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Nicky Swallow head shot - Condé Nast Traveler

Nicky Swallow

Contributing Writer

Contributing Writer

A classical musician by training, Nicky has been living in Florence since the 1980s and has been writing about Florence, Tuscany, and all things Italian for the past 20 years. She still lives in the Tuscan capital, but travels extensively throughout Italy for both work and pleasure and is particularly enamored with southern Italy. She is a regular contributor to many print and online publications, including Condé Nast Traveler, the Telegraph, and the Guardian. She also runs a music festival in the Val d’Orcia, Tuscany.


A squeeze of a sandwich shop doling out panini the likes of which you’ve never seen.


With three tasting menus and a calm, cool elegance, this is a place for a special treat.

La Ménagère

One of Florence’s coolest, day-into-night hangouts offering a little bit of everything—in terms of both menus and crowds.


An under-the-radar gem with astonishingly good food and keen prices.

Gunè San Frediano

This combo cocktail bar/restaurant is gaining a reputation as one of the city’s more interesting dining spots.

Hotel Il Pellicano

An Italian coastal classic, yet fresh as a popsicle, Il Pellicano continues to convince with a well-judged mix of retro glamour, glorious seafront location, and choreographed service.

Le Sirenuse

Le Sirenuse in Positano remains a well-tailored pocket of extraordinary atmosphere and service—hotel time-travel at its best.

Italy Is Reopening in Bits and Pieces—Here's What It Feels Like

Stage two brings a few new freedoms, but plenty of uncertainty, too.

AquaFlor Firenze

Indulge in olfactory overload. 

What It's Like to Be in Italy During the Coronavirus Lockdown

The Piazza del Duomo is empty, and Italians will play instruments out their windows tonight in a nationwide concert.

The Mall Firenze

Culture vultures pack into the Uffizi gallery, fashionistas flock to this high-end designer outlet village in the Tuscan countryside.

Angela Caputi Giugiù

This costume jewelry business launched in the 1970s, and has stayed true to its principles even while rising to international fame.

Eataly Firenze

A one-stop-shop for the very best of Italian food and wine.

Richard Ginori 1735

This porcelain shop is one of the loveliest stores in the city—one that's almost too beautiful to enter.

Atelier Scriptorium Firenze

This tiny atelier has a marble floor, dusty-blue walls, work benches covered in projects, and glass cabinets filled with objéts.

Borgo San Jacopo

Michelin-starred food with Ponte Vecchio views.

Cantinetta Antinori

Housed in the vaulted ex-cellars of 15th-century Palazzo Antinori, this upscale, elegant restaurant breathes aristocratic Old Florence.