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CHRISTMAS IN FLORENCE: THINGS TO DO AND SEE!

Christmas Market Santa Croce

Christmas Market Santa Croce

The Christmas atmosphere in Florence, as probably in most Italian cities, began to spread in early December. Starting from the beginning of the month, the municipality begins to mount the streets traditional lighting and shops fit out their windows, more or less creative, to the theme of Christmas.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS AND SHOPPING

In Florence and its surroundings, in the weeks before Christmas, the Christmas markets are set up, more or less typical, where you can find small gifts of various kinds, from exclusive crafts to wine, or typical food. The largest Christmas market is in Piazza Santa Croce and is open from December 2nd to 20th. It is inspired by the traditional German markets, with traditional wooden houses. It offers different types of products: from crafts to food, home furnishings and beautiful decorations. There are vendors Germans and Northern Europe, as well as Italian.

All those who love shopping will find florentine shops open every day until Christmas in the historic center, but also in the outskirts. During Christmas time, florentine shops in Florence are at their best, with windows sumptuously decorated with exclusive items.

To those who come to Florence with the kids, we suggest to visit ‘The village of Santa Claus’, located in Piazza del Carmine, Oltrarno area. It is daily open and has a calendar full of activities.

From December 18th to 20th will be held at Palazzo Corsini ‘NataleperFile’ a fundraising appointment, a social aggregation that combine the value of solidarity to the occasion for making a special gift to loved ones. Numerous exhibitors, from big brands to artisans of the area, which will donate part of their proceeds to the Association.

WINTER SPORTS IN FLORENCE

Florence Winter Park

Florence Winter Park

December and January are the coldest months of the year in Florence, for that reason are set up areas for winter sports. Parterre (near Freedom Square) for several years opens an ice rink with skate rental. Obihall, opens its doors on Tuscany Winter Park: an ice skating rink, but also suitable for a downhill snow tubing.

Since many years in Florence, the New Year is celebrated in the main squares of the old town, where there are various kind of concerts, from pop music (usually in Piazza Stazione) classical music (Piazza della Signoria), Gospel (Piazza Santissima Annunziata), dance music and dJ sets (Largo Annigoni).

EPIPHANY

La Cavalcata dei Magi

La Cavalcata dei Magi

The day of the Epiphany, Jan. 6, the Catholic Church celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem and the delivery of their gifts to the Christ Child and is officially the last day of the Christmas holidays (coincides with the end of school holidays) .

Every year on January 6th, Florence commemorates the journey of the Magi and the delivery of the gifts in the “Cavalcata dei Magi”, which takes place in the historical center of the city. The commemoration, in costume, involves numerous people from across Italy and is a traditional event that’s definitely worth attending if you are in town.

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benozzo Gozzoli

In the traditional theme Christmas, we recommend a visit to the Chapel of the Magi by Benozzo Gozzoli, at Palazzo Medici Riccardi. It is a small and precious frescoed chapel that traces its history of the Three Kings. It is open all year round, but in this time of the year is a wonderful occasion to see it!

Tuscan Feeling suggests you the following Apartments for Christmas:

Apt. COSTA CRUZ – 50 m2 – 4th floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. Costa Cruz

Apt. Costa Cruz

Apt. OBLATE – 40 m2 – 1st floor (with elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. Oblate

Apt. Oblate

Books & Coffee…in Florence!

Book & Coffee

A cup of coffee and opened book in Florence.

Reading is relax, not a luxury.
An exciting novel, a complicated historical essay, a tour guide or an art catalog, we all know that it’s nice to sit and read, maybe drinking a coffee. When is the right time, we also appreciate the opportunity to have breakfast, do a brunch, lunch or dinner, or having an ‘aperitivo’.

In Florence, since a few years, many new book shops are open, offering the opportunity to eat, drink, read or get lost in rare editions, books curious and alternative press.

If you are in Florence to study, travel, or you has decided to become a full-fledged expat, book shops (with books in Italian, English and many other languages), are the right place to meet new people, relax yourself, follow cultural events and become part of city life.

Nothing better than having an apartment in Florence, in walking distance from one of these book shops! They could become your favourite living room or your office!

Here, you find 5 nice book shop of Florence where you can read a book, have a drink or eating.

Caffetteria delle Oblate

Via dell’Oriuolo, 24.

Nothing can beat the Caffeteria of the Oblate! It is on the second floor of the Library of the Oblate. From its large windows and from the gazebo, it offers a splendid view of the dome and the Cathedral. The café is a cultural meeting point in the city. In the library they are held presentations of books, concerts, cocktails and tematic dinners. You can meet everyone here, sooner or later! The prices are great and the atmosphere is very relaxing, especially during spring.

Black Spring Bookshop
via Camaldoli,10

Black Spring Bookshop is in Oltrarno. Between a slice of cake and a coffee, in an environment that looks like a living room, you can find books and magazines that do not arrive in the traditional distribution channels. It is a truly rare find, where to buy rare editions, alternative press and curious books. The decor of Black Spring is really charming and cozy. Here you can eat delicious cakes, fine tea and many other treats. The monthly program of this library provides numerous events, ranging from presentations to concerts.

