Scene: Play Time in Florence and New York

Visitors to children's markets on either side of the Atlantic should find plenty to do after hours.

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Visitors to children's markets on either side of the Atlantic should find plenty to do after hours.


The city of Florence during Pitti is always crowded and full of events, but it remains known worldwide as the capital of good food and Renaissance art. Here’s a sampling.

New Blues
A good starting point is a visit to the new Sale Blu of Nuovi Uffizi. The blue rooms, also known as Sale degli stranieri (the foreigners’ rooms, in English) opened to the public in December, after five years of extensive renovation. They are part of the expansion of the Uffizi museum, the iconic palace designed by artist and architect Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century. Sale Blu hosts masterworks by Spanish, French, Flemish and Dutch painters from the Renaissance, and while Vasari’s white walls and the gray stone pietra serena dominate the entire building, a vibrant blue is the main color of these eight rooms.

Uffizi Gallery
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 50122

La Buchetta’s American Style
After nourishing the soul, what’s better than a lunch break? La Buchetta Café, an intimate restaurant located in the city center, on the ground floor of Palazzo de’ Bardi — a building designed by Renaissance artist Filippo Brunelleschi — offers an interesting combination of historical and contemporary design and a small art gallery dedicated to emerging artists. Art adds a special touch to the atmosphere of this relaxing place with a minimal decor, where diners can enjoy local wines close to the fireplace. The menu is varied and refined, but a standout is a typical American brunch with scones, sausages, eggs, bacon, pancakes and syrup — accompanied by American coffee and orange juice.

La Buchetta Café
Palazzo Bardi alle Grazie
3 Via de’ Benci
Tel.: +39-055-217-833
Daily, 11 a.m. to midnight

Keep Dry
Opened in December, Superdry Store brought to Florence the hip English sportswear brand Superdry. Within its warm and wooden interiors, with a vintage feel, you can also find plenty of accessories and households goods, together with must-have items such as Lomo cameras. Moreover, this beautiful store has an inner courtyard that is also not to be missed.

22r Via dei Ginori
Tel.: +39-055-282-510

And for the Kids...
Florence has something to offer everyone, including a new place in town for children. Game room Il Castoro offers a wide variety of toys, but what’s more, it was entirely built with ecological materials, according to international standards of energy saving. The 1,448-square-foot edifice is part of a renovation project carried out by the city to make Florence green and people-oriented.

Il Castoro
3B Piazza Bartali
Tel.: +39-055-65-85-130/136

Rooftop View
The Westin Excelsior has finally opened Se-sto on Arno, the rooftop bar and restaurant, after an inactive period of approximately 20 years.

The hotel appears on Condé Nast Traveler Gold Lists and was named Best Hotel in Florence in 2009.

Its unique location provides a breathtaking view of the whole city. Wood, marble and black leather contribute to a warm, welcoming interior, while the terraces outside are entirely covered by glass, on which a flowing veil of water represents the Arno river.

The menu offers traditional Mediterranean fare of fresh seasonal products, accompanied by a wine list with a top selection of grand Italian labels.

Se-sto on Arno
The Westin Excelsior
3 Piazza Ognissanti, 6th floor
Tel.: +39-055-27-151

No No No
Ten minutes from Superdry is the new and modern Não do Brasil shop, which offers a wide range of colorful sneakers. According to lore, the kicks were created by a child tired of his mother’s response — a negative “não,” in Portuguese — every time he asked for a new pair of shoes. Purchases will help benefit Brazilian workers in poverty.

Não do Brasil
16-18r Via del Parione 16-18r

Suds Up
End the day the Florentine way, with a walk and a beer. Stroll down to the new cozy Beer House Club, formerly known as the Gran Tintori Club. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a live concert.

Beer House Club
34r Via dei Tintori

Glam Nibbles
To taste the Italian aperitivo in the fashion district, the new Isabelle Café has quickly made a name as a glamorous hot spot. It’s on the ground floor of Palazzo Buondelmonti, formerly home to Cartier and then Rosato, and offers a long list of Champagnes to be accompanied with fresh baguettes and cold cuts, cheese, oysters and foie gras.

At the entrance, the staff offers soft cushions for sitting on the ancient seats made from pietra serena stone overlooking the beautiful 12th-century church Chiesa di Santa Trinità.

On the first floor, there is also a restaurant, with dishes created by chef Bartolo Favaloro.

Isabelle Café
1r Piazza Santa Trinità (corner of Via dè Tornabuoni)

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