emme ane's book

The Amazing Florian Restaurant in Florence(yes of the Venecia family)  

     The Waiter, Daniele, the Cook, Massimiliano(the best up and coming chef of Italy 2015, and Julian.

"Tell people that if they come to dinner they can say they come from emmeanesbook and receive any cocktail we make with the dinner courtesy of us...!" WOW now SEX on THE BEACH or 007!


We won best cocktails in Florence many times," says the very American(although he is from the city) personable chief bartender at the famous Florian Restaurant. As you can see from the presentation below is it any wonder!  Every Wednesday they do a 007 night of Bond Cocktails! Cool.  Julian is so American you would never know that he is born in Florence from "my father, himself, is an artist! Although not as famous as the ones represented here!" he says. 

This woman below "has been the new artists for 2 weeks and she was from Florence. As you can see then all of the art in her room is her dressing up as famous Florentine woman and representing those women. This is the artist in the pictures." says Julian admiring the portraits which adorn the far room as we enter from the Cocktail bar. "Although the bar has been here 7 years and is famous for its cocktails, I believe it is most important to showcase the restaurant. The food is amazingly wonderful and the art rooms are one of a kind in the world for dining." True!  

I say to Julian that he seems a artist himself since his words are very poetic in their verse, "Yes I am a little artistic yet I am a real journalist too. I write every month for Bar Giornali which is the biggest in Italy with a circulation of 100,000 people. It is very important." he says. Cool.  He invites me tonight to taste a cocktail before dinner and to have dinner, "the only way to write about a restaurant's food is to taste the food. I invite you." Check out that steak...as if I would say no! 

"The new owners are since 8 years of the 300 year old Florian in Venecia. Yet the tradition of the artists designing the rooms is since 30 years. The original creators of the famous La Binelli Art Show in Venecia sat at the Florian and thought of the original idea of the show. And from that start the Florian has wanted to be a part of that art show." says Julian who talks very fast and has so much knowledge about each room which is in fact an exhibition of the each artist's creations.  "Seriously there is so much to write about with the restaurant. It started 7 years ago just to introduce the Florian products of Venecia to Florence such as the purses and wine and gourmet products and people loved these so much, the Venecia Florian was so famous, that we opened the restaurant 2 and 1/2 years now. The most important for me is the blend of the Classical and the Contemporary together.The 300 year old story and tradition with the modern artists. That is amazing to me." says Julian. (pictured here with his art!)

"Yes I am the Chief Bartender yet I want to promote the food of the restaurant. Since it is such a unique and different restaurant it is so important to have the people experience the rooms with the food. That is my main interest now. To introduce the Florence Florian to the world." says the very loyal young manager.  

"The entire theme of each room is from commissioned artists from Venecia that designed for the famous Florian. They were commissioned to come in and according to the feel of a certain room in Venecia to make their image of what they would do. The chosen artists rooms are taken from Venecia and brought here. The artists are commissioned every two years in Venecia." says Julian. The window of the Florence Florian looks like a Giorgio Armani showroom! Yes that is thereal restaurant entrance!  Located at via Parione 28-32r (right down the alley from Giorgio 


"At Peruzzi here at the leathers it is 5 of us, my son Matteo has the restaurant, and my young son Eoduardo has the Bar Restaurant around the alley to the right. Each one has something that they love. ME? I love to do it for my sons. The restaurant I decorated and designed with the help of the architect.  l love the design aspect of it. Here the showroom is huge and we're always redecorating. And here," Stefano says as he shows me a picture of their estate, "I am planting olive trees that are 500 years old that I bought at a nursery in Naples yesterday. I say, put it here! I even love designing my gardens at home. Here me and Guilio meet with the Artisans and they show us the colors of the leathers and we choose the designs along with my wife and brother. And we ALWAYS pay attention to our customers. If they come in with colorful backpacks, we make colorful backpacks. You have to be ahead of the peoples wants. If they come in and say we want to buy a Pink Backpack with bright yellow trim and we don't have it since we didn't plan ahead we lost a sale. We love the design and we love to learn from other people." he says. When Giulio shows me the Huge SHOWROOM he says, "I suggest some design yet my father really loves to do it himself. He is very talented and he enjoys creating new things."
       via dell'anguillara 9/r  located on Sante Croce Square in Florence Italy

"See the family tree? The family we trace back to the 1600s and there is a link of 2 generations missing between when the banking family of Peruzzi loaned money to the King of England, which he didn't pay back and the Peruzzi banks went bankrupt. We were the 2nd largest banking family in Europe and were the banks of the Medicis. That is how important the family is. And we are big on Wikipedia." Giulio says proudly. I tell him that it is totally cool to be on Wikipedia and that is definitely the measure of success.! 


"Check out these fucking shoes," I slip of the tongue and say to Guilio who being the young modern version of his father just laughs. Stefano jokes all the time,"The reason people should come to Italy is for the leathers and the food and the lovers. We're the best lovers in the world." he laughs and says while Guilio clears his throat constantly.It is as if they are before the judge and the son Guilio is the lawyer and keeps clearing his throat as if to say, your honor what my client really means! They're real and hilarious.  https://www.facebook.com/peruzzifirenze1948/timeline

"We're the quality leather makers...the traditional ones and only a couple of real artisans exist in the city of Florence which truly is the finest leather available world wide. I hope people find us." says Stefano.  

When I see the showroom I think O I am sure they will.

"The leather company started in 1948 which is 2 years after the World War II. My father was a carabinieri and said I am going to start my own leather store and immediately he did. He started making little leather boxes with handles and progressed to modern purses. In 1968 we had a huge flood and it destroyed everybody in Florence. All of his 20 years of work and love was totally destroyed. Yet he progressed and rebuilt and today it is a 2000 square meter store. We have a watch section that carries 20 brands of watches in a modern new age showroom in the leather store including Tag Heuer and Rado. Today people can come here and buy top quality leathers. The very top. The competiton that we have at Florence is Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo. We're the best," Stefano smiles when he says that!  


         On the German Royalty pages...the Peruzzi Jewelry... Bracelet | Guilermo Peruzzi.  Sterling silver and amethyst.   ca. 1920 - 1930, Boston.:

Since each bag and jacket and shoes is handmade they are a little expensive yet last a lifetime. Royalty and Business, Bohemian and Traditional...everybody loves a Peruzzi.  

The gorgeous bags and colors of Peruzzi..."me myself I have about 5 pairs of cool leather shoes that we make and a couple leather jackets and some belts. I guess people think that we dress in leather from head to toe all day long but we like to just accessorize the way other people do. I think that it is totally cool that people can wear jeans and add a little personalized addition such as shoes or purses with different colors. That is special to each person." he says.  

Risultati immagini per trattoria gargani florence
Rachel Ray and I have one thing in common one of the most favorite restaurants of hers is the restaurant namedTrattoria Gargani in Florence Italy where I had the privelege to have fun with the manager of 17 years while he ate the dinner that the cook had prepared for the family at 6:30pm, and later a wine chat with the hilarious 43 year old son Lorenzo who's "my father is crazy" the father I had met earlier in the day. Me and Lorenzo had a couple glasses of great Tuscany red wine and a funny chat about the fact that Lorenzo is a world champion Go-Kart driver...that is right a Go-Kart driver..."we sponsor my Go-Kart driving" he says and invites me to see him test a new one the next day in Sienna..."I love the walls," which are beautiful old world charm with wild crazy colors and painting...yet renaissance feel to it. "the original owner was a little artistically crazy and one of his sons, Andrea, is my partner in the restaurant. He is not an artist I wouldnt say that. I would say that he is a great cook, but not an artist. His father used to close the restaurant at night and every 3 months he would paint it like crazy. Now we have a Brazilian artist who comes in and paints it when we ask. Each room is different and take for instance that one here. It is each horse going its separate way as when a woman leaves a man and the horses take different paths. They each have passion to the paintings."Risultati immagini per trattoria gargani florenceBooking is appreciated. TRATTORIA GARGANI Via del Moro,48/r • 50123 Firenze tel. +39 055 2398898 Mobile +39 346 6702062 (Lorenzo) Facebook: www.facebook.com/trattoriagargani   Me personally? I am invited to dinner tonight at 8 pm yum:()
"You know I've been here 17 years and of course you try to have fun," says Ivan the lively manager who graciously gave me 15 minutes of his time while he hurriedly ate his dinner, "Lorenzo and Andrea the son of the original owner are the nicest people you could ever meet. Both are honest and good people. That is important to me. The fact that they face each person and each day with honesty. Lorenzo used to be lawyer! Now he says he doesn't know how he ended up in the restaurant business! And his father is crazy funny. I hear you met his father earlier today." he says. And I say that yes I do remember that as his father says o see the restaurant and hurries to show me the art on the walls...Nice person invited me to dinner with his son! And here I am I say. "On Sunday Tim Robbins came the actor and we gave him a private room with tons of his guests. Nice guy. Americans are nice too when they come. Always happy and saying hi and talking." he says!  Every room is stunningly classic and old world and gorgeous. When I ask which one is his favorite? "Here is my favorite room in the restaurant of which basically 6 exists all with the style of painting of the famous painter yet different themes and my favorite is the first one because when you enter you are immediatley transformed to another era!" says Ivan, who does a little bit of it all as the manager, "I try to run the floor and talk to the guests since it is important to do face to face contact. And trust me as a cook? It is better if I don't cook!" he laughs. Risultati immagini per trattoria gargani florence
"I am seeing into the future now," says Lorenzo, "and since we're been famous with the  Veal scaloppine withavocado and truffles oil;and a couple of other dishes that the original owner invented the recipes, however I would love to hire a additional cook and try a couple of my own modern ideas...that is something I would love to do,"  he says. "And my passion is Go-Karts. I am a professional racer and I sponsor myself!" Lorenzo says. "I race professionally and only in Europe and Italy. 

