Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Hill Towns near Florence Italy’ Category

Many readers have requested information about restaurants that are a consistent favorite in the city. Below is a list of three and, well, one that is more a theater for food and performance. It is true that my tastes tend toward the traditional Tuscan dinner, served by family who have a great deal of ownership in a diner’s satisfaction, care deeply about the freshness and authenticity of their recipes and want you (us) to come back for more.

Hope that you will give these a try next time you are in Florence!

Il Latini

il-latini

Il Latini – Always busy

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

Trattoria Bibe

Bibe

One of the dining rooms at Trattoria Bibe

This is a wonderful place with exceptional food. The Baudone family, fifth generation owners, were recently awarded the Foreign Press Association’s recognition as the “Best Restaurant in the city keeping an authentic Italian Tradition.”

Only restaurants in Italy with more than 100 years of hospitality service are eligible so this is truly an honor for the Baudone family. In the over fifteen years that I have dined at Bibe, never has there been a disappointment. Truly a Tuscan – a Florentine – treasure!

Your trip into the into the nearby Florentine suburb of Galluzzo, by taxi, will cost you about €20.00 each way and you will have a memorable meal, perfectly prepared and graciously served.

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

Ristorante Cafaggi

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

cafaggi

Nonna preparing to set a table at her family restaurant, Cafaggi

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

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.)

teatro-del-sale

Fabio in the kitchen at Teatro del Sale

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!

Befrore the performance Teatro del Sale

Guests lining up for dinner before the performance – 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                11:30 – 3:00PM, 7:30 – 11:00PM
Sunday                  11:30AM – 3:00PM (Brunch Only)
Monday Closed

 

Read Full Post »

View of Fiesole
Above Florence

Atop a hill to the north of the city of Florence, largely ignored by most visitors to the city, is the Convent of San Francesco. Below that gorgeous renaissance building is the heart of Fiesole, a little known jewel and the birthplace of modern day Florence.

The village was founded by the Etruscans. When the Roman’s conquered the village in the third century BC, they named it Faesulae, hence its modern name. The earliest inhabitants of Florentia, modern day Florence, came from Fiesole.

What most visitors don’t realize is that within a few minutes bus ride from the center of Florence is one of the best archaeological sites in Tuscany.

The Archaeological site includes remains of the Roman temple (built on the foundations of the Etruscan’s temple), a well restored Roman bath complex and an amphitheater capable of holding up to 2000 spectators.

Amphitheater Fiesloe

Beyond the relics in the Etruscan Museum, located on the grounds of the archaeological site, is the Museo Bandini, which offers an amazing collection of 14th to 14th Century works by artists like Taddeo gaddi and Lorenzeo Monaco. The ticket for the archaeological site includes admission to this museum.

There are not many walks in the are of Florence that offer more spectacular views of the city than the Via San Francesco, which leads from the main town square UP the hill to the convent of the same name. If the timing is right, stop by the Erta del Mangia, a lovely restaurant on your right as you climb above the town. The restaurant offers a quiet garden and fairly priced meals.

Courtyard Fiesole
Monastery of Saint Frances

The chapel at the Monastery of San Francesco, sited on what once was the Acropolis of the Etruscans, contains a spectacular early Renaissance altarpiece. The quiet inner courtyard offers a sense of the peaceful seclusion found by the monks who once inhabited the buildings.

Fiesole is truly a little-known jewel above the city. Include a visit when you are in the area and you will not be disappointed.

Some additional details and restaurant recommendations are listed below.

IF YOU GO:

The Number 21 bus leaves from Santa Maria Novella Station on a regular basis. Fares run Euro 3.50 each way for the trip to the main piazza in Fiesole. Easy access to all the sites mentioned in this post from this bus stop.

Tickets for the Archaeological Area and the Museo Bandini are available at the entrance to the site. The entrance is located a few steps from the main square in the village.Cost: Euro 10.00 per person. No discount for children unless EU citizens. Group rate available for groups larger than ten visitors. (Euro 6.00 per person)

Archaeological Site: Via Portigiani, 1 – Fiesole
Open: 9,30am- 7pm (summer) and 9.30am-5pm (winter). Closed on Tuesdays only during the winter.

Museo Bandini: Via Dupré, 1 – Fiesole
Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays – in March, 10am-6pm, in April 10-7pm
Call 055.596.1293 to verify opening times

Monastery of Saint Francis: May-Sep 10am-12 noon and 3pm-6pm; Sat, Sun and holidays 3pm-6pm; rest of the year 10am-12 noon and 3pm-5pm; Sat, Sun and hols 3pm-5pm. Closed on Mondays.

Restaurants:

Perseus: On the square in the village. Excellent Tuscan menu, authentic preparations. Beefsteak Florentine? This place is famous for its preparation. Italian’s eat here. Not much more to say.

Hotels:

Hotel Villa Aurora: The entrance to this unassuming three stay hotel is directly off the main square in the village. They offer lovely clean rooms for a fraction of Florence’s costs – the views from the rooms facing west are unforgettable. There is a large terrace for drinks and meals – owned by another business, yet directly next to the hotel. Good value.

Piazza Mino, 39 – 50014 Fiesole (FI)
Tel. 05559363 –

Web Site: Hotel Villa Aurora

Read Full Post »

Welcome to the world of Private Italy Tours LTD

The goal of our journeys is to expose travelers to the exceptional heart of this stunning country. Clients have time to explore and relax on their own; in Florence and the hill towns of Tuscany, afloat on the canals and lagoons in Venice, along the narrow streets of villages in Umbria, amidst the Roman ruins in and around Rome, while driving along the spectacular Amalfi Coast, or exploring the beautiful remains of Greek and Roman civilizations in Sicily.

Most importantly you will meet the people of Italy – the true heart of the country. We bring Italy to YOU!

We know you love Italy; come see it through our eyes.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: