varying degrees of adoration. Once you get there, it becomes abundantly clear why. Florence, Italy is by far one of the great cities of the world. It is not the largest or the most important, but the beauty it posesses instantly grabs you and sucks you in in a manner few other cities can. One of the things I have always loved about Italy and the Italians is their ability to juxtapose old and new in such an elegant manner. Kartell chairs in a 15th-century piazza. Modern leather furniture in a courtyard where Americans would put a hammock. It is all just so very Italian and lovely.
Recently, I went back to Florence to discover more about all that is old and all that is new. Lucky for me, it just so happened to be the 90th anniversary of Gucci, who reigns from this treasured city. I stayed in the Four Seasons, which I believe is one of the most exquisite properties in Europe. Situated on 10 acres in the heart of Florence -- and walking distance to Prada -- it is desirable and luxurious and sort of like staying in a museum. (If museums had 5-star trained staff at your beck and call and every modern amenity you could possibly desire.) I mentioned friendly and charming, right? Friendly like Midwestern folks and charming like a flirtatious Italian man with a wedding ring. Yeah, you know the one.
In the following video, I'll take you behind the scenes to the art-filled Royal and Presidential Suites at the Four Seasons Firenze -- just in case you don't have the 20,000-plus euros a night that they cost. I will also take you inside the ridiculously chic Gucci Museo where I got up close and personal with Gucci collections from the past 90 years. From Grace Kelly to Gucci-inspired Cadillacs, I dare you to get out of there without buying something.
if you have a list of places you must visit, this city should be at the top of your list. Whether you're an intellectual design snob, an unapologetic fashionista or a die-hard foodie, there's a place for you here. See for yourself. As for me, I cannot wait to return. Enjoy!
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