Friends of Firenze Yes Please

“Hello everyone! We are Eli and Andy. We want to spread the love for Florence by sharing comments, opinions, and experiences from our friends of Firenze Yes Please from all around the globe. This is a great way to experience this amazing city through the international eye!”

Emilia Wilson

I am Emilia, I am 17 and I live in London where I am studying for my A’levels. I have been coming to Florence regularly since I was a baby and I am planning to spend a few months living and working there when I have finished my exams. I have so many favourite places it was hard to only recommend four!

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Emilia Suggests:

La Specola | Trattoria Sostanza | Piazzale Michelangelo | Giardino di Boboli

A city worth coming back to!

Trattoria Sostanza   |   The most amazing and authentic trattoria near Piazza di Santa Maria Novella. I always have the butter chicken and the wild strawberries. Yummy….

Piazzale Michelangelo   |   The best view of Florence.

Boboli Gardens   |   Really nice in Summer for a picnic.

La Specola   |   The most bizarre natural history museum full of endless rooms of taxidermy and 18th century wax anatomical models. It never seems to be crowded and every time I go I discover new weird and wonderful things.

The true Florentine social scene

I adore the beauty of Florentine gardens, like the Boboli, (which are considered a museum and require a ticket) where even in the heart of the summer you can often find a peaceful and almost surreal moment alone to enjoy the Renaissance sculptures and fountains. I enjoy an evening aperitivo at “L’Angolino Bar” with the locals in the Piazza Santo Spirito where you can experience the true Florentine social scene while having a drink and some small appetizers. Being social in Florence is very “low-key” and I have found that the party places are usually tourist hangouts only. In Italy, there is an organization called “Lattex” who throws techno and house parties in different cities. “Lattex” has started to come to Florence and their parties have been really great. Be sure to bring a good camera to take pictures of your favorite places. If I could, I would want to bring Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” home with me!

Vicka Matsuka

Greetings, I am a Russian student of Jewelry Design at the London School of Fashion and I’m currently on an exchange program at the Alchimia Contemporary Jewelry School in Florence. One of the reasons I fall in love with this city over and over is the great views of the Florence that I catch when I cross any bridge over the Arno at any time of day.

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Vicka Suggests:

Palazzo Medici Riccardi   |   Piazza della Signoria   |   Ponte Vecchio   |   Botticelli’s Birth of Venus

Valentina Nieto

I’m Valentina Nieto, a Mexican product design student living in New York City. After high school, I had the amazing opportunity to travel around Europe and Florence was definitely one of those cities I would go back to in a heartbeat. Great food, great people and great artistic culture!

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Valentina Suggests:

Palazzo Medici Riccardi | Piazza della Signoria | Ponte Vecchio

Lock your lock around the Love Lock Chains on the Ponte Vecchio!

Florence is a colorful city with talented local musicians playing on every corner. If you want to escape the crowds visit Palazzo Medici Riccardi, you can admire the most beautiful frescoes in the Medici Palace’s Private Chapel. I loved to stay with my friends near the Piazza della Signoria where there are tons of little cafes and restaurants to get a drink or have coffee…
Lock your lock around the Love Lock Chains on the Ponte Vecchio. And for a souvenir don’t forget to buy a miniature David… I did..!


When in Florence, I love to wander the streets, and go to the Oltr’arno to see the small artisan studios, antique shops and just enjoy being surrounded by the beauty of the architecture, the patina and wear that only time can create. I’m most impacted by the SOUL that goes into handmade products, architecture and art. This entire city has been touched and created by someone’s hand. I’ve rented an apartment for a month. Everything is so close and easy to access from anywhere you stay. The Santa Croce area has a younger crowd with more nightlife activity, while everything quiets down near the Duomo in the evenings. Stop by Aqua Flor and the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy for exquisite perfumes and gorgeous interiors. I love all the bookbinding and marbled paper shops for beautiful leather and marbled gifts. Of course, the art supply stores are a must for me. I love going to the Mercato Sant’Ambrogio and the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale is always worth a stop as well. (I buy truffles to take home to everyone.) I never miss going to All’Antico Ristoro di’ Cambi across the Arno for the best steak I’ve ever had in my entire life. The more I’m in Florence, the more I want to BE here again and again. I always leave wanting more. I noticed that friends put a little extra love at the end of saying goodbye. Soon I will say “arrivederci” to my dear friend Florence….Ciaooooo!

Jill Seale

My name is Jill Seale and I’m from the US, where I work in textile and product design. I’m currently here in Florence for a 5-week stay working on my new textile design launch for Spring. I’m thrilled to be consuming the beauty (and steak!) of Florence. jillseale.com

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Jill Suggests:

Aqua Flor | Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy | Mercato Sant’Ambrogio | Mercato Centrale | All’Antico Ristoro di’ Cambi

Aisha Rancier

I’m Aisha, I am originally from Puerto Rico, but I’ve been studying and living in New York for the past three years. I spent this last semester abroad in Florence, and I can truly say it is a beautiful city.

