TUSCANY – TOSCANA
Discover the path from Fashion to Wine in Tuscany’s wineries, vineyards and Prato The Textile City.
First day in Italy today, “Ciao—Buongiorno” from me and Jenny after two hours sleep getting straight off of a plane to see the picturesque leaning tower of Pisa was very cool indeed. As a matter of fact it’s known as one of the seven wonders of the medieval world believe it or not, but it’s true. I’m so glad to be here and have the opportunity to see it during my press trip to Europe before exploring Prato then onto Milan for Men’s Fashion Week.
The sky was lit up bright blue and felt like spring time rather than winter season. It was about 12 degrees when we got there so we’re able to sit outside with our pasta and pizza and enjoy taking in the atmosphere. We had the most wonderful lunch. Pasta and wine made in the town we visited was authentically Italian just the way I like it.
Since being in Italy over the long weekend I literally consumed my body weight in carbs being mostly pasta and wine, it was so delicious as everything here in Italy is very freshly prepared.
I was so happy to be in comfy clothes this day as we had just left the Pisa airport and still had our suit cases on us both with hand luggage but we managed it fine. The restaurant was called Ristorante Pizzeria Duomo. They did gluten free pasta! which Jenny my friend couldn’t believe as she was so overwhelmed by it and food options. When they make it in Italy it’s just sooo much better.
A litre of wine was only €8. Such a good price … especially if you’re wanting a rather chilled relaxing afternoon lunch to watch the people go by. After all that traveling – it was so worth it having some time to ourselves. The staff were really kind and accommodating I really recommend this place if you’re ever going to visit Pisa for a day trip excursion on route to Florence via Prato.
THE BEST HOTELS IN TUSCANY
ART HOTEL MUSEO
During Day one of our press trip – from Pisa to Prato we stayed at @art_hotel_museo. The whole hotel was so elegant with character and contemporary themed just like an art gallery housed on each level.
It had a different theme on each floor. It had the Art room. We literally took loads of pictures! I loved this place so much I definitely want to come back in summer and try out their outdoor swimming pool as it’s closed during the winter months. I can’t recommend this enough! If you’re going to Prato Italy via Florence for Pitti Uomo then definitely book this hotel – you won’t be disappointed. Not forgetting it’s fantastic location is great too for a day trip to 15 minutes by train to “Firenze” which is Florence in Italian just so you know.
This wonderful 4 Star hotel located 1.6 miles from the centre of Prato feel more like a 5 Star hotel as it boast luxury facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, classic to deluxe room suites and wellness spa with excellent customer service at Art Hotel Museo. Standard Hotel Rates apply – per night for 1 person only staying in a Classic Room Only Rate is 81 Euro’s and Rate with Breakfast Included 85.50 Euro’s.
The elegantly presented hotel suites with contemporary interiors have unique art work hanging in each room which are very spacious clean with minimal details.
Extra’s include a fully stocked mini bar, a dresser with flat screen television and oh wait the best part the walk in wardrobe closet every fashionista’s goal even more storage space to keep clothes and prep outfits so it feels more like home made all the difference.
The modern sleek bathroom as shower room, bathtub combi, bede with well equipped mod cons was up to the highest standards one would expect from a 4 Star Hotel unrivaled to other hotels I’ve stayed in before felt very luxurious indeed. With free WiFi access, the elegant rooms feature air conditioning and most have a flat-screen TV. Their bathrooms are complete with a hairdryer and toiletries.
Things to try and Experience
PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO
“Prato is a must see hidden gem 15 minutes from Firenze and convenient for Pitti Uomo Florence Fashion Week the home of classic Menswear, Celebrating fine craftsmanship and art of tailoring. This event is held twice a year in January and June.
THE PRATO TEXTILE MUSEUM
Apart from the Art, Culture, and Gastronomy Prato is also renowned for the Textile Museum & Lazzerini library are dedicated to both historic & contemporary textiles in a 19th-century mill. It’s a well known fact that Museo de Tessuto is one of the well recognised European Institutions dedicated to studying, preserving and promotion of ancient, historical and contemporary textiles housing an archive of textiles from Italy, Europe and the rest of world. It’s definitely well worth the visit if you want to find out more about the European routes of Industrial heritage and the intricate part it played in the history of Prato and its significance in the worlds textile industry.
We dined for lunch at one of the Italian Trattoria’s – known as Restaurants Italy.
DESIGNER LABELS & SHOPPING
GIGLI SHOPPING MALL
For those who enjoy a spot of shopping the Gigli Shopping Mall Prato’s largest shopping mall is a 10 minutes taxi journey away from high street to designer labels Zara, H&M to Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and more.
You will find here a wide mix of retail stores and eateries in a bustling shopping complex with whimsical accents on Via San Quirico, 165, 50013 Campi Bisenzio FI, Italy
Myself and Jenny just couldn’t help ourselves as we were both tempted by the January Sales and to shop for statement staples to match our outfits ready for Milan Fashion Week.
