Design Travel in Florence, The City of Art

Few cities can boast the level of art, architecture, fashion, design, and gardens as the renaissance city of Florence, Italy. It is here that Michelangelo flourished, that Brunelleschi created his spectacular domed cathedral the Duomo, Giotto his campanile or bell tower, and Vasari his whimsical grotesque murals. For art and design lovers Florence is a mecca unlike any other. Each time I visit Florence I endeavor to see not only the iconic, well knows works of art, but some of the lesser known centers of design and creative learning opportunities. I hope you'll consider adding a few of these to your next Florentine adventure.

 Florence is renowned for it marbleized papers and several shops, such as Il Papiro offer the chance to learn this centuries old technique.

Florence is renowned for it marbleized papers and several shops, such as Il Papiro offer the chance to learn this centuries old technique.

 Pietra Dura, the art of cutting and inlaying stones of different colors to create pictorial effects is an ancient technique still practiced daily in Florence. Visit one of the workshops near the Palazzo Pitti to see museum worthy examples of this technique.

Pietra Dura, the art of cutting and inlaying stones of different colors to create pictorial effects is an ancient technique still practiced daily in Florence. Visit one of the workshops near the Palazzo Pitti to see museum worthy examples of this technique.

 Pietra Dura

Pietra Dura

 If Fragrances are more to your liking then visit Aquaflor, where you can collaborate with Sileno Cheloni in creating your own bespoke fragrance.

If Fragrances are more to your liking then visit Aquaflor, where you can collaborate with Sileno Cheloni in creating your own bespoke fragrance.

 Aquaflor

Aquaflor

 Visit Madova Gloves on the famed Ponte Vecchio, crafting custom fit leather gloves since 1919.

Visit Madova Gloves on the famed Ponte Vecchio, crafting custom fit leather gloves since 1919.

 Gloves being made at Madova since 1919.

Gloves being made at Madova since 1919.

 Extraordinary trims at Valimar, a Florentine Tradition

Extraordinary trims at Valimar, a Florentine Tradition

 Passamaneria Valmar

Passamaneria Valmar

 Scuola del Cuoio is an extraordinary leather school located on the lower level of the Church of Santa Croce. I'm planning to spend a week studying there when I visit again next year.

Scuola del Cuoio is an extraordinary leather school located on the lower level of the Church of Santa Croce. I'm planning to spend a week studying there when I visit again next year.

 Scuolo del Cuoio

Scuolo del Cuoio

Parisian Decadence, One of my Favorites

Calories don't count in Paris, well that's my theory at least. After all one is continuously strolling the boulevards and parks so pastries are actually a necessity. Perhaps with a bit of champagne just for good measure. My favorite arrondissement (there are 20) is Saint-Germain-des-Prés, replete with shops, galleries, cafés, eccentrics, architectural gems, and parks including my favorite the majestic Jardin du Luxembourg created beginning in 1612 by Marie de' Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, for a new residence she constructed, the Luxembourg Palace. I'll share more on the garden in a future blog. Café Pouchkine has three elegantly appointed cafés in Paris, each featuring a mélange of Parisian and Russian sweet confections. Here are just a few of the delicacies you'll find when you visit. To learn more visit http://cafe-pouchkine.fr/en/home/

 Café Pouchkine never disappoints!

Café Pouchkine never disappoints!

 A bit of Imperial Russia in the heart of Paris

A bit of Imperial Russia in the heart of Paris

 Pastry at Café Pouchkine, Paris

Pastry at Café Pouchkine, Paris

 A Work of Art!

A Work of Art!

 Hot Chocolate, You can almost smell that heavenly aroma.

Hot Chocolate, You can almost smell that heavenly aroma.

 I'll have One of Each s'il vous plait!!!!

I'll have One of Each s'il vous plait!!!!

 Gold is one of the Super Foods, and much more interesting than dried goji berries.

Gold is one of the Super Foods, and much more interesting than dried goji berries.

 The Perfect Place to Savor your Pastry, the Luxenbourg Garden's Medici Fountain.

The Perfect Place to Savor your Pastry, the Luxenbourg Garden's Medici Fountain.