We call it zingarata.
It's a one day trip. Men only, usually.
By train so we can come back from Florence without being arrested.
One aim: eat and drink.
After a bunch of them, here's a list of our favorite places. Mostly market, street food and quirky places.
Fiorentina at a butcher in Sant'Ambrogio market
Get a map of Florence.
Point the 5 most famous landmarks.
Draw a circle of 500m around all of them.
To eat in Florence you have to stay away from those areas.
To start: coffee and an unusual street food
What's better than a coffee to start your day?
At Ditta Artigianale, young and cool place, you can find a quality espresso.
Single origin, blends or filtered. Don't know what I'm talking about? Come back for coffee course in Bologna with some real experts.
Coffee makes me hungry and in Florence you can't stay hungry for more than 30 minutes. That's why they created an awesome street food called lampredotto. Vegetarians can skip to the next paragraph.
It's one of the three stomach of cows. It's boiled, cut and served in a panino with a green sauce made with parsley and garlic. Or in a plastic bowl, maybe with potatoes.
Is it good? I can only say that there's never a zingarata without lampredotto.
My favorite stall are Sergio Pollini, in front of the famous Cibreo restaurant, or Chiosco del Lampredotto, near Porcellino's fountain.
Lampredotto with potatoes at Sergio Pollini
Via dei Neri, 32/R, 50122 Firenze
Tel. 055 274 1541
Via Dello Sprone 5r
+39 055 045 7163
Via dei Macci, 126, 50122 Firenze
Tel. 334 778 2350
Chiosco del Lampredotto
Via Val di Lamona, 1R, 50123 Firenze
Ribollita or fiorentina for lunch?
Sant'Ambrogio - One the most authentic food markets in Florence
I love food markets. They explain a lot about the culture of a city (like the food markets of Bologna) and are usually good places to eat.
Mercato Sant'Ambrogio is still an authentic indoor local market.
It hosts Trattoria Da Rocco. A few tables that you share with other attendants. Red wine on consumption. And a funny old man with moustache that will joke with you as soon as he understands that you're not from Florence. Food is simple and cheap. Try the classic soups: pappa al pomodoro or ribollita.
Not far from that stands Natalino.
A classic restaurant with a wall of portraits of music and theatre stars who sat at their table. It's the place to order fiorentina steak, but please don't ask for it well done.
On the other side of Arno river, in San Niccolò neighbourhood, you find Zeb. Half a food shop, half a restaurant, takes its name from zuppa e bollito (soup and boiled meat). So you already know what to get. Good care of wine too.
Another food market. This time for tourists. But Florence is Florence.
Mercato Centrale was built in the late 1800s, when Florence was still the capital of Italy.
Designed by Mengoni architect, the same of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, it's a fascinating structure divided in 2 floors.
The ground floor is a food market with butchers, fish shops and delicatessens. It reminds Albinelli Market in Modena.
On the first floor instead you find a renovated modern area with stalls to eat.
A few mentions for the amazing meat of Savigni and the Naples style pizza of Pizzeria Sud.
Panino al lampredotto - You can't leave Florence without it
Mercato di Sant'Ambrogio
Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti, 50122 Firenze
Tel. 055 234 3950
Borgo degli Albizi, 17r, 50122 Firenze
Tel. 055 289404
Via S. Miniato, 2/r, 50125 Firenze
Tel. 055 234 2864
Mercato S.Ambrogio, Piazza Ghiberti, 50122 Firenze
Tel. 339 8384555
Mercato di Santo Stefano
The sweet side of Florence
Gelato at Carapina - one of my favourite in Florence
If you've been in Bologna, maybe joined one of our Bologna food tour, and expect to eat in Florence a better gelato you will be disappointed.
First you have to run away from all those places with mountains of bright gelato with a piece of fruit on the top that doesn't melt. Never. Even in summer with 40 degrees.
Gelato in Bologna is different, but to find a real one in Florence you need to walk to Carapina.
It takes its name from the iron barrels where gelato should be stored to keep its temperature constant and avoid sunlight. You don't see gelato but it doesn't see you. Trust distance love.
The dessert to buy in Florence is cantucci.
Raw cookies with almonds to sip into a sweet wine called vinsanto. At Il Cantuccio di San Lorenzo you find the classic ones as well as variations like figs and orange zest, or chocolate. They are amazing, not cheap (26€/kg) but a great souvenir for your return trip.
Cantucci and vinsanto - A must dessert in Florence
Il Cantuccio di San Lorenzo
Via Sant'Antonino, 23/red, 50123 Firenze
Tel. 055 290034
Piazza Guglielmo Oberdan, 2/red, 50136 Firenze
Tel. 055 676930