It’s very near Prato and Florence, great if you’re looking to find good quality stores with good prices in Tuscany, this is the place to be.
DISCOVER A TASTE OF CULTURE THROUGH CUISINE
OPERA’ ARTE & RESTUARANT – ART HOTEL MUSEO
One of the best things about staying in a hotel in the country you’re visiting is to sample their local food and wine which means more pasta and wine for me to try out and taste. The restaurant’s wide choice of wine selection on display showcases a library bookcase is every wine sommeliers dream with all the Chianti to satisfy discerning clientele just for you keen avid wine lovers.
Art Hotel Museo The maître d‘ hôtel head waiter, were so accommodating to us it made our stay very special indeed and look forward to return soon. I forgot to tell them that Jenny was gluten free before arriving and straight away they were able to serve Jenny hot Gluten Free bread & pasta in Italian ‘Sensi Glutine’ . I also had a selection of salmon, seafood, liver and pizza known as pinsa from Roma cooked differently.
I loved this as I don’t eat fresh shellfish on a regular basis so this was lovely treat for me and so healthy too. For a taste of authentic Tuscan cuisine I recommend the Pasta Dish with a twist Tortello of Val Bisenzio with wild boar ragu goes down well with a glass of Chianti red. Their wine taste so exquisite and this was made in the region we were staying in Tuscany.
An extensive breakfast buffet is available every morning serving an array of fresh fruit, cold cut meats, fresh pastry’s, cereal and more.
A variety of cold and hot beverages from fresh juices to tea and italian coffee too is a great to way to get your mornings off to a good start each day.The Art Restaurant serves authentic Tuscan specialities, along with classic Italian recipes from the Menu beginning with Starters, Pasta, Rice to Main Courses to side dishes. Room Service orders from the food menu option is also available from 4 Euro’s. After dinner why not head over to The American bar is the ideal place for a cocktail or local liqueur which my favourites are Aperol Spritz or Campari and relax on the comfy sofa’s or at the bar to unwind in the evenings. We wanted the full Italian experience as it was great to visit other part’s of Italy during our Press Trip over the 4 day weekend before heading to Milan.
Guests can enjoy free access to a partner well-equipped fitness centre, set 100 yards away. Staff are available 24 hours a day and can recommend sights and restaurants nearby.
HOW TO GET THERE
Flying into Tuscany: main airports in Pisa and Florence. Tuscany has two international airports, the Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa and Firenze-Peretola Airport in Florence serves both Europe including connecting international destinations.
From the U.K Pisa is easily accessed by a short haul flight journey duration of 2 hour and 5 minutes from London Stanstead with Ryanair and cost approximately £ 123.98 Return which is fantastic value. You can always rely on Ryanair for competitive price and great customer service with a warm welcome from it’s friendly staff who are always very helpful.
Airport Transfer’s from Pisa Airport into the City Centre I would suggest taking a Taxi outside the Airport as it’s the easier option than taking public transport and cost approx 20 Euro’s. Mainland Treno train services from Pisa Centrale Stazione are available and run hourly via Firenze Santa Maria to Prato Centrale Stazione or direct services run throughout intervals daily depending on the train schedules timetable.
For more information and booking enquiries on Flights to Pisa & Hotel Reservations including the Hotel Restaurant at Art Hotel Museo Prato Italy, please visit
ART HOTEL MUSEO
Viale della Republica 289
59100, Prato Italy
Standard Hotel Rates apply so please Inquire with the Hotel’s Reservations Team prior to making a Booking
– Rates Per Night for 1 person each Staying in a Classic Room.
Room Only Rate is 81 Euro’s and Rate with Breakfast Included 85.50 Euro’s.
OPERA ARTE & RESTAURANT
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Disclosure: #AD A huge thank you to Art Hotel Museo for hosting me and for providing a wonderful, stay in Prato. As always, all opinions are my own and I will never promote something I don’t personally use and believe in, regardless of who foots the bill. Also I would like to Thank ryanair.com for sponsoring my return flights itinerary between Pisa, Milan and London during Camera Moda Milano Men’s Fashion Week and to both companies for making this trip possible. Please note prices quoted in this article will be subject to change by the companies mentioned e.g. ryanair.com and Art Hotel Museo.
Some of the above links are affiliate links and I will earn a tiny percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting The Joey Journal!
What will you be up to this Bank Holiday Weekend? Nevertheless I hope you make the most it before the new season starts and we begin to see Autumn season again. I don’t think I’ve ever planned that far ahead even though its already just around the corner and we a see a shift again in our wardrobe from spring/summer to autumn/winter styles to dictate what we wear day to day can be exciting also as our favourite staples get their chance to take centre stage.
