A Foodie's Guide to Florence

Advisor - Alison Pantano
Curated By

Alison Pantano

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  • Italy

  • Florence

  • Tuscany

  • Food & Wine

  • Art & Culture

a cone of ice cream in front of an ornate building
Curator’s statement

Florence holds a special place in my heart. Not only have I visited many times throughout the years on family trips, but I was fortunate enough to study abroad there and pretend like I was a local for four months. If you’ve never been to Italy, Florence is a great way to ease into visiting the country, as it’s very tourist friendly. If you’ve been before and crossed most of the tourist sights off your list, then consider visiting and planning around food and wine.

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Where to stay in Florence

Hotel Savoy Florence

In a prized location next to the Duomo, Florence’s grande dame is a bucket-list treat of designer interiors, world-class cuisine and exceptional service.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Place Firenze

In the heart of Florence, deeply connected to its daily life, artistic heritage and lively cultural scene, The Place is a unique accommodation that makes you feel at home.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Hotel Brunelleschi

Set in a restored Byzantine tower, this elegant features luxe rooms and two high-end restaurants in Florence.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Places to eat & drink in Florence

An array of gelato flavors behind a glass counter

You honestly can’t really have a bad meal in Florence. I honestly have a very long list of favorites, but the below rank high. 

13 Gobbi - This is hands down the best place to eat in Florence, and despite being centrally located feels like a local-kept secret. The rigatoni would be my last meal and everyone I have ever told to eat at this establishment has agreed it is incredible. 

Cibreo - This is a true local spot about a 10-minute walk away from the city center. You likely will not find many tourists in this restaurant and that’s how you know it’s a true gem in Florence. 

La Giostra - Owned by a Hapsburg Prince, this place is a must-try. Order the pear ravioli! 

Il Profeta - You will not be disappointed by this Michelin restaurant, and neither was John Travolta! Order the pasta named after him, his favorite. It is reminiscent of a vodka sauce, but with a unique spin. 

Osteria Santo Spirito - Most tourists will miss this spot because it’s on the other side of the river. Walk there so you can get the truffle and cheese gnocchi.

Colle Bereto - This vineyard is not to be missed when in Tuscany. It’s a short ride outside of the city and a true gem. If you can’t make it to the actual winery, they have a wine bar in the center of the city in Piazza della Repubblica.

Golden View - This restaurant has an incredible view of the Arno and Ponte Vecchio.

I Fratellini -  A small wine bar and sandwich shop that is quite literally a hole-in-the-wall. This shop opened in 1875 and it is INCREDIBLE. 

Antico Noè - Another well-known panini shop that is worth a visit. 

Grom Gelato - I went to this gelateria several times a week when I studied abroad and I still dream about it. Luckily, they have expanded to other cities and countries, but it’s worth getting a scoop when you are in Florence. 

Gelateria La Carraia - Locals and tourists alike love this place so expect a line. Get the white chocolate with pistachio sauce.

Acqua Al 2 - This is very popular with tourists for the blueberry steak. It’s definitely worth trying!

Things to do in Florence

A bridge over a river

Original Florence walking tour - Once you have recovered from jet lag, spend your first full day well rested going on a walking tour of Florence. This will help you take note of places you want to see. Be sure to also get your tour guides to take on local spots to check out. There are also tons of food tours you can take!

Mercato Centrale - A must-visit market in Florence for the foodies. Taste everything from farm fresh produce to cured meats and cheeses.

Private winery tour - Max Niccoli is a good person to know when you head to Florence. As a native of Florence, he has connections to some of the most intimate and unique vineyards in Tuscany.

Take a cooking class - Learn Tuscan traditions of food and wine through an immersive cooking class.

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens - Visit the palace that represents the Medici’s power over Tuscany. The palace is divided into five museums. I recommend the Palatine Gallery and the Imperial and Royal Apartments on the first floor and the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Costume and Fashion on the second floor. The Gardens are also not to be missed and are an integral part of visiting the palace.

Galleria dell’Accademia - This gallery is most famous for its sculptures by the great Renaissance artist, Michelangelo, specifically his statue of David.

The Uffizi - The most famous gallery in Florence featuring works by Botticelli.

Tour the Duomo - At one point this was the biggest church in the world, now it’s the third largest in Europe. Take the 463 steps to the top for an incredible view of the city.

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella - A 16th-century pharmacy founded by Dominican friars. Worth a visit for the creams and perfumes.

Arno River and Ponte Vecchio - The ‘Old bridge,’ which was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not destroy in World War II. Take a stroll from Piazza della Repubblica towards Palazzo Pitti. Pro tip: once you cross it, stop at Mannelli for the best leather gloves you will ever find. Mine have lasted 10+ years.

Shop on Via Roma - Explore the city and shop at boutiques and designer shops as you walk

Day trips

Day trip to Cinque Terre - A string of five seaside towns with incredible views high on the Italian Riviera. You can walk between all five towns and stop along the way to enjoy beaches, shops and restaurants.

Wine tour in Tuscany - Make a day of it! Visit Tuscany and explore wineries. Book a tour through a local, Max Niccoli, to discover unique wineries.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel tips? Check out my guide to London, the perfect European launchpad.

Advisor - Alison Pantano

Travel Advisor

Alison Pantano

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Florence.