Florence has all of Tuscany in its backyard, which provides a fresh source of food and wine to the city. It is easy to find great food and drink in Florence by even popping in to any place that appeals to you.
We looked at what makes Florence unique from the rest of Italy when it comes to food, drink and entertainment. Here are the highlights.
An Enoteca - Italian for ‘wine library’ - is where you stop by for a glass of wine. The idea is to be able to sample wines by the glass, even expensive ones. And you can buy a bottle if you like.
Enotecas are popular sales points for local wineries, who do not have the marketing muscle to get into large stores. This makes Enotecas a good place for customers to discover local, high quality wines they would have never got to try otherwise.
Traditional Enotecas used to serve only wine, though these days it is common for them in Florence to also have some light food.
The atmosphere is casual and you can stand outside by the cobblestones; or you can sit at the marble topped bar and have a bite to eat making it a meal.
Tuscany lives by the principle of cucina povera, or ‘poor cooking’ which focuses on what’s available readily and cheap. Nostrale or ‘ours’ refers to the abundant produce from the rolling hills of Tuscany.
Typical produce is legumes, beans, herbs, grains like faro, and cheeses. Game is also found in plenty, especially wild boar and pheasant.
Ribollita is a soup of farmland origins whose name translates to "reboiled". The ingredients are anything that’s lying around mixed with last night’s left over soup. And reboiled.
Typical mains include Penne con Salsa di Noci alla Toscana - Tuscan Penne in Walnut-Garlic Sauce; Bistecca alla Fiorentina - Tuscan steak from the Chianina cow; or Pici, the local pasta with local sauces.
Popular Desserts from the region are ricciarelli - almond biscuits with honey - and cavallucci - almond cookies with candied fruits.
Tuscany is also known for its wines like Chianti, Vini Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino and the Super Tuscan wines.
And Truffles from the San Miniato region are famous.
The university population and easy pace of the city gives Florence, probably the best night-life in all of Italy. It will not feel rushed as it sometimes feels in a large city.
The Piazzas are common places to hang out, and Florence stays up late many places up to 3am.