Weekender: Florence

The birthplace of the Renaissance heats up in the summer.

Restaurants

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Cosmopolitan Mélange

Originally opened in 1896 as Florence’s first hardware store, La Ménagère was transformed by the Florentine architecture and design firm Q-Bic into a chic retail and dining destination. The stylish locale—now home to a revamped home-goods store, restaurant, bistro, music venue, and flower shop—boasts minimally set tables, large orchids suspended from the building’s historical vaulted ceilings, and a variety of designer lighting set against a mix of ancient stone surfaces.

La Ménagère, Via de Ginori 8R, lamenagere.it.

Irene Firenze

Located opposite the famous Caffè Gilli, Irene is one of the most recent additions to Florence’s modern dining scene. The restaurant is helmed by director of food Fulvio Pierangelini, whose previous restaurant received two Michelin stars. Reserve ahead to secure a spot on the outdoor terrace.

Piazza della Repubblica 7, roccofortehotels.com.

Mercato Centrale

This upscale Italian food court above the city’s historical market boasts an intriguing array of craft beers and local wines available by the glass, as well as Tuscany’s finest artisanal salami, cheese, pasta, and chocolate.

Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell’ Ariento, mercatocentrale.it/en.

Hotels

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Top Flight

Hotel Spadai opened last year after undergoing a renovation led by Rome-based architect Franco Bernardini. Located in a Renaissance-style building in the historical center of Florence, the hotel blends traditional architecture and contemporary Italian décor with American-friendly amenities. After a day of sight-seeing, enjoy an aperitivo at Spadai’s lounge bar or take in the beautiful evening view of the dramatically illuminated Duomo from the top of the spiral staircase.

Hotel Spadai, Via dei Martelli 10, hotelspadai.it.

Portrait Firenze

Owned by the Ferragamo family, this five-star, all-suite hotel sets a high standard for style; each spacious and elegantly furnished room is an homage to Florentine craftsmanship. The hotel’s immense windows overlook the Ponte Vecchio, the Arno River, and the hillside to Fiesole, just like a scene from A Room with a View.

Lungarno Acciaiuoli 4, portraitfirenze.com.

Exhibitions

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Figuratively Speaking

Just as a visit to the Galleria dell’ Accademia to admire Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece David is a must, no weekend in Florence is complete without a trip to the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, where you’ll find the world’s largest collection of Florentine and Renaissance sculptures. The museum, which reopened in October 2015 after extensive renovations, includes noteworthy Italian works, many of which once adorned the Baptistery of San Giovanni, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and Giotto’s Campanile.

Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Piazza del Duomo 9, museumflorence.com/museum.

Estate Fiorentina

The city’s arts and cultural festival, Estate Fiorentina, will be teeming with a slew of musical, theatrical, and cultural events this summer, including one particularly jam-packed weekend in June when local venues will throw 100 concerts in 100 museums in 48 hours.

4/30–10/30.

Palazzo Strozzi

For a taste of home in the magical Palazzo Strozzi, don’t miss “From Kandinsky to Pollock: The Art of the Guggenheim Collections.” This major exhibit will celebrate art of the 20th century with more than 100 oversize paintings, sculptures, engravings, and photographs.

3/19–7/24, Palazzo Strozzi, palazzostrozzi.org.

courtesy of la ménagère; hotel spadai; opera di santa maria del fiore (museo dell’opera del duomo)


Kara Butterfield Kara Butterfield, Editor-at-Large of Boston Home Magazine kbutterfield@bostonmagazine.com