Florence - Fascinations, Food and Ferragamo

Florence - Fascinations, Food and Ferragamo

Although I’ve had the good fortune to visit Florence a few times, I always leave with the regret of not spending longer. The city is captivating, steeped in history and overflowing with a wealth of art.  First-time visitors should make a list:  

"a place where me and things go together"

I like to think that if Audrey Hepburn had agreed, a sequel to "Breakfast at Tiffany's" might have been entitled "Tea at Annick Goutal".  So, every one has got their favorites, and when I'm in Paris, I never miss a visit to this House of Divine Scent on rue de Castiglione. For me, it's a quintessentially Parisian experience, something only enjoyed in that particular location although there are other stores in France, Belgium and the UK.  This perspective leads me to consider all of the other things I love about being an unabashed tourist in Paris and would thoroughly recommend to anyone seeking my opinion, especially first timers.  It's a beautiful city to explore as a pedestrian.  Invest in comfortable shoes and seek out all the little facets that shine as brightly as the whole.

 The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame are not to be missed, spend a day at the Louvre, enjoy the Bateaux Mouches, and just put away the camera and the cell phone and sit for a few hours in a cafe or Le Jardin des Tuileries.  Buy souvenirs at the Galeries Lafayette, join the crowds in Montmartre and trek to La Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, stand in line at Berthillon for nougat au miel ice cream, spend an afternoon doing a chocolate tour, have a macaron or six at Ladurée!

Paris is a city that begs you to return.  Once you find your little gems, the allure of the destination stays fresh and inspiring, your go-to place when you get "the mean reds".  If you're looking to splurge, check into Le Meurice (with the help of a Dorchester Diamond Club Agent like me of course, for very special complimentary amenities).  Beautiful and luxurious with one of the most opulent dining rooms (Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse) I have ever seen.  

“Didn’t I tell you that this was a wonderful place?”

Free Internet Please

One of my greatest travel pet peeves is being charged for internet in luxury hotels.  I belong to the throngs who think “I’m already paying a premium for luxury, please don’t nickel and dime me for internet because it ruins my stay from the get-go.”  One of the ways to get around internet fees is to join a Hotel Loyalty Program such as Fairmont’s “President’s Club”.  Membership is free and high-speed internet access and local calls are complimentary amenities.  There are many wonderful Fairmont properties around the world.  In a few weeks, I’ll be visiting the Savoy in London.  It’s an iconic Hotel but who can forget that Press Conference scene from the movie “Notting Hill”?  

Complimentary Virtuoso Amenities:  Daily full English breakfast for 2, 70 GBP Food & Beverage credit once per stay, based on double occupancy, upgrade upon check-in, if available.  Credit can be used in Kaspar’s Seafood Grill.