Virtuoso Life - September/October 2017 - 68
City to Go
Clockwise from left: Villa Cora's
grand salon, cozy seating at J.K.
Place, a rainbow of glassware at
Mario Luca Giusti, and shirtmaker
years ago, Officina ProfumoFarmaceutica di Santa Maria
Novella (Via della Scala 16) is
thought to be the oldest pharmacy in the world. The palatial
apothecary is full of pricey potions and perfumes based
on ancient herbal recipes.
To dress like an Italian, start with
the right tailor. Shirtmaker Simone Abbarchi (Borgo Santissimi
Apostoli 16) crafts reasonably
priced, made-to-measure (and
discreetly monogrammed) men's
shirts. Stop by his tiny bottega for
a fitting or two, and he'll mail the
finished pieces home for you.
Florence-born Mario Luca Giusti (Via Della Spada 20r) designs
housewares in vivid "synthetic
crystal," from festive wineglasses
to faceted Champagne buckets.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
Find designer deals on Gucci,
Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta,
and more at The Mall (Via
Europa 8, Leccio Reggello),
a luxury outlet 30 minutes
southeast of the city (you can
take a shuttle). Virtuoso guests
receive additional discounts on
certain purchases, a welcome
gift, a complimentary beverage
at Gucci Caffè, and priority access at the tax refund office.
Also owned by the Ferragamos,
the 37-room Portrait Firenze
possesses a contemporary,
masculine decor that sets it
apart in a city of old-world
tradition. Spacious suites offer
well-stocked kitchenettes; request one overlooking the Arno
with views of the Ponte Vecchio.
Doubles from $815, including
breakfast daily, a bottle of wine,
and a one-way airport transfer.
STAY Owned by the Ferragamo
Working fireplaces and stacks
of books lend a stylishly homey
feel to 20-room J.K. Place
Firenze, located on the same
piazza as the Basilica of Santa
Maria Novella. The atrium
courtyard's family-style table
beckons you to linger over a
long lunch with friends. Doubles
from $584, including breakfast
daily and a $100 dining credit.
family, the 63-room Hotel
Lungarno recently reopened
after an extensive refurbishment. It retains its chic
nautical style, impressive art
collection, and incredible location directly on the Arno River.
Doubles from $583, including
breakfast daily and a one-way
"I love the Italian men's 'uniform': dress shirt, jeans, and a
jacket - no ties! Women, take
note: Wear flats for walking
over cobblestoned streets."
- David Lowy,
Virtuoso travel advisor,
Vancouver, British Columbia
Set above the Boboli Gardens,
minutes from the city, 44-room
Villa Cora feels like the opulent
residence it once was, brimming with frescoes, fine art and
furnishings, and lots of formal
swagger. Its heated outdoor
pool is a welcome respite after
a day of sightseeing, and the
seasonal Sunday brunch is
a must. Doubles from $470,
including breakfast daily and
a $100 dining credit.