Hello Amici miei!
As many of you may already know, I am a lover of all things Italian. From the food to the culture to the idiosyncrasies I can never get enough. So, I am going to start sharing some of my favorite things about Italy that I have collected over the years! I have about 10 pages of notes, so I am starting with these below and will share more soon. For now – what to do, where to go and a few places to eat in my beloved Firenze!
Enoteca Fuori Porta (Via Monte alle Croci 10r, phone 2324483, www.fuoriporta.it) – A very interesting list of wines by the glass in all price ranges, and a book-length list of wines by the bottle. We went for the wines by the glass on both our visits and had a mini wine tasting. The food specialty here is “crostoni” – large hunks of Tuscan bread topped with almost anything you can think of, plus melted cheese!!
Osteria del Bricco (Via San Niccolo 8r, Phone 2345037) – A small family-run place serving typical Tuscan food, with some non-traditional twists such as serving the crostini toppings separately in small bowls.
Pane e Vino (Via San Niccolo 70r, phone 2476956) – A small informal restaurant with an interesting menu that changes often.
Ristorante-Pizzeria Edi House (Piazza Savonarola 6-10/r, tel. 055-588-886). Near Via Masaccio.
Al Lume di Candela (Via delle Terme 23/r, tel. 055-294-566; closed Monday lunch and Sunday). Near Via Tornabuoni. This one is a bit fancier than some of the others and so worth a visit!
Cibreino (Piazza Ghiberti 35, tel. 055-234-1100; closed Sunday and Monday). Near Santa Croce. Next door to the famed Cibreo. There is always a line outside, super popular place. They serve a few pasta dishes, but they are famed for their delicious soups and casseroles (sformati)!
Aqua Al Due – the assagio which, translates to “sampler” in English although I choose to think of it as tastes of heaven, lol – you can sample everything from pasta dishes to entrees this is a super option! I would recommend: insalata caprese, rigatoni alle melanzane, and their signature blueberry steak, OMG! Via della Vigna Vecchia 40r; Phone: 055 284170
Tratoria ZaZa – Legendary, and such a fave. Also great for lunch, but definitely call for a rest because this place books up fast! Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26; Phone: 055 215411
Trattoria 13 Gobbi: Off the beaten path, Trattoria 13 Gobbi is absolutely worth a trip. Totally offers an authentic Italian experience you won’t get at a restaurant a block from the Duomo. A smaller restaurant, 13 (tredici in Italian) Gobbi offers an intimate and cozy setting to enjoy a meal. A local favorite. Location: Via del Porcellana 9R; Phone: 055 284015
Mamma Gina – been coming here since I was about 6! It’s a family favorite! Tell them that my family sent you. The servers have been there a really long time, their crostini is to die for, and I could eat off of this menu every day for the rest of my life and never grow tired of it! Address: Borgo Jacopo, 37; Phone: 055.239.6009
Noi Firenze – family friends own this place – the shopping is AMAZING but more than that their personalities and knowledge of the city can make a day in Florence spectacular! Please ask for Nino or Francesco and tell them you are family friends! You will be in excellent hands! Address: Via Porta Rossa 65/R – Florence; Phone: 055 210319
So the Market near San lorenzo is worth a walking through, and the Medici chapel is right there and well worth a visit if you have time. It is a bit of a hidden gem but Michelangelo created some absolutely stunning pieces for Florence’s first family who commissioned the chapel.
Santa Croce – hands down my favorite church in all of Florence. Wander through and see where some of the most brilliant minds of the Renaissance and arguably western civilization have been laid to rest, not to mention the architecture is AMAZING! Michelango’s childhood home is only a few blocks from there as well!
Piazza Signoria is a magical place to enjoy breakfast outdoors!
Piazza della republicca is a great place for afternoon coffee or a cocktail before or after dinner.
I absolutely LOVE the uffizi – but check into reservations because you can skip all the lines! It’s smart to make reservations at the often-crowded Accademia and Uffizi Gallery. Some other Florence sights — including the Bargello, Medici Chapels, and Pitti Palace — have reservation systems, and although I suggest you book a time for all of the museums, but it’s not essential to book ahead for these. The Brancacci Chapel officially requires a reservation, but it’s usually possible to walk right in and get an entry time on weekdays or any day off-season, especially before 3:30. Rick Steves actually gives a great overview of this – https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/making-museum-reservations-in-florence
The shopping is AMAZING. Via Tornabuoni is the fancy street, but the little independently owned shops are my favorite. From lovely gloves to scarves and hand sewn table linens, I always find myself with tons of bags!
ok, so this is all I am sharing for now – more to come soon!