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Aisling Duff's Florence: 'Saturday consists of two very important things: fashion and food'



Knitwear designer Aisling Duff

Knitwear designer Aisling Duff

Knitwear designer Aisling Duff

If I had to pick one place for a weekend, it's always Florence. One of best parts of my job is getting to go there in July for Pitti Filati, an international knitwear and yarn exhibition for designers and buyers.

I'd stay in The Artists' Palace hotel, across from Piazza di San Lorenzo. It's unassuming from the front, but inside, thereare are beautifully renovated, bright, contemporary rooms, with breathtaking views of the Duomo and Basilica of San Lorenzo.

A relaxed place for an Aperol spritz is Konnubio, a fine-dining restaurant with a wine bar tucked in a courtyard, often with cool live music.

Saturday would consist of two very important things: fashion and food. I'd make time for the Museo Gucci. The cafe there is perfect for a coffee, and to peruse the art and fashion books.

For an evening meal on Saturday, I'd go to Acqua al Due, where you can order a tasting of five traditional vegetarian pasta dishes and a tasting of four Italian desserts.

Sunday would start at La Menagere, which is just three minutes from the hotel. Part bespoke lifestyle shop, part restaurant, it has a relaxed atmosphere, with the delicious smell of fresh coffee and freshly baked Nutella croissants.

Before leaving, I'd visit Florence's beautiful boutiques. My favourites are Bjork, a Nordic-style concept shop; and Flow, a cool, quirky Florentine shop with new and vintage styles.

Aisling Duff is an in-house knitwear designer for IrelandsEye, which has launched its Just Breathe collection, available from Kilkenny Shop; House of Ireland

Sunday Independent