Double-booked or double-named… Florence or Firenze?
The artistic treasure that is Tuscany’s largest city has loomed back on the radar.
Because of the generosity of Dimora Palanca who sent out an invitation to a three-night culinary trip to the city of the Medici.
Dimora Palanca is billed as the coolest new boutique hotel in town.
I’ll go, for sure, although unfortunately not just yet as as is the way of it I’m double booked.
And I have already got my ski gear together for a few days in France. Merd!
We’ve all been there when there are two big dates on our calendar, both on the same day.
For me you can add this to the list that already reads Seattle for Denver and Nashville for South Africa.
But back to the jewel of the Renaissance and a word to the wise to make sure you’re going to the right destination.
Not that you would but some unprepared English-speaking tourists have been known to drive past because the sign says Florence.
Florence has in fact a shared history with England, going back to the Romantic poets, from Shelley to the Brownings.
All of which is addressed in the portrayal of the Scorpioni in the Franco Zeffirelli semi-autobiographical film Tea With Mussolini.
It’s an oldie but a goodie and not to put a spoiler on it..
But the tea-drinking English-speaking expats are put under house arrest.
When the Second World War breaks out.
Their original billet is down at heel but they are upgraded to a hotel which the late British ambassador’s widow believes is because of her connections.
And a meeting she had with Il Duce, her Tea With Mussolini.
The upgraded hotel is befitting the ladies but a bit stuffy, although probably not for the times.
The Dimora Palanca has the all mod cons of a modern boutique hotel, and in a Fiorentine setting which is the best, the historic Via della Scala.
Art of food and wine
We know, of course, about the fine art of the city but this being Il Bel Paese, the Beautiful Country, fine food and wine is always at hand.
You will be spoiled at the Mimesi restaurant and ask too about classes at the city’s famous Cordon Bleu cooking school and mixology classes back at the hotel.
While get on board the vineyard tour and wine tasting at organic winery Monterosola.
The Beautiful North
Tea with Mussolini addresses too the conflicts between the North and the South of Italy, but we don’t have to take a side.
If you’ve dipped your toe in the Venetian lagoon and its environs in Padova and also gone high and low in Bergamo alta and bassa…
Then you’ll have got a taste of the Beautiful North.
Spread your wings then to the jewel of the Renaissance.
You may ask if it’s Florence or Firenze? And if you’re not sure, do, because you won’t want to miss this.