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?