Thursday, June 27

Florence II: eating in Florence

Giant circles of pizza; mouthful after glorious mouthful of thin, chewy dough, crisp at the edges, adorned with fresh grilled vegetables. Heaven. Another pizza with even fresher dough, covered with slices of fried potato and fat, tasty artichokes.

Mama's Bakery has bookshelves and courtyard seating where students in deck shoes and chinos are working. It's peaceful. There are free refills of the filter coffee, which is reason enough to return, and bagels toasted and smothered in jam or just as they are.
We learn there are two prices when it comes to Florentine breakfasting - standing at the bar, or sitting down. If you sit at a table in a cafe, the price suddenly elevates. So we stand, drink cappuccinos and coffee and eat flaky, fragile croissants. 2 euros.
On our last morning we enjoy breakfast on the rooftop terrace cafe of La Rinascente, a department store in the centre of the city. This place is a hidden secret, not well-known to tourists.The view is excellent. We can almost reach out and touch the Duomo.

In an unassuming white building in a quiet street in Florence is the Libreria Brac. There is a bar, which also houses a selection of delicious looking tortes. There are Macs and magazines. A courtyard, with a forest of suspended ribbons, the chef's bicycle and a cluster of battered chairs, and into the libreria itself, lined with books on art, photography, design. Candles are lit. The menu, all vegetarian/vegan, is small - always a good sign - and we tuck into pasta, freshly prepared and very, very good.

Supper at Gilli. We are sitting outside in the piazza. A Florentine lady sits at the table next to ours, drinks an espresso. She is elderly but glamorous, like a seventy-year old Audrey Hepburn, if such a thing had ever existed. She is alone. I eat sesame-crusted tuna with a celeriac puree and a balsamic vinegar reduction. The food is wonderful, but just as wonderful is the simple pasta we ate at the Libreria Brac.

I'm not normally an ice-cream fan (give me bread any day) but I make an exception for Italian gelato. The gelato is a fruity tub-ful of delight after a hot day of sight-seeing. Lampone & torroncino - raspberry & nougat to you and I.


  1. Wow I love your blog and all your photography is amazing! And my name is Florence yay ^.^


  2. Ohh it looks amazing! Their food is absolutely delicious :)x

  3. Oh you do spoil us with your beautiful photos! I adore everything about Florence and not least because of the food, which you depict here so brilliantly :) Glad you had such a lovely time!

  4. I really love your shot of the table with the bottles and bread basket kate, and the toasted bagels! they're simply lovely!