Planning a Trip to Florence
Planning a Trip to Florence – The Top Shopping Areas in Florence
Planning a Trip to Florence – After Milan, Florence is Italy’s top shopping city—beating even the capital, Rome.
Florence’s main shopping hub is made of two key streets that bridge the iconic Duomo and the main square of Piazza della Signoria.
On Via Roma, find high-end brands like Miu Miu, Armani and the paradise that is Luisa via Roma.
With a history that dates back to 1930, the destination today is home to the latest designs by luxury labels, including Valentino and Fendi on its ground-floor showroom.
Nearby, the La Rinascente department store has six floors dedicated to fashion and homewares with a roof terrace ideal for a post-shop spritz, while Via dei Calzaiuoli houses high street labels from Calzedonia to retail outlet Coin.
Here’s what to buy: leather, fashion, shoes, marbleized paper, hand-embroidered linens, artisan and craft items, Tuscan wines, handmade jewelry, pietre dure (known also as “Florentine mosaic,” inlaid semiprecious stones), and antiques.
Planning a Trip to Florence – General Florentine shopping hours are Monday through Saturday from 9:30am to noon or 1pm and 3 or 3:30 to 7:30pm, although increasingly, many shops are staying open on Sunday and through that mid-afternoon riposo or nap, especially the larger stores and those around tourist sights.
Planning a Trip to Florence – Big Italian Name Designers
Planning a Trip to Florence – The cream of the crop of Florentine shopping lines both sides of elegant Via de’ Tornabuoni, with an extension along Via della Vigna Nuova and other surrounding streets.
Here you’ll find the big Italian fashion names like
Gucci (at no. 73R; www.gucci.com; tel. 055/264-011)
Pucci (at no. 22R; www.emiliopucci.com; tel. 055/265-8082)
Ferragamo (at no. 5R; www.ferragamo.com; tel. 055/292-123)
Ensconced in old palaces or minimalist boutiques; couture meets streetwear at concept sneaker store SOTF (at no. 17R; www.sotf.com; tel. 055/588-302).
Florence-headquartered Benheart (Via della Vigna Nuova 97R; www.benheart.it; tel. 055/239-9483) sells up-to-the-minute Italian leather clothing, footwear and accessories.
Stricter traffic control has made shopping on Via de’ Tornabuoni a more sedate experience, though somewhat at the expense of surrounding streets.
Planning a Trip to Florence – Big Italian Name Designer Outlets
Planning a Trip to Florence – The Mall Firenze
Via Europa, 8, 50066 Leccio FI, Italy
Opening hours – daily 10am – 7pm
+39 055 865 7775
Planning a Trip to Florence – The Mall is a company of luxury outlets tailored to offer the visitor products from the world’s top designers at the very best, discounted prices.
In an exquisite architectural space, a collection of the world’s most exclusive brands are presented in an artistically unique style.
From Florence, venture into the green hills of Tuscany to find a retail village with wares from Versace to Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli.
You’ll find last-season styles at a fraction of the retail price, making this a worthwhile out-of-town day trip.
Buses depart every 30 minutes from Santa Maria Novella station, and The Mall Firenze is open daily.
Planning a Trip to Florence – The Best Restaurants in Florence
Planning a Trip to Florence – It’s easy to get caught up in some of the tourist traps when you are looking for a place to eat- Florence boasts many of them, and they can be cleverly disguised.
Visitors looking for an authentic meal might find that ducking into side streets and alleyways yield some of the best results.
Wherever guests decide to sit and order a steaming plate of pasta, they might want to consider a house wine to accompany – they are often cheap but taste delicious.
You won’t find better paste in anywhere else in Italy than the Tuscan region, and Florence reigns supreme on the types available.
The right restaurant can make the Italian experience all the more enjoyable, and in a culture where cuisine is top priority, visitors to Florence want to choose a place they will remember.
Open that bottle of chianti and enjoy some of the best food in the world.
Planning a Trip to Florence – All of these deserve a spot on the list of the best restaurants in Florence for different reasons, but all of them offer amazing food for reasonable prices.
Planning a Trip to Florence – The Best Casual Restaurants in Florence
Via Maggio, 46r
+39 055 285 068
You can’t go to Italy without getting pizza, and there’s a reason why Gusta has made a name for itself in a city where you can grab a slice pretty much anywhere.
Made in the Neapolitano style, you have fluffy crusts and melted mozzarella.
Don’t feel the need to go overboard with the toppings—simpler is better when it comes to Gusta.
It’s worth making the walk over the Ponte Vecchio, just be warned that it can get busy, and you might find yourself sitting with some strangers.
