As some of you may know (or may have surmised), Sex and the City was the inspiration for the name of this column. As Valentine’s Day nears, there is no better time to recall that glorious episode when Carrie celebrates her life as a single woman and states her love for herself (and, of course, the city of New York). Therefore, I am dedicating this article to all those fabulous women out there who have learned to love themselves whether they are in a relationship or not, and to the romantic and super-chic city of Florence. It’s a Valentines’ Day article about love for self, love for fashion and love for our great city.
You feel most sexy and confident when you’re in love and loved in return by that special someone. Love is that supreme feeling that keeps us alive, happy … and looking great! As the cover story of this issue states, all you need is love! And Valentine’s is a day to shine and feel fabulous!
Valentine’s Day, however, was originally a religious day, dedicated to the priest Valentine who served in Rome during the third century. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
So, how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with style, and love? Let me count the ways!
Indulge with chocolate.
The Valentine’s Day that we know today is sadly mostly marked with silly cards and cheesy heart-shaped gifts, but one gift that deserves its important role is the king of Italian Valentine’s Day, Perugina’s Bacio. Literally meaning ‘kiss,’ this small chocolate topped with a hazelnut is sold all year round but is particularly a symbol of this day because a quote about love, translated into different languages, is tucked inside the foil wrapping of every Bacio … and what is love without chocolate!
Say it with flowers.
Simple and thoughtful, flowers are still the all-time classic Valentine’s Day gift. Handpick the blooms that best suit your beloved and this gift is sure to touch his or her heart.
Enjoy a romantic evening, in style.
If you are one of the lucky ones who have a special date, make dinner at home and choose a special outfit for the night (including super-sexy, extravagant lingerie). If cooking’s not your thing, just order-in-food might not be the focus, anyway. Pamper yourself with luxurious lotions and pay attention to every grooming detail. Keep true to your own style, but consider what your lover will like. Feel free to experiment: anything from retro stockings and corsets for a burlesque look to studded heels, or maybe just romantic silk and lace. (If you do buy something new, select items you will be able to use in the upcoming season, spring. In this way, your Valentine’s Day purchases will be long-term gifts to yourself. Flowers, pastel colors and lace are musts this season, as well as feather headpieces and big bead necklaces that you can wear over sweaters until the weather warms up.)
Love the city.
Whether you are spending the day alone, with a group of single friends, or with your beloved, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the city. Walk around the streets, warm up with a hot chocolate and visit some of Florence’s historic buildings. If you haven’t already, see Rooms of the Muses exhibition at the Uffizi Gallery (www.unannoadarte.it). On until May 11, 2014, the selection of 100 paintings from the Molinari Prandelli Collection is full of the famous collector’s passion for the Baroque. If sensual sculpture is your thing, head to the Medici Chapel museum (www.uffizi.firenze.it; on until March 15) and drink in Aurelio Amendola’s breath-takingly beautiful photography of statuary, including Michelangelo’s David, at Il Potere dello sguardo (The Power of the Gaze) exhibition.
Celebrate unconditional love.
Show your pet some extra love, too. That furry companion gives you unconditional love all year round, regardless of the date on the calendar. If you’re inclined to pamper your pooch or kitty, shops such as Zei Cinofilia, via Colletta Pietro, 30, offer a wide array of treats and luxuries for our furry friends.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!
Article updated onFebruary 10, 2014.