Pontormo & Rosso Fiorentino: The Diverging Paths of Mannerism


Pontormo & Rosso Fiorentino: The Diverging Paths of Mannerism

Until July 20th  Palazzo Strozzi will host a unique event bringing together for the very first time a selection of masterpieces by the two artists in Italian and foreign collections, many of them specially restored for the occasion.

Open daily 9.00 am – 8.00 pm
Thursdays 9.00 am -11.00 pm

Monday to Friday
9.00-13.00; 14.00-18.00
Tel. +39 055 2469600

Shopping in Florence: Where to go and what to buy


Shopping in Florence:

Where to go and what to buy

Between the beautiful sculptures, the world famous paintings, the stunning buildings and the incredible food, Florence’s winding streets are also home to some of the best shopping in Italy. From antiques and handcrafts goods to the high end fashion designers, Florence has it all right outside Casa Rovai’s doorstep. Here we have a guide to help you find what you’re looking for.

For High Fashion and Brand Names:

Once you center yourself around the Duomo you can get anywhere. The two main streets that are filled with some of the best shopping start right at the Duomo and lead to Piazza Republica. Via Roma is where you will find Gucci, Miu Miu, Pinko, Stefanel and many more on your way to Piazza Republica where Rinascente, Florence’s main department store can be found. More chain stores such as Zara, H&M and Benetton continue to line the streets of Via Calimala and Via Por Santa Maria.

For very high end shopping in the Santa Maria Novella district, Via Tornabuoni and Via della Vigna Nuova are the streets to find the latest from the biggest Italian and international designers.

Leather Goods

Santa Croce is the most famous for its leather boutiques and factories. Though you can find leather all over the city, Santa Croce’s Leather Workshop, in the cloister of the church of Santa Croce, is the best place to find the highest quality leather. You can, of course, find bargain worthy leather in the San Lorenzo market, but if you are looking for something better head to Santa Croce. Do not forget to go up and down the little side streets though where you will find fantastic little boutique shops for some very unique gifts.

Handcrafted and Original

Florence, if not for many of its other wonderful features, is very well known for its specialty items. Souvenirs or gifts like marbled stationary is a beautiful and memorable piece to take home and can we found at a place called Zecchi (Via dello Studio 19r) or Il Papiro (Piazza del Duomo 24r). Another very special item comes from an old apothecary located in the Santa Maria Novella Church that has been creating perfumes and aromatic oil blends since the 13th century. Also, you can visit the Oltrarno area for some more beautiful handcrafted gifts that are very unique to Florence and for a large abundance of gold items, visit Ponte Vecchio where you will find a sea of gold among other fun shops and beautiful sites.

Markets in Florence


Markets in Florence:

From food and drinks to clothes and jewelry, the markets in Florence are a unique characteristic of the city that gives life to both locals and tourists alike. Navigating these markets gives tourists a real taste of the culture in the most authentic way. Markets in Florence are the center of life for locals who shop there every day. In each of the markets throughout the city, there are hundreds of vendors who take great pride and joy in the products they are selling and the interactions they encounter on a daily basis with their customers. These markets are certainly plentiful throughout Florence and are definitely a “must do” activity if you’re looking to experience a real taste of Italy during your stay.
Breakdown of the various markets to visit in Florence:
Mercato di San Lorenzo:
Just a short walk from the Duomo, the San Lorenzo market  one of Florence’s most famed markets. Rather than food, these street vendors sell all the souvenirs a tourist can imagine. Everything from leather goods to watches, scarves, shoes, paintings, and Italian futon gear, San Lorenzo has it all and is willing  bargain with you to sell it.

from 9:00am to 7:00pm Tuesday through Sunday, this cheerful and lively market is without a doubt just as important to experience as the museums are.

Mercato Centrale:
Just adjacent to the souvenir shops is the food and home goods part of San Lorenzo, better known as Mercato Centrale. Here you will find decadent pickled olives, the freshest fruits and veggies around, and an enormous assortment of cheeses and breads, olive oils, vinegar, wines, meats, and everything else in between. Watch as the vendors look over their stands with joyous smiles as they offer samples to those looking to buy. Then, blend in with the crowd and attempt to purchase some of your own goods and experience all the sensory feelings you get as you explore the winding halls of Centrale. Of course, you can  also take a break from the walking and shopping at one of the cafés or restaurants inside where you will find the freshest possible ingredients for local Italian cuisine.

