The view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo at Sunset.
As 2020 begins, I’m standing on my patio thinking about the drastic change I’m about to embark on in the next few months. This isn’t the first time I found myself inspired on a patio. Last time, it was ten years ago during my very first trip to Italy. I gazed out at the magnificent vista (view) and immediately fell in love. I saw my future with Italy, returned home, and built Ultimate Italy Tours so I could share my new amore (love) for cities like Florence, Rome, and Venice with travelers. So far, I've only spent 1-2 months each spring and fall. I’ve jet set back and forth between the USA and that big beautiful boot shaped Italia ever since 2010. This year though, I am making a commitment to live in Italy for over half the year completely da sola (alone).
Falling in love with Italy for the very first time.
My experience with love has taught me that eventually I must go all in- head first, often without knowing where I’m going to land. And this dream is nothing other than that, except that I know exactly where I want to land and that is in Florence.
Florence is filled with all of my favorite things. Most of the year, besides a few very hot summer months, the tropical climate keeps me feeling nice and calda (warm) from the inside out. The diversity of architectural styles from medieval castles like the Palazzo Vecchio, to theatrical baroque cathedrals like the Santa Maria del Flore (more popularly known as the Duomo), to the classy and glassy modern edifices, keep my wandering occhi (eyes) interested. Artistic masterpieces like Michelangelo’s, David, and Botticelli’s, Birth of Venus, are peppered throughout this glorious place to remind me of the history and beauty begotten here.
But what has wooed me most of all in Florence is the people. The amici (friends) I have uncovered in this historic place have lured me in and kept me wanting more. For example, take a quick look at this video with me and my dear friend, Patrizio, the owner of one of my favorite restaurants, Sasso di Dante (you’ll even get a sneak peek of the Duomo in the background!). Patrizio is as committed to his culture, as he is his family and his food! Which he would love to share with you and I would love to take you there!
Previous tour attendees learning the trade from Daniel.
Another couple of my favorite friends are Daniel and his wife, Catalina, the owners of the Katian Leather Shop. Daniel is as friendly as he is fashionable. Fashion has been a central part of Florentine culture since the Renaissance! I mean, what is that around his shoulders in the picture above anyway? A vest? A sweater loosely draped? I guess you’ll have to come to Italy to find out!
Seriously though, look at how this true Renaissance man transformed me below! I’ve never felt so hip in my entire life! So what are your 2020 goals? Any chance Italy’s on the top of your list? If so, give me the greatest honor of allowing me to tour you around this place I amo (love), introduce you to the people I adoro (adore), and accompany you on your own quest of travel and transformation! Admit it, you also want to look this cool!
As an expression of my love for this amazing country, I have created The Secret Heart of Italy Tour, a 14 day journey with my beloved Florence as just one stop along the way. Check out more details here! Until then, arrivederci (goodbye) and Buon Anno (Happy New Year)!