LUXE City Guides - Florence - - San Niccolò -

Start at the Bac­chus statue on the Ol­trarno side of the Ponte Vec­chio and head up Via Guic­cia­r­dini and left into Pi­azza dei Rossi. Pop into Santa Felic­ità for Pon­tormo’s lu­mi­nous mas­ter­piece The De­po­si­tion of Christ in the Cap­poni Chapel (first on the right); the Medi­cis lis­tened to mass con­cealed from the masses in their pri­vate chapel in the Vasari Cor­ri­dor (see Sites) run­ning above the por­tico of the church. Exit and one leap across the pi­azza is Le Volpi e L’Uva (see Wine Bars). Take the left fork Via Strac­ciatella down the side of the church to the end, left down the ramp, and turn right onto Via dei Bardi where across the way you’ll spot O’Cafè (see Coffee), per­fect for a mid-jaunt java stop with ex­cel­lent pas­tries and views of the Arno – bet­ter yet, later it turns into a handy cock­tail bar! On you go past the Bat­tista statue and take the right fork to carry on down at­mo­spheric Via dei Bardi, where on the right at #17 Il Torchio / 055 234 2862 / has ar­ti­sanal pa­pers and bind­ing. Fire on, the ate­lier of pro­fu­miere straor­di­nario Lorenzo Vil­loresi is on the left at #14 (see Stand­out Stores), and the Giardino Bar­dini (see Sites) comes up on the right at #1. If you have time, pop into bliss­fully crowd-free Museo Ste­fano Bar­dini (see Act.), then re­trace and cont. down what is now Via San Nic­colò to find gioiel­liere divino Alessan­dro Dari (see Stand. Stores). Fur­ther down on the cor­ner of Via dell’Olmo is the stu­dio of Floren­tine street artist CLET (see his work on street signs all over town), then you’ll pass the San Nic­colò church on your left and on your right is Fat­torini at #61r / 055 234 2674 / a tiny trea­sure of an­tiques and pretty pieces. A bit fur­ther is Zeb (see Lunch) for an ex­cel­lent se­lec­tion of Tus­can spe­cial­i­ties, and opp. Il Rifrullo (see Rest./Ca­sual). Con­tinue through the old gate­way Porta San Mini­ato, and up Via Monte alle Croci past Fuori Porta (see Wine Bars). Climb the steps and when you reach the road nip right to find San Mini­ato (see Sites). Time this right (late af­ter­noon) and you’ll end your walk to the haunt­ing sounds of the monks’ Gre­go­rian chants, a gen­tle am­ble in the charm­ing ceme­tery be­hind the church and a ro­man­tic clinch as the sun sets. Now run like a rob­ber’s dog back to Rifrullo for aper­i­tivi, or cab it to Sesto (see Bars) for rooftop sun­down­ers. Splen­dido!

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