Sant’Ambrogio Market:
Smaller than Mercato Centrale and located in a less densely tourist area, Sant’Ambrogio is where you will find the locals and experience the real Florentine culture. Vendors are located both indoors and outdoors selling produce as well as jewelry and home goods. This is the place locals come to do their shopping. The vendors and their customers have formed a strong relationship here to not only buy food, but discuss food politics and share household gossip. You cannot visit Sant’Ambrogio though without going to their small eatery inside. It has been running since 1987 by a man named Rocco Mangino who becomes your new best friend the minute you sit down. My first experience with him is one that left me laughing and smiling the rest of the day.

Piazza Ciompi:
Very near to Sant’Ambrogio is another smaller flea market. Open Monday to Saturday from 9:00am to 7:00pm, this quiet flea market is one for the trinket and antique lover. Every last Sunday of the month the market expands filling the entire piazza with unique, bargain-­‐worthy souvenirs. You will find great vintage or collectable items as well as hats, books, bags clothes and even furniture.

Mercato delle Cascine:
Last on our list is a very special market. Mercato della Cascine is Florence’s largest market, however, it is only open on Tuesdays from 8am to 2pm. Despite the restricted hours, if you can make it on a Tuesday morning, go. This place sells everything you see in your typical daily markets, but up a few notches on the scale. What makes it so special though is not the fine wines, cheeses, and fresh produce, but it’s the clothing and shoes. Ladies, and gentlemen looking for a new suave Italian wardrobe, save your souvenir money for the stalls selling discountedgood from Pierre Cerdin, Armani, Gucci, and all other famous Italian designers with factories nearby Florence.

Christmas market: the Weihnachtsmarkt

Mercato S Croce

Christmas market: the Weihnachtsmarkt

As every year the Weihnachtsmarkt, a German word that means Christmas market, comes to Florence from the city of Heidelberg.
From the 27th of November to the 15th of December, the stands that sell decorations for Christmas trees and homes, Christmas cakes such as Stollen accompanied by the Glühwein (mulled wine) and German food (especially wurst and sauerkraut) will be at Santa Croce Square.

The Russian Avant-garde, Siberia and the East. 27 September 2013-19 January 2014


The Russian Avant-garde, Siberia and the East. Kandinsky, Malevich, Filonov, Goncharova
27 September 2013-19 January 2014

From September 2013 the Palazzo Strozzi of Florence host ‘The Russian Avant-garde, Siberia and the East’, the first international exhibition to examine the fundamental importance of the Oriental and Eurasian connection to Russian Modernism.

For Reservations
Monday to Friday
9.00-13.00; 14.00-18.00
Tel. +39 055 2469600
Fax +39 055 244145




On the last week-end of November will take place the 2013 edition of the international classic road race, the 30th Florence Marathon.
Starting on the Lungarno Pecori Giraldi the athletes will end up in Piazza Santa Croce, after 42 kilometers and 195 meters surrounded by centuries of art, history and culture. What an art-full run!!
One of the side events accompanying the marathon itself is the Ginky Family Run, a non-competitive run for children and families.

For more details call 055 574002 or visit the Web Site  www.firenzemarathon.it

VI Edition of BTO – Buy Tourism Online


VI Edition of BTO – Buy Tourism Online

On December 3th and 4th in Florence, at the Fortezza da Basso, will take place the 6th edition of BTO -Buy Tourisn Online- the most important moment of reflection on Travel 2.0 in Italy.

2 days of not-to-missed events with international experts, seminars, training sessions, product presentations and more!

For this occasion Casa Rovai Bed and Breakfast will be glad to welcome you with its BTO Special Rate, with double room starting from 80 euros per night instead of 120!! Don’t hesitate and contact us the soonest!

6th Florence Tattoo Convention


6th Florence Tattoo Convention
November 8-9-10 -Fortezza da Basso- Florence

The 8th , 9th and 10th November 2013 the ancient Fortezza da Basso of Florence will host the best of the international scene in the world of tattoo and body piercing; more than 300 world-renowned tattoo artists, shows and eclectic musicians will enchant an audience of curious and urban fashions lovers in a three-day event out of the ordinary.

For more info:

Website: http://www.florencetattooconvention.com
Infoline: (+39) 328 – 8250275

XXVIII Biennal – International Biennal Antiques fair of Florence


XXVIII Biennal – International Biennal Antiques fair of Florence

From October 5th to October 13th, seventy-four exhibitors, all of great international prestige, will be host at Palazzo Corsini of Florence for the 28th edition of the International Biennal Antiques Fair.

Exhibition hours:

Every day from 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Palazzo Corsini – Lungarno Corsini – Florence.

Ticket prices:

Full price € 10,00
Groups € 8,00
Reduced price € 8,00