I lived in Florence for a few months when I was 18 and I have never lost my love for the city. I’ve been coming back every summer pretty much since then and each year as well as revisiting old favourites I try to go to new places too. The city is constantly evolving and whilst it is very busy with tourists there are still plenty of places off the beaten track filled with Florentines in the know.

A photo of the centre of the city of Florence from a higher viewpoint, with green mountains in the back.

Food in Florence

My last meal would be at Sostanza in Via del Porcellana. This Florentine institution has been in the same family since 1977 (albeit it opened in 1869 as a butchers) – I’ve been coming since 1986 and the menu hasn’t changed. I rarely venture from the butter chicken and a salad – but always ask for a half portion as two whole chicken breasts cooked in lashings of melted butter seems a little much. You have to book, as in recent years it has become increasingly popular and it’s always packed.

On the other side of the river in San Frediano, I’m obsessed with a recent find, Burro e Acciughe in Via dell’Orto. Translating as butter and anchovies which is one of their specialties, every dish in this small fish restaurant is more delicious than the one before. 

Our Jersey Collection is all made just outside Florence, in a town called Lastra Signa. When we’re there we’re mostly incarcerated in the factory, but we’ve had some very memorable dinners. One of my favourites is a classic Tuscan Trattoria called ‘Antica Trattoria Sanesi'. Specializing in Florentine steak, this restaurant is very much off the beaten track and always filled with locals. 

Jersey Leopard Jumper made in Italy

Venture slightly further into the hills and you come to Artimino, a small walled hamlet next to an amazingly beautiful Medici villa (which is now a hotel). In the main square there’s a wonderful enoteca/restaurant called La Bottega Peruzzi, the food is delicious and the wine is all local. 

Shopping in Florence

Vintage shopping is a joy in Florence.

Clochard Vintage in Via dei Conti is a treasure trove, just around the corner from the central market, this tiny shop never disappoints and I have bought some of my favourite things ever there. 

Another recent find is the Humana Vintage shop in Via delle Belle Donne. They get 2/300 ‘new’ vintage items a day, as well as clothing they also have a small selection of vintage textiles, every time I go I come away with armfuls, and 4 times a year they have a week dedicated to carefully curated high end designer vintage pieces which apparently don’t hang around for long. Annoyingly I haven’t thus far managed to be in Florence for any of those weeks! 

My favourite jewellery shop is Consigili di Anna in Via Dei Servi. Hand made costume jewellery all made by the owner Anna, she doesn’t have a website sadly but somehow that makes it even more special.

Another obsession is a flea market come house clearance mega store called Di Tutto Di Piu, roughly translating as everything and more. They have various warehouses around Florence and you can find amazing furniture and homewares at incredible prices. 

And then there is the Florence institution Mesticheria Mazzanti in Borgo la Croce in Sant’Ambrogio. A hardware shop which has literally everything you need, plus a lot of things you didn’t know you needed. I didn’t realise until recently that it has been run by identical twins for the last 50 years as they’re never there on the same day! 

Florentine Culture

Jane Wilson at Roberto Capmonti


A recent new discovery is the Collezione Roberto Casamonti, a showcase for the private collection of the art dealer Roberto Casamonti. I had never been there until a friend was commissioned to make a piece for the courtyard. After the heat and intense chaos of the centre of Florence this gallery is an oasis of calm and tranquility. 

Literally 30 seconds walk away, alongside the Ferragamo flagship store is the Ferragamo Museum, the most evocative display dedicated to the history of the company and the amazing life of the founder and his creations.  The recent reopening of La Specola Natural History Museum has been a joy, it was our favourite museum for years, but had been closed for renovations for what felt like a lifetime. La Specola is the oldest public museum in Europe, they have an incredible collection of wax anatomical models, plus room after room of taxidermy. It’s surprisingly unknown and therefore empty, another welcome relief! 

Collection of decorative rocks back lit in a display at La Specola

Last but not least is the Stibbert Museum. An immense and eclectic collection amassed by one man, Fredrick Stibbert, of over 50,000 items, including armoury, paintings and ceramics. There’s definitely something for everyone! 

What to pack for a weekend break to Florence

Florence is starting to warm up in May, with temperatures peaking in July and August. So if you're travelling to Florence in spring layers are your best friend, with the balmier days and the cooler evenings. 

When packing for trips, especially shorter weekend breaks, creating a cohesive colour palette is the only way to go. 

Start with your base essential colours, versatile shades such as black, white, navy and denim serve as your outfit foundations, ensuring comfort and cohesion. This could be those black skinny jeans that go with everything, perhaps a navy linen skirt, and that simple white t-shirt. Keep the essentials base colour simple, leaving plenty of scope to get creative.

Jumper 1234 white jersey cotton tshirt

Next, you need to pick one or two colours that not only complement your foundational colours, but also complement each other. For short breaks two colours is great, for longer stays consider adding a third. This ensures maximum outfit options without overwhelming your suitcase.


So, there you have it, a love affair with a city that went on to inspire our Jersey Collection, all these years later. We hope we've inspired you on what to do, where to go and what to wear if you visit beautiful Florence.

Gwen Tredinnick