Paul Lydka, Chef Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel #firenze, shares his insider tips of the 10 things to do in Florence for St. Valentine’s Day January 12, 2018, Florence, Italy
Being in love in Florence is a unique experience. The cradle of Renaissance offers the magic of art, shopping and breath-taking views from the bridges and along the romantic and evocative narrow streets. Here are a few suggestions from #paullydka, Chef Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, on how to spend an unforgettable romantic St Valentine’s Day in Florence.
1. Have a wine and cheese tasting in a medieval castle
Only 15 minutes by car from the centre of Florence stands the magnificent Vincigliata Castle, dating back to the 11th century and home of Sir John Temple, who decided to buy and restore it at the end of the 18th century. In this dream-like setting, immersed in the Tuscan countryside, couples can enjoy a cheese and wine tasting after a guided visit of the medieval setting.
2. Visit the church where #dante first met Beatrice
The love story between the poet #dante and his beloved #beatrice is one of the most famous in history, and one of the main inspirations for Dante’s Divina Commedia. Not everyone knows that right in the heart of Florence is located the church where #dante first met #beatrice when he was nine years old and where - legend says - she is buried. #people in love still visit Chiesa di Santa Margherita dei Cerchi and leave love messages next to her tomb asking her to help with their love affairs.
3. Have an early morning hot air balloon flight over the Chianti region
Take off watching the Chianti region from above, while sipping a glass of champagne, overlooking the beauty of Tuscany. A wonderful colourful hot air balloon will take couples from the Hotel’s garden up to the sky. Assisted by an experienced pilot, they can promise each other endless love while crossing over the enchanted beauty of the Chianti region.
4. Have a private tour of a luxury boutique in Via Tournabuoni, the street of fashion
Florence is famous worldwide for its artisans' luxury shops, selling the best goods such as bags, jewels and unique clothes. Thanks to the Concierge’s many connections, guests can enjoy a private, guided tour of a famous boutique upon request, and discover all the secrets of the art of fashion, perhaps even leaving with an unforgettable and unique love present!
5. Have a secret dinner in a noble palace, overlooking the Duomo
Guests can celebrate Valentine’s day with the most romantic dinner experience ever, on the fourth floor of an historical Renaissance building designed by Giuliano da Sangallo and located steps away from the Palazzo Vecchio. In the intimate interior of this noble house, in a room located on the Noble Floor of this building, with a stunning view on the Duomo, guests can taste the exquisite cuisine of Michelin-starred Chef Vito Mollica and live a moment out of time. The view on the Duomo is so spectacular that it seems to have invited itself to the table - decorated for the occasion by the expert care of Artistic Director #vincenzodascanio, with candles and cascades of flowers.
6. Watch the sun going down over Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the most romantic and panoramic spots of Florence. Lovers can sip a glass of Chianti while the sun is going down watching the flamboyant sunset colours lighting up the Duomo. While there, they cannot miss the beautiful San Miniato al Monte Church, an intimate and suggestive spot that also offers breathtaking views on the city.
7. Have a couple's massage and an aperitivo d’amore
Lovers can enjoy a unique couple treatment in the privacy of the Spa Suite at Four Seasons, secluded among the ancient trees of Giardino della Gherardesca and the perfect setting for a couple to be pampered. There is a choice from several body treatments and facials, and later couples can relax with a healthy aperitif of smoothies and dried fruits.
8. Explore Tuscany with a vintage or sports car
Couples can choose their favourite sport or vintage car and discover beautiful Tuscany and its countryside. A tailor-made itinerary will be prepared just for them, according to their preferences. Paul’s tip is to discover the surrounding countryside, including the amazing Monte Morello, the Etruscan village of Fiesole, and, of course, the Chianti region with its numerous wineries and romantic country restaurants.
9. Learn how to make pasta side to side
What about taking a cooking class to learn all of the secrets of Italian #food, such as pasta making? After a fun and gastronomically informative cooking class, couples can sit down and enjoy their creations with a glass (or two) of Tuscan wine.
10. Have a Michelin-starred dinner at #ilpalagio for St. Valentine’s Day
At Il Palagio, the restaurant overlooking the Hotel’s private garden, guests can enjoy a dedicated menu created by the Michelin-starred Chef #vitomollica and his culinary team. The five course dinner starts with a potatoes cream with baby squids and their ink, followed by scallop and turnip carpaccio with black truffle sauce, ginger glazed lobster on broccoli velouté, citrus risotto with seabass carpaccio and sea urchin, beef medallion with foie gras and finally yogurt and raspberry mousse with lychee and elisir di rose Santa Maria Novella, prepared by Pastry Chef Domenico di Clemente as a sweet conclusion.
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