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Judy L. ′s Wishlist
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Piazza del Carmine, 18R, 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...
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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...
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Via dell'Orto, 49, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Located in the nether reaches of the Oltrarno, this lively, up-market trattoria serves up Tuscan cuisine (plus a few fish dishes) with a bit of a twist. Try the sublime fillet of beef in a rich, vin santo reduction or the padella di mare, a spicy...
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Viale Europa, 4, 50126 Firenze FI, Italy
Some of the best gourmet experiences in Florence are to be found way off the tourist radar; chef Beatrice Segoni's superb food is a case in point. Part gourmet deli, part 'gastro-bistrot and wine bar', elegant Convivium is located in an eastern...
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Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
There are many excellent restaurants in Florence, but this one was recommended to me by a local, and I'm so glad it was. Alessandro, the chef, recently returned after working in New York City for eight years. Located on a small street near the...
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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...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 4r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Cabiria is an Oltrarno classic with a terrace on Piazza Santo Spirito that is often packed. Once a grungy pre-club haunt, it’s quite sophisticated these days with moody dark walls and atmospheric lighting. The cocktails are good (although the wine...
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Via dei Renai, 17/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
[CLOSED] This sleek, red-and-black-interiored bar is one of the coolest places in town for an aperitivo and really good background sounds. Your aperitivo of choice has to be a Negroni (equal parts gin, Martini Rosso and Campari plus a twist of...
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Piazza Ognissanti, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
If a stay at The Westin Excelsior in Florence may not be in your budget, but the aperitivo menu may be. Stop by their posh bar and for 12 Euros get the house wine and all sorts of goodies—a cheese plate, a meat plate, flat bread, and samples of...
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Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
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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...
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Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
$$$$
Cramped it may be, but rustic Da Mario, located at the back of the mercato centrale, serves up a menu of consistently reliable Florentine classics to a mix of stall workers, business folk and tourists, and it’s always packed. The choice changes...
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Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This is the only Gucci museum in the world. The company was founded in Florence in 1921, and different floors of the museum take you back through its history and designs. There are sections on clothes, shoes, luggage, and more. The museum is...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
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The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (to give its full name) is now a global brand, but this is where it all began, in a frescoed, 13th-century chapel in Florence. The place is as stunning as the products that are still made...
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Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Buon appetito! We discovered this hole-in-the-wall trattoria 15 years ago, and we were delighted to find everything to be the same and the food as good. Not an upscale gourmet place, but popular with locals, and a place to practice my rusty...
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Piazza di San Lorenzo, 8R, 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...
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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...
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Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 8r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
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Cibreo is one of Florence’s top gourmet restaurants, but if you manage to get a table in the adjoining, much less formal trattoria (you can’t book and there’s always a line), you eat the same food at a fraction of the price. Chef Fabio Picchi’s...
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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...
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Florence is famous for many reasons: the Duomo, the David, the whole Renaissance thing.... Sure, these are great—but the pizza. Oh man, the pizza! I'm talking about a thin, doughy crust, fresh ingredients, and a flavor you can barely handle. I'm...
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Via dei Neri, 74/R, 50100 Firenze FI, Italy
Fresh as you can get and a great price. The baker was bringing in steaming loaves of oven-fresh bread from the bakery down the street while we were standing in line!! Prosciutto on focaccia with warm Parmesan spread and arugula was delicious....
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Piazza San Felice, 8r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Rosticcerias normally just offer cooked food-to-go, but this one is also has a basic restaurant space at the back, so you can choose what looks good from the hot food counter and grab a table at the back. The spit-roast chicken with roast potatoes...
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Piazza de' Pitti, 16, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
With its emphasis on wine and a simple menu, we turned happy hour into a prolonged wine dinner at the Enoteca Pitti Gola E Cantina. It sits across the street from the Pitti Palace, with a commanding view from the covered street-side deck. Three...
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Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked away in a tiny piazzetta just off the main Ponte Vecchio–Palazzo Pitti tourist drag, this bright, modern squeeze of a wine bar specializes in wines by small, lesser-known producers from all over Italy. Tempting snacks include fabulous...
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Via dello Sprone, 16/r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Located on one of the prettiest little squares in the Oltrarno, this caffè has a few tables on the sidewalk, a tiny bar area, a room in the back for sit-down meals and snacks and a cosy, Bohemian atmosphere. It’s a great place for either...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 8, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
This Santo Spirito classic has two main selling points: Daniele, the barrista, who makes one of the best cappuccinos this side of the river, and the comfortable back room, where you can sit down without having to pay extra. There’s also a...
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Piazza della Signoria, 5/R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Start your day with a cappuccino and melting pastry on the terrace of ex–chocolate factory Rivoire, now one of Florence’s historic cafés. You will pay for the privilege, but the ringside view of the comings and goings in the open-air museum that...
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Piazza della Repubblica, 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...
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Via Roma, 1r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Piazza della Repubblica in central Florence has three of the city's most historic cafes. Gilli is one of them, and when you walk in, you feel like you are entering a piece of the city's history. The cafe was founded in 1733 but moved to its...
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Via Lambertesca, 14, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This brick-vaulted restaurant and bar is a great venue for jazz fans and the line-up of live acts on Thursday and Fridays nights includes well-known Italian musicians. You can eat a full meal here (try the Risotto Caruso with clams, shrimp and...
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Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
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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...
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Via dei Vecchietti, 4, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
When people think of Florence, they usually think of Renaissance art and crowded museums filled with altarpieces and "Madonna and Child" images. While the Renaissance is the biggest draw of this historic city, there is a lot more to its art-museum...
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Via Borgo Ognissanti, 42, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Domenico Ghirlandaio's beautiful fresco representing the Last Supper is one of my favorite paintings in Florence, and luckily, most tourists ignore it, so you may find you have the place to yourself.
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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...
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Piazza San Marco, 3, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
Housed in the monastery of San Marco, this museum pays homage to the delicate, spiritual work of Fra Angelico who lived and worked here as a monk from 1435-1445. Some of his most celebrated paintings and frescoes are on show here: the famous...
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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....
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Borgo S. Jacopo, 12, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The scents that go into Ortigia’s gorgeous bath and beauty products are inspired by Sicilian plants (orange blossom, Sicilian lime, pomegranate, almond) and evoke the essence of this exotic, southern Mediterranean island. Beautifully presented in...
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Via de' Bardi, 17, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The centuries old art of Florentine bookbinding and papermaking is kept beautifully alive here by the charming owner--Erin Ciulla, who came from Canada to Florence to study the craft and stayed on. Since part of the tiny store is her workshop, I...
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Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 6, 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...
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Via S. Giuseppe, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked behind the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence is Scuola del Cuoio—the school of leather. To get into the school, one must go through the church's side door, walk under the church's tunnels, and climb up a nondescript set of stairs. There,...
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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...
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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...
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Via di Santo Spirito, 64/66 r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
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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...
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Piazza di Santa Trinita, 5, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I love immersing myself in Florentine luxury in this Medieval palace that the Grandpapa of Italian shoe design, Salvatore Ferragmo bought in 1938. The downstairs museum pays homage to the master with fantastic displays—including molds he made for...
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Via del Monte alle Croci, 10, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
There are around 600 wines from all over Italy (and 50 by the glass) to choose from at this wood-panelled wine bar which has a pretty terrace overlooking the old city gate of San Miniato in the buzzy San Niccolò neighbourhood. Lunchtimes are good...
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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...