What to eat and drink in Florence

NO_TITLE - Introduction

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.

Enotecas - The Wine Bars of Florence

Enotecas - The Wine Bars of Florence

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.

Traditionally, Enotecas serve only wine

Traditionally, Enotecas serve only wine

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.

Authentic Tuscan Cuisine - ‘Cucina Povera’ & ‘Nostrale’

Authentic Tuscan Cuisine - ‘Cucina Povera’ & ‘Nostrale’

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.

Common Tuscan dishes

Common Tuscan dishes

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 and Tuscan Wines

Popular Desserts and Tuscan Wines

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.

Florence Nightlife - Easy Pace

Florence Nightlife - Easy Pace

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.

Popular Nightlife areas in Florence

Popular Nightlife areas in Florence

  • Piazza Santa Croce, with its Renaissance appeal and young crowd.
  • Piazza della Signoria, with an older crowd and relatively low key bars and clubs.
  • Piazzale Michelangelo, a hilltop location with fantastic city views and concerts.
  • Across the river Arno and away from tourists, Oltarno, San Niccolo and San Frediano have a bohemian vibe with street markets and local artisans.

Top