Florence, Italy

Florence | Firenze | The Best

We can officially say both of us have been to Florence, but separate times.  K was able to study abroad in this beautiful city during her junior year at UCSB.  Now T got to experience it for herself.  All those years k talked about how much she loved this city and T now knows why.  And for our readers – here is why:

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EAT:

Alla Vecchia Bettola

This restaurant was recommended by a close friend of ours and we are happy she did! Alla Vecchia Bettola is located across the Arno River, walking distance from the Duomo. The Tuscan dining atmosphere at Alla Vecchia Bettola is authentic, quaint and family oriented.  The waiters were kind and made the dinner fun.  Vino, vino, vino!  Portions are perfect, house wine is delicious and the price is right.  The dish to order is penne alla bettola – Vodka sauce! YES – it’s delicious and has many famous chefs trying to recreate the recipe.  A couple days after leaving Florence, Giada and her family dined at Alla Vecchia Bettola.  Yes its AMAZING and you have to try it for yourself.  Can’t wait to go back!

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Gusta Pizza 

This pizzeria is located across from the Arno River and is known for their pizza.  Gusta exceeded all expectations and then some.  The classic margherita pizza was the order and wish the saucy and cheese creation didn’t have to end.  The crust was cooked to perfection and had the perfect amount of sweetness.  As for the sauce – we could have just drank that by itself. And the cheese – creamy, just the right amount and savory!   If you are looking for good pizza, make sure you stop in at Gusta !!

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Fishing Lab ALLE MURATE

Fishing Lab was one of those restaurants that we had never heard of until we stumbled upon it upon checking in to our hotel, Grand Hotel Cavour.  It’s located right across the street and after watching the local crowd enter and leave, we decided to check it out. SOO glad we did, because its now one of our favorite spots in Florence.  Fishing Lab is an innovative restaurant concept based on an original unconventional raw and cooked fish formula. You make up your meal – there is no set starters, mains or side dishes.  The menu is made up of traditional cuisines that are reworked into a new, one-of-a-kind configuration.  If you are ‘fishing’ for a wonderful dining experience, check out Fishing! It’s lively, service is fantastic and the food is excellent.

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La Menagere

Bistro + restaurant near San Lorenzo. This is at the top of our list just for our morning coffee and pastry.  We also grabbed some vino one evening and will definitely go back for dinner next trip to Florence! Such a cool space thats inviting for a social setting.  The sangria is fantastic!

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The Oil Shoppe

While studying abroad in Florence during college, K would frequent The Oil Shoppe almost every day on the way home from school near the Santa Croce.  It was the best panini in Florence at that time, and it seems to still hold its reputation.  If you are looking for a fast and casual environment and are in the area, stop at The Oil Shoppe! To note – they are open only during the weekdays 10am-7pm.

Il Santino

If you are looking for a small plates restaurant, come to Il Santino.  Its a charming space thats located down a narrow alley that draws a lot of locals.  Great wine and side dishes if you aren’t looking for a full meal.

A couple spots that we researched, but didn’t get to try since we had only one night. They will have to wait for our next trip! 

All Antico Vinaio  Voted one of the best panini’s in Florence.  Check this spot our near Piazza Signoria and Uffizi.

Gesto  Awine bar, across the Arno River that attracks many locals.  Drove by this place en route back from dinner and it looked like a happening spot.

4 leoni Authentic Italian food that is tucked down a small street in a bustling small piazza near Pitti Palace.

Locale New hotspot in City Center, known for their cocktails and build out. Restaurant is in a Medici’s family building from the 16th Century.  Go for just drinks.

Irene  Hot new restaurant in Florence located in the Savoy Hotel.

Sleep:

Grand Hotel Cavour

This hotel is in the perfect location – just 5 minutes walking distance from the Duomo. The building dates back to 1280 and has polished rooms with outstanding views. The best part – the rooftop bar! Incredible place to end your day with an apertivo overlooking the city.  The price is right too – we highly suggest the Grand Hotel Cavour!!

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Ciao Ciao,

T.W.O. signature
T.W.O. signature

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