Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Finest Silk

Silk has been in Italy for nearly one thousand years, but only one silk house has lasted through the ages.

Antico Setificio Fiorentino is the oldest silk-weaving workshop in Florence, in operation since 1786 with roots back to the Medici in the fifteenth century. There’s such amazing history in the shop… they still use the same 18th century looms (designed by da Vinci!), weave traditional patterns in bottegas, and only use hand-dyed silks without any chemical treatments.

The final product is absolutely breathtaking – rich in color, luxurious in sheen, and a wondrous work of art. It’s no wonder at quality this high they can count the Russian tzar and the Royal Palace of Denmark among their prestigious roster of clients.

  

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Scuola del Cuoio

Hidden in a courtyard behind Santa Croce…

 The Scuola del Cuoio features a long hallway where skilled artistans stand at their stations, making the finest of leather bags, clothing, and home décor items. Often you will see an apprentice seated with a master craftsman, learning by their side.

It is absolutely incredible to walk through and see the attention paid to each piece, meticulously hand-crafted in traditional fashions. It’s no wonder they have become world-renowned for their devotion to quality work.

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The smells of Florence

When you walk into the Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, a beautiful scent wafts in the air, one that hasn’t changed in hundreds of years… Everything made here is an all natural, hand-crafted work of olfactory art, instructed by aged artisanal recipes.

For myself, I chose Tabacco Toscano, a light tobacco-scented perfume with touches of vanilla and amber. It’s the most popular scent among Florentines, and you know… when in Florence, smells as the Florentines do!

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A Day in Florence

With such a beautiful hotel it can only live among a beautiful city. We had one full day to walk this historical city, to see the masterpieces, eat the food, smell the perfumes, and observe the Italian way of life. I fell in love with this place – the light illuminating the golds and greens of the landscape were exactly what I dreamed Tuscany to be. I look forward to our return, and many thanks to the St. Regis Hotels & Resorts for taking me along on a magical Grand Tourista…

      

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