We don't drive in United States at all. It is the Go-Kart professional circuits here in Europe."

  Upon going to America I wrote a application for a big foundation sponsoring from MacArthur Foundation. When I walked into the lobby one day to have a interview I met "Beverly" who is the receptionist.    Beverly is a sweet person that is the one who first says, "Hi" to you as you enter the impressive offices of MacArthur Foundation in Chicago. She loved my grey backpack(one of about 125 people around the world who have gushed over it) and I said that, "Mossi is the entreprenuer in Florence Italy that designs these beautiful leathers." I hope she can go to Florence one day and visit Mossi, make a friend, and buy his leathers.

         When I first met Mossi I was wandering around the Piazza square the way that millions of tourists do every year at the beautiful renaissance city of Florence, Italy. Of all the Italian cities, it is the most aristocratic, and on my first visit along the river near the Michelangelo Piazza stairs, I met 3 aristocratic members of the 16th century families. I had a drink with these wonderfully cultured people at the Golden View Restaurant. They told me that there is a underground city of Florence that tourists rarely seek out. The restaurants and the clubs and the outdoor black-ironed chairs and tables a long the river. Here is where the real Florentines sit to talk about business, some 1300 years old such as the famous Frescobaldi familes or the Antinori families. These families have been making wine for 52 and 54 generations respectively. Here is the purpose of my website. For tourists to stop being tourists like Chevy Chase on his vacation trips...to stop o wow this is a nice Ponte Vecchio bridge, yet instead to walk into the jewelry stores on the Ponte Vecchio bridge and talk to the owners of the stores. To meet the people that make Florence the beautiful mysterious city that it is, complete with the Catherine Medici's evilness to the lovely leather makers of today. Florence is a wonderfully layered city of mystery, longing, love, passion, and gentleness. 

"Every item has my label in it. Each piece of leather bag, belt, jacket. All with Toro. We've been here over 35 years now. And I know that you mentioned Antelope. If it is real Antelope it must come with a certification with it. A real Antelope jacket is at least 1,000euros.

                 Famous in Florence, Italy, the World renown leathers...TORO leathers 8 locations...

 When I walked into the TORO leathers I had my eye on a backpack...lambskin lovely wonderful soft supple and of course totally expensive...and had to interview the owner...CIAO I say and all the guests come running in from America...California, New York, and Miami of course. "Wow I am from Montana, here is my Driver's License," says the fun kind owner, Mossi. All the Americans are like O cool from America. "I lived 10 years in Montana and the only thing in Montana is land and Cowboys!" he says. "I love to talk to the Americans when they travel to Florence. The main thing that I love about that culture is that they have a great amount of trust. They ask my opinion and since we're only one of 6 original leather factories still left in Florence they usually come back to purchase from us. We're a little more expensive then most of the Mercato stands, but we're hand made in Italy, and the quality, the thickness, the color, the resistence, and the treatment is what makes a leather product come from wonderful to okay. Here it is wonderful. The highest quality and we stand 100% behind the product." As I am writing the interview 3 Americans come in and out and purchase 2 jackets and 1 totally cool leather belt. And I walk out with the beautiful lambskin light blue/grey backpack. WOW...

                                       Risultati immagini per toro leather in florence italy

                                                                    APERITIVOS APERITIVOS APERITIVOS.... 

REVERSE located at  Via Borgo Del albizi, 78R, 05 524 7 74...a restaurant that is young and funky with homemade on the edge videos that play in shifts of 5 during the day to fit the mood. The Young couple, "I am 55" says Elena and Franco opened the family run operation 1 year now. "I wanted to provide a place of opportunity for my children. I have two sons. I wanted the children to have a future here. It gave us all a great place to work yet honestly we're together 24/7. We all live together and now since one year sometimes..." Franco shakes his hand in that...I tell ya...way that the Italians have. Too much family? I ask Marco who is nearing 24. "It is a lot of hrs and work. I am here all the time." he says. His father laughs and says that they're young to have such big responsiblity since the mother stays til 16:00pm everyday and Franco stays til 18:00. After that it is everything goes! " MAKE SURE THAT YOU SAY THAT WE HAVE APERITIVOS OF ANY COCKTAILS AND FREE BUFFET FOR THE STUDENTS(ITALIANS AND THE HUNGRY AMERICANS...) FROM 18:00PM TO 20:00PM AT ONLY 8.OOEUROS...HE SAYS

When I ask if the big block wooden tables ont he other side is for dancing on top at night? "No," he says laughing,"at least I don't think so. Maybe. My sons are here at night. Actually all the American students come here to study and they sit on that side and drink a cocktail and some aperitivos.Only the American students study. And the Japanese. The Italian students don't study!" Franco says of Reverse!  

"And please let everybody know that they can come here on March 11 and the Antinori Wine Vineyards is offering tastes of the famous wines here all night. For only 15euros everybody can have 5 glasses of any of the wines (or more if you are a big wine drinker!)and eat as much from the buffet as they wish. Now that is a wonderful chance to taste the best wines of Italy and maybe the world. We're the first ones doing that." he says. I wish I could taste all these great wines that night. Everybody facebook me on the front page of my website to let me know how the night was. Ciao 

The team of REVERSE...the first night club on my site at Florence...a baby really of only one year. Says the papa, Franco and Elena, the young mother of their creation, "We opened Reverse to have a restaurant in the morning and afternoon and at night the kids take over. Marco is almost 24 and Uri is 27. They run the bar and restaurant at night and the night club til 2am. Me and my wife take the morning and afternoon shift. We wanted to name it REVERSE since it is the old people, us in the morning and the young people at night. We change the lighting, the music and the food from the day to the night." "Me and Uri mix the videos ourselves,"says Marco!

"Why I love Florence?" Asks the charismatic and happy owner of the Restaurant Trattoria da Guido on 34 Faenza, Florence. "Because every night as I look up into the sky I see a new Florence. I see something new and incredible. Every night I see the skyline over Florence and I see and notice something different. Florence is a city of mystery and history. The Florentine people privately are a closed people. They have secret places that they keep to themselves you know. If they find that perfect little trattoria of pici they won°t tell you about it." he says. "And my name,"he laughs, "the nobility of Florence have all these long names. My name I say is such a long name it takes me one month to write a letter. It is GiannAntonio Martinoli Ponzoni...and the famous wine families sometimes keep the names they are born with and the names they marry into to show the importance." he says. I ask if that is the way of Antinori and Frescobaldi? "Yes they chose the names."  

"My father about 50 years since managed the famous Dancing Discos in Florence. I would go there as a school boy and see how he did everything. I watched how people were treated. I realized young that the people wanted a nice atmosphere, nice food, nice music and a nice location. I adored food though. I wanted to work in restaurants and as a young man I would start work serving food to the tables and I loved it. I really loved learning. I learned from the masters. Now they are not around anymore. How to make the perfect bruschetta...the right oil, all of that." says GiannAntonio. "I worked in the kitchen. Now my daughter and son work with the people. It is a different tradition today." When I ask his most joy of the day? "It is different for instance, my little granddaughter and I are always with each other from 12:00 til 15:00pm everyday at the other restaurant. Today she asked my favorite doll? I said that my favorite doll is a bear. She is only 2 and 1half years old. She went to every table and asked every person the favorite doll! Everyone of em! She is a joy yet she is the most work! At night when I am at the restaurant from 19:30pm til 1:00am I work with the guests and each restaurant to close. That compared to my little 2 and 1 half year old is relaxing!" he says. 

             Tel: +39 055 2645741

Via Faenza 34r

is Trattoria Guido 

                 Via della Spada, 15, 50123 Firenze

                     Telefono:055 211837
    is Cafe Megara ...where the new  "Tom Hanks movie is filmed. We have pictures with the stars and the film crew. Of course when they film they take all the real people out and they do the makeup and all of that and they even made up a new name for the street. It was incredible. The movie comes to the theaters on September and October. Me and Francesco have our arms around the famous blonde girls in the pictures!" GiannAntonio says of his famous bar. 

"We have a term in Italy called Bambocioni...it means the bambinos live with the family...even if they are 35! The reason I am happy is that I have a lovely life. I am the owner of 4 important restaurants and bars in the center of Florence, I surround myself and my places with family and friends of family...for instance," GiannAntonio says laughing hysterically, "the ex-fiance of my son Francescoìs daughter works as my bartender and his daughter works at another bar. I did that even when they were together...I said O no let us separate them and they can work at different places and now they still both work for me! I let the people be who they want to be. I do not criticize them. They need to be themselves. That is why people feel comfortable in my places because my team is very happy here." he says. 

"My brother is 55 and he needed a place to work and now he runs the other bar. He likes to work yet he is not like me...he likes to play too. He likes to do football and to dance. Luicio is my brother. I am the one that works all the time. In the mornings I see to each place if they need vegatables if they need lights whatever they need. If they need something from the Mercato I walk to the Mercato. It is easy now that I have the restaurants in the city. Easier than before when they were outside the city." he says. 

