1. Best Restaurant - Trattoria Sabatino
On our first night off from work, we asked our Taxi driver to take us to his favourite place to eat in Florence. And he took us to Trattoria Sabationo. The restaurant has been around since 1956 and though the decor is nothing to write home about, the food is.
They have a community seating style, which meant we were sat with two complete strangers, but it was the best arrangement ever as before they sat down, we had ignorantly ordered a magnum of wine, instead of a bottle. So, we shared our wine with our strangers, two girls, also in their 20s from Florence, and in exchange, they ordered their Florence favourites for us to eat. And boy, did we eat.
2. Best Love Notes – Older Italian Gentleman
While at the Trattoria Sabatino restaurant, our table attracted the attention of a group of older gentleman, one of which sent over little love notes throughout our meal...I can’t translate them, but if you can read Italian, feel free to translate in the comments below!
Florence, unlike London, is almost completely untouched by modern architecture. The history and beauty of the buildings makes a self guided walking tour of the city beyond enjoyable and almost overwhelming as you struggle to suppress your ohhhs and ahhhhs...here are a few of my favourite views...
4. Best Exhibition – Damien Hirst’s For The Love Of God
I’m not really one to marvel at skulls, studying the inner contours and shapes of the human head generally doesn’t appeal to me, but after hearing that Damien Hirst’s exhibition For The Love of God was being hosted at the Pallazzo Vecchio in Florence at the same time that I was going to be there for work, I knew it was shiny skull fate.
It isn’t every day you get to view a platinum-plated 18th century skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds, totalling 1,106.18 carats and costing $80,000,000, so going to see what is noted to be the most expensive work of art by any living artist was immensely exciting, especially since thus far, the diamond-encrusted skull has only been exhibited twice in the past 4 years – once in London’s White Cube in 2007 and once at Amsterdam’s Rijks Museum in 2008.
The skull is displayed in a small room walled with black velvet housed in a clear glass box at the top of a tall velvet covered column with the only light in the room coming from the light underneath the glistening skull. There are only a few people allowed in the room at one time, circling the skull like a cave man might circle his first ever fire, you can almost feel the awe in the room as you are drawn in by an original combination of beauty and decay.
For The Love Of God will be at Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio until 1 May, 2011.
5. Best Wall Art – The Side of Apartment at Pitti Bimbo
One of the buildings at the tradeshow we attended had some amazing art on its exterior. I couldn’t find any information on who had created it or how it got there, but I took plenty of pictures to share.