Winter in Firenze

An old friend from high school just asked for advice on Florence.  

We spent a few days there before Christmas escaping the chaos of the endless apartment renovation happening in Rome. 

 It is now almost are the things we loved.

Post Modern Bling and Interactive Frescoes
The Damian Hirst installation "For the Love of God" was the impetus for our trip. This provocative piece lived up to the hype. The empty Palazzo Vecchio was a indulgent extra. Don't miss the winsome Putto with Dolphin and the jewel box Bronzino Chapel of Eleanora. Extra credit - the Apple-esque interactive touch screen kept the teenager interested.

Hot chocolate, Cocktails and Steak

Grom - all the guide books say Rivoire is the go-to spot for the best hot chocolate. My choice is Grom. chose from 3 decadent delights. dark, milk or guiandua with a sprinkle of fresh roasted hazelnuts. Don't say no to panna.

Piazza Della Signoria 5

Fab locale - but meh drinks.

La Congrega
via tosinghi 3/4R

Sip fancy cocktails under a frescoed ceiling

We were turned away from the cheap and cheerful Sostanza (our Roman time table was not appreciated this far north). so we made our hungry way to the other extreme and ended up at the very sleek and modern Osteria Tornabuoni. We had expertly crafted Tuscan classics of rustic crostini, lardo wrapped prawns, beans and tagliata. The neighboring table's Fiorentina was a sight to behold.

Sadly this has been transformed into an (another) Obika.
via Tornabuoni 16

Osteria Bella Donna
Via delle Belle Donne, 16+39 055 238 2609 ‎

This rustic classic was our Christmas Eve pick. Come here for perfectly presented Fiorentina and local salame and robust wine.

Cantinetta Antinori
Piazza Antinori 3 

An expensive spot for a late light dinner. Delicious olive oil and wines by the glass

Gourmet Goodies

Vini e Delizie 
Via Dei Banchi 45/R 

Leave room in the suitcase for Masoni fig and walnut paneforte (you will never eat a fig newton again!) and cult Biscotti di Prato by Antonio Mattei and Le Corti olive oil 
Via della Scala 21 

Tuscany is a craft chocolate mecca. This tiny shop has the best of the producers in one spot Amedei, Molina, Slitti etc... 
via Della studio 8 

Gourmet grocery store treats

Stock up here on fancy lotions and potions. Extra credit: take a tour of the 16th century building

Recommendations/favorites we didn't make it to on this trip

La Spada 
via della spada ,62r 
+39 (055) 218757

I have had great meals here on previous trips. It was closed for the holidays this time

Osteria de Benci
via de benci 13/r
055 2344923

Trattoria Mario
via rosina 2
opens @ 12:00

J.K. Place for cocktails or brunch
Piazza Santa Maria Novella 7

Museo Salvatore Ferragamo


We stayed at the Hotel Rosso, a chic and modern budget boutique. We had a killer view of Santa Maria Novella from our vast and comfortable room.

Piazza Santa Maria Novella 2

Online Resources


  1. I'd like to add my due centesimi:

    IL MERCATO DI SAN LORENZO: from Piazza S.Lorenzo to Via dell'Ariento, fabulous marketplace.

    ACQUA AL DUE: Via della Vigna Vecchia 40/R - Tel.055 284170, don't mis the blueberry steak.

    OSTERIA DI GIOVANNI: Via del Moro 22 - Tel.055 284897, classic Florentine fare, long restaurant tradition (owner was once part of the brothers at Latini, now sadly gone down)

    How are you? Baci

  2. Sadly, Osteria Tornabuoni has indeed closed. Must have just happened. Yes, it is now part of the Obika next door. Too bad, I really liked it!


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