Today I took a walk from Trafalgar Square and while I was there visited the National Portrait Gallery for a moment of peace away from the Hustle and Bustle of London town just slightly after lunch time. It’s always good to walk on foot if you have the time to spare as you watch the people go by and spontaneously find new places to check out one being unique Hotels with a quiet bar as well as a luxury dining room with exquisite ambience. After a busy morning you’d want to find somewhere to relax and unwind to spend the rest of your lazy afternoon. I’d just arrived at this Hotel on the corner of Suffolk Place on Haymarket where a friend and I decided to pop in for quick drink The Brumus Bar and Restaurant located inside the Haymarket Hotel before heading over to The Haymarket Hotel Bar later in the evening.
All Photo Credits: Jenny Pickets Styling
The hotel interiors were very elegant and quirky as I noticed the Canine Doggy Pictures upholstered onto the back of the bar chairs and restaurant in a regal purple and pink fuchasia appealed to me. For all you pet lovers at home as they say a man’s best friend is also his dog so immediately I felt very at home here. I thought it had a personal touch as well as being distinctly sophisticated which stood out as a style statement. I’m really impressed from what I’ve seen so far even though it was just a brief visit I’d definitely would pop in again for the foreseeable future if I ever happen to be just passing by in the local area.
Not forgetting AC and Inter Milan Football Clubs for all you avid sports fans out there. For those intrigued about discovering Milan, if you like Paris then you came to the right place for sought after luxury designer shopping and high end restaurants take your fancy
The city’s historical landmarks the Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral testify to centuries of art and culture including Leonardo da vinci’s mural ‘the last supper’ housed in the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent pays homage to the grandeur of Italian Renaissance.
THE BEST HOTELS IN MILAN
NYX HOTEL MILANThis stylish new concept and contemporary hotel in the heart of Milan’s city centre is every fashionista’s dream as it’s very close to all the main attractions and just a stone’s throw away from the shopping Mecca of via Corso Buenos Aires and Central Station area of Eateries, bars and bustling nightlife. Metro station access Republica, Centrale and Porto Venezia are all within walking distance from the hotel.
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THINGS TO TRY AND EXPERIENCE
DUOMO DI MILANO CATHEDRAL
The historic Landmark Duomo di Milano is one of Milan’s most treasured gems being the most grandest Cathedrals in the world that you will ever encounter with its Gothic architecture is quite impressive in all it’s all awe and beauty. I really do think it’s worth visiting and you can gain access to the inside of the building by buying a ticket pass for a couple of hours at a price of 3-4 Euro’s. Tickets can be purchased by the issuing tourist ticket office nearby which is not alot as you get to admire the art work of the cathedrals stained glass windows and visit the Crypt in the lower levels of the building. Separate passes for lift access to the roof is also available at a extra cost too for great views over the city.
Top image: Stain Glassed Window. This image Rooftop of Milan’s Cathedral
Just imagine the streets aligned with an array of your favourite restaurants and bars to cater to all cuisines both local and international taste this would be where it’s at. It’s like a mini Amsterdam situated along the canal as you watch the day go by. But just remember restaurants close at 3pm and re-open at 7pm to bear this in mind compared to what you’re used to elsewhere in the world. But you must try The Apitervo bars and restaurants who offer a complimentary drink and a food buffet offered at various places along the canal and rather enjoyed taking a stroll along the canal and worth exploring day or night.
MILAN FASHION WEEK
DISCOVER A TASTE OF CULTURE THROUGH CUISINE
OSTERIA MAMMA ROSA
The first thing which comes to mind when you think about living the Italian way of life is culture through cuisine and only the finest authentic food can be found at this Top Milanese Restaurant Osteria Mamma Rosa just off the trendy Corso Buenos Airies. My favourite signature dish here has to be the Sea Bass prepared the Liguria way served with potatoes’ as an alternative to the Grilled Seabass which is also delightfully sumptuous. On arrival prosecco is served before dinner as a gesture of good will and the atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming at this family run restaurant in the heart of Milan.
Ligurian way Sea Bass Fillet with violet potatoes, olives, and “pinoli” pine nuts
In Italy there are so much choice when it comes to desert especially the selection of Gelato Icecream you can find in various icecream palours dotted around the city such as this place I found ‘Vechi’. The mango sorbet and strawberry with a bit of chocolate was the best way to cool off during a hot summers day in the city while sight seeing in Milan.
The signature drink when you come to Italy had to be my favorite always the Aperol Spritz that really reminds of summer and it’s so refreshing with its blend of Aperol liqueur, Prosecco and Soda Water combination is my go to drink during Milan Fashion Week.
