Posts Tagged ‘Florence’

Eating Out in Florence

Florence does not simply regard itself as home to the greatest of Italy’s regional culinary traditions, but as the birthplace of all Western cookery. Florentines will tell you that it was the sixteenth-century Catherine de Medici who taught the French to cook by taking with her a team of Tuscan chefs when she married the Duke of Orleans, later to become King Henry II of France.

While it is hard to tell if the above is true or false, there is no doubt Florence can reward the wise traveler in search for good local food, especially if he/she manages to get off the beaten track. The key is to find a place that looks as though it’s popular with locals. If you find such a place, you’re probably onto a winner, both price and taste wise.

As in most cities, the cheapest eating places can be found in the area surrounding the main railway station, with the more upmarket restaurants being located in the central area. Some excellent, moderately priced establishments are located in Oltrarno, the traditionally less respectable south side of the river.

As it is always the case in Italy, it’s preferable to order dishes that are traditional to the region, not least because this helps ensure the freshest ingredients. Tuscan cuisine, and Florentine in particular, continues to adhere to many peasant traditions, combing basic ingredients and simple cooking methods. Nevertheless, the finished result is nothing if not impressive..

The Florentine steak (‘bistecca allla fiorentina’), believed to date back to the Etruscans, is a perfect example. Many in the English-speaking world would call this a Porterhouse or a T-Bone and wonder what the fuss is all about. In reality, a ‘Florentine steak’ is cut closer to the center of the steer than a North American T-bone, so it includes a full circle of the tenderloin. Apart from the cut, much of the secret is the breed of cattle: the best steaks come from the Chianina breed, which is known as the oldest breed of cattle in the world, and they are thick cut, weighting at least 800g. Cooked on the grill, served rare and, on occasion, with a wedge of lemon on the side, a Fiorentina can easily satisfy two people, but there are those brave enough who will attempt to eat one all by themselves!

The soups are well worth trying as they are derived from peasant traditions as well. The most delicious, famous Florentine soup is ‘ribollita’, made with a mixture of stale bread, beans, ‘cavolo nero’ (a black cabbage grown in Tuscany, similar to kale or Swiss Chard) and other typical Tuscan vegetables. As with many leftovers, ribollita always tastes better the day after! Other delicious soups are ‘pappa con il pomodoro’ (a tomato-based soup that’s thickened with bread) and ‘minestra di farro’ (spelt or barley soup with beans, tomatoes, celery and carrot). While some of these soups might not sound terribly appealing to your palate, they are absolutely delicious, simple and hearty.

Extra-virgin olive oil is held in pride of place in Florence, and it is never missing from the Florentine table. Olive oil is used as a dip for foods such as celery, artichokes and ‘pinzimonio’ (a selection of fresh vegetables). It is also used in cooking, and as a dressing for salads and delicious ‘bruschetta’ (grilled slices of unsalted bread topped in a variety of ways). The one made with red cabbage and beans is a local favourite and must be tasted to be believed!

Other Florentine and Tuscan specialities to look out for are ‘crostini’ (a smaller variety of bruschetta topped with pate’ or diced tomatoes), ‘panzanella’ (a cold mixed summer salad with breadcrumbs), ‘pappardelle sulla lepre’ (ribbon pasta with hare), ‘pappardelle al cinghiale’ (pappardelle with wild boar sauce) and ‘fagioli all’uccelletto’ (beans in tomato sauce usually served as a side dish).

If you have a sweet tooth, try to get your hands on a slice of ‘schiacciata alla fiorentina’. It is an orange-flavored sponge cake, covered with confectioner’s sugar and filled with pastry or whipped cream. Although typically served around Carnival, it can be found at Florence’s pastry shops year round. ‘Cantuccini di Prato’ are dry almond biscuits that are dipped in ‘Vin Santo’, a sweet, aromatic dessert wine.

Tuscany produces some of the finest wines in Italy, the most famous of which is probably Chianti. ‘Chianto Classico’ is produced in the area to the south of Florence – one of several production zones for Chianti. ‘Vernaccia di San Gimignano’, a white wine which was a favourite of Lorenzo de’ Medici, is another good local wine to try. If you are serious about your wines, pay a visit to an enoteca, where you can taste, enjoy and buy a range of quality wines.

Finally, if a quick snack is what you are looking for, head to a ‘friggitoria’, to have some ‘polenta fritta’ or ‘crocchette’ – or to one of the tripe stands which can be found all around the city. These traditional Florentine stands usually serve sandwiches filled with ‘lampredotto’ (stuffed cow’s stomach). They may not sound too appealing to your taste, but to paraphrase an old adage ‘When in Florence…’

This article is part of a series covering the most important italian travel destinations and regional cuisines. You can find similar articles about eating out in Rome, Naples, Milan and Venice.

Born in New York City, but now happily ensconced in the Tuscan Archipelago, Bob McCormack is a freelance writer with a very special passion for food and wine. His
Tuscany travel

articles and
Tuscany hotel

and restaurants reviews have appeared in numerous national and international publications.


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Rick Steves’ Florence & Tuscany 2010

Rick Steves’ Florence & Tuscany 2010

  • 494 pages
  • Florence: Renaissance walking tour, Accademia tour, Uffizi Gallery tour, Bargello tour, Museum of San Marco tour, Duomo Museum tour, Medici Chapels tour, Medici-Riccardi Palace tour, Santa Maria Novella tour, Santa Croce tour, Oltrarno walk, Brancacci Chapel tour, Pitti Palace tour, Galileo Science Museum tour
  • Siena: Duomo tour, Duomo Museum tour, Civic Museum tour
  • Pisa: Self-guided walk, Tower tour, Duomo tour, Field of Miracles tour
  • Lucca: Rampart bike tour, Roman amphitheater

You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling through Florence and Tuscany.

With the self-guided tours in this book, you’ll discover the geographic heart of Italy. Take the Renaissance Walk and tour the Uffizi Gallery to learn how Florence taught civilized living to the rest of Europe. Wander through the medieval city of Siena and find out what Pisa has to offer beyond the Leaning Tower. Relax in sunny Tuscan hill towns where you’ll enjoy full-bo

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Rick Steves’ Florence & Tuscany 2011

Rick Steves’ Florence & Tuscany 2011

You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling through Florence and Tuscany. With the self-guided tours in this book, you’ll discover the geographic heart of Italy. Take the Renaissance Walk and tour the Uffizi Gallery to learn how Florence taught civilized living to the rest of Europe. Wander through the medieval city of Siena and find out what Pisa has to offer beyond the Leaning Tower. Relax in sunny Tuscan hill towns where you’ll enjoy full-bodied wi

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Travel Tuscany Offers Fall Specials — a Wide Range of Accommodation in Tuscany and Florence at Unbeatable Rates



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Travel Tuscany Offers Fall Specials — a Wide Range of Accommodation in Tuscany and Florence at Unbeatable Rates










Florence (PRWEB) September 19, 2005

Travel Tuscany, a division of Connextions Group, offers a hand-picked selection of all types of properties, from exclusive villas to charming farmhouses, in Tuscany and Florence for holiday rentals at special Fall rates. The modest prices put the top quality facilities and attractions of the featured properties within reach of every vacationer.

“Lots of people think that renting a villa or farmhouse in Italy will be out of their budget, but it isn’t, says Elizabeth Morris, President of the organization. “Take the Villa Monte 2 for instance. It sleeps about twenty, and, during the low season, the cost works out to lower than even a bare minimum Bread and Breakfast in Tuscany.”

The rates vary from property to property – depending on location, facilities and size — and also from season to season – High, Medium and Low – but they are competitive in any event.

Choose from a long list of apartments, villas and farmhouses in Florence, Chianti, Lucca, Siena and most of Tuscany.

The properties are carefully selected and Travel Tuscany has direct contact with the owners. Unlike an automated site where clients complete an online booking form without being certain that they’ll be answered or that the booking has actually gone through, Travel Tuscany offers personalized service.

The listed sites lend themselves to various purposes. Be it a honeymoon, a very special birthday celebration, a week of peace away from the madding crowd, or a family holiday, there’s something to make everyone happy.

“The Tuscan region is such a magical place to visit, and your accommodations and service were nothing less. It is rare to find services like yours that are willing to go the extra mile to make your stay as memorable as possible”, say Angela Bailey and family of their holiday at the Villa Santa Maria.

“My children had great fun They occupied themselves by swimming in the oversized pool, playing with the Jack Russell puppies, jumping on the trampoline, running around the property and visiting the horses, hens and geese!” Says Debby Somerville-Cotton after an enjoyable time at the Villa Alexandra.

The Travel Tuscany team doesn’t limit itself to providing accommodation. It also helps with other aspects of a vacation – providing assistance with tours and museum booking, offering restaurant suggestions, organizing catering classes, and even arranging a wedding.

“We had such a fabulous wedding day. It was great to finally meet you – thanks for coming down to be part of the day at Villa Monte 3. It was such a marvelous, idyllic setting. You chose well with the church too!” enthuses Helen, a happy bride.

The group organizes excursions to various places in Florence, the Chianti region, Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Montalcino Pienza, Pisa, Luca, Arezzo, Cortona, Assisi and Cinque Terre. For shopaholics, there’s an exclusive shopping tour laid on. And for the adventurous, there’s an exciting hot air balloon trip.

Travel Tuscany’s specially selected, comprehensive list of accommodation in the scenic Tuscan region offers something to suit every vacationer. Organized excursions, cookery classes, adventure trips and personalized advice add value to the product. Special Fall rates ensure that, as regards price versus quality and level of accommodation, the terms can’t be matched. “We’ll definitely be back!” is a promise that satisfied clients make to themselves after a visit with Travel Tuscany.

