Florence Travel Story
I wonder if the secret to Florence’s enduring beauty, its undisturbed Renaissance architecture, and its tiny cobbled streets that so far escaped the threat of urbanisation, owes partly to the fact that, apart from a particular week twice a year, it’s often overlooked as an Italian destination. But that one week, how everything changes. The showings, the parties, and the throngs of competitively well dressed men that overflow the terraces of Caffé Gilli, where cocktails and candy are served side by side.
That it was Pitti Uomo once again (or simply ‘Pitti’, as affectionately know by the regular crowd) is obvious from the diminishing taxi availability and even more than usual sightings of coats worn as capes in the vicinity of Santa Maria Novella station. You may be forgiven for assuming that Pitti is a men’s street style event, rather than a men’s fashion industry trade show. It certainly does seem to the outsider that more people have come all over the world for the former rather than the latter.
While all this will make a fascinating gander for another time, for today’s story we return again to Florence itself (even if the revelation to its merits came only as an afterthought to the real object of our visit).
Kurt and my work gives us opportunities to travel, or indeed, the other way around. So one pink and golden morning of our Pitti circuit was set aside for exploring. Taxiing outside of the city walls, up to the Piazzale Michelangelo (beating the first bus load of Chinese tourists on the 7:30 – 7:45 am slot of their tour schedule) we watched the sun rise in the humid haze, casting a veritable lens flare over cypress lined hills and the sprawling stone city that lay below. Then, strolling the labyrinthine streets down to the River Arno, we appreciated the fantasy inspiring raised passage way of Vasari’s Corridor, that in its day separated, rather literally, the privileged over the peasants. Its extension right across the clustered forms of the Ponte Vecchio made it look more like a castle over water than a bridge.
Sightseeing tacked on the back of a work trip does make one envious of a more unconstrained concept of travel. I had long held an image of Indiana Jones, Ernest Hemmingway and safaris suits in 1950’s Africa, venturing into the unknown where a real threat of death by maiming by lions gives ‘adventure’ real meaning – a history that quite authentically makes up Hunting World NYC’s heritage. Toting their travel perfected accessories, this city slicker can at least be an adventurer at heart.
Created in collaboration with Hunting World NYC