An otherworldly Italian Grand Tour with the new Tesla Model Y - Part 2
From Carrara’s marble incredible history to the Divine Comedy, this one-thousand kilometer journey on the Tesla Model Y highlighted the California’s Suv crossover excellent technologies and the spectacular artistic expressions from the Bel Paese.
The minor historical heritage of the Italian peninsula never ceases to amaze and among the many hidden gems, there is the fortified village of Sarzana. Concealed by ancient walls, bastions and imposing towers, the orderly yet gracious urban planimetry blends decorative elements from the two regions. Characterized by pastel buildings and elegant shops, Sarzana is particularly pretty in Christmas when pasticcerie bake exquisite Panettoni and hanging lights adorn piazze e vicoli (squares and alleys).
Early next morning we depart for Florence but since the remaining Model Y range is of around 160km, we opt for a short stop at the supercharger in Forte dei Marmi. The charging intensity exceeds 190kWh and in 15 minutes we double our potential mileage bringing the total well above 300km. Again, we have no problem whatsoever with the activation of charging operation and the pool-table like smoothness of the FI-PI-LI (highway connecting Firenze-Pisa-Livorno), further heightens the cars comfort. Once in Florence, the on-board navigation chooses the shortest and least busy route towards the 25 Hour Hotel. Located in Piazza Paolino and one of the city’s most recent openings, the venue soon established itself as a lively landing place for aperitivi and little parties. Its main peculiarity though, lies in the stylistic contrast of common areas and rooms depicting Dante's vision for heaven and hell. Those who decide to stay the night in the “gironi infernali”, will sleep in very sexy while in the corridors, one can listen to the sublime “terzetti” of the Divine Comedy intepreted by Roberto Benigni.
Wow, what a Locale!
Between Michelin stars and traditional meals, Florence is certainly not shy of very special gastronomic venues and “Locale” is most certainly one of the coolest experiences the city has on offer. Housed in majestic Palazzo Concini dating back to the Renaissance, Locale offers glamorous vibes, fantastic cocktails (it is ranked 38th in the world for mixology) and a very sophisticated short menu by talented Simone Caponnetto. The “palazzo” where drinking and dining now take place, is under the supervision of Italian beni-culturali as the basement hosts Etruscan walls and cellars from the XIII century. Locale also incorporates suggestive private rooms for one-of-a-kind parties while the combination of world class cocktails and Caponnetto vibrant dishes make this address a one-stop show stylishly blending arts, mixology, glamour and good food.
For electric car owners, hotels with charging stations are ideal in alleviating range anxiety. The 25 Hours Hotel Firenze Piazza San Paolino is one of the most well-suited for electric car owners as the private garage hosts a dozen of free recharges for guests, and has an access ramp that can be easily recognised by the phrase: Welcome to Hell
A contemporary journey through light, at Palazzo Strozzi
Electricity should in the contemporary world always be sourced by renewables but aside from the source, one can say that electricity is a mean to an end for light, beauty, inspiration. From ancient Greece to the Enlightenment and all the way to our present, light creates awareness, progress, renewed philosophical ideas and of course, many works of art. Further confirmation of lights importance in human evolution can be admired in the interactive works of Scandinavian artist Olafur Eliasson, currently on display at Palazzo Strozzi. The exhibition is truly unmissable.
Florence – Rome electric drive
For many electric cars, the 290km stretch of motorway that separates Italy’s capital of Italy with Florence can be a tricky test. This is not however the case with the Model Y because by starting with fully charged batteries fully from the hotel (which kindly gave us free of charge electricity), we reached Rome with 32% battery. This latter value, is a further indication of Tesla's electric efficiency even when driving at highway speeds of 130-140km/h which are considered to be unfavorable conditions for electric vehicles.
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My childhood memories are of arts, literature and visits of far away lands and now, I love writing about tourism, travel&motoring experiences as well as gastronomic cultures. Following the Degree in History & Politics and the Masters in International Relations at London School of Economics, I start my journalist career in 2004. Since then, I made it a point to visit all of the seven continents, while daily enhancing my passion and curiosity towards cuisine, charming hospitality and millenial traditions from the beautiful Italian territory