DESIGNER FASHION LABELS & SHOPPING
GALLERIA EMANUELE VITTORIO II
CORSO BUENOS AIRES
The Corso Buenos Aires the equivalent of London’s Oxford Street you’ll find everything from high street brands, independent small boutiques to designer labels and shop till your heart’s content if you wish. Compared to the shopping streets of London it’s less overcrowded and a bit more laid back so you can shop with ease.
VIA MONTENAPOLEONE MILAN’S DESIGNER SHOPPING STREET
When you come to Milan I highly recommend checking out the Montenapoleone District for its luxury fashion boutiques serving the well heeled and discerning clientele. If you’re after the latest styles from the international catwalks you will find it here from big name luxury fashion houses such as Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabanna, Missoni, Versace and many more. This neighborhood is rich in history showcasing fine craftsmanship based on tradition to luxury fashion where money talks in this town. Once a upon a time the street was home to aristocrats and the choice of wealthy families who resided here to open ateliers, boutiques and jewelers.
HOW TO GET THERE
Milan has two Airports Malpensa and Linate that serve both Europe as well as connecting International destinations worldwide. The airport with the closest proximity to the City is Linate which is 20 mins a Taxi to the city center and Malpensa 45 mins drive away.
From the U.K Milan is easily accessed by a short haul flight journey duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes from London Gatwick Airport with EasyJet and cost approximately £ 89 return which is fantastic value. You can always rely on EasyJet for competitive price and great customer service with a warm welcome from it’s friendly staff who are always very helpful.
I really recommend booking the extra add-ons when booking your flight through EasyJet such as extra leg room and speedy boarding as it makes all the difference so you can travel with ease and not need to worry about being in held up so you spend less time at the Airport.
Airport Transfer’s from Linate into the City Centre I would suggest taking a Taxi outside the Airport as it’s the easier option than taking public transport and cost approx 20 – 30 Euro’s or there’s the option of using an UBER which is available in Milan too if you prefer using this service is present in many countries worldwide.
For more information and booking inquiries on Flights to Milan Linate or Malpensa please visit EasyJet Airline
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Disclosure: #AD I would like to Thank EasyJet.com for sponsoring my Travel during Camera Moda Milano Men’s Fashion Week and making this trip possible. All Opinions Expressed will be my own and prices quoted in this article will be subject to change by the companies mentioned e.g. EasyJet
Disclosure: #AD A huge thank you to EasyJet.com for sponsoring my return flights itinerary between Milan and London during Uomo Camera Moda Milano Men’s Fashion Week. As always all opinions will be my own and I only choose to review brands I would use my myself to give honest feedback about my experiences during a review.
If you’ve got any questions or would like to discuss a collaboration, get in touch! My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
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Disclaimer: I do use affiliate links, and some of the items I feature have been gifted. I also include occasional sponsored posts, however these will be marked as sponsored or a collaboration. However I will only feature brands and items that I really love and that are my style!
SPONSORED CONTENT FROM AROUND THE WEB
When it comes to taking the best photo’s for your instagram feed to share on social media it’s always great when you capture those insta worthy moments to create engaging content
I often find that when I travel to a new city I feel inspired to take photographs during my travels whether it’s a short weekend break to something more long haul on my journeys. The fascination with hotel interiors often gets me excited when I arrive at a new destination to take in my surroundings and a bit of culture too.
Every city is different in it’s own unique way and London is no exception known for its cosmopolitan style as one of the world’s most stylish city’s. When it comes to luxury Hotels I feel so privileged to have London within easy reach on my door stop to explore and discover unique experiences I encounter.
If you love experiencing luxury hotels as much as I do then you will be very enthusiastic to showcase the best that London has to offer whether it’s a day visit or an overnight it’s all about making sure you’re stay is a memorable one.
Here are two of my favourite Hotel’s to visit while I’m in town such as The Rosewood Hotel in Holborn and The Ned in the City of London. Both times I visited each hotel it has been to pop in for a social visit for Sunday lunch, Birthday Celebrations or Evening Drinks as these hotels have a great atmosphere to entertain and relax in wonderful surroundings. The Ned London has quite an Art Deco feel on the ground floor with a selection of restaurants, bars and live jazz band playing on the ground floor and not bad either for a former converted Bank Vault.
If you’re looking for a home away from home feel then be sure to check out The Rosewood Hotel as it’s very much like living an Alice in Wonderland fantasy – but at the same time where East meets West. You can certainly find your inner zen here to relax in their variety of restaurants and bars in style as I did during London Fashion Week.
The Hotel Lobby at The Rosewood London
THE NED LONDON
The Restaurants on the ground floor – The Ned London
All Photo’s – Nadia Rashid
To find out more about The Rosewood Hotel and The Ned you can follow their social media on @rosewoodlondon @thenedlondon and visit their websites below
Disclaimer: Some of the above links are affiliate links and I will earn a tiny percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. In any case as always, all opinions will be my own. Thanks for supporting The Joey Journal!