Florence – the 48 hour Edit – Do it Like a local-
Written by Lena Harizopoulos
A sweet melancholy overwhelms me when I think of Florence’s pinkish grey skyline and I find myself closing my eyes, daydreaming endless lonely walks in its centro stosico…..
This winter though the never ending Indian summer has given us the joy to experience Europe’s top capitals in style and in great weather.
Last week found me in Florence where the sun was shining, the sky was vivid blue smiling at me while the lovely terracotta buildings where caressing its perfectly round clouds.
This trip was all about doing things the local way. Not much of fancy Enoteca Pinchiori dining and Four Seasons hoteling BUT visiting places where cool locals hang out, plus a small dose of hotel trotting at the city’s top hotel lobbies.
STAY: PORTRAIT FIRENZE
Stylish yet warm ambience, contemporay interiors, central location right on Ponte Vecchio. The hottest boutique hotel address at the moment.
BREAKFAST & LUNCH: CAFFE DELL ORO
Inside PORTRAIT FIRENZE you will find Caffe dell Oro a hip and very civilized spot to enjoy great breakfast, lunch and dinner with revisited Tuscan dishes, 30 wines served by the glass and a great mix of crowd mainly though tourists.
Go for the Tuscan Burger or a dish of pasta.
DIRTY NIBBLE: All’ antico Vinaio. a street sandwich shop not to be missed. Real Food porn.
POSH PANINO: PROCACCI. On Via Tornabuoni, the famous sandwich shop sells the yummiest products and sandwiches with truffle
1st GELATO STOP: Gelatteria Venchi. An all time classic ice cream shop. You will find it in many corners of Florence and ait is the disney land of pastries and ice cream
MUST TRY GELATO ARTIGIANALE: LA CARAPINA. This is a fantastic traditional gelateria with top pistachio and chocolate flavors. Go for the nero assoluto chocolate.
BEST APERITIVO: IL SANTINO. By far the best spot for aperitivo in Florence. you will see locals mainly, a great crowd with great Tuscan wines and nibbles to die for, from salmon and cod to a great selection of cold cuts and cheese
DINING: IL SANTO BEVITORE: When u are done with your aperitivo at Il Santino, go next door to its “sister” restaurant il Santo Bevitore. It is a must-visit. All dishes are good, the ambience is warm and the crowd very people watching – in a relaxed sort of way.
TRATTORIA GARGANI: A vivid trattoria full of locals of all ages with a traditional tuscan menu here you will find from pappardelle al ragu, juicy steaks and wholesome starters like the scamorza and anchovie crostini and Tuscan cold cuts.
BRUNCH: JK FIRENZE For a civilized brunch in Piazza Santa Maria Novela –
RIVALTA Cafe & Restaurant. For a locals only Sunday brunch on ponte Vecchio. Here you will fin the day’s specials, a salad buffet and burgers after horoscope. (They are quite good actually).
Must-Try: The DIY tiramissu.