Established in 2008 - By Francesca Papi, Private Tour Guide of Florence

Monthly Archives: January 2016


Fantastic Florence presents Divina Bellezza at Palazzo Strozzi

Divina Bellezza (Devine Beauty) was one the most interesting exhibits of the year organized by Palazzo Strozzi Foundation. The subject of the exhibition, as the title says, was sacred art between XIXth and XXth century: Van Gogh, Chagall, Fontana, Guttuso, Picasso, and may others. Sacred art in that period, that was much less religious than before (think of Napoleon and the abolition of the Church’s privileges for example) interested many artists, who decided to show their religious feeling in various ways. Never forget that sacred art gave the possibility to these artists to paint nudes and investigate the human body with no embarrassment. The Biblical tales got combined with the birth of Freud’s psychoanalysis (Edvard Munch), with the condemn of Nazism (Otto Dix), the pain for the Jewish persecution (Marc Chagall) or the personal tragedy leading to suicide (Vincent Van Gogh).
Palazzo Strozzi Foundation is the most active institution in Florence taking care of the city’s cultural life. We are really eager now to see the next one, about Kandinsky and Pollock, in collaboration with the Guggenheim Foundations of New York and Venice. Stay tuned!

By |January 28th, 2016|Eventi, Events in Florence, Exhibitions, Home, Videos|0 Comments

Florence says goodbye to David Bowie

imageWe lost a genius.
A genius in music, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo in art.
David Bowie died but he lives through the art he left, like great artists always do.
The Thin White Duke had an important relationship with Florence, a city he loved very much.
On June 6th 1992 he married the statuary Somalian model Iman in our city at the American Episcopal Church of St. James, a beautiful neo-gothic church erected in 1906 in Via degli Orti Oricellari in Florence.
The ceremony was strictly private and heavily guarded. Imam was extremely elegant in a dress by Hervé Leger, while David wore a tight by Thierry Mugler. Both fashion designers are invited at the ceremony. Very few friends and relatives took part to it, 68 people all together. In order to mislead paparazzi and curios people, David and Iman announced they were going to get married in Mustique, a Caribbean island. They even wrote it on the wedding announcements! In Florence only few good friends were invited: Brian Eno, Bono Vox (who missed the flight but arrived on time for the photos and the reception) and Yoko Ono.
imageA little curiosity: instead of the traditional ‘Here Comes The Bride’ for the entrance of Iman, the couple chose a Bulgarian folk song called ‘Kalimankou Denkou’ (The Evening Gathering). Why this bizarre choice is not surprising me? The reception was at Villa La Massa, a luxurious resort in Bagno a Ripoli, in the country of Florence (a place often chosen by stars, such as Madonna). The menu included ribollita (bread soup, typically Tuscan) and game. David Bowie often visited Florence during the years. As art and fashion lover how many times have we seen David at the Stazione Leopolda during Pitti fashion events (the fashion week of Florence, which is taking place right now).
But why did he decide to say yes in Italy? David and Iman had sailed down the coast of Italy on a six-weeks cruise the year before and both had a particular fondness for Italy. He always said that he was in love with Italian Renaissance art, but what he liked the most of our country was a quality of life impossible to be found anywhere else. Here, he said in an interview, life itself is much more important than working and get ahead. David and Iman, with their hectic carriers, said they loved this aspect of Italy: a more relaxed approach to life. Furthermore, Iman is from Somalia, for years an Italian colony, and she learned Italian at school when she was a little girl, that’s also the reason why Italy was so familiar to her.
Florence will always remember David Bowie; starting from Thursday January 14.
We can now announce that the Florentine DJ Giulia Presley will be at the Piccolo Cafè, via Borgo S. Croce 23r, for an evening tribute to David.
We’ll love to think of you David, with your music, in a nice club, singing and dancing.
Goodbye Alien, see you Thin White Duke.

By |January 13th, 2016|Eventi, Events in Florence|0 Comments

Fantastic Florence nominated by Luxury Travel Guide as a potential winner in the 2016 Holiday & Tour Specialist Awards

image001Just received this e-mail below. I can’t believe it, I’m so happy! Thanks to all my clients who supported my job and trusted my expertise, sharing with me the passion for my city. Grazie mille!

The Luxury Travel Guide is pleased to announce the Fantastic Florence has been nominated as a potential winner in the 2016 Holiday & Tour Specialist Awards.

Over the past 12 months the Luxury Travel Guide has been receiving votes for individuals and companies throughout Europe, with theirs subscribers, hotel guests, travel agencies and industry experts all voting on who they feel is most deserving. Celebrating & rewarding excellence in many areas, these awards recognize companies regardless of size or location across categories including:

  • Service Excellence
  • Local Knowledge
  • Online Visibility
  • Use of Technology
  • Marketing & Branding
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Cultural Understanding
  • Diversity
  • Communication Skills
  • Disability Provisions


Over the last 12 months Luxury Travel Guide has invited and encouraged their affluent subscriber base to cast their vote on whom they believe have excelled. Additionally, the Luxury Travel Guide’s extensive research team has put forward a selection of companies & individuals have excelled within their region.

The Luxury Travel Guide Awards is an international awards programme in recognition of all holiday & tour options from large operators to small, independent guides. To learn more about our magazines and products please visit

 The Luxury Travel Guide Awards is sponsored by United Airlines. United Airlines serve 362 destinations across 58 countries with 4,734 daily departures. The Luxury Travel Guide Awards will be available at each of the 54 United Club Member Lounges around the world.

If you wish to learn more about the Luxury Travel Guide Award Winners in 2015 then please visit

By |January 8th, 2016|Events in Florence, Home, News|0 Comments