A Romantic Florence Valentine’s Day 2018

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Sonnet 43, written by famous 19th century expatriate and Florence resident Elizabeth Barrett Browning, exemplifies the colorful choices to celebrate the week of Valentine’s Day in the city of the Renaissance.

The offerings vary from a toast with a view; Valentine meals; and art events.


Climb the tower of Palazzo Vecchio to enjoy an elegant toast and the incredible nighttime panorama of Florence with your special someone this Valentine’s Day. Organized by the Florence’s city museum system and MUS.E Association, with the help of Bistrot 74, it will surely be a night to remember.

An ascent up a spiral staircase offers a bird-eye view from the outlook that has been watching over the city for centuries. The interior of the ‘’Old Palace’’ is decorated with gold leaf and frescoes, and radiates the enduring influence of the Medici family, while the ramparts of the building serve as evidence of Florence’s defensive past.

Rising 95 meters high, the former military outpost provided an incredible vantage point above potential enemies. Today, there are even sections of Plexiglas floor juxtaposed with the original pavement, but the 223 stone steps to the top remain. After the climb, enjoy a toast to your other half or friend with a view from this ancient lookout.

The tower will be accessible from 6:30 – 8:30 pm on February 14. An aperitivo will be provided, and in case of rain, appetizers and beverages will be served under the covered walkway. Admission is €15.

To reserve your spot or for more information, send an email info@muse.comune.fi.it, or call 055-2768224, 055-2768558. (anna rosin)

Earlier in the day, a Valentine event from 3 to 6 pm, a tribute for those who are in love with Florence, will take place next to Palazzo Medici Riccardi in the Galleria delle Carrozze, via Cavour 5.  The afternoon will be full of art, readings, music and meetings with artists, especially women.The setting is in the Musiwa show, which features contemporary mosaics by 50 artists from five continents, a list that includes Mimmo Paladino.

An award will be given to special guest at “zia Caterina” of the Milano25 taxi, a well-known figure due to her eccentric style and warm heart. Caterina is known for her colorful attire and her free rides for young children to the hospital in her decorated cab.

At Musiwa, a three dimensional piece by Dino Maccini stands tall, literally and figuratively, a silhouette of a woman wearing a long skirt beautifully decorated in multi-colored glass. The glass forms a floral pattern that sparkles in the light and emanates femininity. Another noteworthy piece is ‘Clash of Stars’ by Silvia Logi, an Italian artist. The piece is a multi-media consisting of shells and beautiful swirling patterns. The display is open daily except Wednesdays through February 26 from 10 am to 6 pm, admission €5. (cooper davis)


Along with its romantic close-up of Ponte Vecchio, the Golden View restaurant, via de’ Bardi 54 – 56/r (tel. 055- 214502) is offering live music and fresh seafood starting at 7:30 pm.

“All you need is love,” is the theme for dinner (8 or 10 pm) at the Hard Rock Café on via Brunelleschi 1. The set menu features a mingling of regional food products and American recipes: a platter of locally-sourced cold cuts; a selection of Tuscan beef burgers as well as a veggie burger; a chicken Caesar salad; and a delectable, heart-shaped chocolate brownie. Info at 055-277.841.

A Valentine dinner for a cause starting at 7:30 pm with a sparkling wine toast and hors d’oeuvres, accompanied by live music, followed by dancing, will be held on Feb. 14 at the Circolo Borghese, via Ghibellina 110. A minimum donation fee of €50 will be given to ANT, a non-profit which provides home care for cancer patients. Reservations at 055-5000210.


Due to illness, Elizabeth Barrett herself lives a solitary and segregated life under her father’s roof until her mid-thirties. Her love story when began fellow poet Robert Browning asked to meet her after reading her published work. The pair eloped to Italy, settling in Florence in 1847. Upon Elizabeth’s death in 1861, a heartbroken Browning returned to England, never to return.

Their home, with period furnishings at Casa Guidi, Piazza San Felice 8, is consecrated to the couple. Recording Barrett’s passionate love for her husband, Sonnet 43 continues “I love thee with the breath/Smiles, tears of all my life.”  Their love nest at Casa Guidi, however, can be visited only from April to November on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 to 6 pm. Elizabeth’s tomb in piazzale Donatello’s English Cemetery is accessible year-round on Monday from 9 to noon; Tues. – Fri. 2 – 5 pm, closed on the weekend.  (rosanna cirigliano)