"As for me I love the artisans of the city. I love the real traditional places and the shoemakers. That is real Florence. You know it does not have the industrial big companies of Fiat and things like this in Milan. Florence is for the history and tradition. That is why the people love it here." 


   "We have our own wine that the famous winery of Tuscany has made for the restuarant since 1961..." says GiannAntonio..."a Chianti," and he gives me a bottle. Guicciardini Strozzi Tenuto. I of course shall drink it tonight!  

"The International Tourists come here and ask me for the traditional plates. They all love the wild boar and of course it is traditionally Florentine and that is why we have it. And the Americans all eat the wild boar. The Americans love it. I am surprised that we don°t run out of wild boar." He says. I say that I love Wild Boar...we all love the wild boar! "

  is Il Contadino..via Palazzuolo, 69/71r - 50123 Firenze - Tel.: 055/2382673

"I opened the Trattoria il Contadino for my son, Francesco. He and his sister worked together at the other bar and they fought all the time...I am the boss, no I am the boss," laughs the good-natured capo of the Trattoria Guido. "I said alright, lets have Francesco have his own and my daughter have her own. Now they're happier. " he says. 

                           e non solo bar

       Via Camillo Benso Cavour, 3/R,                         50129 Firenze
              Telefono:055 239 6054

          The Guests having fun at the cozy brick arched Trattoria da Guido...I felt at home and comfortable the minute I walked in...it has famous caverns and a feeling of being inside a big pizza oven only without the heat! Cool... 

 "We uncovered the plaster walls and found the original brick and stone walls. One of the partners, Zack, is from Lebanon and his brother is a architect. He designed the restaurant and used the original textures to do that. ME?...since I am the one who is here 24-7, I wanted the bar and restaurant to be beautiful and comfortable. I spend more time here than at home really. The marble bar took me many months to find. I wanted to use the famous Tuscany marble but I looked everywhere and I couldn't find the right size. Finally I found the perfect black marble from Spain. It was a huge slab and the designer chiseled it down to fit here. And the sculptures are my purchases. I loved the Florentine Sculptor, Onofrio Pepe. He is the best. I bought one of his sculptures to fit here at the restaurant and he came in and said "O I hear you bought one of my sculptures!" and I said yes here it is. Now we're friends. That is why I love my life here. Everybody who is my friend comes in and it is like a big party at night with friends. It has to be fun. The kitchen is open til midnight and the bar til 1:30am. And you know I am 41 years old...I have to love what I do to work everyday. Yet on Sunday I have all my friends come to my house and we cook dinner and that is my fun day at home!" He says laughing. Great fun person. Have to meet him.                                   Tele: 05 527 415 5 5

  •                                    P.zza S. Maria Novella, 29 rosso - 50123 - Firenze

 Osteria dell' olio ..."is that a real fossil on the wall?" I ask and  the owner who is only 32 years named Antonio... young. wow!, "Yep that is my friend. He is a great artist and he does fossils...he has a real unique kind of gallery and he gives me these wonderful pieces of art on the wall." he says as I admire the rather wild and soothing artifacts of fish fossils hanging on the artsy elegant restaurant of his first restaurant.  


                    Piazza dell'Olio, 10r    Tel/Fax.: 055 211.466 

Osteria Dell'Olio is a "family business" 

restaurant. I took it from the age of 18 and now 
I am 33. The only reason that people come here is

because of me and the guests that I cultivated."

Why? Because I am a nice person. If I changed

 restaurants they would only follow me. It is the 

real and sincere people and relationships in the

 world that matter!"  


"If you stayed at Florence a long while I would invite you to try dinner." says the charming owner of the three chic restaurants in Florence. How does it feel to be the capo?  He laughs..."Well I don't really see myself as the capo...I am more the creative one. I love to envision a place where guests can feel comfortable. You know of all the tourists Americans, which I always heard were rude and pushy, are the nicest. They ask questions and they listen to you. They don't ask can I recommend something and then ignore my suggestion and order something else. They really care about something when they ask you. They're really sweet." he says. 

      http://www.drogheriafirenze.it    "The Drogheria is the
     closest to Hard Rock that I could come, says Antonio, "It is a pure hamburgers, 
steak tar-tar place..." and fun! 

"Here it is a young funky place to grab a quick bite to eat...we do have aperitivos yet they are the real ones here...the seats are only about 45 people and yes as to the story about the Americans coming to Italy and being all excited about the "buffet dinners for only 6Euros..." . Italians come to the Aperitivos and most of the Europeans to drink a Spritz and a couple of bites of chips or peanuts. The Americans, the Chinese, the Germans and the Canadians come to eat dinner. They buy a glass of wine and come back and forth to the Aperitivos about 5 helpings. That is true. It is as if the Americans haven't ever eaten before! IT is a cultural thing. While it isn't illegal it is a little bit frowned upon. We want you doing dinner after that cocktail The Americans want to drink a cocktail and dinner for 6 euros!" Says the good-natured nice Antonio!  

            +39) 055 2478869       Largo Annigoni, 22 


 The one thing that I notice about all of Antonio's restaurants is the stunningly beautiful design of each place. "O that is my cousin's doing. The one that just came in. He is a architect. Designs these incredible places. Each one has different music, different food, different feelings. Why? Because each one fits a section of the city. The yuppies go to Santo Spirito. I don't want to be Santo Spirito. I want elegance and traditional and realness to my life and to my restaurants. The place fits the territory. People come here at lunch the professionals and the tourists. At night it is romantic and elegance. Of all of my three restaurants I am most at home here. Yet each one is special The most difficult thing that for me at least has been building the team. They see me as a friend. Not a boss no. I don't like being boss. I love my team and value my friendships. That is life." says the geniunely nice and real Antonio of Vino Can to... on the Santa Maria Novella square. 

 The sculpture of On ofrio Pepe at the cool wine bar VinCanto...


Santa Maria Novella Square hosts the young, swanky bar and restaurant named VinCanto. I met one of the owners, Antonio at his restaurant earlier where he is partners with 3 cousins, one of which is the architect that lovingly designed the restaurants.  Giavanni runs VinCanto and is here everyday.   He is nice and sincere and happy to talk to everybody laughing and joking in the restaurant. "I love Florence yet I love where I come from my city in the south of Italy. It is all about tradition. I love the cultures and the Italian cities that have the 2,000 people dinners for their citizens and they care about the history and meaning of these dinners. I love tradition for me that is very important." he says. 

 "Yes it is fun here, yet I am at heart a beach person. I love the beach. Here we serve the traditional meat and food of my city and of Italy. The tourists love it, especially the little pig...they love that...." says Giavanni. 

"You have to try the suckling pig...and yes some of the recipes I do. When I am at home I cook. I love to cook for my friends the traditional way. It is odd since it is all about tradition, my life, yet I lived in Miami 8 months and another time for 6 months. I worked for my friends from Sardegna there. And I love the beach. I would love to live on the beach somewhere and the original way that I became a bartender honestly is because I saw the movie, Cocktail, with Tom Cruise, about bartending!" he says. And I say that I LOVE THAT  movie! "That is why I spent such a long time finding the right marble. I want it to be beautiful." he says. 

 "Elegant and yuppie" is the way I would describe the wine bar. "My partners are Zack, sitting at that table, his brother the architect, Antonio, who you met, Paul their younger brother, and me. I am the only Italian! Fabio is the other Italian who runs the Drogheria. I met the partners at the night club which is famous in Florence while I worked there 1 year and 1-2. And we said alright let's open the one here at the famous square. The tourists find us right away since it is near the train station and the famous historical square and the other half of the people come from Italy, Florence and surround such as Prato. I love it." says Giavanni. 

BELOW, THE famous owner of the traditional restaurant who's older brother said, "What do I love about my restaurant while I am giving cheese and salami sandwiches to the guests everyday? My family, that is my love!" Um okay! They're a real nice family and they love the food that they give you. A sweet treat of genuine kindness.  

A very funny family run restaurant where the guests are as happy as the owners, Lucca, Edoardo, and Daniela! plus the wifes:) 

"Every morning we walk across the alley to the famous Mercato and buy the pasta home-made of course...and we're famous for the Florentine Steak that we marinate in Chianti for 3 hrs." says the young owner when I ask okay why do the people from everywhere in  the world come here? 




located down the alley from the leather mercatos and the Big Famous Food Mercato in florence Italy.

    TRATTORIA PALLE D'ORO DAL 1860 | 43/45/R, Via S. Antonino - 50123 Firenze (FI) - Italia | P.I. 01133520484 | Tel. +39 055 288383 |

             Ristorante Antico Barile

Risultati immagini per Via Dei Cerchi 40.Florence italy ristorante

         Old World Charm and Service

        Ristorante Antico Barile is a couple of quirky things about it. One is that it is famous in Florence since about 100 years and used to be a Amory in the 1300s for the Duke of Florence. The original Brick Ceilings are still there. The other is that the director and team speak mostly Italian and interviewing the team is pretty funny. They loved the website and I thought that kind of cool. They love the restaurant and for Mauro, who is the director, his favorite is the Florentine Steak that he says comes from the best region in Italy, Chianina! "That is the real steak. The Mercato has real good Fish which we sometimes buy from such as the Lobster and the Salmon and Sole and Sea Bass. The restaurant here is not a pizza restaurant. Pizza is Pizza. We're a little formal and friendly. It is a high quality restaurant. You  know we have the traditional Florence dishes since we are in Florence, yet it is really the best service of Black jackets and friendly team. We love the Americans since they always come in and say "HI". They love to talk and they ask all kinds of questions. The tourists are great. They love the wine, too. Between the two families?" Asks Mauro and his team Iber when I ask which family of important wine do they love the most? Antonori or Frescobaldi? "We love Frescobaldi. We have Both here yet Frescobaldi is the favorite of us personally."

