Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Florence: Gucci Museo

Gucci museum was opened in Florence in 2011 to celebrate brand's 90 anniversary. It all started in Florence in 1921 when Guccio Gucci started his company making high-end travel cases.

For 7 euro ticket I expected little something more.. maybe more photo/video archives, more accessories.. At least they recently added extra rooms dedicated to Gucci's Tom Ford era.. I'm sure Alessandro Michele gets one sooner or later too. Nevertheless, it was very interesting to learn about history of a fashion house that has such a cult following. It was fascinating to see that many elements, patterns and cuts that Michele uses today actually date back to the house's long history. 

Travel section

Flora World
 Flowered pattern designed by Gucci for Princess Grace in 1966. Now the pattern has become a timeless Gucci classic

Tom Ford for Gucci, 1990's

Gucci café


Impressions of Firenze 2

Yes, Firenze was super touristic but it still has its genuine charm. Wouldn't mind going back anytime soon!

Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge in Florence that survived WW II. There are actual buildings and jewellers's shops on the bridge.

The streets were somewhat less crowded and more cosy across the river Arno. The left bank of the river is also home to artisan quarter where many workshops are open to public.

Endless arrays of antique stores and wine bars


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Florence: Palazzo Strozzi and Guggenheim

Palazzo Strozzi is an amazing 16th century palace in Florence that's now home for a cultural institution hosting spectacular modern and contemporary art exhibitions.  Their current exhibition brings in over one hundred masterpieces of American and European art from 1920's to 1960's from Solomon and Peggy Guggenheim's collections. 

My favourite exhibition I saw in Florence. Visiting Peggy Guggenheim's home and museum in Venice is still on my top list!

Keep you eye on this place! This fall and winter it hosts Italy's first major retrospective on Ai Weiwei

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Milan, July 4. Ice cream in Parco Sempione

pics by Chris Heads

Impressions of Firenze

Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station built in 1930's, makes a great contrast with nearby Gothic architecture. 

The Spanish Chapel of Santa Maria Novella church

Tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe on a very narrow secluded side street, probably offering the best panini in town judging from the incredibly long lines during lunch time. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Day in Florence

Not knowing what do with my free Saturday in Milan, I went ahead and booked train tickets to Firenze. Another dream-come-to trip alone besides Kyoto where I went earlier this year. Again, last-minute and very spontaneous. As I realised I am terribly late to book tickets for, let's say Uffizi Gallery (to see Botticelli, Da Vinci..), I had to do with just walking around and enjoying the city in slow-pace.. always the best way to explore a new city. 

View from Giotto's bell tower next to Florence Cathedral. It was 414 steps to the top - the stairs were very steep, narrow and dark,  even I felt claustrophobic for a second. The view was worth the effort though!

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

Sunday, July 3, 2016


When clock turns 6pm, bars and cafes in Milan quickly fill up with people coming for an aperitivo (also called happy-hour here) aka pre-dinner drinks to. For a flat rate varying from 7-10 euros one gets a drink (usually an Aperol Spritz, Negroni or Americano) and some appetizers. Those "snacks" can be anything from potato chips and bruschettas to ample hot-food buffets. 

A laid-back aperitivo at Princi Bakery, in Brera.
 I didn't expect to have an aperitivo at a bakery but it was the best I've had so far. Their focaccia and pizza slices were just amazing, and I possibly had too many... FYI, Italians are not shy about going back to the buffet for seconds.

Milan, July 1: the men of Milan

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sunday at Lake Como

Whenever  I ask locals recommendations what to do in Milan, the answers usually go something like this "Well, you could go to lake Como, or take a train to Florence, Verona, Rome.." The latter being a bit further away, I started from Como which is less than an hour drive away from Milan. 

Como town itself is nothing very special but its proximity to beautiful Lake Como and to the Alps still draws a lot of tourists. Perfect for spending a Sunday afternoon - a little walk, lunch by the lake, trip up to Brunate village, one last gelato and then a train back to Milan. 

Lake Como

 For 5€ one can take a funicular up to village Brunate 720m above sea level. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Saturday by Lake Iseo, Italy

This weekend we drove up to lake Iseo in north of Italy to check out  The Floating Piers. It's a site-specific installation by Bulgarian artist Christoconsisting of 100,000 square meters of yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes making it possible to "walk on water"

Who thought that one art installation would be so popular - there were tens of thousands of people trying to reach the piers resulting in a chaos in local transportation and traffic. Eventually we gave up and just enjoyed the view of the piers from above. 

Driving alongside the lake we ended up in a small village called Marone. Perfect for a afternoon swim and coffee! A spontaneous trip at its best!