A holistic break in Florence


23 June 2024
Written by
Lex Duff

Wellness hacks to balance out your trip


Florence is a city of many things to many people. The home to exquisite art and renaissance history, bustling with character and full of Romance. It’s a city made for long sunny days and even longer starry nights. And whilst Florence encapsulates the perfect Italian way of living that travellers so often come to love and marvel at, with all that beauty around, it can be easy to indulge the senses, or rather, over-indulge. So, whilst it goes without saying that a few days in Florence is never enough, even when you only have a small window of time in this masterpiece of a city, there are some perfect ways to keep yourself balanced while you’re away. Writer and film photographer Lex Duff was recently in one of our most beloved cities to do just that and here are a few of her favourites:

Ponte Vecchio by Lex Duff

THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT

The 22

The 22

Between the site seeing and the traveling in Italy, you’ll often find yourself reaching step count goals before aperitivo hour; but when your workout is at The 22, it’s easy to feel as though you’re giving yourself a treat more than a task. This wholesome studio opened by super-duo Aparna Thadani and Lucinda Pasi as a place for people to adopt and integrate healthy habits with a holistic and mindful approach to their daily group classes. Within this beautiful space and its original wooden-beam ceiling, countless yoga, barre and fitness classes take place led by talented instructors who certainly know how to keep you motivated. WEBSITE

Where to be pampered

Four Seasons Florence by Lex Duff
Four Seasons Florence by Lex Duff

Four Seasons Firenze

For those who can’t quite indulge so far as booking a night at this regal hotel, it’s worth knowing that you can book in for a range of treatments at their spa even if you aren’t a guest (and have a sneak peak of the grounds at the same time!). From a blow dry to a full blown body wrap and massage, the attention to detail here is second to none and spending time in this stunning location will have you feeling like an absolute A-lister. One of our favourite treatments is the new facial protocol designed by Mimi Luzon, aesthetician to red carpet stars such as Cindi Crawford and Irina Sheik. During this experience, Luzon will carefully assess which product to apply according to your skin-type; a choice between pure platinum, golden or silver leaf. Post treatment, a trip to the bar for the barrel-aged Negroni is recommended. This aperitif is aged in two separate barrels for over two months and then decanted into a glass carriage and kept at minus 20 degrees. It pours like honey and tastes like heaven. You can thank us later! WEBSITE

The Parlour

With views of the Ponte Vecchio and the river Arno, The Parlour is a great space if you need a quick mani-pedi on holiday (we’ve all been there, nails break, it happens!). Take a comfy seat in the velvety chairs, watch the kayaks pass along the river, and allow the therapists to do the rest. They have also recently introduced bridal packages and brow services should you be looking. WEBSITE

Where to eat

Trying to give food advice to someone visiting Florence is simultaneously the most delicious and overwhelming conversation. It’s easier to tell someone where not to eat (a list that’s almost non-existent), rather than where to eat. We’re spilling some real hero-choices for those looking for something a little different than the usual trattoria; perhaps that guilt-free earth bowl to balance out the week of pasta and Fiorentina steaks.

Floret

Floret is a hidden food haven tucked in the Louisa Via Roma store where dishes are designed to nourish in every sense of the word. Friendly to the celiacs and vegetarians alike, we particularly loved the green juices as well as the blue chip nachos but also the Vitality Bowl and the Greek Yogurt cheesecake were highly memorable; basically, if it’s healthy you can eat more right? Whether it’s a work meeting or a lunch with a pal, this spot is my newest choice in town. WEBSITE

Sgrano

Everybody and anybody who’s ever seen any Florence content on Tik Tok knows about ‘that sandwich store with the enormous lines’. We’re not here to talk about that place, which is great but others are just as deserving. On Via dei Neri, you will find the little hole in the wall ‘Sgrano’ which serves the best gluten free focaccias we’ve ever come across. One of our favourites? the eggplant and stracciatella focaccia. It is perfection. WEBSITE

Trattoria 4 Leoni

Between Ponte Vecchio and the Pitti Palace, Trattoria 4 Leoni has exactly the family-run feel that you want on a summer’s evening in the city of art. Inside is your classic florentine aesthetic with exposed brick archways and rustic wooden tables, but you can also choose to sit outside among the hustle and bustle of the square. The menu offers everything from truffle pasta to the classic Florentine steak, coupled with a glass (or many) of wine. If you visit in summer, make sure you book as it gets very busy, especially on weekends. WEBSITE

Where to stay

Casa G

Truly one of the most architecturally beautiful hotels to stay in; the team at Casa G have designed their space to feel like your home away from home in Florence…if your home were crafted by European decorative geniuses. The building was once inhabited by the author of Pinocchio and maintains a lot of its historic charm, including breathtaking frescoed high ceilings and detailing. With only 15 rooms and suites, there is an obvious intimacy and privacy to the hotel space; however, all the staff and the team at Casa G are a dream to interact with, including the Hotel Manager’s large Dalmatian. WEBSITE

Soprarno Suites

Founded by powehouse duo Matteo Perduca and Betty Soldi, the Soprarno Suites is one in four b&bs of their portfolio. From the bedroom bathtubs to the incredible original frescoes on the ceilings, this love child of an architect, a lawyer, a carpenter and a designer has the feeling of an elevated bed and breakfast where every corner has been considered. In the common areas, you will find a kitchen available to utilise, as well as a library and living space if you feel like being a little more sociable. We particularly fell in love with their breakfast room. Something about its design almost makes you feel like as though you’ve stumbled onto an Italian film set. From its location to its love of all things vintage, this hotel is one we won’t stop telling people about any time soon. WEBSITE

Casa G by Lex Duff
Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni 1 by Lex Duff

Antica Torre

Set high above the Arno, with the perfect people-watching nooks, Antica Torre is the ideal central stay for that old italian luxury on one of the most exclusive streets in town. The rooms themselves are beautifully decorated with classic Italian style and marble showers for the end of a long day of walking in the Florentine summer sun. From the window of many of the rooms, once can people watch over the spectacular Santa Trinita bridge, a favourite place of lovers and vagabonders alike. Built in the 13th Century, this historic mansion is also a stone’s throw from flagship boutiques such as Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani and Dior, making it both a beautiful and dangerous place to stay in town! Our favourite quirk? The hotel reception has a library wall of old-school actual DVDs that you can select for all your entertainment needs when you get home from dinner and a late night passeggiataWEBSITE



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