When I am introduced to Matteo he is in one of the 10 rooms of what I am now dubbing the Palazzo Restaurant due to its look and feel of being in different salons and rooms of a true Florentine Palace as you try to navigate each connected to each other as in a home. Matteo is eating with his wife and says hi and a conversation starts, "You know my father and I had a leather factory a famous one in Florence since the 1950s and 3 years ago then we said alright lets try something different. It is my passion here. The leather factory was my father's passion. Different. We, my father, wife and me, and the architect designed the rooms. They are three sections. They blend into each other since you can walk from one to the other without noticing you are in different rooms yet one is the Osteria which is casual dining, the other the restaurant which is the fine dining and the last is the pizza restaurant. You can't order from one menu and eat in a different room. They are unique. And the menus everyone is leather. That is something that we wanted to keep from the old days. You can order a leather menu for 120Euros or one of the cool leather aprons that the waiters wear for 150Euros. We love to blend the tradition with each other." he says. The aprons are TOTALLY COOL:


Cucina Torcicoda, Via Torta 5r Firenze

                05 52 65 4 32 9

"The coolness aboutthe restaurant is that people can come here and feel they're in one of the traditional historical Palazzos of Florence from 500 years ago but in reality they feel at home. They can be different people here. You feel warm and comfortable. We understand the guests. Maybe they come here and they're fighting with each other and they want to be crazy and keep the confusion and stay in the PIzza side or they want a candlelight dinner and romance in the fine dining or for me I prefer the Osteria where I can have a great dinner and laugh casually with my friends. It is whatever atmospher you want to make it." she says.

Even the pizza side of the Palazzo is elegant! 

   The Leornardi De Vinci Museum is totally cool.

The man spent his entire life dedicated to God and how God's creatures functioned and he tried to replicate these human being structures. "God says that he gives us all that we need to survive and Leonardo took the sentence literally. He studied all that God put on the earth and tried to use these living beings to make something to better life. He is cool. And a genuis...real bright that he spent the entire life trying to use his mind which went at 1,000s of speeds of light. The coolest is his pulley workout gym , that he made to replicate and build muscles from his anatomy experiments! 

         Risultati immagini per leonardo di vinci creations                                         Immagine correlata

"Since a baby I have been at the restaurant. I studied for 4 years in the Hotel Management and Restaurant business. When my mother and father retired about 20 years ago, I redesigned it to look the way it is now. The art on the wall is mostly from a friend of mine from Florence. And no it isn't for sale." Vincenzo says. Personally the art is totally wonderful...my favorite a big fire engine. The restaurant esthetically is a must to see. And the food? "It is the food I grew up on. Real Italian Tuscany food from my mother. Here let me introduce you to the cook now. He is 75! He has been with the family a long time." he says and the cook comes out of the kitchen! Adorable. He shakes my hand and says, "I have to go back to work now!" and runs back into the kitchen. The atmosphere is chic and sophisticated yet the clientele? "1/2of the guests that come here are local Florentines. And Americans love it. I love Americans. They're always nice and friendly. And of course the rest of the tourists too. I know everybody that comes here from Florence since I grew up here. I enjoy that and they're my friends."  

 The menu is amazing and they have my favorite...polenta and wild boar...Italian style


Maremma style Wild Boar with Polenta grilled


       Via Val di Lamona 7r 055 3 64 148

"Maybe 4 years ago I turned a store next door into the other half of the restaurant. Upstairs(here) is a wine tasting room. People can have a intimate taste of the wines of Tuscany and yes if they ask they can do dinner in the dark private rooms." says Vincenzo, the young owner of OSteria Del Porcellino. His father and mother opened the authentic Tuscany restaurant in 1969. "My mom and dad come in here to eat  and they say, "Vincenzo it is good but you need to change this and that...etc." he laughs as he tells me that . "And of course we change it since she knows the best recipes." he says. 


"The entire restaurant now is me. I renovated it to reflect me. Yet my mom and dad started the restaurant in 1969. My mother cooked for 20 years. I took it over when I am 25, about 20 years ago. When I am 5 years old I said to my dad, "I want to do the business." I brought bread to the table at the age of 5. Everybody said, O he is real cute...etc. I loved it. I love it now. The business that I am doing is the one that I love, " says the adorable Vincenzo. He is? "46," now and everyday he enjoys life.  "ME?" He asks when I say what do you do for fun? "Wow. I guess I relax on my days off. I go to the beach in the summer. And I hunt wild boar. "Yes on real horses. Me and my 6 friends ride  horses and we do the hunt like the fox hunting. And I shoot the wild boar from my horse.And we bring it here and the cook makes us dinner. The 6 of us. And we drink and eat and have fun. Me and my friends." says Vincenzo. NOW THAT SOUNDS LIKE FUN.

"I am like the psychologist here. I used to come to all the tables and now it is much responsiblity to run the restaurant. I love the team of mine and the guests of course. I am used to the responsiblity now. And I am the only one who chose this life. My 2 sisters and brother is a real psychologist and a university professor and a teacher." he says honestly.  


Chestnut flour cake with pine nuts and raisins

                                                                   CHECK OUT THAT BOOK ON THE WALL WOW  

  The sweetest boys on earth and a darling Actress who Steven Spielberg and me would fall in love with, Michele, at the Pizzeria Toto, one of three which Leonardo,standing on the left side, owns.  

    Via Dante Alighieri, 28, 50122FirenzeItalia 0039 055 2 904 0


  It is always good to see the owner's eating the pizza!  

                              Pizzeria Toto Elizabetta 16, Florence...tel. 055 285595

See even Steven Spielberg eats pizza on Ellen! How does somebody run 3  Pizzerias in Florence?(And he is very keen on the word, Pizzeria...) "it is a Pizzeria, not restaurant. We have the best Pizza in Florence!)" says Leonardo. "My favorite is spending my life with my 4year old! I love my Bambino. I love my bella. She is special and I balance my baby and work." 

 Risultati immagini per steven spielberg eating pizza

 As a guest comes in she helps to translate at 22:00 at Saturday night, January 9, "Why? DO I eat pizza here? Because Pietro the chef is my boyfriend's brother," she says laughing. "Alright and of course it is pretty good pizza!" Her favorite? "The margherita. Everybody loves Toto's pizza." she says. 

Here is the waitress, Michela, who is such a character even if the pizza wasn't the best you would want to come and have dinner and be entertained by the adorable one!  https://www.facebook.com/Pizzeria-Tot%C3%B2-188250344537665/


     Yum the great pizza at Toto which now has 3 locations..."The big one is here," says Leonardo who is the main boss and along with his partner at the big restaurant, Pietro, and his hilariously adorable waitress, Michele, run the 3 smoothly. 


 At the Piazza del Mercato Centrale with the 3rd Generation! Mr. Conti himself, his son, Manuel is studying in Australia. "He loves Australia, " says the father. "Of course we have here a family tradition since 1929 yet that is where he is!" When he says that you maybe think...aaa that is the way with all families til you see the Mercato and meet these great people.  "I have truffle specialties and olive oil and pasta from  and spreads all from my factories from Sicily to Luca to Calabria, "says the humble man. Seriously. You must see the store almost every item except the wine carries the Conti label. "I have 5,000 clients from America and they can order directly from my website online, "Stefano proudly says. As he should. Trust me I am very impressed with the immense selection that he stocks at the Mercato. And just one year he opened a specialty wine store across from the Mercato and the hustle and buslte of the freestanding leather mercato carts. "It is since the Mercato is only opened and closes at 2pm. People can come and reserve private parties of wine tasting at night and on Sundays. That is why I opened it." 


Stefano's mother and father and Grandfather the founder of the Mercato stand that is now here 100 years...wow cool.  


   Two of his loyal workers pose for me, Emanuele and Dena, tasting the delicacies of the Conti Mercato!  0039 305 5239 8501


He is proud of his new addition and offers, "I do specialty ceramics here to from Sicily and Puglia and Tuscany is where all of my products come from It is a huge business and I try to introduce the specialty items to the clients. We do wine tasting here and at the other store. And if they want to do a private tasting of truffles and wine I do reservations just for that. Especially the groups like to do that. The guests from all around the world come  here. I have one client that called from Chicago and flew here a couple of days just to buy from the Mercato and flew back. Of course she loves flying to!"  


Via Signa 300 Interno Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo & Via Panicale 29R (second location)

             05 52 39 85 01 Call Stefano's beautiful partner Yvonne to 

              receive a taste of Italy's conti treasures...here at the showroom.