It might just be the best pizza in Florence.
Piazza Santo Spirito, 16r
+39 055 238 2383
This restaurant has been on so many locals’ lists of great places to eat, and there’s no question as to why.
Between the delicious pasta and the cheap carafes of house wine (order the chianti), you’ve got plenty to love.
If you are planning on going in the evening, make sure to call ahead and make a reservation since it becomes pretty crowded at night
Via Palazzuolo, 31r
+39 055 218846
There’s always that one restaurant that you want to share with your friends and family, and this is the one.
Pasta reigns supreme at this spot, and whether you choose a meat dish or no, make sure you have at least a side with some of their pasta cooked perfectly al dente.
You’ll find mostly typical, traditional Tuscan dishes, which is well-worth enjoying to its fullest extent.
For the best past in Florence, you can’t beat this spot.
Via Ghibellina, 151r
+39 055 289264
Another favorite located in the Santa Croce area, Osteria del Gatto e la Volpe has a mean Fiorentina steak—a favorite among locals.
Their pasta is also worth checking out, and you often don’t have to make a reservation in advance, which can be helpful when Florence is inundated by tourists.
It’s also worth it to ask about their specials since they usually have something new.
It’s impossible not to find something on the large menu that will suit your taste buds.
Via Pistoiese, 154
+39 055 317206
This spot is a bit away from the city center and you will need to get a taxi or take a bus in order to experience it.
While it is a bit of a trek, the homestyle meals are well worth making the journey.
You’ll find carefully-chosen wines paired with family recipes handed down from generations.
Try the Chickpea Farinata.
Via della Vigna Vecchia, 40r
+39 055 284170
Acqua al 2 is known throughout the city for providing the freshest fish and some incredible pasta dishes.
This is another restaurant where it’s a good idea to make reservations a day or two in advance since it tends to be filled by both locals and visitors.
During the afternoons it is not as busy, and it’s so nice to get a dine outside of pizza and pasta.
Aqua al 2 has been so successful in Florence that it has opened up restaurants in the States, and for good reason.
You’ll find it’s the perfect place to get to know someone while trying something a little different than typical Tuscan fare.
Via della Spada, 52
+39 055 238 1257
This tiny spot is easily missed, but the food and wine here should not be.
Make sure to order the wine and cheese platter and a bottle of chianti to share with your friends or family.
Even if you don’t love anchovies, you should make sure to try some of the toast here–it’s strikes the perfect balance between salty and crispy.
Via dei Girolami 28/r
+39 055 213619
Step back in time and visit Buca dell’Orafo.
It is a hidden in a basement with a cozy feel and a no-frills menu.
Highlights here include the artichoke omelet and fried cow brain, and each dish is based on Tuscan favorites.
If you are willing to try a few adventurous dishes, this is the place for you.
For those who are picky eaters, you might want to get brave.
Via Rosina, 2
+39 055 218550
This is a popular spot among locals and tourists alike and if you plan on heading here, make sure to grab a reservation a day or two in advance.
Trattoria Mario is located in Santo Spirito and offers Tuscan soul food–which means lots of hearty pasta dishes with plenty of meat.
Try the tortellini filled with delicious ragu and one of the soup options.
Via delle Oche 27, 29, 31r
+39 055 214966
Tucked away from the Duomo but offering local favorites, this spot is the perfect place to go after touring the main sights and when you want a more authentic snack than other options in the area.
While you won’t find a ton of pasta dishes here, you will find a giant wine and spirits selection and some charcuterie.
Stop here for an afternoon after touring the city.
Piazza del Mercato Centrale
You haven’t eaten local if you haven’t eaten at Da Nerbone.
Serving up a variety of sandwiches, this stand has been around since the very beginning of the San Lorenzo market.
Whether you choose the boiled beef or the Florentine specialty of lampredotto, or boiled cow’s stomach.
It’s actually much more appetizing than it sounds, and this is the place to experience this unique type of sandwich in Florence.
Piazza dell’Olio, 15/r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
+39 055 239 6616
It’s not always easy to eat cheaply in Florence, but Osteria Nuvoli is a great option for those on a budget or those planning on feeing a lot of people.
Whether you decide to grab one of their warm sandwiches or you are thinking about sitting down and enjoying some of the traditional Tuscan cuisine that you can find around the area, this can be a great option.
Be warned that it closes fairly early for an Italian restaurant (even as early as 9 pm some nights), so you might want to think about an earlier dinner here if this is a place on your list of eateries to try.
Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123 Firenze, Italy
+39 055 212691
This charismatic trattoria has been a Florentine favorite for more than 150 years.
Tuck into traditional Tuscan peasant food under the gaze of the family photos that line the walls as ceiling fans whir overhead.
Warm venue cooking Italian food including Florentine steak & known for its chicken cooked in butter.
Lightly cooked artichoke omelette is emblematic, and the decadent butter chicken is the stuff of legends.
But it is hard to look past the Florentine T-Bone steak.
A huge slab of meat that is best shared, cooked to perfection over hot coals.
Book ahead to bag a seat at one of the six tables.
Via dei Macci, 122r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
+39 055 234 1100
The Cibrèo trattoria has animated the Sant’Ambrogio district in Florence for over 40 years.
Opened way back in 1979 by the Florentine chef Fabio Picchi, it is also renamed by the Florentines “Cibrèino” or “Cibrèo of the poor”.
Its peculiarity consists precisely in serving its guests the authentic flavors and genuine aromas of Florentine and Tuscan cuisine which are often also served in the adjacent Cibrèo restaurant, but in a more informal and familiar atmosphere, at decidedly lower prices.
Piazza degli Antinori, 3, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
+39 055 292234
Cantinetta Antinori in Florence is located on the ground floor of Palazzo Antinori, in the historic center of the city.
Established in Florence in 1957, the restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner.
As in the past, it is possible to taste the selection of Antinori wines both in the bottle and by the glass, combining them with traditional Tuscan cuisine specialities, many of which are ingredients from the various family estates in Tuscany and Umbria.
Not just a restaurant, but the continuity of an ancient tradition and a family history that have become a modern reality.
Planning a Trip to Florence – The Best Fine Dinning Restaurants in Florence
Via Romana, 70/r
+39 055 228 6018
This newer place is perfect for wine lovers.
While not the cheapest place, the crostini here is fantastic, and meals are served on marble plates–it’s the ideal spot for a special occasion or those on a honeymoon.
If you try anything here, make it the tiramisu.
It’s drenched in fabulous liquor and and created with an almond biscotti that can’t be beat.
Borgo Pinti, 10-18 R, 50121 Firenze, Italy
+39 055 241341
Under the twinkling amber lights, couples in love, family and friends unite for the love of good food and charmed hospitality in an atmosphere that feels like home.
Prince Albero d’Asburgo founded this restaurant back in 1992.
The business is now run by his two twin sons, Dimitri and Soldano. They are very passionate and professional.
They introduce customers with a complimentary spumante, giving a help to match a perfect white truffles and eggs carbonara, with a bottle of red wine.
The food itself is not too expensive, but the price of your dinner varies a lot depending to which wine you choose.
They have a canteen with the best bottles of red wines in Florence, some extremely rare and indulgent.
La Giostra means carousel in Italian and it’s the right choice to get some candle-light treats.
The suffused lighting gives to the place a smart and elegant atmosphere.
At La Giostra, the rural Tuscan cooking and the blue-blood refined tradition are perfectly mixed together, leaving your soul and taste extremely satisfied.
Via del Trebbio, 1r, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
+39 055 213768
Traditional Tuscan dishes paired with regional wines in a vaulted cellar lined with vintage posters.
The Antinori family started selling wine from their palace’s basement in the 15th century and 600 years later, this buca (hole) is a lively, subterranean restaurant filled with Florentine aristocrats chowing down on what might be the best (and most expensive) bistecca fiorentina in town.
The classical Tuscan menu has the usual suspects: crostino di cavolo nero (black cabbage on toasted garlic bread), along with ribollita and pappa al pomodoro.
The bistecca is an immense slab of Chianina beef impeccably grilled on the outside, just barely warmed on the inside. (If you’re not into rare meat, order something else from the grill.)
Roast potatoes and cannellini beans make perfect accompaniments.
La Loggia at Belmond Villa San Michele
Via Doccia, 4, 50014 Fiesole FI, Italy
+39 055 567 8200
This small restaurant, located in the northeastern outskirts of Florence, serves up some of the best fish and seafood in town.
Each dish is rooted in Tuscan culture—an exquisite harmony of taste, emotion and gastronomic excellence
Dining here is embarking on a journey.
A gentle stroll to the doorsteps of small local producers, growing rare delicacies.
It’s a trail that highlights the traditions of Italy and the tastes of Tuscany.
It’s the enchantment of stepping beneath a 16th-century loggiato, with views across Florence that will live with you forever.
At La Loggia, the beauty of this historic location – with the best views of Florence – harmonizes with sustainable, pioneering cuisine, with flavors to cherish long after you leave.
Viale Edmondo de Amicis, 1, 50137 Firenze FI, Italy
+39 055 626 6019
According to many local cognoscenti, L’Angolo del Mare, a small restaurant way off-the-radar in the northeastern outskirts of Florence, serves up some of the best fish and seafood in town.
Owners Mirco and Carmelo used to have a restaurant on the Tuscan coast, and they still use the local suppliers to ensure daily deliveries of hopping fresh seafood.
The short menu changes regularly, but offers the likes of seared tuna with soy, a killer tagliolini all’astice (lobster), spaghetti with clams and salty bottarga (mullet roe), and an impressive whole sea bass baked in a salt crust.
The salt seals the fish and keeps it perfectly moist during cooking.
There’s always a handful of specials, according to the daily catch.
Desserts include a divine Champagne-strawberry tiramisu.
Carmelo is in charge front of house; he and his small team know their fish and are happy to advise.
Via Torta, 5/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
+39 055 265 4329
An innovative multi-venue restaurant concept, based on three distinct dining areas- restaurant, osteria and pizzeria.
Located just a few steps from Piazza Santa Croce and within close walking distance to the Ponte Vecchio, Toricoda offers a unique Tuscan dining experience in the heart of Florence.
Founded by Stefano and Matteo Peruzzi, who share a great passion for food and wine.
Torcicoda proposes two unique dining options: a pizzeria with a wood oven as well as a gourmet restaurant with the best Florentine steak.
A full bar and a cantina with over 300 wine labels characterized by high quality, authenticity and research.
The space, realized by Luigi Fragola Artchitects, is divided into different spaces each dedicated to it’s own vocation and atmosphere.
Derived from Via Torcicoda, the historical Via Torta, dating back to 300A.D where the restaurant is.
Mediterranean-style gourmet cooking, among the must-tries are Angus beef filet and Torcicoda crumble.
Via Torta, 5/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
+39 055 265 4329
The cooking, serving, and eating of a bistecca is serious business, and here it gets reverential treatment.
Dedicated carnivores, local gourmets, and visitors have been flocking to this place since it opened.
Regina Bistecca showcases Florence’s best-known signature dish, the bistecca alla Fiorentina, a vast T-bone priced by weight.
Here you can choose the breed of your steak, from a generic European Selection to the highly prized (and highly priced) Tuscan Chianina.
The previous occupant of this lovely space, located a short ways north of the Duomo, was a revered 140-year-old antiquarian bookshop, and the new owners have sensibly chosen to maintain the spirit of the place.
Today Regina Bistecca’s main dining space has lofty vaulted ceilings, dark gray walls hung with paintings and prints in gilded frames, and a gallery running around the top.
The cooking, serving, and eating of a bistecca is serious business, and here it gets reverential treatment, from being brought to the table raw for the client’s approval, to the flourishing presentation of a bone-handled knife with which to cut it.
Under no circumstances ask for it to be well done; bistecca here is served very rare.
Via del Drago d’Oro 1r Florence, 50124 Italy
+39 055 493 9902
Located in San Frediano, one of Florence’s coolest neighborhoods.
Guné is a sophisticated yet relaxed restaurant with a retro-glam vibe which is steadily gaining a reputation as one of the city’s more interesting dining spots.
People come here to eat and drink well.
Award-winning bartender Eleonora Romolini has a real flair for mixology and a loyal local following among Florence’s cocktail crowd, with signature mixes like Basil Instincts (gin, basil, mandarin) and Artemide (with notes of porcini mushroom and wild fennel).
The owners’ southern Italian roots and the chefs’ Florentine origins meet in a clever fusion of two regional cuisines.
Basilicata is present in dishes such as paccheri pasta with francesina (meat sauce), moliterno cheese and “chutney” made from crusco (dried sweet red peppers), while the signature Valdarno pigeon three ways (including a fabulous little savory liver crème brulée) is pure Tuscany.
Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura
P.za della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
+39 055 062 1744
Two Italian Titans join forces, as Massimo Bottura meets the house of Gucci to create a kitschy take on the classic osteria with some serious culinary clout.
The only Italian branch of the Gucci Osteria (sister restaurants can be found in Beverly Hills, Tokyo and Seoul) is part of the Gucci Garden complex which also includes a museum and retail outlets.
While Bottura’s name is above the door, the kitchen here is under the command of Mexican-born Karine Lopez, who has of course spent time in the kitchens of flagship Osteria Francescana in addition to Mexico City’s Pujol, which ranked at No.9 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022.
She has curated both an á la carte offering and an eight-course tasting menu, which marries Italian produce and techniques with punchy Mexican flavors in dishes like ‘Charley Marley Goes to Mexico’ which combines eggplant, mole and Chianina beef.
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