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.
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/