"I have a great time with my clients. I remember that I used to be a tourist before I moved here with Stefano(Mr. Conti) 5 years now. I travel everywhere in Italy with my tourist hat on and find the very best ceramics from little villages. I love ceramics. When my clients reserve a taste of Italy here I prepare these on the ceramics and of course the clients fall in love with each piece. When they email me after they go home they say that everytime that they set the table they remember the experience of Conti's and Tuscany. That makes me very happy. If you need a immediate reservation with 2 people I can usually prepare it within 1hr.and1/2." says the lovely Yvonne. Here in the 1600s Cantina with authentic 16th Century tiles is where you can have a great time tasting Italy. "O we have a lot of fun down here!" she admits. 

"The ceramics that you see is my baby. I hand select each individual piece in the store. Every one. While Stefano and his family have been here at the Mercato about 100 years and they are the experts on pasta, cheese, oil, wine, etc. from Sicily and Puglia and Tuscany. I pride myself on the experience of these one of a kind ceramics!"  

Here surrounded with the products of Italy is Yvonne and Stefano. "O I love it here. I love it here. I do. The food is amazing and to give credit I used to be a vegatarian in America. When I came to Tuscany and especially the Conti empire! I of course had to eat meat. The food always tastes so much better here. I am extremely lucky to have met Stefano. When we travel on vacation it is always turning into a work holiday. We went to Monopoli, a lovely little seaside town and we met some cheese farmers. I asked if I could take a picture of him making the cheese and he said NO! That I had to wake up at 7:00am and help him make cheese. The next morning I set my alarm clock and me and Stefano helped make the cheese. From the actual poured of milk to kneading the cheese and pulling the mozzarella cheese and to giving it to me in the hand. Amazing. The best cheese in the world. It is about the experience. That happens all the time. We always come home with huge amounts of cheese or salumi!"  She glows when she talks about the experiences of meeting the local farmers around Italy. And seriously what a treat! 

                                    Ciao elegant, yuppie, chic, modern, great time fun, that is the new upscale think New York inspired young adult cafe and bistro and of course tiny elegant pizzas with cocktails and wine near the bridge of Florence...named Pizzino at via maggio 2r not to be confused with the hectice Ponte Vecchio Bridge yet tucked in the corner down the alley...and how chic is the bar? Santa Trinita(my grandmother is Anita from Modena Italy and the most beautiful woman ever so I love that bridge!) Think Philadelphia Norther Liberties, Think New York Swanky Village 8th East Village MacDougal street, Think "Brooklyn is becoming very trendy and expensive where all the yuppies want to live now. It used to be a cool place and a inexpensive place when I lived here yet now everybody wants to move to Brooklyn since it is actually in its own authentic quaint way cooler and less expensive than New York city." says the Florence born and bred owner of the trendy restaurant Pizzino. Yet he lived in New York the last 7 years!  

     Baby Pizzas named PIzzinos! 

The owner of Pizzino is Guilo Spezza and he is truly nice.  http://www.pizzinocaffe.com/


"My partner had a boxed music when we came in the morning and I immediately changed it. You know I love Jazz and I loved my days in New York and I am truly inspired by the New York village style. Yet I wanted to come back home to Florence and I found that the way that I could do that is to bring the influence of New York to here. We officially open on Saturday yet we tried a little opening last Saturday and now today the first morning. Everybody in the neighborhood comes in to say hi. They love the chic bistro on the corner and they know how hard I worked the last 1 year doing it. Now they come in today and say WOW congratulations and it is totally cool. " says Guilio. He is such a normal person yet think of him with TONS of boundless enthusiam!!  


"The pizza here is tiny and chic. The pizza Master is only here about 3 months and he is teaching his craft of making pizzas to the apprentices. He is the best from the coast of Italy. When people come in here they can have little tastes of treats in the morning and afternoon or they can have the pizzas. We are definitely more expensive then the really bad pizzas of 5 euros but we're worth it. We want a quality bistro...not cafe, not just pizza but the entire package. I say that it is finally my turn to show what I can do. It is fun and I know that I work about 15 hrs. a day. Yet honestly when I lived in New York I came home to Florence maybe two times per year since my family is Old School. They don't fly. I had to visit my family. Now they come in to the restaurant as it is being built and say O that is nice! They're in their 70s. I live with my family. They love having me back here and although my father is a architect we hired a young architect to design the place. My father comes in and enjoys the pizza and that is it! " Guilio says and I think...hmm his father probably has a different idea of what the pizzaria moderna should look like!  

"we have 3 items only...Food, Sports,Drinks, and that is why I love that bar. You know I've been here since 2002. Drinking and the Party Culture influences a lot of people around the world in daily lives. That is a fact. True. I love REDGARTER since it has 3 rooms. One is a restaurant with great steaks from around the world which every month we have a one from Ireland Black Angus the month of December and etc. The second is the party DJ lets be loud and cheer the favorite international sports teams such as American Footballl tonight on Sunday the 29th of November, and the favorite of you I guess is the back room the Kareoke room which tonight already we have 60 reservations starting at 21:30pm Red Garter with people wanting to sing. The reason I love it here is familys come to eat dinner in the first section and some of the students come to bring the moms and dads and say o here is where I come to have fun while I am studying abroad.Yet as I am trying to say to you I don't want it to be a here is 5 shots for 5Euros and push people drink drink drink drink.... I want people to come here have a wonderful night of totally living life , not a getting fighting yelling...no no no" I say that is a totally real cool bar!  

                                                         Staff of RED GARTER ...ciao ciao ciao    




 http://www.redgarteritaly.com/  Via dei Benci 3


 Yes it is a wild and crazy have awonderful time bar yet at the same time it is a family lets eat these great steaks and chicken wings bar. 

Francesco, the sweet owner pictured in the video to the left, says,"Alright since you have to ask the question of why it is fun for me? I LOVE IT THAT IS WHY i love when every night people from all around the world come into my place and they have fun. They're smiling and happy and that is satisfaction to me. It is a lot of people everyday and takes a lot of energy yet if people didn't love it I wouldn't work there."  

      055 222299   which one of these fish do you want? 

At Fuor d' acqua in Florence it is "only fish...fresh fish everyday the last 15 years...we know when the fish comes in at 8pm...and the restaurant opens and people sit down and at 8:15 we can say o we have the fresh fish of the day...and that is about it and at 9:30pm that is 21:30pm is the second fish catch of the day and that is when we know the fish of the day.   It is a special dinner of only the freshest that we catch in the sea everyday." says Alessio who has been with the restaurant since

 day 1...the name means fish jumps out of the water!  via Pisana, 37/r  http://www.fuordacqua.it/?lang=it&page=home                                                              Risultati immagini per fuor d' acqua firenze

 As see the restaurant is a elegant beautiful restaurant of the highest quality...with arched fawn brick ceilings and walls, ivory tiled floors and heavy taupe curtains and ties...along with heavy clothed covered tables. The highest elegance...and with such fresh fish and service, Alessio says, "We personally every night come to the table and ask...if they love squid or lobster or tuna etc...and when the fish comes in we ask how they would love it with simple oil or with lemon pasta etc. It is at the table personal service from the sea everyday. The average person is spendin about 85.00 euros plus wine...we have Florentine families that come everyday and tourists that come. The service is personal and the best." he says. 

Risultati immagini per fuor d acqua

                           Immagine correlata

"When we came in I wanted to make the pizza oven myself and i ordered the one here and then I remade it to match the beauty of the original structure. The entire place is authentic. The tables are mismatched, the chairs too. You ask me why i am smiling all the time and it is because I am happy. Super happy that people love our place." Donato says.  

 Organic Pizza owners Donato and Sofia!  Via De' Ginori 56red 055064 0115

About as Bohemian as you can get, the pizza duo of boyfriend and girlfriend started with a organic childrens and baby store 3 years now, graduated and kept the childrens store to catering with a mobil pizza oven weddings and now the lovely 500year old pizza jewel hidden near the duomo...about 250 meters and worth it. "We literally spent one year just around Florence tasting everything. We tasted the mozzarella and chose a cool concept farm that is homopathic and organic which isn't usual at all. It is rare. It is named Camporbiano and is byodimamic. We take vegatables and cheese from here. When you usually eat pizza and beer it leaves you sluggish and can't sleep at night. Yet with the pizza here which is Donatos recipe of dough it is light and healthy. We have only been open one month and we are both super happy when the international and tourists come in one day and come back again since they love the way the pizza makes them feel." says Sofia and Donato.  "We uncovered the walls and discovered the beautiful bricks underneath. It has that industrial side to it. Yes it is fun to work with each other. It is fun and funny." They both say laughing. "Why do people come here? Because they like to eat pizza!" they say. "And I like to change the organic beers and wine all the time. That is cool. People can come and order 6E to 10E pizzas...organic! That is really unheard of!" 

"I went to Greece about 20 years it has been now. When I went to Greece I see BBQs everywhere! ATGreece! And I say how come all of these people cook on the Grills. That is unusual in Italy. When I came back to Italy I lived my life owning a bar with my brother. It is crazier owning the bar. Party Party Party all the time. Every night," admits Simone laughing. "I walked into the restaurant here 5 years now and said Hey that would be a great place for a BBQ. We had all white walls and we took one month to redo it. We bought the furniture and resanded it to seem white washed and quaint! Now we BBQ. All of the meat such as the steak and filet and the chicken is grilled. You know chicken is stupid. Chickens are stupid. That is why I grill them. And the way mama cooks BBQ ,not stye McDonalds." he says. I say, "Chicken is stupid? That is a odd thing to say?" "A chicken is not stupid...they behave stupidly. I take out their bones and put them on the grill." That is the owner of BBQ! And he loves loves loves BBQ the restaurant. Think Bubba Shrimp from Forest Gump and you will have the loyalty and dedication to the art of BBQ that Simone has! 


