Good morning from beautiful Florence, Italy! This trip my sister Judy is NOT with me, but my adopted sister, client, author and friend extraordinaire, Stephanie McAndrew is with me as we set out to explore wine in this magical ancient city! I will be posting the next few days on our adventure so be sure to follow the blog so your !
We arrived here last night after a grueling train ride in from Rome, not difficult in itself, but hard on these two crazy, sleep deprived blondes, after flying all night. It was pretty hysterical I will tell you, dragging our luggage through 14 cars through the train to get to our first class seats (after missing our scheduled train!). It was a sight to see and thank GOD for the wonderful Italian gentleman – Valerio Manfredi – who helped us!
Last night we checked into Hotel Lungarno that sits on the Arno River and the historic street Bongo San Jacopo 14. The Lungarno Collection is owned by the Salvatore Ferragamo Family, his design plates and the family’s art collection adorn the walls and the rooms throughout the hotel. Our room is a medieval room in the old part of the hotel, with the hundreds-of-years-old original brick and stone exposed, a canopy bed, and a loft that overlooks the room. Amazing floor to ceiling window/doors expose the old buildings around and scenes of the street with the bustling traffic. After we got our things in the room and settled, we drug our sleep-deprived bodies down to the city streets and found a great little sidewalk restaurant – Bar La Borsa – to have dinner and wine. We asked our waiter, Floriano, to tell us the story of Firenze and without hesitation, he began reciting the history of the families that built the city, their competition for power and the artists who helped create the beauty of Florence.
The night, our first night in Firenze, would not be complete without the proper intake of delicious Italian wine. So after dinner, feet throbbing, we decided to land at the hotel bar and get to know our bartenders…..a few hours later, we emerged happy, tired and ready for bed! I have not laughed so much since my last visit to my son’s house…..and Joshua, you know what I’m talking about!
So here I am sitting in the lobby looking at the Arno and an absolutely fabulously appointed day here in Firenze. Today, Steph and I plan to take it easy and explore the city at our leisure. Tomorrow we will start our Divino Tuscany adventure with acclaimed Wine Critic James Suckling and Master of Wine Ned Goodwin as they escort our group through private tastings with winemakers James Suckling has personally invited for this intimate experience. It all begins at the Grand Hotel Villa Cora. Stayed tuned!
Love and Peace