Your guide to the best holiday destinations, as told to us by your favourite stars
We look to them for style guidance all the time; so why not travel in their footsteps too? Instep brings you the vacation hot spots that some of our favorite celebrities are flocking to this summer.
This week designers Huma and Amir Adnan share their Florence travel diary.
Adnan: This was my third time in Florence and I had primarily gone to visit PittiUomo, the largest menswear fashion trade fair in the world. It was invigorating to get to see forthcoming trends for men’s fashion and witness how designers from around the world were putting together looks. What surprised me was the fact that a lot of people knew about us [Pakistanis and our country]. I met a Turkish businessman who is interested in opening a retail chain across Pakistan and an Italian lady who had lived in Karachi.
Adnan: Florence is one of the most culturally and artistically rich cities in the world so we tried to get in as much sightseeing as we could after spending the mornings at the fair. We saw the iconic Statue of David, the spectacular River Arno, the Duomo and the various charming and vintage flea markets that dot the city.
Huma: Florence is tiny, so we walked our way around the entire city. We would come back from the fair, change into our ‘tourist’ mode (because one had to really dress up for the Pitti Fair; it’s an extremely stylish event!), grab a map and just head out. It was fabulous, like walking around a big open-air museum. The cobbled streets of Florence haven’t changed for thousands of years.
Huma: We took a train to Pisa for a day trip and managed to do the ultimate tourist-y thing - take a selfie in front of the Leaning Tower!
Adnan: It was a great feeling to see one of the wonders of the world. We climbed the 294 steps to the top and I was surprised to learn that the tower is completely hollow from inside.
Adnan: Shopping anywhere in Italy is a notch above any other city in the world. The Italians really show you how easy it is to become stylish; every person on the streets - young, old, homeless - has an innate sense of style. The shopping too, reflects this fashion-forwardness. The clothes I bought fit so well and are so much smarter than anything I own; they make me feel twenty years younger when I wear them!
Huma: Italians make the best shoes and I picked up some. It was summer so the fashion was very vintage and countryside - you would see girls in pretty floral headwear and flowy tiered dresses, very similar to my line of chikan dresses actually! I also picked up local souvenirs to bring back home for family and friends.
Adnan: Huma and I usually avoid meat when we travel so we had a lot of seafood and vegetarian dishes. Italians have some delicious aubergine and potato based dishes. The pizzas are good but there are other things, such as the ravioli, which are even better.
Huma: We wanted to be near the Pitti Palace, a gorgeous Renaissance period palace and the site of the trade fair, so we chose a small family-run hotel close by called Hotel Andrea. It was a charmingly little place - the family would cook breakfast for the guests and one could have it overlooking the city of Florence. To be honest, we prefer to stay at small boutique hotels rather than the big chains when travelling - it allows you to get a true local flavor.
Adnan: Do not take public transport when in Florence. Just grab a map and keep walking. You are supposed to get lost at least once.
Huma: Take a selfie stick! There are so many gorgeous photo ops that you don’t want to miss a single one.
Huma: A pair of comfortable jeans and a good pair of walking shoes for both us; for me, my nail art must also travel with me because I can’t live with unkempt nails.
Adnan: We went to Florence from London hence flew Lufthansa but the return trip was by PIA and I have to say it was a good experience. The staff was courteous, the food was decent and it felt good to be amongst our own people.