Pt I : Firenze guide (Coffee, Shopping, Aperitivo, Panino, Food)
A short guide to the city I love and the inspiration for my first collection Maledetti Toscani.
This is a sneaky shortcut for all my friends who text me what to do in the city and it allows for some self promotion, cause that never hurts
I should delve into some history first but feel quite unqualified to do so at the moment in a captivating, synthesised manner. So stay tuned for the history & culture part which should be coming soon.
I like my coffee macchiato how about you?
Coffee in Italy is a wonderful experience 10 different people asking for different sorts of coffee standing at the bar. Macchiato, doppio espresso, cappuccino, espresso con latte freddo, espresso, americano, caffè con latte di mandorla…anyways you get the vibe
So anyways I recommend the following:
Gilli - This place has two experiences - the locals experience is standing at the bar whereas sitting on the square is also cool, although it is more of the touristy approach and your coffee will easily cost you 6 euros as a result. However if you like people watching I do recommend.
Caffe Cibreo - cute, Italian breakfast in a less touristy area…
Amblé - A secluded little place adorned with colourful chairs and a touch of tropical, it has more options for breakfast and offers different juices…it’s a touch less Italian and has a bit of funky twist to it.
Florence has a couple of gems that will make you the most wonderful sandwiches, great for lunch on the go as you make your way from one side to the other and immerse yourself in culture..
Ok everyone has heard of the antico vinaio so I guess it does merit a spot here, though I confess I have never eaten there…I don’t like to queue and here queuing is the standard even in lockdown Florence.
I fratellini - I have eaten here - and I do recommend … very good and not so much queuing. Unless this post goes viral which I don’t think it will but who knows…
While we are on the subject - let’s talk about Trippa and Lampredotto
These are two Florentine classic dishes, I don’t care to describe to you what they are as you might refuse to eat them, but you must try them as they are a true florentine speciality.
Procacci - historical aperitivo place which has the best truffle sandwiches that combined with a Bloody or Virgin Mary are there statement aperitivo. It is also a great little shop to buy some special Italian delicatesse
Bulli & Balene - In Piazza della Passera which is very fun and has lots of restaurants and bars. Has a good vibe and has some nice crostini you can taste.
La Volpe e l’uva - Cute little bar in a little piazza near the Ponte Vecchio
Il Santino - great place for a glass of wine and a platter of prosciutto or some typical Italian bruschette.
For the location :
Serre Torrigiani - it feels like you are no longer in Florence as you are surrounded by greenery, jasmine and flowers. I recommend the back of the space as it is more secluded and private
Forte di Belvedere - beautiful aperitivo with a view on Florence from above…very romantic (hint hint)
La Loggia - Nice views + central location. Usually nice views means the location is not very central. La Loggia is in S. Spirito and overlooks the square... a great place to be at golden hour.
Camillo - it's historical, it's a classic, a rite of passage in Florence...p.s. try the fried mozzarella and the sedano bottarga salad.
Cocolezzone - you can’t get more authentic and rustic, it’s simple yet absolutely delicious.
Il Santo Bevitore - great place to have a cute little dinner
La Vecchia Bettola - outside of the walls of the city, it is a wonderful restaurant, you are often sat on a long bench next to other diners of the restaurant. Not the most covid friendly but a wonderful experience. P.s if you go I recommend the most divine penne alla bettola...
Omero - A wonderful restaurant in the hills around Florence, very traditional with your classic florentine dishes.
Le Tre Panche - A wonderful view of Florence + a lot of truffle - how can you go wrong?
Most ice cream is decent if not Good. I would avoid Places where the colors of the ice cream look oversaturated and avoid any blue flavor. Venchi is boring they even have it in airports these days, so ignore the chocolate smell and fountain and meander your way through the small crooked streets to any of the listed places below. However I should emphasize that Vivoli is the best…
Gelateria della Passera
Gelateria dei Neri
Very big detour - S. Gimignano is a very beautiful little medieval town and there is also an award winning ice cream Shop in the main square.
I’m pro small holes in the wall and little realities that have a person you can talk to and that express a specific point of view…so here goes a list of mostly small artisanal realities or as we say in Florence Botteghe…
Bjork - Not quite the Florentine bottega style you would imagine but a very cool Scandi style concept store featuring young emerging designers, a cool magazine selection and yours truly Foularas.
Profumeria di Santa Maria Novella - the original store near the station is like taking a step back in time - you enter an old monastery and access a world almost like that in the novel “the name of the rose”.
Ginori - amazing hand painted plates that span a whole range of tastes. Fun fact the creative director of Gucci - Alessandro Michele also manages and coordinated the look of this shop. Enter the shop to see how a world of wonder unlocks.
Loretta Caponi - hand embroidered napkins, lace pjs - it’s like being Wendy in Peter Pan. When you step into this store a world of wonderful dresses and nightgowns awaits you. Even if this is not your thing you should still wander inside.
Jeweler shop somewhere along Borgo Sant Apostoli- Florence is quite small so often I remember where something is but not the name. Luckily I have been able to retrace my steps on google maps. Anyways this shop is fab the owner is passionate about history and studies all the gems and jewels of old portraits and remixes these jewels into a necklace or an earring you can buy. The style of jewelers is eclectic and there is something for everyone. If you are lucky and he fancies talking to you he might make you a necklace on the spot cause he feels inspired.
L’antica Cuoieria Toscana - Florence and Tuscany is known for its leather yet most of the stores I know and you see are the classic tourist traps. However I do recommend l’Antica Cuoiera Toscana. Great shoes at a great price.
Street Doing Vintage - the name should give you a hint, they are a wonderful vintage store. They deserve a special shout-out - they are super passionate and have a store which has some great finds ! The owner Gianfranco is a charming man who started the shop way before vintage was cool. As a result, I have found some amazing vintage Chanel, Pucci and Givenchy as well as Missoni, not just things from 10 years ago but actual legit iconic pieces.
Zecchi - For the artists out there, this has every pigment and paintbrush your heart may desire. Friends of mine have asked me to ship to them paints and brushes from this store saying that nothing beat their quality.