      Piazza Torquato Tasso 9/10  055 512 0376

   The famous Wild West BBQs of Montanas... and the Texans! 

  It is a nice walk (or taxis ride) take the ponte amerigo vespucci bridge cross it and go onto via sant'Onofrio continue straight turns to via di camaldoli and continue Piazza Torquato Tasso. Ciao fun! TRATTORIA BBQ, HAMBURGHER, GRIGLIATE, BISTECCA LALLA FIORENTINA, POSTI ALL'APERTO,These are called lo svizzerone, "mama when she doesn't want to cook asks us as children, want a svizza? That is what Americans call Hamburgers...here on the Grill." Risultati immagini per bbq trattoria florenceCristian along with his brother Simone have a good sense of humor and loyalty to all symbols of BBQ! "

    "It is funny to see all the tourists come and ask about the BBQ." Says Simone and I say that Americans Love BBQ and especially the Australians which are known for their famous phrase, "Put another shrimp on the Barbie!" "What does that mean?" asks Simone and I say that the Australians throw shrimp on the barbeque and drink tons of beers at their BBQS. "Ya I know the Australians love to drink!" he says

"We have pasta too, and typical Tuscany food...you know honestly it is a Tuscany kitchen and we have a special section that is the grill for BBQs..." he says. 


"When we bought the BBQ place it is all white and the whiteness of Greece immediately reminded me of that country. Everywhere it is the white mountains of Greece."  Simone says as he puts on a red and white apron ready to grill? "Nope , that is the cook here," he says as he points to the big cook!                                                           

The most beautiful restaurant in the world.? That is that I've been too? 

                   VICO DEL CARMINE, FLORENCE ITALY.  

The reason could be that it took the owners, Carmine, wife, daughter, brother, and son Pietro about 1year to design and to build. They owned a pizza restaurant, Naples style of course, about 8 years in Florence and "since that became famous...my father said that his dream is to design a restaurant with a city within a city..." That is what you will find at Vico Del Carmine...the city of Naples inside the restaurant complete with street signs and mini houses all with Naples Names attached to it.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vico-del-Carmine/519609708125649?rf=161446510541058     055 233 6862


Then family above..."We're all happy all of the time. You know it is a family but seriously we never fight. My father and uncle do the pizza oven, my mother is the cook of the famous Naples Italian food, and me and my sister, Susy, wait on the customers. I'm always happy. I GUESS  because the food is really good and the people that come here are always in good moods!" PIETRO SAYS. 


As Pietro and me chat two people sit opposite us...one starts to help with the Italian to English translations, "I've been coming to the restaurant about 10 years. The place is identical to Naples. It is authentic the way that the city looks. It is not a fake. The food is pretty good too." he jokes. He said that he is an architect. Pietro says, "MY FATHER'S FRIENDS, ONE A INTERIOR DESIGNER, AND ONE A ARCHITECT,  helped him to design the restaurant about 12 years now. And yes although it is beautiful it is true that the food is real Naples pizza and Italian style food. I am mostly into food from Naples instead of Florence since my mother cooked for us since we were children from the region of Naples." 

"I would say that 40% of the people that come here are INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS, and the other 60% is Italians." he says. I didn't ask which table the above belonged to...but I am guessing Italians...or Irishmen! 


                                         Salotto Del Gusto at Via II Prato 73, Florence...the elegance of the clay courtyard and 2story hi ivy...the inside is elegance of brown and ivory...movie star status, Marilyn Monroe days...white leather seats to the wall with 60's style lamps hanging seductively over the tables...it looks all posh posh like they spent fortunes remodeling...is the price unaffordable? "My brother own's the famous Florentine Restaurant named Dante's and the one here is my baby. It is totally affordable...a plate of pasta under 10Euros! People come in all the time and turn around and walk out...they think it is expensive. The garden is beautiful in the summer and the bankers at lunch come to have private meetings. It is for families on vacation and for the business people both. Now it is loud as my tree cutter is working...I am putting in Lemon Trees everywhere in the Courtyard. They're beautiful and I like Lemon Trees," says Hisham who is 1/2 arabic and 1/2 italian.       For Reservations please call

                                                                  055.264.5 43 1

"The restaurant is much sought after, " says the charismatic owner, Hisham, "The entire building was a famous members only club...and had a night club etc. in the early 1920s. It is worth a fortune. The members said that it is too big. They loaned us the side here and the courtyard with a contract if we they ever decided to sell it. They're older in their 70s and 80s. They come to have meetings and next to us is that Church. "When I ask what that screaming is. "We need to put a wall up on Sundays...they can be a little loud!" he laughs. A couple of the members of the club come and ask him to open the upstairs."It is the members only club upstairs. They have to have access through my restaurant now. Everybody that owns restaurants in the city come and ask to buy my restaurant.

Think the swanky swinging clubs of Cuba...the 1920s luxury...that is the Salotto del Gusto. Beautiful.  

 Mostly since it is a long hallway to the gardens outside. Not on streetside. It is probably unique in Florence since it is quiet and secluded. Perfect for romance." Hisham says.  

   Waiter, Cucina, and the owner, Agostino, of La Spada Restaurant in Florence, Italy... 

 "The specialty is the Florentine Steak. And the Rotisserie that we roast Pork, Beef, and Chicken on everyday. The people can do takeout or they can come in and sit for lunch and dinner. It is crazy busy yet I love my job. No bad parts. I've been here 22 years and I love everyday. No difficulties ever. IT is a great life." says Agostino.

"I have the first vacation in 10 years that I am taking in September," Agostino says, "I am going on a vacation to a foreign country for 10years on the beach." I laugh and say 10 years! "Yes 10 years." he says... I say you mean 10annis? or 10 giornis? He laughs again, "oops I meant 10 days...is it days? Yes 10 days...see that is why I need a vacation..." And is he taking his phone with him? "NO!" he says..."I am relaxing and forgetting about the world." he says.  


Ristorante La Spada Via della Spada 62r - Via del Sole 35/r | Rosticceria La Spada Via del Moro                                                04535410486 

"I've owned 3 restaurants in Florence. All of these are working. One my frattello, how do you say?" I say that translates to your brother..."My fratello owns one of the restaurants with me and the other a partner. The three bosses, one is me, I am the Capo as you say," he laughs when he says that as I always ask to talk to the Capo, "the other is Giuseppe and Claudio okay, these three of us own the other restaurants and me the one here." the funny owner says. 

 San Jacopino his brother owns at 



 http://www.centopoveri.it/055 123 456   and his first restaurant is the Ostaria dei Centopoveri...

And after the long work days of having fun with the tourists is over? "yes at that point we all sit and have a glass of Chianti and trade stories. We have 22 team people that work with us everyday including me!" says Agostino on the left, the owner of La Spada. Here is his team and guests having fun at the end of the night. "We have been here 22 years at least me. And it is the 3rd... the second that I own...the other my brother owns..."he says. And how many fun guests can come here and eat every day and night? "122..." he says!  

                     Riccardo is the General Manager of the Hotel Adler Cavalieri and is a Florentine,"The Florence people love Florence and the Roman people love Rome. You know Italy has many wonderful items about it yet it can't live in the past. It must build to the future...it is no longer a economic leader in the European Union. Take for instance Pompei...it has 5 million tourist that visit Pompei every year, yet where is the hotels at the city of Pompei...? The people of that region need to think for the future and they need to build luxury hotels for all of the these visitors but instead they go to Naples. The south of Italy has no growth happening for the native people of Italy. They need to see the future and build and invest in the future. The tourists would love Sicily and the natural beauty of the Country of south Italy, yet the tourists are afraid to go there. Why? As a country we're all Italians. We need to work together as Italians." Riccardo has serious side....and does he have a great sense of humor too? Yes...the subject is about a funny subject ..."You know the Italians know that summer is hot, winter is cold. That is life...people come here and say I want 20 degrees no i say and yes why? ...why do they want 20 degrees? they say air conditioning so it isn't not hot. It is the winter it is cold, summer is hot. If you want 20 degrees go to a different country. Italy isn't going to give you 20 degrees when it is summer-hot is summer is hot, winter is cold. I can't understand these people that come here and demand 20 degrees or 18 degrees. When i go to America in the winter I know that I must bring a pullover. That is the way it is. IT is cold, I bring a pullover. It is hot I wear less clothes. It is that simple." he says. 



Franco has been with the Cavalieri since 10 years, "The funny thing and yes you can write that is the people that come here are from everywhere in the world and I used to think that the world is a nice place and that the people in are nice and friendly everywhere but when you work in the front with them their not so friendlyMy opinion has changed from some people are not so nice. That is from working here...and the Americans are of two types that I have found... the ones that are genuinely nice and friendly are the ones I appreciate. Then Some Americans smile but they're not so nice. That is from dealing with people all the time face to face. You of course are nice and talk yet at the end of the day when I come home to my wife it is like..." and Franco puts his hands up...in a gesture stop stop stop stop... and I laugh. "I say don't even..." and she knows that I don't want to talk so she does all of the talking. I want peace and pleasure and quietness at home." he laughs. And Italy? How does he see the country today as of in the past? "It needs new export and import business...the Italian products around the world are fake...we need to promote the real Italian food and the real Italian culture. You know the tourists come here and that is great but I know that Italy needs its own identity." he says. 

