Unusual Easter..

Happy Easter everyone!

I hope you all had a great time yesterday. My Easter was once again away from my family and all the traditional greek festivities, but I had a great time staying in Florence and since in three months i’m leaving I want to enjoy every corner of this wonderful city..

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Unfortunately this year I missed the  Scoppio del Carro, remember this  folk tradition of the city? So me and Nadia went for lunch at 4 Leoni, one of my favorite restaurants where I alaways eat Fiocchetti di pere in salsa di taleggio e asparagi (pasta filled with pear in taleggio cheese and asparagus sauce ) the best dish ever!

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Then we went for a coffee at Piazza Santo Spirito and then for a gelato at Gelateria La Carraia, one of my favorite places for ice-cream! Soon i’ll share with you all of my favorite gelato places in Florence!

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Aperitivo time! The weather was great and we were close to Ponte Vecchio, so the only place where you can sit outside without all the tourists passing by is Amblé, situated only a few steps away from the famous ladmark, in a well hidden square away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Number 1 on the unusualflorence map! A space designed as a living room where you can eat and shop at the same time, so first you can have a sandwich and if you like the chair or sofa you are sitting on, or the cup of tea you’re drinking you can actually buy them! 

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I had a Spritz “Bunny” and then a delicious tramezzino. 

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At first we were only me Nadia and Elisabetta, but slowly the company grew and Matteo Q., Irene, Matteo B., Michele, Francesca and Elisa were added to our lovely company. I had a great time this very “Unusual Easter” thank you guys!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

“Unusual” fool’s day..

Wishes for a good month.. Instead of an April fool’s joke I got flowers today from Nadia! Then we had a beautiful stroll around the city..

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On our way we met Matteo and we went together at I Visionari, surely the most unusual sunglasses shop in Florence, number 13 on the map! We tried lots of different styles of their new collections and I loved everything! I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this store, I’m surely coming back soon to do some shopping!

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Then a lunch break at Mama’s Bakery, one of my favorite places for bagels, sandwiches and cupcakes of course!IMG_8463_Snapseed

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A quick stop at Boutique Nadine, Lungarno Acciaiuoli 22r to say hi to Irene, Ilaria and Airi!

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A stop for gelato at Gelateria de’ Neri!

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And last but not least, Leone the mascot of Boutique Nadine at Via de’ Benci 32r.

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

“Fuori di taste” 2014..

From 6-11 Mar 2014 Florence was full of delicious events due to Fuori di taste, the fair dedicated to excellence in taste and food lifestyles.! Last year I attended only Boutique Nadine‘s event, but this year I had the chance to taste more in food and drink, and discover some new places around Florence!

Saturday for lunch I was at Il Borro Tuscan Bistro an amazing space between restaurant and wine bar along the Arno river. The event was called #ilgiroditaliaintrepiatti – a tour of Italy in three dishes prepared by the chef Andrea Campani. Later I visited the spectacular and inspiring furniture store Flair at Palazzo Gianfigliazzi Bonaparte, to taste the artisan chocolate Autore and Ivaldi’s Moscato D’ Asti. On Sunday I couldn’t miss Boutique Nadine‘s event “Marinai donne e guai” (sailors women and trouble). An unusual tasting of fish products, sweet temptations and lots of craft beer, all accompanied by the amazing performance of Compagnia Brick

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Andrea Campani – Allegra Giudici

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Il Borro Tuscan Bistro

– Lungarno Acciaiuoli 80r -50100 Florence +39 0550290423

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Flair (flagship store)

– Lungarno Corsini 24r – 50123 Florence +39 0552670154

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Stefano and Riccardo from gnam box

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Boutique Nadine

– Lungarno Acciaiuoli 22r – 50123 Florence +39 055287851

– Via de’ Benci 32r – 50123 Florence +39 0552478274

photos © chrysoula papagianni

Boutique Nadine reloaded!

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Boutique Nadine was our first stop at the #unusualflorence tour for 2013, so it’s only fair to start  for 2014 again with them, on number 8 this time! As you see the map has slightly changed, there are new places added and we are so happy about it!

This Nadine is a relatively new store, opened 2 years ago, situated at Via de’ Benci 32r, Santa Croce area.  A place that perfectly blends vintage and contemporary, always a vintage concept store but with more space for new designers in clothing and jewellery. The thing I love the most is the wooden floor combined with the clean white ceiling and the small living room at the back of course! There you’ll find Matteo helping you with everything!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Unusual market..

Last Sunday took place the first Unusual Market in Florence! Ostello Tasso, number 14 on the #unusualflorence map, hosted the event and many of the unusual places were part of it! Unfortunately I missed it since I had an early flight to Athens. I would like to thank in particular Matteo and Francesca for the photos they sent me and felt as if I were there too among them!

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Meanwhile in Athens…

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Unusual Michele Chiocciolini..

The last thing I did before leaving Florence was an interview of Michele Chiocciolini! I’ve posted several times about him but this time is different. There are many news since my last visit at his atelier back in July!

