I’ve been working on a bit of a special project lately and found myself in need of an apartment for a single day — not to actually sleep in, but for photography and video purposes. Florence has no shortage of amazing apartments, but finding one that was available for one day and that had the “look” that I needed was a bit of a tall order.
Thankfully, I found Windows on Italy, a holiday rental company that not only rents apartments here in Florence, but all over Italy. In fact, I confess to checking out rentals on the Amalfi Coast and the Lake Region (clearly someone is dreaming about an August vacay). Back to Florence, I found an apartment that looked great in the photos, is furnished beautifully and had amazing natural light — which was a big reason why I couldn’t work on this project at home…our place is a bit of a cave.
Full disclaimer: they gave me the apartment for the day (minus a cleaning fee that I paid) in exchange for this review, but I’m telling you the honest truth when I say how nice it was to work with them. Even when I was initially inquiring I was impressed with how quickly they responded via email. Anyone that’s planned a trip to Italy or tried to reserve things from abroad knows how difficult it can be to get prompt email service, so this was huge! Also, the staff speaks great English.
I found the apartment’s photography very true to what was actually there. If you’ve ever rented a place you know that this is not always the case. Somehow, apartments always look better online. I think the high-end nature of most of the Windows on Italy apartments is the reason you actually get what you see. I also love that their descriptions of each apartment are so detailed. They do a great job of capturing the personality and unique character of each place.
I may have spent extra time on the site collecting ideas for how to furnish a potential new apartment (no news now…maybe soon) and found these great rooms that really got me dreaming. You can click any of the photos to see the entire apartment:
Long story short, I would highly recommend Windows on Italy to any of my readers that are planning a trip to Italy and are looking for great rentals from a great company, Windows on Italy.
In an effort to get this recovering lady some fresh air on Saturday we went out for a nice walk through the city. As expected, it was crowded out, but the walk was still wonderful. The stroller acts as a bit of a battering ram through the tourist crowds.
I was tired by the time we got home, but mentally refreshed from the fresh air. Flus/bugs are the worst because it takes so. darn. long. to recover. I’m hoping that by Livia’s baptism this coming weekend I’ll be back to fighting form.
When we were walking home from our palazzo tour on Saturday I looked up and said to Rob, “Wow, I’ve never noticed that before.” Story of my life here in Florence. This city is so rich in beautiful architectural, artistic and design details that it seems like you are discovering something new every time you go outside.
Anyway, what I noticed was a beautiful corner with the red cross, beautiful lamp posts and a sweet little devotional box (is that what they call them?). It was a crowded, but lovely little corner.
On Saturday Rob and I had the opportunity to tour Palazzo Portinari Salviati, an amazing palazzo “hidden” in plain site on via del Corso and just minutes from the Duomo. In fact, when I studied abroad I lived just down a nearby side street and never knew the palazzo existed! Part of the palazzo was most recently a Banca Toscana, which I would like to say contributed to some of my ignorance.
It was definitely a treat to take the tour. The palazzo is currently undergoing a lot of renovation and refurbishment to bring it back to its old glory. That being said, a lot of the frescos, stained glass, ceilings and other decorative elements are just as beautiful as ever. It was a visual feast for someone like myself that loves these details. Rob, of course, loved learning the fun historical details (see below for more), including the fact that the ceiling in one of the rooms was completed by the same artist as the Uffizi ceiling. If you’ve been to the Uffizi you’ll recognize the ceiling above right away.
30-Second History Lesson…
Palazzo Portinari Salviati has an invaluable historical importance, closely related to the most significant cultural events of the city of Florence. The Palace, which dates back to the 13th century, was inhabited by European rulers, diplomats and politicians and was the birthplace of both Cosimo I de’ Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany and Beatrice Portinari, Dante Alighieri’s muse. Throughout centuries of history, the Palazzo has hosted prominent figures of the Renaissance, sculptors and artists and now it features important frescoes and invaluable works of art by famous artists like Giambologna.
We absolutely love discovering places like Palazzo Portinari Salviati. It’s a huge tease to know there are more palazzi just like it lurking around almost every corner of the city!
I shot a hopelessly terrible video during the tour, but decided to share it anyway so that you can see just a few of the wonderful rooms that we were privy to on the tour.
On the way home from a tea date this afternoon I snapped this photo of my beloved city. Maybe it’s the fact that the temperature is pretty mild, but the rainy week that we’ve had hasn’t particularly bothered me at all. Florence is like a lot of cities in that it looks quite charming in the rain.
I’m yearning for the bright blue skies of late spring, but for now the rainy haze isn’t so bad.