Firenze or Florence as it is known in western culture was a fantastic destination. The rich history, amazing markets, food and the art were utterly to die for. This stop was a particularly fruitful one for me. It began a little shaky as I was not able to book the same hostel accommodation as my travel companion Joe for the 3 nights we intended to be there. He was staying in a dorm style room at the WOW, a super hero coming book themed hostel. This was actually a blessing in disguise because I wound up at a bed and breakfast in the heart of the city with a bed that I had to force myself out of everyday due to the immense amount of comfort it provided my tired back. The bed and breakfast was named Cuori di Firenze and the manager Eno Dokallari and his cousin Denise were some of the sweetest people people I have encountered on my travels. They would not hesitate to brew you a latte or bring you a cafe espresso to your room before a long night of photographing. I cannot express my thankfulness enough and at the low Florentine price of 85 euros a night it was one of the cheaper accommodations in the location. Well worth the price as they had clean showers designated to one or two rooms at a time and beds that felt like clouds after the 20k plus steps I took through out the city. The second day of my exploration I met a lovely photographer named Sara Moutone (cargo collective.com/saramautone) who works in the Italian fashion industry creating abstract high fashion campaigns for local businesses. Her work was stunning, she was showing at the Etra Tomassi gallery right behind the Academia where Michelangelo’s David is housed. She was exhibiting with fellow artist Jonathan Tegelaars (jonathantegelaars.com) who is a collage artist that explores the human condition and the idea of beauty and ones self. Both of these artist were extremely talented and definitely masters of their craft. After conversing with the two about our work and ideals within the projects we all respectively have going on they we parted ways to enjoy the house music being spun. The gallery was fully alive that night. A local radio show called Intro-spettiva hosted by a man named Nicholas Buba M was pumping out the jams spinning real records all night. It was great to meet people who were true connoisseur’s of their craft. I had a nice conversation with Nicholas regarding the authenticity of Dj’s these days and how they intend to pass out cassette tapes for an upcoming music festival in Amsterdam. Before we parted ways he informed me that he owned a bed and breakfast in Florence and he was hosting a DJ named Peggy Gou who is a growing sensation in the Berlin underground house music scene. He asked me if I would like to come to the party and shoot some more polaroids of the event. I obliged and got to work procuring film and charging my batteries for the day to come. Little did I know that this event was an after party for the Italian fashion elite and was by invite only following Pitti the mens fashion week campaign. What an experience being able to network with this particular group of people. Young hip socialites all gathered at Etra to enjoy the live house music and modern art on display. There were drinks available in the gallery with the DJ located in the atrium right under the works of master sculptors. The music had everyone dancing and enjoying the vibe, some people smoked cigarettes with hash as they grooved to the beats. It was an honor to see Peggy Gou live in such an intimate setting and to be able to photograph her such a natural environment. I left the party with dozens of new Instagram followers and the a true sense of personal accomplishment. Taking Instax photos has been a great means of exploring myself and my juxtaposition within the global community. I feel as if I am gaining so much life experience that will really carry me confidently into my professional endeavors. I thank every in Firenze that had a conversation with me, posed for a photo and helped me to explore the city to its fullest extent.
Now, on to the food! The Florentine steaks, pasta, gelato and pizza were phenomenal. We decided to enjoy the first dinner in Firenze in the city center market. This is where you can choose the cut and size of your steak. We got a 1.1kg porterhouse, medium rare with spinach and potatoes which all paired lovely with a glass of chianti wine. The food coma couldn’t of been anymore real, and to top it off we grabbed a cannoli from one of the pastry shops located within the center. It was the perfect meal to keep my calories up for the copious amount of steps that I had to cover over the next 2 days. Florence is a haven for artists and performers, gypsy’s and the fashion elite. I am starting to love Italy and I look forward to exploring it further in Venice.