A few years ago I had the amazing opportunity to live and study in Florence, Italy for 4 months. As an art fanatic and self-proclaimed “foodie”, this was a dream come true! And, as cliché as it may sound, that experience changed my life. The delicious food and breathtaking adventures had within those city walls were the inspiration for this blog: Carbs and Cobblestone.
After debating where to begin this overview of Florence, Italy, I found it only right to start with the food. If you ask any Italian where to find the best food in Italy, without a doubt, they will name their own city or their own home. But, if you ask any outsider, they will tell you that Florence is the food capital of Italy. And I can most certainly comply with that answer. Food in Italy is not just something you eat to satisfy hunger. Food in Italy is a way of life. It is the passion within their hearts served on a platter.
If you ask me my favorite memory of Florence, it would hands down be all the delicious cuisine I had the honor of putting in my mouth. I like to consider myself a foodie with fantastic taste buds and everything consumed in Italy sent my mouth on a honeymoon to “flavor town” (as Guy Fieri, host of my favorite show “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” would say). And below I have compiled a list of my go-to places to get real deal Italian food that will leave you drooling for more.
Where to Eat:
- Pane & Toscana (my recommendation is the Grossetano sandwich #perfection)
- All’Antico Vinaio
- Pino’s Sandwhiches (pictured below)
- Il Pizzaiuolo
- Gusta Pizza
- Gelateria La Carraia
- Gelateria Edoardo
- Perche No!
- Osteria Santo Spirito (highly recommend the four cheese gnocchi pictured below)
- Trattoria Za-Za
- Mercato Centrale (this place has a whole range of food options and great atmosphere at night, especially if you want to catch a soccer match)
Honestly my list of food recommendations could go on and on, but if you are only in Florence for a few days, those places are a must!
In addition to the food scene in Florence, there is a very renowned art scene. I highly recommend reading up on Florentine history, specifically the Medici family, before packing your bags. Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It is rich with art and history. Each corner you turn, you are face-to-face with age-old beauty.
I must admit, the first couple of weeks I spent in Florence were filled with tears. Not sad tears, but tears full of admiration. Tears full of disbelief that such beauty could exist. So next I have compiled a list of what you must see if you ever find yourself in Florence.
What to see:
- Uffizi Gallery
- Galleria dell’Accademia (home of the David statue)
- Basilica di Santa Croce (burial place of Michelangelo and Galileo)
What to do:
- Walk across the Ponte Vecchio
- Climb to the top of the Duomo
- See the sunset atop Piazzale Michelangelo
- Take the hidden rooms tour in the Palazzo Vecchio
- Visit the gardens of Palazzo Pitti
My main goal for you while visiting Florence, Italy is to devour every minute. Explore, get lost, and appreciate the beauty and history that surrounds you. But most of all, eat as much pasta and gelato as you possibly can!