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Commune de La Région Toscane: Florence, Pise, Isola Del Giglio, Lucques, Livourne, Viareggio, Sienne, Pistoia, Arezzo, Piombino, San Gimignano (French Edition)

Commune de La Région Toscane: Florence, Pise, Isola Del Giglio, Lucques, Livourne, Viareggio, Sienne, Pistoia, Arezzo, Piombino, San Gimignano (French Edition)

Les achats comprennent une adhésion à l’essai gratuite au club de livres de l’éditeur, dans lequel vous pouvez choisir parmi plus d’un million d’ouvrages, sans frais. Le livre consiste d’articles Wikipedia sur : Florence, Pise, Isola Del Giglio, Lucques, Livourne, Viareggio, Sienne, Pistoia, Arezzo, Piombino, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Prato, Londa, Pescia, Castel Del Piano, Cortone, Santa Fiora, Anghiari, Cecina, Volterra, Greve in Chianti, Pienza, Carrare, Grosseto, Portoferraio, Sansepo

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The Little Black Book of Florence & Tuscany (Travel Guide) Reviews

The Little Black Book of Florence & Tuscany (Travel Guide)

With user-friendly maps and insider tips, this travel guidebook takes you to the best Florence and Tuscany have to offer.

Here’s what to see and do, and where to eat, drink, shop, and stay—including a city guide to Florence and itineraries for the rolling hills and medieval towns beyond!

”Top Picks” direct you to not-to-be-missed attractions. 256 pages, plus 8 maps, including a Florence bus map.

Writer, translator, and world traveler Vesna Neskow has written four othe

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Nelles Travel Pack Florence: Fiesole, Prato, Pistoia, San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena (Nelles Travel Packs)

Nelles Travel Pack Florence: Fiesole, Prato, Pistoia, San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena (Nelles Travel Packs)

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Florence Cooking Lessons | Florence Wine And Tuscany Culinary Tours | Florence Uncorked

Italy food lovers visiting Tuscany beware! Guests traveling to Florence in Tuscany be prepared to enjoy the finer things of life. Great Italian food, great Tuscan wines and wonderful Renaissance settings!

Nancy Aiello Tours offers limitless opportunities to enjoy the life of real Florence and tour Tuscany like a local. Nancy Aiello’s guests will venture inside Florence as only locals know it, tour local food markets, cook in a private Florentine home, and enjoy Florence as the Florentine do.
Tuscany is rightly considered Italy’s premier food and wine region famous worldwide for its Chianti region and famed Chianti red wine. Tuscany boasts not only the most prestigious red wines, but is also home to the finest sweet wines and excellent dry white wines. The variety of wines produced in Tuscany is staggering and we have designed the most comprehensive and tasty Florence and Tuscany culinary tours to inspire the taste of our most demanding guests.

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Nancy Aiello Tours’ team of travel consultant and licensed Italy tour guides draw on extensive local knowledge to provide detailed & customized tours of Florence to enjoy Italy art galleries and Florence museums, Tuscan healthy home cooking lessons and well-being. These Italy VIP travel services include Florence airports and Livorno ports of call welcome, recommendation of Florence hotels and luxury accommodation in Tuscany, Florence private transfers and logistics arrangements, private Florence cooking lessons and Florence markets tours.

To learn more about Nancy Aiello’s Private guided tour of Florence or to plan a Tuscany holiday and memorable trip to Italy please contact info@nancyaiellotours.com

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Florence Tour Guides for Florence Russian travelers | Russian Tourists visiting Florence | Tour Florence with Russian Speaking Guides and Drivers

NancyAielloTours.com specializes in deluxe private tours of Florence and Tuscany countryside with Russian speaking official licensed tour guides to visit Florence most famous landmarks and explore Florence countryside including private day trips from Florence to Pisa and Lucca, Siena and san Gimignano, Versilia, Cinque Terre and private transfers from Florence to Rome with Russian speaking licensed drivers.

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Florence Day Tours to Rome with personal Russian speaking Official Florence Tour Guide are an opportunity to enjoy Florence ancient sights, beautiful countryside, excellent Italian food and friendly people with our local official Russian speaking tour guides and private transportation with licensed drivers.

For highly personalized private guided tours of Florence with Russian speaking official tour guides please contact Nancy Aiello Tours at info@nancyaiellotours.com

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Family Florence Tours | Visit Florence with Kids and Teens | Kids Friendly Florence Family Holidays

Nancy Aiello Florence Tour is dedicated to provide kids-friendly guided tours of Florence catering to families visiting Florence with children looking for private guided Florence tours geared towards the kids’ needs and interests.

Nancy Aiello Florence Tour provides child friendly private guided tours of Florence and the Tuscan countryside catering to families visiting Florence on a multiple generation party keen on experiencing tours of Florence geared towards the kids’ needs and interests but entertaining for the whole family. Nancy Aiello offers private guided tours of Florence tours for kids of all ages

Nancy Aiello Florence Tour and its professional team of local experts advises independent travelers and families with children with the finest Florence vacations and private Florence tours combined with highly personalized Florence concierge services to enjoy Florence and get the most out of a Florence family vacation.

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These private guided tours of Florence for families are designed to offer an enjoyable, entertaining and culturally rich Florence day tour experiences for the whole family visiting Florence with kids and teens!

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