Todo Modo
Via dei Fossi, 3

Inspired, by the name, to the famous Armando Sciascia’s novel, Todo Modo is located in the Borgo Ognissanti and It is a modern open space. The peculiarity of this book shop is to match books with wine tasting, with a very good cellar and a briliant sommelier. Approximately, Todo Modo has 15,000 books, new and used, as well as e-books, and a large reading room that is also a place for meetings, performances, screenings, concerts, workshops, seminars, and a bar where you can eat and drink Italian and French wines. At visitor’s disposal there are daily newspapers and magazines of all kinds.

Cuculia
Via dei Serragli, 3

It is a library with an interesting selection of culinary books, as well as two dining rooms where you can dine or simply enjoy a cake or an herbal tea. The menu is varied, with new interpretations of Tuscan cuisine, including some vegetarian dishes.

Red Feltrinelli
Piazza della Repubblica, 26

Acronym for: Read Eat Dream, Red Feltrinelli is in Piazza della Repubblica, one of the most popular tourist spots in Florence. It is a chain of books with national circulation, which offers a restaurant serving fine cuisine and Italian culinary excellence. There are numerous book presentations and a wide choice of editions. The environment can be crowdy and noisy, but certainly enjoyable. The food is excellent.

Do you need an apartment near one of these Book Shops? Tuscan Feeling suggests you the following locations:

Apt. CAMALDOLI
35 m2 – 4th floor (without elevator) – for 1 persons

Apt. Camaldoli

Apt. Camaldoli

Apt. TECNO
70 m2 – Ground Floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. Tecno

Apt. Tecno

A concise guide for renting a student apartment in Florence.

Tuscan Feeling's website opening page

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Why a student have to choose an apartment in Florence instead to live in hotel or in other places?

An apartment, provides you a different quality of life for your stay in Florence. You will find yourself hanging around in local markets buying your own bread, zucchini, tomatoes, salami or pecorino cheese. You will have the chance to buy and taste some exclusive bottle of wines with your friends and cook for them your own meals.
You will have all the room you need for studying, designing, painting or just relaxing yourself. The most important thing of all is to choose the right apartment for you.

The first thing most students get wrong, about renting an apartment in Italy, is they assume – wrongly – they can only rent one by the month. It is totally wrong. Tuscan Feeling, as many other international real estate companies, can provide you a long term rental, as long as you need.

Tuscan Feeling rent apartment on yearly or monthly basis. You can also rent apartments by the week, or even for just three nights.

Of course, apartments are rented at different nightly, weekly, and monthly rates, which vary by the quality of the apartment and the furnishing, the number of rooms and people, and the area of Florence where the apartment is. Everything is well indicated in every page of our website relating to each individual apartment.

In addition to technical data, related to the apartment (square meter, price, number of beds), Tuscan Feeling pays special attention to the completeness of the individual descriptions of the apartments. The descriptions, in fact, are the result of our thoughts and observations, after our careful examination visit. In them, you will find the strengths and weaknesses of each apartment, including the number of steps to climb (in the absence of a lift), the exact number of plans and a precise description of the appliances in your home.

We dedicate also much space to the description of the area and places of interest in the vicinity of each apartment. On each page, they are also shown useful places for the life of every day, such as proximity to banks, pharmacies, hospitals, small grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, or large supermarkets.

Comparing apartments by our site, it is not impossible, but we suggest you to ask in advance our offers. We could provide you a long list of free apartments, also showing you new entries at affordable prices.
Students are used to send us their request specifying budget and the school they are going to be part. Don’t forget to tell us you what are your real needs, and what you like and dislike. Our goal is to have satisfied clients.

Each apartment’s page on our website are with several pictures. Unlike what usually can be seen on the world wide web, we do not use a professional photographer who embellish the apartments that we propose you.
Our policy is to take pictures when we visit the apartments and to catch, in our experience, the important aspects. Our goal is to provide our customers a portfolio with realistic images, without filters, without wide-angle objectives, lighting installation and photoshop treatments.

We have now lost count of the times in which our customers have told us that the apartment is much nicer than they had imagined, looking at our photos.
For us, as long experienced real estate agents, it is a real great compliment. As amateur photographers, however, it forces us to improve our technique yet!
Tuscan Feeling provides you a professional service. We will send you a contract in english and italian in advance, just for you to know all the rental terms.
A deposit (or caparra) will usually be necessary to hold your reservation. The amount depends from the kind of rentals you have chosen. It is clearly indicated in the apartment page as well as all the additional costs. Long term rental contracts in Italy, usually, doesn’t comprise the utilities: gas, water and electricity, and the final cleaning fee.
The price of the utilities (as well as the final cleaning fee) is also indicated in the rental contract that we will send you in advance. All the utilities, as well as the rental fee, should be paid month per month. WiFi is usually an extra cost and should be asked in advance, for being sure that you can Skype with your parents (or your boy/girlfriend!) as well as you enter in your florentine apartment!
We also ask you to pay a deposit against potential damages. The money will be refunded when you check out. In the contract, you will also can read our cancellation policy.

