Archive for the ‘Florence Museums’ Category


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.


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.


The Dining Room, Ara e Sud

Via della Vigna Vecchia, 4, 50122 Firenze FI,




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: +


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: +


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: +


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: +


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 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: +


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


Ristorante 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: +


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

Sunday                           Closed


Osteria Santo Spirito


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: +


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




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: +


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: +


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


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

Phone: +


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.


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
Monday – Friday: 12:00PM – 11:30PM Continuous
Saturday and Sunday: 6:30PM – 11:30PM
Tel: +39 055 238 2383

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Last Supper restored detail

I had the privilege of studying the panels of Giorgio Vasari’s Last Supper during a visit to the Opificio dell Pietra Dura workshop in Florence’s Fortezza di Basso last March.

Given the condition of the painting at that time, it was difficult to believe that the restored panels would be ready to hang once again in their place of honor in the Basilica of Santa Croce by early November of this year.


On November 4, exactly fifty years from the date that Vasari’s work was inundated and nearly destroyed in 1966, the work was unveiled in its original home.

It is difficult to put in to words what this means to Florentines. When Cimabue’s Crucifixion was restored and unveiled, the city expressed the same deep sense of pride they do now. Florentines are justifiably proud of their artistic heritage, no more so than when a Renaissance treasure by Vasari comes once again to life.

This is no small piece of art. The completed work measures 8.6 Feet (262 cm) high by 19 Feet (580 cm) wide.

For forty-six years the panels were kept in secure storage, awaiting the moment when art restoration would successfully meet the scientific techniques required to carefully and lovingly repair the painting.  It was in 2012 that the panels were moved to the Opificio della Pietra Dura in Florence to begin the process of ‘rebirth’.

Vasari’s opus joins several other master works at Santa Croce, including Taddeo Gaddi’s Last Supper.

Below are some photographs taken shortly after the flood submerged this masterpiece for over thirty-six hours, as well as photos of the work’s recent restored unveiling.

In a word? GO!

Santa Croce Visiting Hours, Ticketing Information and Map

Shortly after the flood – note that the panels have been covered with linen cloth to stabilize the paint so that it would not flake off as the piece was moved and dried.

The experts bring the Last Supper back to life

The completed masterpiece, in its place of honor at Santa Croce


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The are called Angels of the Flood, Angeli del Fango in Italian.

In the days after the horrendous flood of early November 1966, they came, unbidden, from around the world. With no known places to sleep, no known sources of nutrition and with a profound sense of the cultural loss caused by the turbulent waters of the Arno, they arrived.

At first, it was five or ten. By the end of the third week of November, there were over two thousand of these ‘angels’ at work doing whatever they could to help. They did whatever they were told; whether rescuing water and oil soaked illuminated manuscripts from the basement of the National Library or digging out streets that were covered in a thick, oily ooze, they worked.

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Angeli del Fango

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Angeli del Fango: Giunti Publishing

Erasmo d’Angelis’ book, Angeli del Fango, became a sensation for its collection of photographs and transcriptions of events from those who worked so hard to help.

For those interested in ordering, you can locate used copies, from time to time. The ISBN information is:

ISBN 10: 8809050134 ISBN 13: 9788809050136

Though the city was crippled as a result of the flood, and references were made to the numerous other floods that once plagued the city, this was in many ways a simpler time. The willingess to pick up and assist, the heart to want to be part of something bigger than themselves,  and without any motivation other than good intent, sometimes seems a distance dream.

As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the flood, please keep in mind these willing and passionate voluteers who gave every ounce of their energy to help the city that they loved. We are all the better for the enormity of contribution that they made.

Today Florence is the city she is thanks in no small way to the angels of the mud.

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Removing damaged treasures

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Cleaning up

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Here is some great news about the Uffizi in Florence.

For those who have visited the gallery, you may recall the Sandro Botticelli rooms located off of the Eastern/First Corridor in numbers 10 – 14. (See map below) They were rather dark, crowded (always) and not easy to navigate.

Thanks to a complete renovation of those rooms, the Botticelli’s glow as never before. In addition to the rooms dedicated to Sandro, Rooms 9 and 15 have been upgraded as well.

The rooms reopened on October 18, 2016 (yesterday).  For those of you headed to Florence anytime in the future will enjoy the spectacular way his unforgettable work is now showcased.


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Primavera in the newly renovated rooms of Botticelli at the Uffizi

Uffizi Gallery


Tuesday – Sunday, 08:15AM – 06:50PM

Tickets: Uffizi Web Site





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Those of you fortunate enough to be in Italy this coming weekend, 24 and 25 September, can take advantage of extended museum hours and reduced museum entrance fees as part of the annual celebration of European Heritage.

The Florence Tourist Information Office has published a complete list of the museums and sites favorably affected by these special days. See below for a link to the document.

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Piazza della Signoria, Firenze

If you are at all interested in saving and seeing while in Florence, this is the weekend to do so! The link below is the official announcement, in Italian, for the special pricing and hours. The listing is in English and you can find information about hours and pricing.  .


ENJOY bella Firenze on two very important and special days.

If you would like to learn more about our small group explorations of Italy with four unique and distinct itineraries, please visit us at: www.private-italy.com

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A unique experience is being offered by the Uffizi Gallery and Florence Museums this summer. If you are, or will be, in Florence through the end of September, GO!

Every Tuesday evening through the 27th of September 2016, the Uffizi gallery will open its doors to the public at no charge (you must have a ticket-see below). A wide array of performances will be given, all performed to enrich your encounter with the greatest art treasures of the Renaissance.

See “Details” below for ticket information.

Uffizi Corridor

From the music and Gregorian chant of the 14th Century to more contemporary artists and performers, these evenings will offer a greater depth to the beauty of the museum’s already rich diversity of art.

As but one example, on July 5 2016 the program provides an evocative music concert with medieval chant. The Ensemble San Felice, composed of five musicians and two singers and conducted by Maestro Federico Bardazzi, will present a selection of music written by the composer and musician of the fourteenth century, Francesco Landini.

To gain a better sense of the profound quality of the work the Ensemble San Felice provides, please take a few minutes to listen to La Musica Della Commmedia, Te Deum Laudamus performed by the ensemble. Click on the photo below to watch the video.

Byzantine Crixtus

Many other talented musicians and performers are on the the schedule for this year. The link provided will be updated in late July with the programs scheduled through the end of the 2016 season.


Until September 27, 2016, every Tuesday the Uffizi Gallery will remain open from 19:00 (7:00PM) to 22:00 (10:00PM). Admission to the museum is free of charge and you can book your visit through the website, www.uffizi.it, or by calling the museum booking number of the Florence Museums +


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