Italy: Arcetri, Giardino Bardini, & Fashion

On Saturday, a sweaty hot day of 86 degrees, I decided to take a walk to Arcetri, which is only about half an hour from our apartment. There wasn’t a whole lot to do in terms of museums but there were some lovely views of Firenze and some nice statuary.

The Villa di Poggio Imperiale: originally owned by Baroncelli, it was rebuilt by the Grand Duchess of Austria and used by the Medici and the Lorraine as a holiday retreat before it was eventually turned into a girls’ school.

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Many of the walls along my walk had interesting patterns and designs on them.

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Fort Belvedere.

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The Giardino Bardini, now not only my favorite garden, but with arguably better views of the city than Piazzale Michelangelo (not to mention fewer tourists and salesmen hanging around).

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After a short nap (yes, it was that hot) I went to the Ferragamo Museo and the Gucci Museo. I managed to sneak a few pictures in the Ferregamo Museo, but I didn’t dare in Gucci; their men in black clothing bodyguards were everywhere and I didn’t want to get in trouble! (And in case you’re wondering, yes, I did dress up to go to the fashion museums).

Ferregamo apparently perfected a comfortable heel by studying human anatomy.

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They have a wall of celebrity shoes, including ones worn by Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Angelina Jolie, etc.

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Drew Barrymore’s Cinderella shoe from Ever After. They also have displays for Australia, The Iron Lady and Evita.

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Pharaoh’s shoe from The Ten Commandments.

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At Ferragamo they also have the wooden models for celebrity feet. My favorite quote was, “I have divided the women who have come to me into three categories: the Cinderella, the Venus, and the Aristocrat. The Cinderella takes a shoe smaller than Size Six, the Venus takes Size Six, the Aristocrat a seven or larger.” I guess that means I’m an aristocrat…

Gucci was a bit more intense. They have several levels showcasing Gucci’s rise from a bellboy to designing luggage and eventually fashion. They showcase some installation art, which was interesting, though my favorite part of the entire museum was being able to see (quite up close) celebrity dresses from the Cannes Film Festival.

They have a gift shop and a store which sells Gucci product you can only get at the museum, and though I wanted to get a Gucci oven mitt for my mom, it was 50 Euro! (In my head the conversation was something like, “50 Euro, that’s crazy! But it’s a Gucci oven mitt! But it’s 50 Euro! But it’s Gucci!” In the end, my practical side won out and no oven mitt was purchased).

My favorite Gucci quote (which I agree with, assuming you have the money for the price in the first place!) was, “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.”

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