   The Florentine Family run Hotel with a spectrum of oasis's hidden throughout the entire hotel...including an intimate green garden where the guests eat breakfast in quiet before venturing into the city of Florence. The staff is surprisingly friendly and funny. 

 The Cavalieri is a 4 star and has old world elegance with very expensive luxuries...and as we laugh and talk I ask if Franco knows what the 7 star hotel in Dubai Burj al Arab..."I don't know but I suspect a 7star has complete personal butler's and a staff at your side at all times...I guess..." and I say that if I could afford a 7star that I would want to bring my own masseuse or masseur with me! "We have massage services of course on request. It I would imagine that it has to do with the quality of service." When I ask about the service at the Cavalieri, "It is more friendly and fun yet we have a professional attitude...you can be friendly with the guests just not too friendly. You know people I have learned are weird...you think they want one thing and it is the opposite...I myself I love to travel. To see new places, not necessarily new people though...!" Franco laughs. 


Is the Gorgeous funny restaurant that has a monopoly on a location that is to die four! That is what I then kid the owners about. It has a little baby restaurant and a outside sitting region and a big restaurant and they all mingle with each other. The father looks just like George Clooney exactly
and I mean exactly and when I ask the son if he thinks his father looks Just like George Clooney his son says, "No not at all! " but he really does.Ristorante la Galleria - Il Vino dei Guelfi - Firenze - Clicca per ingrandire
The son laughs and says, "It is not not that easy to work with the family...you think that it would be easy but it is harder and I have to work triple as someone else." I say that yes I know when I tried to help my grandfather rearrange his office the next day he threw a fit and said O I need it the way Ihad it...aaaaaaa.. and I had to rearrange it back the way it was!   That is the way with family but the cool thing is that they have the tastiest food and if you find the restaurant which you can by the map on the website it is worth it. 
The father says, "O here is Alberto Um Sordi he is a famous actor and in the picture he had tried to eat like an American and when he tried he finally in the movies throws all the food away and starts over eating like an Italian with real thick spaghetti and that is the picture above." I thank him since I've seen that picture many times in Italy and finally know what it means! 

Via Dè Guicciardini, 48-r, 50125 Firenze
055 264 5988 on the website is the
entire menu and you can see all that
the cucinas including the mother 
make all home-made from scratch.
"The boss" the father says, "is my wife...she is the boss she is the cucina..." When I ask if I can talk to the boss he laughs and says, "She is taking dancing lessons...on Monday and Wednesday..." which is funny since today is Wednesday and he proceeds to give me cake and show me pictures of their friend "little Tony" a famous Elvis type singer except they're friend is an impersonator of "little Tony"...it is too funny an impersonator of an impersonator! 
The father and son and mother all work at the restaurant and they've had it since 1996. The son says, "My father used to have a big catering business that used to cater to up to 700 people. It is right in front of the monastery on the square." When I ask if the father, who looks just like George Clooney:) loves the catering business or the restaurant the sons looks at the father and laughs, "Okay he loved the catering business but he was young and all of the partners were young and they had live musicians that came in at night and of course he had more fun..." Okay enough said! 

            La Dantesca, Ristorante/Pizzeria                                                                 055 212 287   Via Panzani 57/r o Piazza  Santa Maria Novella 24

      The Best Pizzerias in Firenze!

 Meet the owner Mr. Roberto and his friend of 10 years Andy. I had a chance to chat and learned and laughed about life in Naples, Rome and Florence.


"My mother and father come from Naples which has the best pizza in the world," says Roberto with the help of translater Andy. "That is why we here have Naples style pizza. It took a lot of courage to bring the traditional thick Naples pizza to Florence which is known for the thin pizza and it took since 1998 a couple of years for the people to accept and ask for the Naples style." says Roberto. 

The owner who graduated with economics and accounting of all things is happiest working with his pizzeria and his team. "It is a gift that is beautiful & yet at the same time it is difficult to manage. A team of       11 are here today." he says.   "As we walk around the restaurant a regular guest sits and eats. They all laugh as they say that he is Florentine and owns his own restaurant/bar... "I guess the food is better here," I say and he shrugs his shoulders! as if to say...what could I do it is true! 

When you come to the restaurant to eat I can say a couple of things you will find...a funny amicable pizza man only too obliged to put the pizza in the oven and a owner and team of caring serious people interested in helping you discover real Italian food and culture.  

"Every day I talk of Rome." says Roberto who is born here at Rome and moved to Florence. "My father bought the restaurant in 1975 then he gave me as a present it in 1998. Since that is a great opportunity I've been here. I feel lucky yet happy at the same time to be doing something that I love to do.I try to focus on the high quality...I don't want to "abuse" the tourists and by that I mean by giving the tourist higher prices low quality." he says. Andy replys,"I've known Mr. Roberto almost 10 years since 2005 and he is a honest man. A good man with character. He tries to stay between the two worlds of being a nice person yet a boss. Sometimes..." he laughs. Mr. Roberto says, "When the cook doesn't show up til one hr late we have problems...that is when the time is difficult and then the stress happens. The other times it is always laughter and fun." Here they ask the pizza maker to ham it up for the camera...


"The cook is from Naples and she cooks here typical Tuscany food." they say as they are all eating her lasagna! as I walk into the appointment. Is she a good cook? I ask and say that I thought every Italian kitchen had a man cooking! They all laugh and Vittorio who is the man sitting to the left and has been with Mr.Roberto since almost the beginning says, "We hope she is a good cook!" 

Since the kitchen is important in any restaurant here is a collection of photos of the entire team...including Andy with the "cappucino" girl.!  

Vincenzo, GianCarlo, and mother Irene in the beautiful funky restaurant Canto de Nello ..."Vincenzo decorated the entire restaurant. It used to have a leather store in here , 7 years ago, and he remodeled it all." says Irene proudly. "Yes I love to do that. I could maybe be a interior designer if there is work to do this but now in Italy it is difficult." he says. And GianCarlo(the quiet one) "Right now it is fun in the restaurant." he says however we do take vacations every year the last 6 years to New York! We love New York." Irene says, "Yes to see the city and the beauty and the buildings but not to eat the Italian food there. The Italian food here is the best." she says. Um that is true. 
        Via Canto di Nello 22r)right at the base of the Duomo) has a woman owner from Milan, "O it is great to own a the Canto di Nello...we have 300 seats and we're busy everyday. Every morning me and my sons go to the Centrale Mercato or another Mercato and buy the food for the day...tomorrow I buy 100Kilos of potatoes..." Irene laughs when she says that and her son Vincenzo agrees, "We have a big car!" he says. Do they ever run out of food?"No if I am running out of food I go to Vincenzo at the La Grotta and bring it here." Vincenzo says, "She knows all about the prices or the people or everything there is to know about running a restaurant...we trust her to know how much we need." he says.  055283279                                  http://www.ristorantecantodenelli.com/ 
Above the two brothers GianCarlo and Vincenzo who talks a lot while we do the interview, "NO! It's not fun!" Vincenzo jokes when I ask him if being the boss of the La Grotta di Leo Pizzeria is fun. "It is work all the time...no time for life!" is what he keeps shouting while GianCarlo and his mother Irene laugh loudly. Yet they seem to have fun all the time too. "We're used to it! We used to have hotels before the 15 years that we owned La Grotta and while it is boring to own hotels it is busy crazy at the restaurants. That is why we love it." The La Grotta is near the Centrale train station and has 250 seats! 055 219265

Luigi's passion is "playing the piano..." says the affable owner of Vecchio Mercato...you guessed it right across from the famous Central Mercato in Florence. "Here let me play for you..." and he plays "happy birthday." I start giggling. "Wait, I can play two songs..." and he plays a second beautiful ballad. Why only these two songs? "Because I love the piano and I love these songs and I wanted a piano in here and I wanted to say that I can play two songs." Alright... however the 6 nights during the week that you can hear jazz music on the soft speakers you can come on Monday night and a real live pianist plays music for you while you dine.  Located at Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 12/13 it has a beautiful intimate dining area inside and the lively mercato and merchant carts outside. 


       for reservations call 055 211978

Here is the elegance of the entrance to the Mercato restaurant. Is it expensive? "It is normal say between 15E to up to 300Euros if you include a expensive bottle of wine." He says.  The atmosphere is romantic and intimate and I ask if he has any other interests besides the restaurant and the piano!"Yes I love to ski and see the cinema and I have two daughters...one 6 and one 16. The 16 doesn't listen to me at all...o she pretends to and I talk on and on and then she says NO! at the end of the conversation!" he laughingly says. And the 6 year old? He smiles. "That one loves me. Daddy Daddy Daddy. All the time." "Maybe in the summer my 16 will say I want to work with the restaurant and I will be happy!" he says. A new Generation. 

Here the 13th century walls on the left behind the piano and across from it is 17th century walls! Why the difference? "I don't know why. The 1300 ones used to house the merchant carts and maybe they built a structure in the 17th century on the other side. See the difference?" We examine the walls. Pretty cool. "I added the piano and I added the pictures and the new colors. That is about it. The rest is from the original owner...I've only owned the restaurant since 2 years and before that a wine bar." The difference? "The restaurant is more work!" he laughs. "I am happy now. It is what I want to do."   

