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Florence Guide: Gilli

What - Caffè Gilli

Where - Piazza della Repubblica, 39r

When - Daily, 7am - 7pm

Wearing - One of my favorite Kate Spade dresses

Why - Because sometimes you just need the elegance of a traditional Italian Cafe

Opened in 1733, Caffè Gilli is a Florentine institution. It has survived the end of the Medici dynasty, Napoleon's occupation of Florence, the unification of Italy (which Florence was briefly the capital of), and two world wars. Walking inside is like stepping back in time. The ornate and elegant decor transports you to nineteenth-century Florence when the cafe was home to the Florentine literati and frequented by artists and painters. 

Today waiters in tails attend to tables of white linens while and interesting combination of men in suits and enchanted tourists sip overpriced coffee. Yes, the coffee, hot chocolate, and confectionaries are overpriced, but they are delicious and the experience is one of a kind. Should you ever find yourself visiting Caffè Gilli, be sure to look for one of my favorite historical photos, which was taken in front of the cafe in 1951. It is called "An American in Florence" by Ruth Orkin. As an American in Florence, there have been numerous times when I have completely related to the woman in this photo!

Don't you just love places that have such history?

Ashley B
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  1. I wish we had places like this in America, there is just a sense of elegance when a place has a story. Instead we're surrounded by chain restaurants, ugh!

    1. I am with you, too many chains, not enough personality.

  2. Such style! I can see why it has lasted since the 1700s. Europeans really know how to do it right!

    1. Seriously, it is funny to think that this cafe pre-dates the country of Italy!


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