now, i’m not one for ‘rooftop views’ – even as a child i thought the eiffel tower was overrated: from this high up its just lotsa tiny unidentifiable roofs. same thing about the empire state building. my indifference to skyscraper-views was recently confirmed when phil and i went to china, where every big city had a bar/restaurant on the 215th floor with *the best* view of the city which you *absolutely have to go to or you will miss out on the most wonderful experience ever*. turns out, from a birdseye view so high, they all kinda look alike. so we preferred to stay at street level.

I much prefer mid-level rooftop views, where you can still see the curves, the definitions, the particularities of the city’s buildings.  the centre pompidou restaurant in paris, for instance, is one good example of this. and so is the excelsior bar in florence. it makes you feel both close to these buildings and slightly above the havoc of the narrow streets heaving with tourists.

so if you cannot afford to stay at the excelsior, you can probably save up to buy a drink on its rooftop bar. it’ll be worth it. and on the eve of new year’s eve, when with new friends in a foreign city, why not go there for a few tipples and a bite to eat?


the gang


postcard perfect, but much nicer in the flesh.


ah, c’est chouchou!

westen excelsior hotel bar

piazza ognissanti, 3

on the top

(shanghai rooftop views were nice

once i put a few jazzy filters in:


but the street level views…


they were just way more fun)



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