Pinay artist opens hostel in Florence, Italy

The Good Life - By John Paul 'JP' Tanchanco

Posted at Dec 04 2012 04:10 AM | Updated as of Dec 05 2012 12:39 AM

FLORENCE, Italy - Pinay artist Romina Diaz opens a hip hostel that caters to global tourists and Pinoy travelers.

Diaz is a long-time friend of mine who graciously introduced me to the awesome world of Florence during my visit to Italy.

The Entrepreneurial Artist

Diaz moved to Florence when she was 20. She won an art scholarship at the Accademia di Belle Arti, the prestigious school that houses the original David sculpture of the great master Michelangelo.

Romina Diaz

"I'm proud to have been exposed to the Arts at an early age," she said.

Diaz comes from a family of renowned artists, with her parents being Duemila Gallery's director and owner Silvana, and popular Artist Ramon Diaz. Her aunt happens to be Miss Universe winner and actress Gloria Diaz of the Philippines.

"My photography is my most recognized art. I send over a lot of my works to our gallery in Manila ... they are available for sale there," she said.

Diaz is known for her photography and mixed media art, having been featured in several shows at the Ayala Museum in Makati and Nono Sono Clandestino in Florence.

I'm really proud to own one of her signature works. Her art has touched the hearts of many prominent collectors such as former President Erap Estrada.

Diaz' latest mix media artwork that features Michaelangelo's David was exhibited in this year's Manila Art festival 2012

Inspired by her work

Diaz continued her art and studies in Florence while working in a hostel and part-timing as a tour guide and blues-soul singer.

"I worked for one of Italy’s best hostels and started doing gastronomic tours of the best food places in Florence. I loved what I was doing and thought that one day it would be good to get into this line of business myself," she said.

Diaz' work in the hostel industry and her passion for music, art and food inspired her to dream of a tourist place that would be an expression of everything she loved in life.

Grabbing the opportunity

One day, Diaz was given an opportunity to realize this dream through a collaborative partnership with her business partner and friend, Lorenzo Raggiunti Bruzicelli.

"I'm very grateful that Lorenzo trusted me to do a hostel project with him. We wanted to create a hostel environment where budget travelers could stay but still experience the art, beauty and personalized service not normal to other hostels," she said.

Tasso Hostel Florence

Tasso Hostel Florence was born out of her business partnership with Bruzicelli.

"Our hostel caters to the curious but discerning traveler. The adventurer who is in search of excellent personality and service in their accommodation ," adds Diaz.

Inside the Tasso Hostel

The Tasso hostel is situated in a very local area that's still near the tourist center so they have the best of both worlds.

The hostel is surrounded by establishments of antique craftsmen and artists such as violin makers. It has close ties with Tuscan chefs, gelato makers, gastronomic guides and sommeliers that guests can tap into. It has also has a Theater House for artists of all types of media to share or showcase their expressions to guests.

The perfect Pinoy accommodation

"Being born and raised in the Philippines, I made sure this hostel can cater to every need a Pinoy requires such as reasonable rates, Asian and Pinoy food stuff, cheap laundry, music and entertainment, culture, comfort and many more," added Diaz.

I think the best resource that Pinoy hostel guests would love is Diaz herself. Diaz is fluent in Tagalog, English and Italian, and practically knows everyone in Florence. Tasso Hostel guests would enjoy the benefits of avoiding the annoying language barriers by being able to be guided perfectly to the right places and people by Diaz.

Brian Tanchanco, Romina Diaz and JP Tanchanco enjoying a stroll at the Duomo landmark of Florence

So, if you're planning your next vacation to Florence, Italy, think of Romina Diaz and visit the Tasso Hostel.

Tasso Hotel is located in Via Villani #15 , Florence, Italy

Anyone interested may book through [email protected] You may also visit their website,

John Paul C.Tanchanco is a travel, food, party, film and music aficionado. He is also an economist, businessman, MYX/Awit award-winning media producer and Kala guitarist.

"Tha Good Life" is a special feature for about pop culture, travel, music, entertainment, business, food, clubbing, shopping and events.

For questions, features and comments, e-mail him at [email protected] or [email protected].