Bel San Giovanni

Bel San Giovanni - the Beautiful St. John . This is how Dante used to describe in the Divine Commedy our Baptistry consacrated to St. John the Baptist. One of the oldest building in town and the best example of romanesque art in the old downtown.

Here millions of florentines have been baptized, even Dante!

Since Sunday October 25th 2009 Baptistry and Duomo can get back to breath, cause our new mayor, Matteo Renzi, decided to close the entire square to the traffic - no more buses, cars, taxis, scooters... nothing! Just bikes and people walking around.
Could you believe that before that date 2100 buses passed by every day... 2100.

In terms of art, Baptistry is a real gem - outside incredible marble inlaid, inside spectacular gild mosaiques. A visit is a must. Not mentionning the outstanding doors casted by Ghiberti, well known all around the world.

Amazing mosaiques

Representation of Hell

Paradise Doors, casted by Ghiberti

Who belongs these heads?....


Dinner @ BSJ

As written in the main description, I'm not only a guide, first of all I'm a Fiorentina that lives her city, and just LOVES to go out for dinner... So, give you some tips for your restaurant choice is my goal now.

BSJ - most known as just J- is a beautiful restaurant located in the south side of the river, exactly in Borgo San Jacopo, from where it takes the name. It is overlooking the river,with an amazing huge window. There are just a couple of tables right close to it, and you have to fight for them. In the summer there is also a private balcony, where only 2 tables are, and max only 8 lucky people are allowed.

In terms of atmosphere, is one of my favourite in town - not too casual, not too pretentious and elegant, hip enough for Florence, in 2 words relaxing and romantic.

The service is oustanding, very attentive and carefull, but not too much as in other places.

The food is a good mix between traditional and inventive cuisine, portions are fine, not too big like easy Trattorias neither invisible like Nouvelle Cuisine spots. Wine cellar is pretty impressive, if you wish to choose - if not, I highly suggest you to let the Sommelier, Salvatore, take you by hands and suggest you the best options for your food. He's the best.
Ah, the chef is a lady, a real lady, Beatrice Segoni, she's a great chef, plus so much fun!

I was there many times, but last one was to celebrate my anniversary - a nice table was set for up, and a nice surprise at the end...
I don't eat fish, but there is a nice choice of fish food if you like. My choice was:
- Cristaiate (like Maltagliati, an hand made pasta squared cut) with hare meat sauce and Taggiasche olives

- Beaf fillet with mushrooms

My boyfriend had:

- Catalane style lobster
- Tortelli stuffed with sea bass

- Stracotto (stew) with fried cabbage

As starters, they served us a mini Polenta with meat sauce.

As dessert, a nice cake with lots of fruits on, with heart-shape! So cute.

You can see the photos, the food was excellent.

And it's not too expensive, I cannot tell you the exact price cause I didn't pay, but the a 3-course dinner is about 50-60 Euro, than depends on your wine obviously.

It's one of my favourite place in town, I definitely suggest you!

Borgo San Jacopo 62/r
055 281661
Open only for dinner - closed on Tuesdays


Classic Walking Tour

Florence could be visited in so many ways... it all depends how much time you can spend in town, if you are interested in any particular museums, if you are a guide book person or not...

However, having a private Guide gives you a completely different flavour to your trip, add a new dimension to things, and really makes you understand and appreciate the city.

One of the way, and one of the most popular tour that I do, is the Classic City Walking Tour; we will walk around the city center, skipping the big and famous streets that you can easily explore by yourself, and entering into the deep heart of Florence.

Trying to keep a chronologically way, I'll explain you the Roman origin of Florence, how the city was considered the Tuscan Manhattan during the Middle Age, and finally talking about the Renaissance, visiting the tipical nobleman house, seeing how incredibly Brunelleschi builded the Cupola, surely mentionning the Medici and their relationship with Florence.

Tour lasts 3 hours normally, but it can be surely longer, including some entrances into churches/museums.


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