So I went by his atelier and we had breakfast and a long chat about everything! Francesca, his sister, was also there never leaving his side! So the great news is that he participates in a new talent show called Fashion Style and he arrived at the final! Don’t miss today’s episode people!!

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When you were little , what you were saying that you want to be when you grow up?

From an early age the thing I wanted to do more was maybe connected to a total look that could be both clothing as well as décor, in any case, little things, bringing things together. I enjoyed doing this at home with objects, clothes matching things, create eccentric outfits. Bringing together stuff in such a way that would create something new. In the end this is what I ended up doing, here you can find everything, plenty of things that somehow coexist in a funny way and perhaps is what I mainly wanted my work to be, something that I liked so much to enjoy myself!

The fact that you grew up in Florence helped you on this thing?

 Yes I think it was crucial, I remember when I was little going out, I wasn’t so much into sports, more than anything I had no interest in the things you make usually on weekends, I liked special things, to go in the antique shops in the center of Florence. It was always a game going to the shops. Discovering markets, from the toy soldiers to Mickey Mouse, not that I would buy a mirror, maybe I was trying to find something peculiar! In Florence I had this opportunity, even now, to discover new things.

 And your studies in architecture?

 A friend of my mother had in fact influenced me. I was always visiting her, I remember she always drew perspectives and I was sitting next to her and and in a way trying to do the same things with her! My grandmother was saying “You’re in love with Deanna”, she was the mother of my friend imagine! I liked architecture from an internal point of view above all, more than the outside I was more curious about the inside, just the room, the apartment, the shop, what’s in there. Usually you enter, this thing in Florence happens a lot and it’s tremendous, you enter a ‘400 building and is a disappointment. And this also happens in contemporary architecture, a beautiful wrap with a very ugly, anonymous inerior, I prefer a box, a cube that somehow inside is magnificent, the surprise I think is the best thing in architecture. The same thing is a bit of what i’ve done here, i’ve tried to persuade people if I can, after all to arrive somewhere and wonder how it can exist in an unknown street like this. You arrive here and as long as you’re not in front you can’t see, then you’re in front and you see and once you enter you see even more, the surprise is interesting!

 What about this place? How long you had been thinking of doing it? It was difficult?

Always! I always used to draw these figures and then it became a thing of trying to do just clothing. And now also to sew, to understand how it works, then all these have inevitably combined the 2 things cause all the things I have around inspire me! It wasn’t easy but when I saw it I immediately thought of it’s potentials, basically did all by myself and it came easily, it was difficult as a concept but once I was inside it happened naturally.

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You take part in Fashion Style, a program raising new designers. How did it begin and how did you feel?

One day in July, I received a phone call from Milan, I did a first casting, a 15 minute test where they wanted a draping test on mannequin and then wanted to see if you know how to sketch, then a long conversation where they asked about everything!

I’m always stressed before, until I enter, then you just do it! It’s a bit like the exams you know. The day before I went, after doing 3 tests then there was the first episode and I started saying at Francesca “I’m not going”…. Then there was Marco and Lucia saying “We won’t say anything but you’ll regret it, go!” It was fun anyway! Most of all I started sewing, I sewed day and night to improve to the fullest.

The people you met there?
Entertaining! A glimpse of Italy and beyond, people who live in Italy but who, like you, come from all over the world,  so piece together all this stuff here and you learn so many fun things you didn’t know. Then they all luckily had their own experience in fashion, maybe in a different way. Therefore you amplify your knowledge. It was a good experience!

How do you feel now that you’ve arrived at the final?
Happy very happy! But in the end, overcoming the shock of the first episode, even if I had done just that it was worth it. Then it was worth bringing a little of this world here, I will not say on television, but let people know what you are doing because it is not easy to describe. I brought a portfolio, but if you take look at this you’ll say he is nuts is this a portfolio…?!? In my opinion they have been intrigued by this thing here. The problem was if this thing could be understood or not, however there is also the timing on television, but in the end they understood and appreciated it! 

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What is your opinion about bloggers?

For me they are essential, I find them an interesting figure. Certain people say “Today everyone wants to be one…”. Ok, this might be true, but in the end everyone wanted to be an architect, lawyer, etc. It’s like when they tell me “That guy opened that store next to you and does the same things with you”, everyone is free to do whatever he wants, he ‘ll never do what I do, as I ‘ll never do what he does. I find bloggers an important figure, there is who is doing it well, as in all activities. Then there is who takes advantage of the situation, and those are the worst ones, doing it for work and not for passion. I put a lot of trust in people, so I think that things are understood and if you do it for publicity and money it won’t last, as in every activity. Then if you actually like it like me, I can’t think that this place could close for example, and this could happen in Italy today, for me there will always be either here or in a different place but will always be in my head!

What is your opinion about the political situation?

I’m not dealing with it, but not out of ignorance. I’m trying to keep myself informed and I realize, from the small things most, that the things aren’t going well. What’s important is not repeating the same mistakes, I really hope that this situation can change. I sometimes say, I know that you can’t do that, but I would go to dinner with some people staying there a while and then say ok I want to vote him!

Is there a designer that inspired you at the start of your career?

As an architect, I am bound to the work done among 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Therefore I like Mendini, hi also named his studio Atelier! Same for Andrea Branzi and Castiglioni. Also the idea of Fabio Novembre related to fashion. On the other hand, Paul Smith, his patterns, his photography, his shops are a mix of situations. Then Marras, he also has his way of working, his spaces are very personal, his research is really interesting. As well Maurizio Galante, also an architect.

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What to expect in the future from Michele Chiocciolini?

I’d like to work in a company, if I find a way, because it is a piece missing that i’ve never tried. I would like to relationship with something where “Michele be quiet… You have to do this…!”

What if you win Fashion Style? Do you think it will change you?

Let’s hope! I don’t know, I suppose it may add to my confidence. Then at a professional level this does not depend very much on the victory but how you are a person who can give something. I’ve got a great desire to continue this work in the best way and I hope to make it. Today, as we said earlier of politics, money, etc. is not easy, but in my opinion if one has his feet on the ground things can also work, you have to have your feet on the ground and do it not because you have expectations, but basically do it because you want to.

What do you want to do apart from all the things above?

Travel! I’d like to stay a month here a month there, for six months to travel, it’s a while I don’t travel and I really miss it. I even like to travel nearby! The other day I visited a friend in Pesaro, I took the train changed then in Bologna, seemed to me that I ‘ve been to Timbuktu! But even walking here!

Also for Unusual Florence right? All of the unseen places you can discover around Florence.

Exactly! Here you would never come, as well as Amblé that little corner with the wall, maybe you pass in front and you are just some steps from Ponte Vecchio!

According to you are there other places to add in the map?

I think they will!  Now there is a talk of uniformity within the map so there has to be a study first, and this is what Luca does. I occasionally suggest some places, it’s not easy though, it has to be something with a common thread with the other places, otherwise there are lots of unusual places but it also has to be linked with the purchase of a certain type, perhaps not that artisan.

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

 

Unusual foggy weekend..

Good morning and have a nice week everyone!

My weekend started and ended at exactly the same place, Piazzale Michelangelo!

On Saturday I had breakfast at Ponte San Niccolò, I love going there and just watching the rowers training. After that I had a long stroll through the streets of Florence until sundown. There was an amazing atmosphere created by the fog, I think this is the first time I see the city covered in fog!

Sunday’s in Florence are dedicated to vintage flea markets and every second Sunday of the month it’s held at Santo Spirito square. Irene bought an incredible bicycle for Boutique Nadine! Then me, Elisabetta, Irene and Nikos went at Magaza’s Sunday market where we found Antonia, Dario, Visnja, Elvira, Stefania, Duilio and Cassius!

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Remember the #unusualflorence map? Check number 12 and Mağaza, an image archive, collecting works from illustrators, photographers and graphic designers. There you can find :

– Fine-art prints on 100% cotton paper, 310g/m2, whit or without frame
– Hard covers for iPhone 4/5
– Hard covers for IPad
– Recycled paper sketchbooks, 32 pages, semi-rigid cover
– American Apparel T-shirts for men and women in various models
– American Apparel basic bags, 100% cotton

They are also organizing events such as yesterday’s market, live performances and yoga lessons! And they are also searching for new artists, so if you feel creative enough you can be part of it!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Unusual Florence part 1: Boutique Nadine!

Good morning and have a nice week everyone!

I finally decided to start the #unusualflorence tour. What is Unusual Florence? A different map of Florence including the most important landmarks of the city and 16 spaces of different uses (boutiques, bars, libraries) but with a lot in common. Young people full of inspiring ideas hoping to beat the crisis by focusing on quality above all! Many of these places are of course familiar, others are yet to be discovered. So one by one we are going to discover all of these “unusual” places.

If you ask me this map has to be integrated with every tourist map of Florence. Why? Because all of these places are situated in the most genuine parts of the city, and as you stroll around this map right there you’ll discover Florence, the real thing!

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Of course I have to begin this journey from number 6, a breath away from Ponte Vecchio, Irene’s Boutique Nadine. Actually there are two of them in Florence, Irene’s other half (on number 7) is run by Matteo, a few steps away from Santa Croce church and we are going to visit him very soon!

Crossing Lungarno Acciaiuoli from Ponte Vecchio towards Ponte Santa Trìnita at number 22r is where it all began! A vintage concept store where you can find from silk shirts and designer handbags, to old toys, and magazines, an enchanting place that fulfills all your desires! Everything in this shop is carefully selected which adds to it’s classy character. Of course there is a great focus on vintage but there are also new collections such as their own clothing line Second Floor, Irene’s romantic Odette, and more from new local designers both in clothing and jewellery.

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And if you’re lucky you can have this view while exiting the store!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

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