Florence and the Machine

As my days are often dictated by the needs of my kids, running BBC, managing the rental business, planning travel and meals and FaceTime dates and everything else in between, I often find myself in a steady fog of go-go-go. I know I’m not alone here! So this weekend as my cousin Ali and I touched down in Florence I made the conscious decision to let go of all the unnecessary calendar-cramming and iPhone clutching in favor of a brief taste of la dolce vita. The art of sleeping in, taking long showers, sipping espresso and local wine, truly tasting my food, and leisurely perusing through rows and rows of street vendors, and pausing long enough to enjoy the talents of local musicians and artists replaced the art of conquering my never ending to-do list.

We stayed in the casually luxurious Hotel Gallery Art on the Ponte Vecchio, characterised by extraordinarily friendly and helpful staff who provided us an upgrade upon arrival, thoughtful restaurant recommendations and a pocket guide to the best jogging routes through Florence. This impressed me almost as much as the exterior of the building which was artfully outlined by a straight vertical stream of bicycles. Salvatore Ferragamo, owner of the Lungarno collection of hotels, must have a soft spot for the sport as the entire lobby was decorated in hip bicycle themed art. It was a welcome break from the overly fussy foyers you come to expect when traveling through the old cities of Europe.

My cousins Ali, Caitlin and I were all on the same page travel-wise. No one was interested in jam packing the itinerary; rather we took our time exploring the hidden gems of the city while still getting a broader taste of the Tuscan countryside by way of Vespa. There we rode past olive fields and opulent Italian villas, vineyards and basilicas and stopped to smell the roses (and the chianti) at hole-in-the-wall eateries that served up some of the most exquisite morsels of deliciousness one could ask for in a meal.

As we embark on our trip home I look back with a smile and ahead to our new home in Parsons Green that Brian has feverishly been unpacking and settling in during my absence. I am looking forward to getting a head start with all of you tomorrow after pressing the reset button in Florence. Now if I can get my head out of the clouds for a moment I’ll fill you in on what you can expect this week at class:

Monday: isometrics and plyometrics. Isometrics: strength training exercises involving no range of motion (think: planks and bicep curl pulses) and plyos (think high skips and leapfrog). Both will burn fat and build muscle and will leave you feeling invigorated for the rest of the day!

Tuesday: ladder workout! Make sure you have your mats and towels for this.

Wednesday: stairs and scissors. You all know the scissor kick works wonders for sculpting glutes, thighs, and abs, but there are many other Pilates-inspired variations on this simple move which will keep your body challenged and fit. Don’t miss out!

Thursday: ab rehab: a slightly less intense workout to end the week, combining fat melting cardio blitzes with core work leaving you with a sexy 6 pack. We will conclude our week with a therapeutic stretch session.

Don’t forget to send me your Fall Fitness Challenge weekly and cumulative points! Here is your healthy fall recipe. I made this dish last week and it tasted rich and filling. I was pleasantly surprised. The kids gobbled it up too which means I’ll be making it a staple.


Ciao bellas!


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