Dec 23, 2021
5 min read

Five Reasons to Visit Florence

Emilie Hawtin is Editorial Director for J.Crew, plus a writer, editor and brand strategist. She’s a New Yorker, but travels for work a lot, and she credits Florence, Italy as her second home.
Part of our Five Reasons series, here you’ll find the most local of tips – from unique hotels to small businesses and secret spots (we trust you to keep these on the DL). Because, we firmly believe there’s no better way to get to know a place than when guided by someone who knows it best.
Read on for Emilie’s favorite places to eat, drink, stay, and shop in Florence, Italy.
West Village, Manhattan
: New Jersey
 Brand strategy, writing, and editing in the style world between New York and Italy, mainly for J.Crew

Five reasons to visit Florence, Italy

The bar

Let’s start as we mean to go on, with natural wine at 
Il Santino
, a tiny bar that serves ‘cicchetti’ with every glass. Everything is delicious, as they have some of the freshest ingredients in Florence here. I’ll have their small plates as a meal if I miss the strict Florentine lunch hours, or feel like a light dinner. The staff are young and cool, too. Everyone spills out onto the street to drink wine and talk as the day progresses – it’s an atmosphere quite unlike anywhere else.

The food

Trattoria Cammillo
 is family-run restaurant, where all generations work together to create a space that’s elegant yet relaxed. The classic dishes are done well here, but I particularly love the more unusual specials on the menu. Their risotto with curried shrimp is something I’d never expect in Florence, or the truffled eggs with mushrooms in the fall. I often dine alone here, or take people I care about – you remember every meal. A visit to Florence simply isn’t complete without dinner at Cammillo.

The cafe

 is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s popular, but I love to go early in the morning, walk across Piazza della Signoria and have cornetti at the counter. The cane chairs, wooden bar, silver capped bottles and formally dressed staff are beautiful to wake up to. If I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll sit for a little longer and watch the world pass by.

The thing to do

Boboli Garden
 has an understated grandeur that feels natural and calm. I love the faded colors of the buildings amongst the greenery, faded mints and pinks that just strike the right notes. I often visit the porcelain museum at the top of the hill – the garden, fountain and stunning view remain in my mind all of the time, transporting me to Florence wherever I am in the world. 

The store

Bottega di Corte
 you’ll find everything from old porcelain to tassels, maps, silver, vintage clothes, and chic Italian interior design that’s perfectl worn in. 
 is another favorite, for the men’s shirts and lightweight pants that I end up wearing all of the time. The owner, Marco, has a true elegance in style and attitude. And, don’t miss the paper shops like 
Il Papiro
and the food markets. 
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