No conversation about the heavy hitters of the shoe industry is complete without a mention of Tamara Mellon. The British designer co-founded the Jimmy Choo label in 1996, which became as popular with Hollywood’s A-List as it did with well-heeled fictitious characters (namely, the fashion-obsessed Carrrie Bradshaw).
Mellon’s position at the helm of the company required twice-yearly trips to Florence to visit the factory where the brand’s footwear was made. But the trips weren’t all business, what with the food, architecture, and art the Italian City is known for.
Today, Mellon is heading up her own namesake brand, and lucky for her, those trips to Florence are still part of the deal. “It’s a living, breathing city with history around every corner,” she says, also noting her favorite restaurants, hotel, and sights to see. Ahead, the full scoop on how she does Florence in style.
What to Pack
“There’s a ton to do and see in Florence, so I always bring flats for walking. And cashmere sweaters, since it tends to be chilly.”
Where to Stay
“I love the J.K. Place Hotel. I’ve stayed there so many times and it never disappoints.”
What to Eat
“Camillo serves the best bistecca alla fiorentina and fried baby artichokes, and Casalinga Trattoria is my go-to for simple, Tuscan cuisine. It’s always packed and bustling. The pasta with white truffles at La Giostra is divine.”
Where to Shop
“The shops near the Santa Maria Novella basilica are great, and the Pegna grocery store behind the Florence Cathedral caters to the locals. I always find something to bring home from there.”
What to Do
“Go to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see the real Statue of David, and roam the Boboli Gardens. A visit to the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum is a must, and it’s always fun to wind down the night at Harry’s Bar.”