Sporty or Artistic, Five New Reasons to Travel to Florence

TOURISM – In Tuscany, the city of Lys offers many treasures. We are rediscovering this museum city in 2022, taking three steps to the side to better understand it.

At the water’s edge on the Arno

Tommaso, with a thick Italian accent, juggles French and English, an oar and overflowing energy. Political science studies in his pocket, a PhD in information and a career as a consultant later, he finally heard the call of the sirens of the sea and rivers. He founded Toscana Sup – Walk on Water in 2012 and offers Paddleboarding (all levels) on Arno. In two hours he offers another discovery of Florence from the waves, especially under the Ponte Vecchio and near the Uffizi Gallery. This immersion in history could be longer: in 2020, Tommaso organized a six-hour route along the Arno River, crossing the Chianti hills to reach the city. Departure from the village of Il Girone, twenty minutes by bus from Florence. Tommaso has gone even further this year, organizing two to three day excursions with overnight stays in a tent at the water’s edge or in a B&B.

Toscana Sup – Walk on the water, two hours in the Stand Up Paddle from 49 euros per person; six hours from €129 per person and two days from €300 per person (transfer, guide, snacks, insurance included). Private tour available. Such. +39 333 44 68 648.

All to the factory!

Closed in 2001 after more than 70 years of activity, this tobacco factory has given way to a factory for all creative people. Giovanni Andrea Rocchi

Several bus stops from the city center, Manifattura Tabacchi leaves its tobacco leaves far behind to write a new page in history. Closed in 2001 after more than 70 years of activity, this tobacco factory has given way to a factory for all creative people. End of 2022, open Factory uniting the avant-garde production center of culture, fashion, arts and crafts. In the meantime, many cultural events are already planned, from film screenings to outdoor concerts and recordings at LoudLift, the elevator music studio (open to everyone)! Not to mention the new DN – Not a museum that organizes exhibitions and performances…

Maniffatura Tabacchi is an inspiring hive. In addition to permanent design studios, the Polimoda fashion school, Accademia di Belle Arti, and, since 2020, the Institute of Crafts of Excellence LVMH (EMI) have settled here. Designed between 1933 and 1940, this rationalistic style factory (some even mention “fascist” lines) is said to have originated under the direction of the architect Pier Luigi Nervi. It is currently the subject of one of the largest urban redevelopment projects in Italy, as part of plans by the agency Sanaa in particular (renovation of La Samaritaine and the Louvre-Lance Museum). This development, enriched by more than 1,000 trees to be planted, will be completed by 2026.

Manifattura Tabacchi, Via delle Cascine 35, 50 144 Florence. The price varies depending on the activity.

Branded Eden

The new Gucci Giardino 25 Café and Cocktail Bar is open all day and evening. Gucci / Press photos

An urban garden that is noticeably growing… Gucci Garden refers to an imaginary space inhabited by plants and animals, based on an idea by Alessandro Michele, Creative Director of Gucci. In a 14th-century Florentine palace, an exhibition Archetypes presents sets and inspirations of the latest advertising campaigns carried out since the arrival of the designer in the famous fashion house. From butterflies to cuckoo clocks, from wigs to the dance floor, the production offers an immersive experience… that leaves you hungry. Star restaurant on the ground floor Gucci Osteria by Massimo Bottura, headed by Chef Karime Lopez. From the stove, the sewing goes to the store, where you can find a Gucci wardrobe. And since February 2022, the “garden” has been replenished with a new cafe and a cocktail bar, Gucci Giardino 25, open all day and evening. Located in another building on the square, the place perfectly honors the spirit of a former tenant who was a florist. Generous bouquets welcome visitors. The menu, short and simple at lunchtime and in the evening, can be complemented with a cocktail. Reservations are recommended for the weekend.

Gucci Garden, entry from €12. Piazza della Signoria 10, 50122 Florence.

Gucci Osteria by Massimo Bottura, main course from €25. Piazza della Signoria 10, 50 122 Florence. Such. : +39 055 7592 7038.

Gucci Giardino 25, main course from 13 euros, cocktail from 16 euros. Piazza della Signoria, 37r, 50122 Florence. Such. +39 055 7592 7012.

artistic diving

Collezione Roberto Casamonti, a great place to escape from crowded museums… Collezione Roberto Casamonti / Press photos

Art in Florence is on every corner, on the facade or behind it. Both sometimes, as in the case of Collezione Roberto Casamonti located in the delightful 16th century Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni. Founder of the Tornabuoni Art Gallery (presented in Florence, Milan, Forte dei Marmi, Paris and Crans Montana), Roberto Casamonti has been sharing with the general public since 2018 his private art collection, built over nearly 40 years and dating back to the 1960s years. up to this day. The biggest names talk here: Pierre Alechinsky, Marc Chagall, Christo, Anish Kapoor, Saul Levitt, Giorgio Morandi, Robert Rauschenberg… A good escape from crowded museums…

Collezione Roberto Casamonti, entry €10. Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni, Piazza Santa Trinita 1, 50123 Florence. Such. : +39 055 602030.

Art apart

This place comes from the former Muratov prison in Florence, designed by Renzo Piano. Le Murat / Press photos

In the Santa Croce area, you have to strain your ears to hear the whispers of the walls of the complex Murat. In the 16th century, this place was one of the most important monasteries in Florence. It ceased operations in 1808 and was transformed into a prison forty years later. From one form of isolation to another… The prison was finally moved out of town in 1983, leaving the original buildings empty. The municipality then decided to give them a social and cultural character. Thus, according to a preliminary study by Renzo Piano, Le Murate is being revived and in 2014 the MAD (Murate Art District) is opened. Exhibitions, concerts, debates… There is always something going on here. We have almost forgotten about it. It’s a delightful step aside – free. Valeria Mulessa’s permanent work, a sound installation, echoes the spirit of the place in the former prison.

MAD (Murata Art District), Free admission. Piazza delle Murate, 50122 Florence. Such. : +39 055 247 6873.