Florence Travel Guide Part II
Part 1 of the Florence Travel Guide was all about places you should visit in this lovely city. Since Italian food requires a post of its own, here is Part II of my Florence Travel Guide dedicating to eating!
It goes without saying that you should eat as much pasta in Italy as humanly possible. Despite the heat, we managed to fit in a huge lunch and dinner every day to make sure we got out annual pasta quota in!
When people say ‘pasta is pasta’ then I wholeheartedly disagree! You haven’t had pasta until you’ve been served the perfect al-dente pasta with a secret family sauce by a little old nona. Stereotypical, yes, but it just adds to the authenticity of the experience!
(Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze, Italy)
Ignore the pictures of this place on google maps because they look as if the place has been condemned. When we visited in September, it was full of locals sitting outside enjoying the balmy weather and the fabulous food!
The dishes was so reasonable that we thought we would get an starter, two small size pasta dishes and a main size pasta. When we were into our third huge dish we realised we’d ordered enough to feed a small family…. and some!
One of the specials was the cured beef involtini with goats cheese and an olive. Both the meat and cheese melted in your mouth and was full of flavour! But the dish that stole the show was the truffle gnocchi. OH MY! If you go you must promise me that you’ll try this!
(Via dell’Orto, 35, 50124 Firenze, Italy)
This restaurant was a little off the beaten track but it was well worth the walk in the scorching heat. It’s run by an Italian family and you feel like you’re eating in someone’s house.
Mr TUQ loves truffles so he went for the truffle pasta and I indulged in the the most juicy pippi pasta. We also had a little side dish of melon wrapped in prosciutto – a new favourite of ours! Although the food was simple, the ingredients spoke for themselves. The nona loved that we practically licked our plates clean and rewarded us with a little grappa!
(Piazza degli Ottaviani, 16r, 50123 Firenze, Italy)
Our friend, Joe, told us we couldn’t visit Florence without a visit to his favourite restaurant for florentine steak. Just be warned that this isn’t a ‘normal steak’. A florentine for one weighs about 1kg and requires the waiter to carve the meat off the bone into more manageable fillets!
I think Mr TUQ was regretting eating his entree of truffle pasta before this baby come out! The poor ladies next to us ordered a Florentine for two and there eyes practically fell out of their head when it arrived to their table. Needless to say, they didn’t even make a dent in it!
Make sure you book because this place is incredibly busy. Also probably think about wearing a flexible waistband to dinner… trust me you’re going to need every bit of stomach space you have!
(Via dei Neri 74 R, 50122, Florence, Italy)
This is the ‘fast food’ joint of Florence. You’ll probably see the line before you actually see this little hole in the wall. The menu is simple, huge focaccias stuffed with everything from pork to cheese, truffles and salami. There is also a little self service wine stand… Two euros for as much as you want to guzzle. There aren’t tables or chairs, rather everyone opts to congregate and mangiare together on the street!
Gelato needs it’s own section because…. well it’s gelato!
When we picked up the keys to our place, a very trendy young guy basically wrote us an itinerary of all of his favourite places to eat in Florence. In between writing down his favourite pasta places, he also wrote down his favourite gelato places. He even bothered going to the detail of letting us know his favourite flavours at each place. My type of guy!
We went to all of his gelateria’s and some. All he recommended was to stay away from the gelato shops in the centre of town which have gelato piled high. He said they may look pretty but they will taste pretty ordinary… by Italian standards that is!
(Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25-red, 50124 Firenze, Italy) – Try the sesame or fruity flavours. The lemon gelato was perfectly tangy!
(Piazza Dei Frescobaldi, 8/red, 50125 Firenze, Italy) – In this particular gelateria you will need to go to the counter to get a gelato ticket first. Once you’ve paid then you walk over to the gelato counter, hand over your ticket and pick your flavours! Try the chocolate, hazelnut or rice flavours.
(Via della Spada, 52, 50123 Firenze, Italy)
Before our dinner reservation at Buca Mario we had an hour or so to kill and our feet were completely worn out by that stage! We found this cute little wine bar down the road and settled in for a Tuscan vino. I can’t remember what it was but we tried a red wine from the shop owner’s vineyard which was fabulous!
(Via de’ Bardi, 46R, 50125 Firenze, Italy)
If you fancy trying some fabulous Italian wines then step into Signor Vino. You can sit up at the bar in the wine shop or out on the balcony which overlooks the Ponte Vecchio. Of course, don’t leave Tuscany without trying one of their famous Barolo wines!
(Via di S. Niccolò, 55r, 50125 Firenze, Italy)
If you’re thirsty on your way back down from the Piazzale Michaelangelo then stop in at this rooftop bar. It’s great for a little people watching and well deserved beverage after your walk up and down all those stairs.
If you’re looking to things to see and do between all that eating and drinking then take a peek at Part I of my Florence Travel Guide right here.
Until next time, ciao Florence!