At the moment of your check in a representative will usually meet you at the front door of the apartment, at a prearranged time according to your travel plan. Be sure to give us a working mobile phone number in Italy and, please, leave it on when you are in Florence!

He or she will lead you to the flat, show you which keys fit which locks, location of the fuse box, where are all the central controls for heating, gas, electricity, water, A/C. For avoiding any kind of problem we will provide in advance a local number to call if you have questions.
Most kitchens come fully equipped, but there are diffences between apartments. So check our website, to be sure that your apartment has dishwater, washing machine, oven or microwave. Towels and linens are provided, but maid service is an extra cost to ask in advance. Remember: You’re living like a local, which includes taking out the trash and recycling. Your host will show how and when you have to do that.

So, live like the locals and rent your own flat in Florence – it will likely be as cheap as (if not cheaper than) a hotel, plus will get you a kitchen and the other amenities of everyday life!

Here you find some suggestions for your stay in Florence:

Apt. S. APOSTOLI – 35sqm – 3rd floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. S. Apostoli terrace

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Apt. AMETISTA – 70sqm – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. Ametista's living room

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Apt. PAULA – 55sqm – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. Paula's living room and kitchen

www.tuscanfeeling.com

HANDCRAFTED SHOES, A FLORENTINE PASSION! WELCOME IN SAN NICCOLÒ!

Handcrafted shoes in Florence

Tuscan Feeling.

Are you angry, tired, depressed, unhappy? Is there anything that can make you feel better than buying a nice pair of shoes?
Shoes and Chocolate, probably, are the favorite antidepressants from each of us! Much better than an analyst’s therapy session.
If you look for the chocolate, Florence can offer you some great places, really delicious.
Florence is best known for shoes. Whether you’re looking for brand shoes, rather than hand-made shoes.
Probably, the capital of the Renaissance is one of the few places in Europe where you can experience the joy of buying handmade shoes by appreciated shoemakers. The historic center’s area of Florence, where they are concentrated artisans shoemakers is the Oltrarno, near the district of San Niccolò.

A well known historical workshop is located in the small and little frequented Via Barbadori, at 19r, alongside Ponte Vecchio. Here you will find the Maestro Calogero Mannina’s workshop, now deceased, which was used to create footwear, authentic unique models created for his faithful clients. The workshop is still alive and filled with forms for the creation of custom-made footwear, each bearing the name of the customer. Peering through the window, you will see the names of many rock stars and Hollywood actors, as well as leading politicians. Tuscan Feeling has many apartments in this street and, for our personal experience, we still remember the skill, patience and humility of Master Mannina’s way of working, which we considered one of the best artisans in Florence.
Near Palazzo Pitti, where Tuscan Feeling can offer you some other apartments for rent, it is the workshop of Mara Broccardi, an artist who creates exclusive models of shoes for ladies. Mrs. Broccardi’s workshop, is located in Sdrucciolo de Pitti, at number 17r,
Recently, the shoe brand founded by Stefano Bemer, a master shoemaker who died recently, was purchased by the prestigious Scuola del Cuoio. It ‘gave rise to a school for those who want to learn how to build and design shoes in a traditional way, it is via San Niccolò, in the heart of the district where you’re talking about. The shop is located in a deconsecrated church, fully restored, became the seat of laboratory, office and negozio.La historical workshop of master Bemer was instead in the district of San Frediano, nearby, in a place that has become a symbol of the city because shoemakers here he stayed for nine months in 2001, the actor Daniel Day Lewis, who decided to learn from Bemer art of creating custom shoes. This new school offers international courses and lessons by the best craftsmen and designers of Florence.
Not far from the district of San Niccolò, in Piazza Santo Spirito 62 / r, you will find the small workshop of Francesco, that produces high quality shoes, with a completely family-run business. Prices are still low and reasonable, and you can order handcrafted shoes. They also provide a fully working worldwide shipping service.
Another fine leather shoes shop in Florence is the Rive Gauche, in Via Guicciardini. It is another family run business that design and produce handcrafted shoes and leather goods for over 30 years. Shoes here have a great value for money, bearing in mind that these are handcrafted pieces.
If shoes are your thing, the district of San Niccolò is the right place to live, if you want to study or visit Florence. Here, the atmosphere of the ancient city of Florence, with its craft shops, is still preserved. Plus, you will be surrounded by art places famous all over the world, such as Palazzo Pitti, Ponte Vecchio, the Boboli Gardens or the Uffizi!!

Tuscan Feeling suggests you the following apartments in S.Niccolò area:

S. Jacopo Apartment

Tuscan Feeling

Apt. S. JACOPO – 75 m2 – 6th floor (with elevator) – for 2 persons

Pitti Apartment

Tuscan Feeling

Apt PITTI – 70 m2 – 4th floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

S. Orsola Apartment

Tuscan Feeling

Apt. S. ORSOLA – 50 m2 – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Mancino Apartment

Tuscan Feeling

Apt. MANCINO – 60 m2 – 3rd floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons