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Harry Cochrane

DECEMBER 4, 2019

NOTE: I wish to thank Harry Cochrane, staff writer for The Florentine English Newspaper in Florence, for the access to his article.

Late October saw the official opening of the new Mercato delle Pulci, or flea market, in largo Annigoni. Nearly four years have passed since the stalls were moved from piazza dei Ciompi, which they had occupied for more than six decades, but until last month their housing in the clearing near the Sant’Ambrogio market was no more than temporary tenting. 


The permanent new structure, which was inaugurated by mayor Dario Nardella, is instead made of steel and is intended to invoke the covered markets of 19th-century Italy. Designed by Florentine architect Alberto Breschi and costing around one million euro, it certainly makes the stalls look less nomadic, but has put pay to any hopes their tenants might have had of returning to their original home.Costing around one million euro, the new building certainly makes the stalls look less nomadic, but has put pay to any hopes their tenants might have had of returning to their original home.

The new flea market in largo Annigoni, Florence

As early as mid-2015, the City of Florence had mooted the idea of clearing the market to make way for renovation work on piazza dei Ciompi. A few months later, however, initiative became imperative when asbestos was found in the sellers’ cabins. Local residents were reportedly glad of the exodus on account of the evening noise that was apparently generated from the square, though that probably owed more to patrons of surrounding bars rather than those of the stalls.

One of the stall owners is Paolo Giugni, who sells silverware and other ornate household items. He was not part of the market during its piazza dei Ciompi days and he could therefore only speak about largo Annigoni, but he found it hard to believe that the relocation had not cost them business. The Mercato delle Pulci used to be visible from the main street, he said, so people would presumably just peel off for an idle browse; now it is difficult to draw new clientele. “But,” he added, looking on the bright side, “the new covering keeps the rain off.” He shows me his wares, which include some beautiful, fatally tempting collector’s edition coffee makers. Antiques are his staple, but using a digital design programme he has cut a couple of accurate Florence skylines out of steel. “I make these for the tourists,” he laughs, “and then they’re bought by the Florentines.”

The former interim stalls in largo Annigoni, Florence / @giusi.dilo on Instagram

Again, this suggests that most business is done with habitués rather than casual shoppers, but according to Marzia Gabellini, another stallholder, it was ever thus, even in the market’s previous home. This comes as a surprise, especially in the weeks before Christmas, which one would think the exact time that a market seller might regret any loss of visibility. But for all her attempts at even-handedness, Signora Gabellini unequivocally prefers piazza dei Ciompi—“it was there for 63 years”—and has little good to say about her new home. “It doesn’t rain in here,” she says, gesturing to her cabin, “but it does there”. She points at the ground and then the arched covering that spans the structure, indicating the panel gap running along the length of its crown.

There is no doubt that the vacated piazza dei Ciompi looks better now than it did three years ago, when its post-market makeover began. It is now one of the centre’s greenest squares, and stalls selling trinkets, flowers or food spring up fairly often and unpredictably, especially now that the Christmas lights have been switched on. Antiques are sold here on the last Sunday of every month, and one wonders how this goes down with the new occupants of Annigoni. The piazza has clearly benefited from a gentrification drive on the part of the local administration, who are no doubt keen, in such a central, international part of the city, to present the best possible face of a square that has always carried a slightly dubious reputation.

A detail from the piazza dei Ciompi flea market / @chiara.caroli on Instagram

The council, once apprised of the asbestos threat, could hardly have let the life of the flea market continue in the old cabins, which were built after the devastating flood of 1966 by order of the then-mayor Piero Bargellini. They posed a grave risk to the health of customers and a graver one to that of the vendors, who worked in the same static air every day. The question that a number of those vendors seem to have is why their new, safe shelter could not just as well have been erected in their original square which, pace Signora Gabellini, is certainly a better place than largo Annigoni for the attraction of trade. The answer, one assumes, is that the aesthetics of the new construction would have made an odd backdrop to the piazza’s famous Loggia del Pesce, a colonnade built by Giorgio Vasari at the behest of Cosimo I de’ Medici. It lacks the piled-up, jumble-sale charm that typified the old market and which typifies others of its kind, like the Sunday antiques market in piazza Santo Spirito.

As the hunt for stocking-fillers starts to intensify, it is a shame that such a treasure trove should have been moved ever so slightly off the beaten track. Now it is a touch harder to chance upon the antique books, the mini statuary and the wads of black-and-white postcards, one or two of which, no doubt, show piazza dei Ciompi in its old, innocent glory.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, I drove south out of Florence into the spectacular hills of the Val d’Orcia south of Siena. This area of Tuscany is sparse and wide; recently plowed fields the color of burnt umber undulate across a countryside of dreams. The quintessential vision of Tuscany unfolds before me. Cypress tree lined gravel driveways approach gorgeous villas on hilltops, bell towers in the distance signal a village, a borgo, a city. The road winds its way up in to the hills near Asciano where my accommodation for the evening, the Villa Armena, awaits. 

The approach to the villa is straight out of The English Patient. A rough gravel road passes a few restored country estates, the infinite blue of the sky pierced by cypresses. 

Laura, whom as I later learn wears many hats on the property, warmly greeted me upon arrival. The room – actually a suite – was stunning, with views over the hillside from one set of windows or the pool and formal gardens from the other. The place is so quiet that I can hear the wind whisper around and through the trees that surround the property. 

The nearby Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore has been a destination on my hope list for Italy for many years. After registering at the small front desk and leaving my luggage behind, I head to this incredible and historic abbey. (More to follow in my next blog: Monte Oliveto Maggiore – A Stunning Abbey on an Emerald Hill).

After weeks of work with our small group tours, this place offers a welcomed retreat. Dinner begins at 19:30. Laura is also a sommelier and to accompany my selection of local pecorino cheeses with orange marmalade and honey, to be followed by sliced Chianina beef, she recommends a lush, flavorful Ciliegiolo

Dessert is cantuccini (Biscotti with pistachio-a unique twist on the traditional almond or pine nut) hand made by the chef with local Vin Santo. To top off a lovely dinner, I enjoy just a taste of the locally produced Grappa Reserva. 

Fabulous.  

Morning mist at Villa Armena

Upon rising the next morning, I open the windows to take in the garden view. Fog wraps the garden in the early light, making the view even more breathtaking.

The breakfast buffet is ample, replete with local meats, cheeses, fresh juice, cappuccino, yogurt, breads…the offerings go on and on.

After checking out, I head south from Buonconvento on the S2 highway.

The drive from the Villa Aremna to Orbetello, is stunning. The road winds across fields recently veiled in mist. As the sun breaks through the morning fog, soil shimmers as if crusted in diamonds, heightening the effect of near indescribable beauty.

Montalcino rises in the distance, a russet sentinel above the valley below. Once away from the hills of the southern Val d’Orcia, the road straightens and the land opens wide; Maremma. After a brief stop at a local cafe, I can smell the sea. 

Thick emerald green umbrella pines, Pina di Roma as they are called, line the road. More and more Bougainvillea appear along with laurel as the road continues south. 

Orbetello is a wonderful surprise; a walled city whose leaders once controlled this area of Tuscany, later subjugated by the forces of Grosseto.  The white marble gate is at once an historic reminder of warning and an unforgettable way to enter the city center. 

Image result for porta orbetello

My destination is a lovely, lovingly and recently restored B&B on the Corso Italia; Casa Iris. Matthew and James aquired the property several years ago and have created a beautiful retreat directly in the heart of the city. Steps from the Piazza Cortesini, the location could truly not be better. There are shops and many wonderful restaurants only minutes walk from the accommodation.   

Each suite, and there are only three, offer luxury, comfort and privacy.  17th and 18th Century frescoes enliven the walls and ceilings. The couple was able to engage one of the fresco restorers, who contributed to the restoration of the Sistine Chapel, to assist in the property’s renovation. 

Image result for casa iris

Numerous close by excursions entice me to visit, yet time is not available, at least for this trip. 

References: 

Map of Orbetello 

Casa Iris Bed and Breakfast

A fascinating new documentary about the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence, an orphanage established in the 15th Century, will be premiered in Florence on May 17, 2019.

Image result for ospedale degli innocenti panorama

Basilica della Santissima Annunziata (white facade) and the Ospedale degli Innocenti

Read an article about the orphans of the Renaissance, and this unique institution, on our blog.

Ospedale degli Innocenti.

Director Davide Batistella will be present at the premier of this latest documentary.

Trailer: The Innocents of Florence

The-Innocents-of-Florence_01

Innocenti

From the Advancing Women Artist’s announcement:

“In this 90’ minute feature-length documentary film, Battistella explores the themes of art, motherhood, Florentine humanism and how a progressive-thinking Renaissance society created one of the first Children’s hospitals in the world. He tells this story through the restoration of a painting that was created as the banner for the Innocenti Institute in 1446.”

In addition to learning more about the fascinating story of the Innocenti, I also invite readers to review the incredible work that is being conducted by the AWA, based in Florence.

This dedicated group of passionate art experts, along with those who love the work of female Renaissance painters, is leading the way for the restoration of work by female artists of that period, while ensuring the correct attribution of their work. If you are interested in supporting the work of this important organization, here is a link with more information.

The-Innocents-of-Florence_04

The work of restoration never ends

 

It was in 1950 that then director of NBC’s opera programming, Peter Herman Adler,  commissioned composer Gian-Carlo Menotti (1911 – 2007) to compose the first ever opera for the American television audience. This was no easy task and it is one of the many credits due to the exceptional talent of Menotti that he made the decision to compose an opera for the child, for the faiths, in all of us.

First Broadcast on NBC, Christmas Eve 1951, the opera has become not just a holiday favorite, but one of the most often performed operas in the world. It is, in the canon of opera, a very short piece of only fifty minutes in length.

Adoration_of_the_Magi_Hieronymus_Bosch_autograph_ca._1470–75

Bosch, Adoration of the Magi

Menotti was inspired, it is said, by Bosch’s “The Adoration of the Magi” which is shown in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Menotti wrote about his moment of deepest inspiration:

One November afternoon as I was walking rather gloomily through the rooms of the Metropolitan Museum, I chanced to stop in front of the Adoration of the Kings by Hieronymus Bosch, and as I was looking at it, suddenly I heard again, coming from the distant blue hills, the weird song of the Three Kings. I then realized they had come back to me and had brought me a gift.

I clearly recall holidays of the past when our family would gather to watch this always magical story unfold before us. The story is timeless; a widow with a troubled crippled child is visited by three wealthy night visitors as they make their way  following a certain star in the East. Everyone is forever changed by the time they share within the walls of a humble shelter.

The lessons this opera teaches are numerous; humility, generosity, love, community and faith are but a few. The story encompasses so many of the basic tenants of all faiths and, in those terms, is a gift for all.

amahl1965

 

A link to the entire digital conversion of that 1951 performance, including an introduction by the composer himself is provided below.

As we experience yet another holiday season, it is my hope that this gorgeous music, the story of forgiveness and miracles will further enrich your season, regardless of location, faithful belief or language.

Take the time to experience this incredible story. It’s only fifty minutes long – and it may change your life.

Enjoy.

To view the full 1951 program, click on the photo below: 

1951 Amahl and the Night Visitors

 

For those more musically inclined, the link below provides the entire score of the opera.

Gian Carlo Menotti   

Amahl and the Night Visitors 

An Opera in One Act

Ramo d'Aria Main entrance

Ramo D’Aria Entrance

Many of our readers write with questions about places to stay on Sicily, places away from the crowds and cacophony of a large city, a place with true Sicilian ‘character’.

Recently, I had the opportunity to enjoy an overnight stay at a relatively new accommodation, located in Giarre, about thirty-five minutes north of Catania on the Ionian Coast of Sicily; Ramo D’Aria.

Opened for just over five years, the location offers exceptional privacy, a gorgeous pool, easy access to many major sites and activities and a fabulous restaurant; all with unforgettable views of “She”, Mt. Etna.

Ramo d'Aria Pool and Etna View

Ramo D’Aria Pool with view of Mt. Etna

The majority of the rooms are located on the first floor (second floor as most U.S. travelers would refer to it), and if you request a view of Etna, you will not be disappointed. Both the internal and external furnishings are of the very best quality and you will find the prices for the rooms in keeping with Sicily’s reputation as a less expensive island on which to travel.

The structure was renovated and expanded from the ruins of an old Masseria, an estate building dating to the 19th Century. There is, however, nothing typical or standard about the white walls, the gorgeous artwork, the large and comfortable bath areas. All of the public and private areas were created to ensure guest comfort and privacy.

Ramo d'Aria Office and Reception

Reception and Stairway to Upper Level

Bruno Petrolo (on site manager), Alessandro Maugeri (Owner) and Federica Eccel (Marketing Manager), offered exceptionally responsive support prior to my arrival. From arranging a massage at this property’s sister hotel and spa, Zash,  to making special transfer arrangements from the Catania airport and creating lunch for my late arrival, the service was provided professionally and flawlessly . The restaurant offered a unique cross section of Sicilian preparations such as lamb, fresh fish, vegetarian entrees as well as incredible deserts.

The pool area, surrounded by tropical, plants offers privacy and time to relax.

There are numerous options for your stay when you visit this part of Sicily. Without question, Ramo D’Aria should receive serious consideration!

When you go:

RAMO D’ARIA, Country Hotel

Viale delle Province 261, int. 38

95014 Altarello – Giarre (CT) Sicilia

tel + 39 095 939221 Mobile + 39 3346399145

GPS: 37.71234 – 15.18997

info@ramodaria.it _ www.ramodaria.it

 

View from Room 220 La Perla

As I write this article, I am sitting in a small hotel in the village of Vocogno di Craveggia (VB) in the Valle Vigezzo of northern Italy. Located a mere two hours by train from the intensive noise and traffic of Milano, you will find peace, quite, tranquility and rest in this lovely area of Italia. Frequented by Italian and Swiss travelers, this particular valley has been overlooked by all but knowledgeable international visitors for centuries.

The Vigezzo river valley meanders through the Lapontine Alps in Italy, bordering the Swiss Canton of Ticino on its northern perimiter.   It is known, among other things,  for its annual celebration of the chimney-sweepers, “spazzacamini” in Italian. Each September, the village fills with those who come to honor this special and much honored traditional work.

Spazzacamini Santa Maria Maggiore

A Time Honored Tradition – Chimney Sweeps – A Spazzacamino during the Annual Celebrations

The buildings here are mostly stone and stucco. Granite and slate roofs top barns and homes and the sense of this place is as much Switzerland as it is Italy.

Santa Maria Maggiore Val Vigezza

Town Square, Santa Maria Maggiore

The Hotel La Perla occupies a marvelous site above the village. Mattei, the owner, or his son Francesco, offer to pick you up (and return you at the conclusion of your visit) in Santa Maria Maggiore. The hotel is located some distance, uphill, from the station so this is a much appreciated service. Without a car, you should plan to walk; special requests for pick-up and drop off can be made with the owners.

The three-star hotel La Perla offers very simple, clean, uncluttered rooms. If you ask for a mountain/valley view you will not be disappointed. Some rooms on the second and third floors offer terraces and stunning vistas of the valley and villages below. Don’t expect fancy; expect clean, friendly and well-managed accommodation.

Sunday Morning sunrise Vocogno di Craveggia

The View from Room 220, Hotel La Perla

The restaurant in the hotel offers memorable meals. Dinner last evening was a Caprese salad, followed by some baked potato gnocchi prepared with a special regional cheese. The sliced local beef was beautifully prepared with some patate fritte to accompany the secondo. Francesco, the son of the owners, is the chef. His capabilities are more than evident in a flavorful and well-prepared “cena” (dinner). The restaurant also offers a good selection of local and regional wines. The views from the dining room are spectacular, as well.

Your days here can be filled with rented electric bicycles, hikes in the foothills of the alps, easy strolls through the valley villages. Not unlike the Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast of Italy, the chain of small towns are linked by the “Centovalli Vigezzina“, known locally as the Centovalli train. You can purchase tickets to/from various villages and walk back or just enjoy time in each one, returning to Santa Maria Maggiore at the end of an easy day. (Click on the map for easier reading).

Image result for mappa centovalli and vigezzina

Be sure to plan a few days in this region of Italy. Hotels are not plentiful, so reservations are strongly recommended. Most accommodations are three-star with a few four-star available.

If your time in Italy is limited, you might enjoy the full day excursion  known as the Lago Maggiore Express. Our blog article provides details and information.

IF YOU GO:

Trenitalia offers regular service from all over Italy to Milano Centrale and from there on to Domodossola, the last large city before entering Switzerland. Those coming from Brig, in Switzerland, will find trains available on either the Italiarail or Swiss Bundesbahn web sites.

From Domodossola, you can purchase tickets for the Centovalli train (though online purchases in advance are recommend, as this will guarantee you seats especially during the busiest months of August, September, Christmas Holiday, January and February).

Valle Vigezzo Tourist Information

Train Information, Valle Vigezzo

Hotel La Perla

28852 Vocogno di Craveggia (VB)

Via Belitrandi, 2/A

Tel: 0324 98 071

Fax: 0324 98 88 98

 

 

 

 

 

panorama-view-of-florence

The possibilities seem endless in a city like Florence; from true Sicilian recipes that delight the palate and bring the sea to land to deep red Bistecca Fiorentina, Florence offers any lover of Italian food as many options as you can imagine.

We have traveled across Italy for over forty years. Some of our old favorites in the city have gone, and many new exceptional restaurants and trattorias have opened.

Get off the beaten path and enjoy some of these, our first ‘go-to’ places for a fairly priced, well served meal.

Salute!

Ristorante Ara: e Sud

A new comer to Florence. Go!

Chef Carmello Pennachietti brought with him his great success (including Michelin stars) from Sicily to Florence. His preparations, especially the fresh sea food, invoke views of the Ionian coast, of verdant hillsides and of the unique Sicilian culture. His incredible recipes astound with their bursts of flavor, their savory after-bite and their luscious freshness.

Reservations strongly recommended.

IMG_20180309_115032

The Dining Room, Ara e Sud

Via della Vigna Vecchia, 4, 50122 Firenze FI,

 

Italy

HOURS:

Closed Tuesday

Monday – Sunday: 12:00 Noon – 11:00PM

Tel: +39. 331.21.70.926

 

 

Trattoria Anita

Trattoria Anita

Located directly behind the Palazzo Vecchio (the city “hall” of Florence), and down a narrow medieval alleyway, this lovely and simple trattoria serves very good food, traditionally Tuscan, at an incredible price (good, that is!). If there are more than four together for dinner, I would call ahead for reservations.

Via del Parlascio, 2

50122 Firenze, Italy

Phone: +39.055.218.8698

Hours:

Monday-Saturday 12:00PM – 2:30PM, 7:00PM – 10:15PM

Sunday                      Closed

  

Il Latini

If there is any restaurant in Florence that personifies the insane cacophonous atmosphere of the true Italian trattoria, Il Latini is it. GO EARLY at opening to get in, otherwise you will have to wait, sometimes for more than an hour. You can call ahead for reservations. You often sit at long tables with other diners. The ceiling is covered in hanging prosciutto hams. This place is great fun and has great food. A Florentine tradition.

Via dei Palchetti, 6R

50123 Firenze, Italy

Phone: +39.055.210.916

Hours:

Tuesday – Sunday  12:30PM – 2:30PM, 7:30PM – 10:30PM

Monday                    Closed

Il Latini Florence

Il Latini, Firenze

 

Trattoria San Gallo

Trattoria San Gallo

Trattoria San Gallo

Located just off the intersection of Via San Gallo and Via Guelfa, this small and unassuming trattoria offers good meals at reasonable prices. Don’t expect fancy or superb levels of service. This is a place where the locals dine, so you know it is consistent and fairly priced.

 

Via San Gallo, 4

50122 Firenze, Italy

Phone: +39.055.239.9893

Hours

Monday – Friday    12:00PM – 3:00PM, 7:00PM – 11:30PM

Saturday                     7:00PM – 11:30PM (no Lunch)

Sunday                      12:00PM – 3:00PM, 7:00PM – 11:30PM

 

Trattoria Bibe

This is a wonderful place with exceptional food and service. If you wish to get out of the city and into a nearby suburb (Galluzzo) you can take a taxi for about € 20.00 each way and have a memorable meal with some of the best food in Tuscany.

Trattoria Bibe Garden Terrace

Trattoria Bibe, Garden Terrace

 

The family that owns the trattoria is in their fifth generation of ownership. Families from the Frescobaldi’s to the Antinori’s to the common folks of Florence love this place. In summer, reserve on the lovely garden terrace and in cooler days, the interior offers the kind of warmth only an Italian home can offer.

Via delle Bagnese, 1

50124 Firenze, Italy

Phone: +39.055.204.9085

Hours:

Mon-Friday              Dinner only 7:30PM –9:30PM

Saturday/Sunday   12:30PM – 2:30PPM, 7:30PM – 9:30PM

Wednesday              Closed

 

La Ménagére

A newcomer to the Florence dining scene, this is a trendy and fun place to enjoy very good food in a modern/quirky atmosphere. Love the design of this place and the food offers unique twists on Tuscan traditional recipes.

la-menagere-florence

La Ménagére , Florence

 

You will find good service, fair prices and a welcoming comfortable atmosphere. If you are interested, they often have jazz in the evenings in the lower cantina. You can check at the restaurant welcome desk about time and performers.

 

Via de’Ginori, 8

Firenze, Italy

Phone: +39.055.075.0600

Hours:

Monday – Sunday              12:00PM – 11:00PM

 

Ristorante Cafaggi

cafaggi

The entire family works together at Cafaggi!

This fourth generation family run restaurant attracts local Florentines, as well as the knowledgeable visitor. You may see the occasional large group here, but the main dining room is reserved for tables of from two to six diners.

I recommend calling for a reservation for dinner. Famous for Beefsteak Florentine…and it is GOOD!

Via Guelfa, 35/R

50129 Firenze, Italy

Phone: +39.055.294.989

Hours:

Monday – Saturday    12:30PM – 3:00PM, 7:00PM – 10:00PM

Sunday                           Closed

 

Osteria Santo Spirito

trattoria-za-za-in-florence

Interior of Osteria Santo Spirito

Located directly on the Piazza that fronts the church of Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno, the south side of the Arno River, this place is relaxing, fun, flavorful and memorable. You should make reservations for dinner.

 

Depending on weather, you can sit outside on the raised wooden platform. Clear “plastic” walls help keep the weather out. I recommend upstairs inside for a quieter table and, if you are fortunate, a view of the Piazza.

Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R

50125 Firenze, Italy

Phone: +39.055.238.2383

Hours:

Monday – Sunday              12:00PM – 11:30PM

 

Cibreo

 

A word of explanation: Cibreo and the Teatro del Sale, across from each other in the Sant’Ambrogio neighborhood of Florence, are owned by the same family – the Picchi’s. The chef’s wife at Cibreo opened the Teatro del Sale as a dinner/performance venue several years ago. These two restaurants are listed separately so that you can consider options about style of meal, type of atmosphere, etc. Either way, you will not be disappointed with either place.

Cibreo Florence

Cibreo, Main Dining Room

 

Much has been written about the amazing food prepared here by Chef and owner Fabio Picchi. A Florentine attraction in and of himself, the restaurant is rated one of the very best in Italy. Yes, it is pricey, yet you will never regret your meal if you dine here. Call for reservations.

Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 8/R

50128 Firenze, Italy

Phone: +39.055.234.1100

Hours:

Tuesday –Sunday   12:50PM – 2:30PM, 7:00PM – 11:15PM

Monday                    Closed

 

Teatro del Sale

Florentine Chef Fabio Picchi is one of Florence’s living treasures who steals the Sant’Ambrogio show with this eccentric, good value members-only club located inside an old theater. (Everyone welcome, annual membership € 7.00 per person at entrance.) He cooks up weekend brunch, lunch and dinner, culminating at 9:30PM in a live performance of drama, music or comedy arranged by his wife, artistic director and comic actress Maria Cassi. Dinners are hectic: grab a chair, serve yourself water, wine and antipasti and wait for the chef to yell out what’s about to be served. You line up at the open kitchen’s counter for your first and second course. Dessert and coffee are laid out buffet-style just prior to the performance. FUN!

Teatro del Sale Firenze

Dinner hour at Teatro del Sale

Via de` Macci, 118

50122 Firenze, Italy

Phone: +39.055.200.1492

Hours:

Tuesday – Friday                12:00PM – 2:30PM (Brunch)

7:30PM – 11:00PM

Saturday                               11:30AM – 3:00PM

7:30PM – 11:00PM

Sunday                                  11:30AM – 3:00PM (Brunch Only)

Monday                                Closed

 

Mercato Nuovo (San Lorenzo Food Market)

 

Food Market Florence

A typical summer crowd at the Mercato

 

The ground floor of this building is where the locals shop for the best of Tuscan and Italian goods; from meats to cheeses to vegetables and seasonings this is the place for best prices on fresh products.

In April 2014, the second floor became a kind of open Tuscan food ‘court’ where only the finest Tuscan items are prepared. There is a high degree of attention paid to the quality and preparation of dishes available. Open daily for a unique experience, offering leisure, authenticity, spontaneity and tradition.

Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26

Firenze, Italy

Hours:

Monday – Sunday              11:00AM – 11:00PM

Phone: +39.055.239.9798

Hours:

Monday – Sunday                                      10:00AM – 12:01AM

 

Trattoria Za Za

Since 1977 this delightful little trattoria, steps from the Mercato Nuovo (see #10), has been serving excellent food with good service and fair prices. Inside is cozy, with warm colors and multi-faceted artwork.

osteria_santo_spirito

A welcoming evening view at Osteria Santo Spirito

Depending on weather, you can sit outside on their covered wooden deck. Well worth the trip for a good meal.

If you plan on dinner, I recommend called for a reservation.

 

Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Hours:
Monday – Friday: 12:00PM – 11:30PM Continuous
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30PM – 11:30PM
Tel: +39 055 238 2383
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