Even though a trip to Pitti Uomo—the biannual menswear trade show in Florence, Italy that kick off January 8—means scrambling (on cobblestone streets) between a smattering of presentations, shows and special events, fashion folk always make time to kick up their heels.
The party not to be missed this season is hosted by Maison Kitsuné, this year’s “guest designers” and a dynamic fashion duo on the rise. Given founder Gildas Loaec’s music industry background (he once managed Daft Punk), partygoers can count on thumping live music as well as A-list people watching.
Of course, if you’re looking for a more low-key (but not less high-style) way to kill some downtime, top-notch trattorias and wine bars abound. Here, the can’t-miss bars, restaurants, and clubs to add to your Pitti agenda.
Pitti Uomo, possibly the most important men's trade show kicks off in Florence on January 8. When the fashion crowd is in town these are the spots they head to for dinner, for drinks, and to party.
Caffe Giacosa: Considering it's operated by fashion maestro Roberto Cavalli, it's no surprise that this Florentine bar and bakery has become a favorite among editors and stylists. Be sure to order the Negroni cocktail, which was invented here in 1920. Via della Spada 10r, Florence; caffegiacosa.it.
Caff Giacosa/Caff Giacosa
Fusion Bar: The fashion crowd grab post-show apertifs at Fusion Bar, the swanky watering hole located inside the Ferragamo Group's luxurious Gallery Hotel Art. If it's warm enough, you'll want to secure a spot on the roof deck, which features fire pits and cushy seating. Vicolo dell'Oro 5, Florence; galleryhotelart.com.
Kitsuné Party: Fashion's latest dynamic duo, Gildas Loaec and Masaya Kuroki of Paris-based Maison Kitsuné were tapped as guest designers for this year's Pitti Uomo (along with Humberto Leon and Carol Lim Creative Directors of Kenzo). As such, no fashionista will want to miss their bash on January 10th at the Palazzo Capponi.
Le Volpi e l’Uva: One of Florence's top-notch wine bars features—as one might imagine—a gangbusters selection of Italian wines by the bottle as well as the glass. Smaller, under-the-radar vineyards are the house specialty, and patrons can enjoy stellar sips with a side of panini or pasta. Piazza dei Rossi 1r, Florence; levolpieluva.com.
Moyo: Those with down-time between appointments at Pitti, hit this glamorous all-day bar, which is located just off the piazza. You'll find a gourmet coffee selection by day, but editors and fashion-types start trickling in around seven for cocktails and a free aperitivo buffet. Via dei Benci 23r, Florence; moyo.it.
Osteria Tornabuoni: Silvio Ursini's sleek, Tuscan-centric restaurant has obvious appeal for the fashion crowd, with elegant minimalist furnishings and a gangbusters gourmet menu, including dishes like bread maccheroni with lamb ragu and purple artichoke risotto. Via dei Corsi 5r; Florence; osteriatornabuoni.it.
Procacci: Located on the sophisticated Via Tornabuoni, this historic watering hole is a favorite among editors in-the-know, with only three small tables located inside its marble and mahogany interior. Enjoy a full-bodied Chianti or an order of the house specialty: the "panini tartufati"—tiny pastry rolls exploding with truffle paste. Via Tornabuoni 64r, Florence; antinori.it.
SE•STO on Arno: Located on the roof terrace of the ritzy Westin Excelsior, this picturesque eatery from chef Entiana Osmenzeze offers knockout views of the city skyline along with smoky proscuitto starters, caviar, and a terrific selection of champagne. Piazza Ognissanti 3, Florence; sestoonarno.com.
Life: When the fashion crowd parties during Pitti Uomo they head to Life. Good luck getting past the velvet rope if you aren't a regular. Via dell'Erta Canina 12 Rosso; Florence.
Trattoria Sostanza: When Italians do steak, they don't mess around, and hitting the pavement at Pitti Uomo can strum up a serious appetite. Purists flock to the century-old Trattoria Sostanza for hearty Chianina T-bones and delicate filet mignon. Via del Porcellana 25r, Florence; 39-055-212-691.
Volume: Florentine hipsters and fashion glitterati alike flock to Volume, a moody film-noir style bar and club located in a former wood workshop, seeking cocktails, thumping beats and maybe a round or two of chess. Piazza Santo Spirito, 5r, Florence; 39-055-238-1460.