Collected by David Potter
Via di Santo Spirito, 64, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This busy, buzzy Oltrarno restaurant continues to be a personal favorite for its lively atmosphere and dependable cooking at reasonable prices. The menu offers ever-present favorites such as pasta with sweet tropea onions and cherry tomatoes as...
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ideally you'd have a whole day to appreciate the world’s foremost collection of Renaissance paintings, housed in the 16th-century headquarters of the Medici court. But for those with less time, highlights include the three great...
Via della Chiesa, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This authentic neighborhood bar, Il Chicco di Caffè (aka Lola’s), is run by Maurizio whose Mom, Lola, cooks for a truly egalitarian mix of local artisans, staff from the nearby Gucci headquarters, students and people like me (I live next door!) at...
Via Lambertesca, 18/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
You can’t visit Florence without indulging in ice cream once at the very least, but it’s not so easy to find the real deal. Carapina, gelateria of choice for cognoscenti (but often overlooked by tourists), is located a stone’s throw from the Ponte...
Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Reserve an outside table at this popular enoteca, located on a quiet piazza around the corner from the crowded Ponte Vecchio. You can order a predinner snack or, better still, cobble together a full meal from the selection of crostini with...
Piazza di San Lorenzo, 8, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Hidden away behind the stalls in the San Lorenzo market, Da Sergio turns out wholesome, unpretentious food to locals and tourists. Last time I was here I ordered tortelli di patate (potato-stuffed ravioli) with meat sauce and deep-fried calamari...
Via Santa Monaca, 3r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Know locally as S'forno, this vintage-look Santo Spirito bakery sells a fantastic selection of sweet and savoury goods and is one of the few 'panifici' in Florence to still have an on-site oven (most do their baking outside the city). The bread...
Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Foodies (and those simply interested in local color and a good meal) should head to San Lorenzo and its covered Mercato Centrale. Florence’s main market for edibles is housed in a 19th-century glass-and-iron building. On the...
Via dei Michelozzi, 9/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
In spite of featuring in all the guide books, this Santo Spirito favourite has a loyal local following, and the place is always packed out with a mix of tourists and Florentines who line up for good value, homecooked food. I would recommend...
Via de' Bardi, 58/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The name says it all: this sleek bar is set right on the south bank of the Arno, just east of the Ponte Vecchio and the sunset views of the bridge as dusk falls are indeed golden. Bag a table in the window, order a cocktail and help yourself from...
Piazza della Repubblica, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The rooftop terrace bar of the smart Rinascente department store offers some of the most stunning views in the city and the in-your-face views of the Duomo from up here really help to put Brunelleschi's monumental creation into perspective. It...
Ponte Vecchio, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the more unusual ways to see Florence is by taking a river cruise on a traditional wooden barchetto. These small boats (originally used to transport building materials) hold up to 12 passengers and ply up and down the stretch of the Arno...
Via di Santo Spirito, 4, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Adjacent to the restaurant is a cheery boutique filled with gourmet products from all over Tuscany. Thanks to the restaurant’s long-standing relationships with many of the region’s top purveyors, you’ll find high-quality olive...
R, Via de' Ginori, 8, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
La Ménagère is simultaneously a breakfast spot, a tapas and cocktail bar, a flower shop, a café, a housewares store, and a restaurant. The large space, once home to a famous Florentine home-goods emporium, is now a ramble...
Via di Camaldoli, 2r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
This natural soup-n-burger joint lies far from the tourist hordes, on a quiet residential street in the San Frediano neighbourhood. The kitchen and takeaway operation (open lunch and dinner) stands on one side of the road while opposite there is a...
Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Sitting on a hill just south of the Arno with fabulous views over the city to the hills beyond, this is one of Florence’s most beautiful churches. San Miniato was built in 1015 and has an intricately patterned green-and-white marble façade with a...
Via della Chiesa, 34R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This is one for when you are feeling homesick: Mama’s is a welcoming, American-style bakery run by ex-banker Matt and his Italian wife Cristina who serve up (delicious) freshly-baked bagels, muffins, cheesecake and other specialties from across...
Via Camillo Cavour, 3, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
Located behind the church of San Lorenzo, this is where many members of the ruling Medici family are buried. The octagonal building with an opulent marble interior dates from 1519. The Cappella dei Principi houses sarcophagi belonging to the...
50144 Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
At weekends, the locals head for the Cascine park, which stretches three kilometres along the north bank of the Arno just west of the city centre, a green, fresh air-filled lung amongst Florence’s urban sprawl. Families with kids and dogs in tow,...
Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The rooftop restaurant of the Westin Excelsior hotel wins top prize for being the most panoramic spot for a meal in Florence; floor-to-ceiling, wraparound windows permit 360-degree views over the entire city and the hills beyond....
Via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people head to this ex-art school to ogle the world’s most famous nude statue. Michelangelo’s David was carved from a single five-meter-high block of milky-white marble in 1504 and originally stood in Piazza della Signoria....
Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the most fun places I dined at in Italy was Il Latini, in Florence. It's in a large, maze-like building with aged prosciutto hanging from the ceilings, and art collaged upon the walls. Seating is at communal tables, and at times it felt...
Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
I love Florence: it's one of my favorite cities in Italy and in the world. But, the downside is that it can get ridiculously crowded. In fact, the last time I visited it was so crowded on the 'main side' of Florence, where the Duomo and all of the...
Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Franciscan Basilica di Santa Croce, with its striped green-and-white marble facade, dates from about 1294. Inside are the tombs of many celebrated early Florentines, including Dante, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Among the many art treasures...
Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Via dei Georgofili, 3r/7r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
A useful address for a snack after a visit to the Uffizi or Palazzo Vecchio, this gourmet sandwich bar and deli, hidden away down a narrow lane, serves delicious panini plus the odd salad. The sandwich selection (made with focaccia freshly-baked...
Piazza Santo Spirito, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence’s most lively square is dominated by the blank, unfinished facade of Brunelleschi’s last church. Lined with trees and centered around a pretty fountain, the piazza plays host to a small daily market (where local ladies do their shopping)...
Mercato Centrale, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Located on the first floor of the bustling central market, Nerbone’s food stall has been serving up steaming plates of warming nourishment to hungry market workers since 1872 and is a great place to find local color and rock-bottom prices. The...
Via Senese, 89/R, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Family-run Ruggero is a bit of a hike from the centre of town, but in my mind, it is the best traditional trattoria in Florence, so worth the effort. You can expect textbook versions of Florentine classics from ribollita (a hearty...
Piazza del Carmine, 18, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
A dependable neighbourhood trattoria with a loyal local following and a daily-changing list of seasonal specialities, Carmine is a regular haunt of mine. It serves one of the best beef carpaccios in town (topped with arugula and parmesan...
Via Pier Antonio Micheli, 3, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence abounds with historic sites, world-class art, and of course many tourists. What it doesn't have as much of, especially in its historic heart, is green spaces with the notable exception of the Boboli Gardens of the Pitti Palace. Even...
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