In Audrey‘s Summer 2014 issue, we asked five tastemakers to give us a glimpse into their must-go destinations around the world. Here, chief technology officer of the online women’s travel magazine and community Girls That Roam Geena “Super G” Dabadghav shares her favorite place, Florence, Italy.
Travel philosophy: Land somewhere and explore everything.
Why: The experience of Florence — the food, the people, the markets — is so unique that the combination of it all makes me want to return to live there.
Do: Florence is one of Italy’s bas- tions of art and culture. Here you can take in where sculptor Michelangelo and poet Dante Alighieri lived and are laid to rest. Marvel at the impressive artwork at Il Duomo di Firenze, Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and the Uffizi Gallery. Explore the local boutiques and galleries along the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Eat and drink your way through Florence and work off the calories climbing the steps up Giotto’s Bell Tower.
Stay: Hotel Dante, a charming yet modern place to stay, tucked away just off Piazza Santa Croce. If you want to please your literary friend in love with E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View (and Merchant Ivory’s acclaimed adaptation thereof), the Villa di Maiano, which has been the location of several notable films, is the place to stay.
Eat: Ristorante Osteria Zio Gigi. I couldn’t get enough of their spaghetti and veal and beef meatballs, lightly covered in a tomato sauce. It’s indescribable — you just have to taste it.
Bring: To really get to know Florence, you must walk around and discover things on your own, as guidebooks and online research barely scratch the surface. Learn Italian enough to travel comfortably since only some of the locals speak a little English. Most of the locals are nice, so bring your sense of humor and adventure, especially when it comes to communicating, and expect to slow down. A meal in Italy is an experience and an art form that lasts for hours, topped off by some of the best gelato in the world.
This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here.
Jamaica-born Geena “Super G” Dabadghav is the chief technology officer of the online women’s travel magazine and community Girls That Roam. Dabadghav has tra- versed all over the world, from India, where her family originated and she lived briefly, to more than 15 countries, including Ethiopia, Japan and Honduras. An admirer of Middle Eastern food, she still wants to see Greece and hopes to live in Italy one day.