                          Lunedi Jazz al Vecchio Mercato Florency Italy...

Above the 3, Generations of family plus the original owner in the picture on the wall is Piero Serni...Anna, Francesca, and Stefano make up the owners of the gorgeous and I mean gorgeous restaurant named La Bussola in Florence ItalyThink swinging 20's and you will imagine the decor of the modern bar that transports you back into that era. Originally Piero Serni bought the restaurant and opened the first pizzza restaurant in Florence. "At that day and age the restaurant is open til about 3am to 4. We had politicians and actors and writers and cops and thiefs all piled in. It was a time of no taxes and tons of money with Italy rebuilding itself after the 2nd World War. People had a great time. My father bought Bussola since 1981 and redecorated to what you see today in ,1986." says Stefano.

     055 293376   Via Porta Rossa 58/R


"Here is one of the places where all of the famous people used to come. The entire restaurant used to have pictures on all of the walls and I kept a small wall here to show people." Stefano says. I oo and aa when I see Steve Martin and Ms. Williams the tennis player. "There was a lot of famous Italian movie stars and singers back then who always came here. The place has a lot of history and I try to carry on that traditon." he says. The cuisine at the famous think Jack Nicholson The Shining Estate decor...? "We of course are famous with the fish and Tuscany food and the pizza since that is how it started. " he says.  "Downstairs I used to have a disco but now that I am married and settled down the disco is gone! Now it is a family restaurant including my brother Michele who has a day off today." he laughs.

The pizza ovens in Florence are some of the most beautiful ever as you see here in the background. Stefano says, "My father and a architect made the entire length of the bar entirely marble and under neath is black granite. It is amazing... the amount of marble that they put into the place. And the walls are all outlined with marble in addition to the are where my mother stands."  It is so incredibly beautiful to see. 

The owner and his team who says, "Wait can you take the pictures tomorrow when the good-looking waiters are here!"Below the quiet elegance of the La Bussola.

              How sweet is that? The owners had a little table all ready for me during my interview...cornmeal polenta and vegatarian soup, and pepper meat totally spicy...with Chianti that is the I can say the tastiest interview ever!          


Trattoria Toscana Gozzi Sergio in Florence...how cool is my job of interviewing the greatest people on earth? Seriously...I met Andrea at the bar and Alessandro to the right! Alessandro is the Cucina brother and Andrea is the every other thing in the restaurant... "The restaurant has been here 100 years and it is us  Generations and although Alessandro has a son of 7 I doubt if I can last another 15 years here!" says Andrea laughing. 

To the right is the pictures of 5 people that from almost 50 years everyday came to the restaurant to eat lunch...the pictures along with the names are stunningly breathtaking and beautiful. The food? 

"We're open everyday and one day of rest on Sunday and only for lunch. That is fun and everyday about 7:00am along with the other cucinas in the restaurants Alessandro goes to the Centrale Mercato and chooses the fresh food of the day." I say O really? I can go stalk Alessandro at 7:00am and see all of the real cucinas of Florence? Andrea laughs, "Yes If you want to!"       

 055 281941 Piazza San Lorenzo, 8

 Golden View Restaurant and in addition to a couple of em they give these to guests at astounding views. Ask Tommaso for details from the dining room to romantic tables outside you can view the river in the we mornings and hear the quiet city alive. 
The lovely Golden View Restaurant all ready to give the Apertif Delicacies above and the owners , Tommaso & Antonio below. The Lovely restaurant is right here at the Ponte Vecchio and last  year they opened a new one at Greenwich Conn. America. "I've been there the last 7 months in America, " says the young owner, "I love the Americans, they invited me to holiday with all at the Hamptons and Amelia Island Fl." When I say that is the most exclusive vacations of America and that the Americans must really love his restaurant he laughs, "They're all nice to me." Must be the great apertifs!  http://www.goldenviewopenbar.com/ 
0039 055214502   tel. +1 203-817-0919
The amazing location and view from the restaurant are worth it in and of itself however the food and the hospitality of the staff and the owners is superb .

 A bunch of people enjoying Guiness and the Soccer Games on the television...a woman with her Diva shoes and San Carlo potato chips!

"My father is Chinese and he speaks only Chinese and I only speak Italian and a little English. He talks to me in Chinese and I talk to him in Italian and somehow we understand each other! I've only been though to China one time about 5 years ago and it is alright but I love Florence. I am Italian." Fabrizio says.... and any children of his own? He laughs "I want a child a son but I don't want to get married. I just want a son!" Oh Oh...hope his girlfriend doesn't read this! 
Fabrizio is adorable, a chinese young kid really who is born at Florence and mother and father come from China. "I own the Friends Pub 7-8 years now. My girlfriend is Chinese and she helps me with the Pub. I bought the Pub when it is named Friends and kept the name because I like the name...I added a couple of things such as the piano because I like the piano and people play but I don't know how to play! I l just like it!"  He says that in 2001 there was a big "boom on English and Irish Pubs in Italy and we bought one!"   Check em out...                http://www.thefriendspub.it/
Totally cool to sip a Bavarian and see the tele...hey I know that person that is Albert Thurn und Taxis on the bleachers the front row! :) 
"People come in tonight to see the game from the Florence team which is at the stadium yet they love seeing it on the television better." says Fabrizio...it is probably since you can drink Guiness in the warm Pub instead of the rain! 
"We're open all year round. The outside gardens have heat in these and people love to sit outside near the warmth. My favorite on my own menu is the tagliatelle with the pork over the top." says Paolo and his assistant says, "Mine is the Florentine steak. We're famous for that in Florence and here." she says. The owner and she take me downstairs into the wine cellar. Here we are met with huge selections of wine and soft elegant tables..."you can have a private party here or a elegant table with only two people. Sit on the leather couches and drink wine or at a intimate table and dinner reservations." They say as i oo and ah at the decorations. When I swing back around they're chowing on the pasta! and I say that is must be good since everybody is eating! 
The Beautiful fun Pinocchio Restaurant at Florence has a fun loving owner and a sweet informing friendly team. The food is pretty darn good too! "It is because I love Pinocchio is why I named it that and the man who wrote the famous story lives right down that alley here." he says.
And we know honestly that the restaurant named "Pinocchio"  of as funny since it is about that little boy that came to life the restaurant is beautiful and elegant. "Yes the building is from the 17th century and they used to house stables here...Florence is built on top another city!" he says of the wine cellar below that used to be street level. Totally cool. Located at centrale 24... love love love piazza del mercato 
Be so will  enchanted with the totally sweet  merchant carts right along the tables...the finest leathers in the world not to mention the Chianti is produced here...the only place in the world were you will find Chianti is here.

Enoteca Millesimi is the wine store that one finds wandering down the alleys of say Florence, Paris, Morroco... you're lucky you can find it right here at Florence Italy. The owner is a delight and the store brick, old, dusty what you would expect to find at the real Vineyards Cellars...VERY COOL... 055265 4675      http://www.florencewinemerchants.com/…/enoteca-millesimi.ht…

 “It is a big privelage to come downstairs where all of the wine is stored about 15 years now...see that bottle? It is a vintage bottle from 1952. I bought it a couple of years ago it is a excellent wine...” says the beautiful owner named Anne Marie. Since she is French I dare not ask her how old she is having learned that from a friend who I housed on his bohemian yacht 3 months... that is a question that people don't ask French women he said. As a matter of fact one time , he says, I asked my fiance who was much older how old she was having never dared ask before and I have never seen her since...true story! Okay the reason is that she says, “Me and my husband have been recording producers of a great record music company many years about 15 years. Now he does his record company and I do my wine store about 15 years. I say that is mine!” and a son of 30 years old yet she is beautiful in that classical delicated bone structure of true matriachs... I had a great conversation with her in the crates and dust wine store. It has many layers upstairs and downstairs.

"You know you could keep the collections down here forever yet every year we must pay taxes on the how do you say?” she asks and I say the inventory? “Yes the inventory. So you have to drink the wine. We must drink the wineand sell the wine we can't just keep the wine it the cellars.” and I say that I could be quite useful in that arena of helping her drink the wine! And we laugh. I oo and agh at the dusty collections of the bottles after caverns and caverns and cellars of the 1000year old basement...it is pretty cool down there and they have some great wines. Try it check it out at Millesimi Borgo Tegolaio 33/red....

“You know everybody has wine tastings... I come from Marseilles France and am raised it the traditional way. I only have exclusive Italian wines and Burgandys and Champagnes from France. When I do a wine tastes it is only with my good clients that I know would love to discover a fine wine a new wine to add to the collection. It is all about the collection.They taste the wine to discover if it is right for them. It isn't a bar here. It isn't a place to come guzzle free wine!” she enchantingly says and you feel as if you are in the Frescobaldi vineyards!

"One of my sons says that o hey mom I don't want to be a wine person since you're a wine person I want to do my own beer company...so I have a little section at the front of the store where he has his beer. He travels all around Italy with it but I tell him This is a wine store...yet I run downstairs and grab his beer and have them there on the shelfs" she says proudly..."the other one wants to be a painter!"I say that goes good with wine...like a good Michelangelo or Renoir...let's have a little wine and paint!  Try ARCHAIC BAR and BREWERY craft beer in Florence right around the corner block. https://www.facebook.com/archea.brwry?ref=hl

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