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Aisha Suggests:

Ditta Artigianale | Gusta Pizza | Piazza Santo Spirito

Florence is a walking city

I love how you can start walking around the city, and go from being in front of an old historic building with a large crowd to being in the middle of a garden surrounded by trees and a beautiful landscape. One of my favorite places was a coffee shop/restaurant called Ditta Artigianale. A very cute and cozy coffee shop, were you can spend hours talking, studying or just drinking coffee. One of my favorite pizza places, is Gusta Pizza.  My friends and I would grab some pizza and sit in the Piazza Santo Spirito nearby… oh and don’t forget… Florence is a walking city… so bring comfy shoes!

My “Stendhal syndrome”

It’s a city with a small-town feel, its timeless history in every step, the cobblestone streets at night, the ‘taken-for-granted’ high-end lifestyle, the breathtaking colored marble façades… all of this… and more… Take a walk in the streets of Oltrarno (the south bank of the river) to get some quiet and a more local experience. Have your drinks on the Piazza Santo Spirito square with your friends. Don’t forget to bring a good camera and appropriate clothes to visit the cathedral at Piazza del Duomo. (No bare shoulders or showing too much thigh!) Of course, the highlight of the city… my love… Michelangelo’s David – “hands down”.

Tobias Del Fa

I’m Tobias Del Fa, Argentinian now living in New York where I pursue my career in Marketing. I have been lucky in my life to travel around the world for work reasons, visiting places such as Canada, Sweden, Croatia, Thailand and Italy. One of my favorite cities? Florence.
I first came to the Florence 5 years ago… and let me share with you why I love it…

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Tobias Suggests:

Santa Maria del Fiore  |  Galleria dell’Accademia  |  All’Antico Vinaio  |  Uffizi Gallery

Maddie Beallor

I’m originally from Toronto, Canada and now I live in New York where I am pursuing a career in fashion. I visited Florence during Summertime… and the experience was… amazing.

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Maddie Suggests:

Ponte Vecchio  |  Piazzale Michelangelo  |  All’Antico Vinaio  |  Uffizi Gallery

a dream to bring with you

I love taking an early morning stroll across the Ponte Vecchio, experiencing the culture that fills the streets, visiting the many museums and… of course…. shopping. All of these activities when in Florence are pure luxury… There are also many unforgettable places in Florence to have good time with friends. I recommend that you and your friends take a little hike up to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a breathtaking view of the city at sunset but first stop to load up on some of the best local 5 Euro sandwiches from “All’Antico Vinaio”… If you want to escape the crowds, be sure to enjoy one of the many secluded restaurants amongst the hills overlooking the city. Pack summer sundresses so you can go from day to night… and don’t miss the masterpieces of Renaissance painting at the Galleria degli Uffizi… the “Primavera” by Botticelli is just like a dream… a dream that stays with you long after your visit…

Mmmmmm… So yummy!

My favorite things about Florence is the constant scent of flowers. I loved waking up in the morning to the aroma on my walk to the local cafe. The place of Florence, suitable to escape the crowds is the Arno River. The best place to watch the sunset; bring some takeout food, wine and a blanket and plop yourself on the jetti. As you watch the sunset on the west the moon rises over the river to the east, it is breathtaking. The place in Florence to stay with friends is the gelato shop across the Arno River….. mmmmmm so yummy. Don’t forget to pack your sneakers in your suitcase to visit Florence! Tons of walking to do in this beautiful city. I would loved to bring the “The Birth of Venus” back home, so massive and beautiful.

Meagan Dowling

Meet Meagan Dowling or “Meag” as her friends call her. She is a true New Yorker (yes, born and raised) that studies illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology. This 21-year-old girl enjoys the Manhattan hectic lifestyle, but loves a nice getaway to explore new places and treat herself with delicious food.

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Meagan Suggests:

Giardino delle Rose | Arno boat Tour | Gelateria della Passera

Eliane Awada

Hey there! My name is Eliane Awada. I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but have been living in New York for 3 years already – crazy city, but I’m in love with it! Florence is a place I’ve been lucky enough to visit quite often. Why? My family visits Florence twice a year for a fashion fair, and I’ve joined them a few times. I am always down for travelling and eating amazing food (who wouldn’t be?).

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Eliane Suggests:

Cappella Brancacci | Duomo di Firenze | Sartoni Bakery

Italian gelato… Perfect!

Oh, Florence, Florence… (*sighs in melancholy*). You can never get tired of admiring the beauty of the Renaissance art pieces and astonishing constructions (hello, Duomo, I’m looking at you) that you magically stumble upon. Imagine adding to this a giant cone of Italian gelato… Perfect combo! Foodwise, I instantly get transported to my happiest place when I smell the fresh pasta al pomodoro accompanied with a warm focaccia. What’s not to love about this place?

Surprise factor

Florence has a “surprise factor”. With so much history, it is most likely that something happened years ago right where you are standing now, and you probably have no idea what that is!!! It is not until you start hearing stories and delve into research that you realize what wonders surround you. Acknowledging all the stunning, significant details the first time you’re exposed to the narrow streets, paths and architecture of this beautiful city is almost as hard as deciding what and where to eat…

Andrea Malo

My name is Andrea, but call me Andy. I was born and raised in Cancun, Mexico and have been living in New York City for 3 years to pursue my dream of becoming a high end fashion buyer! I study at the Fashion Institute of Technology and will graduate next Summer. I visited Florence for the first time this June and WOW. It is spectacular.

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Andy Suggests:

Palazzo Vecchio | Museo Stibbert | Cantinetta Antinori

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