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                                                   La Giostra & La Giostra II Florence Italy
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      The famous Michelin Restaurant in Florence is located at 10 and 18 Borgo Pinti; reservations: 055 241341

Is the food good? I ask Soldano. "I hope so," he says quietly. His voice is very quiet and he is one of the most sincere and humble people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting, love going to each table personally and saying hi to the guests, taking the orders and having fun every night.

 "That is my joy honestly. I am usually at La Giostra II since that restaurant my father made for me, and La Giostra is his restaurant. Now I do the recipes for both restaurants, yet my presence is almost always at the La Giostra II where yes I do play loud rock and roll every night. We play that music in both restaurants and ever since a lot of the music stars have become my friends. Yes, we have Michelin, yet they seem to love the difference between the music and the food and the atmosphere. Everyday I meet people from all around the world. I talk to the backpackers from America and the movie stars, and the music stars from America. The young people come in here and they love the music and they love that they can feel 100% comfortable in my restaurants. The music is my love and I dress that way with my taste every night.  The restaurant is for the daily person who works and the Prince. It is a everybody restaurant and that is what my father taught me. He said, "Remember Soldano, the guest is the guest of your party that you are giving. Every night at the restaurant you have invited friends to come to a party. And that is why the music that I like I play and the food that I add to the table is the food I love." he says. 

 Soldano is a real Prince from the lineage of Imperial Russia and the Grand Duke of Austria, and the very famous family of the Chianti Ruffino region. "Yes when we were young we had parties at the Palace which had maybe 1,200 people coming and the parties would last 3 days with my father cooking for his guests. He loved to give parties. Since we were a famous wine maker for 60 years we of course gave the real original Ruffino to the guests. I mean we owned the vineyards and it is easy to do that." he says. I became interested in opening a restaurant after my father approached my brother to be his partner. My brother was not interested and my father had to convince me to be his  partner. He was my partner and my best friend. And he kept saying to me, Soldano why do you think a restaurant will be a success? And I had to convince him. I think it was his reputation for hospitality that drew the 100's of friends everyday from the first day to the restaurant. And since we do a great job with the food they kept coming back. Everyday I am busy the last 20 years and we opened the La Giostra 2 and we're busy everyday! Now it is the friends, the Italians, the tourists, the famous people, the politicians, and no not just my friends. If it is only my friends I would have to have a lot of friends to keep open every night!" he says laughing.   
    055 241341   Borgo Pinti   10/18 Rosso
"The guests vary from the 3 American girls that you met on the bus who said that they loved my restaurant, which is why you came here, to the Egyptian Prince who invited me 3 days to Egypt and flew me around in his helicopter. Which is amazing and I still wonder why he invited me!" he says. I say that it is his lovely person, his coolness and his great and lovely food that the Egyptian Prince probably wanted to steal recipes from! Ha ha ha. Yet totally a treat.

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"My favorite is the lamb chops," says Miri, who Soldano says takes care of his facebook, instagram, and the website since, "I know the wine since that is my heritage and the food. Technology is beyond me!" he says laughing yet his team says he is being very honest! "Women are my favorite plate and the rest is side dishes," jokes Soldano. 

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If you venture to the right to the 
"a little more formal" (with the Michelin guide
 logos on the front door) La Giostra 1, you will 
find the loud Rock and Roll music again! Hmm
 have to meet the Soldano who does that, I said. 
The experience is as unlike any you can ever imagine, however, The real star of the very famously studded, 
no pun intended yet then again..., La Giostra is the owner Soldano. Soldano can be seen everywhere
 on the walls of his famously visited restaurant
 yet honestly it is his mere presence at night 
that attracts the people. When I first walked
 into La Giostra 2 which is right next door 
almost to the La Giostra 1, the Rock and Roll
 music was blaring. BLARING and the team 
\was setting the tables at 18:00pm. I giggled 
since the decor is stunningly beautiful and the
 walls covered with everybody you see on the
 telly. And again, the decor is stunningly beautiful. The team said, "O yes that is the
music of Soldano. He loves Rock and Roll."
 Yet one and 1/2 hr. later when I came to say hi
 the entire restaurant on a Saturday night was 
totally full and the Rock and Roll music just as
 loud as before. One of the reasons I loved the La Giostra 2 the minute I walked in is the sheepskins covering the chairs. It was all viking feeling and like a huge romantic cave. "Yes um need to talk about the sheepskins, and yes everybody loves these. However, it is for practical reasons since when we first opened in the winter we didn't know the opening of the doors in the front would make it such a cold place to sit and we had to buy sheepskins for the guests when they sat here in the winter. In the summer we put away the sheepskins!" Says Soldano and I say O I am so disappointed since I thought they were part of the decor! Ha ha ha... Below, you know Steve Vai, the one who plays with Whitesnake, Frank Zappa, David Lee Roth, and now with Soldano! Great Guitar player and great entreprenuer meet.
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    Francesco is one of the happiest people that I have ever talked to. Always smiling and curious about life. "I opened the let's say sandwich and bar or sandwich bar in August 10. It is about 8 months now and since I come from a small village in the Chianti region of Tuscany named Montespertoli. It is a small picturesque city where it is famous for Chianti and its great meats. The only meat that I use in the bar is from here and I have named 10 of my sandwiches, all that I have,after the bridges of Florence." he says. "The reason that we only have 10 sandwiches is because they don't have anymore bridges in Florence."                Check out the great selections at:

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While I am interviewing Francesco in the wine bar sandwich enoteca, different guests come and order wine and sandwiches. The place is a rustic provincial trattoria opposite the famous restuarant named Dante's at the foot of the bridge. Outside is a barrel to sit around and eat the sandwiches and a gathering of 8 friends sit and order "10 proseccos, 8 wines, 6 sandwiches," and about 30minutes later amoungst much laughter and conversation, "8 proseccos, 8 wines..." and the party continues at 3:00pm. "It is that way everyday. I open at 11:00 am and I am opened to 22.00 pm. I am seeing maybe to hire a trusted person to help me. It is fun and I love the people that I have come to know; however, sometimes I need a helping hand." he says smiling.

     It is basically a great fresh place to have a homemade sandwich and local Chianti wine, smiling and interested people to chat with while sitting around wooden barrels and meeting people from everywhere in the world. Francesco is a delight of enthusiasm, smiles and stories of where each product comes from. "I love to promote the Tuscany region of cheeses since my village only has one type of cheese, yet the meat is the best in my village and you see each item in the glass case before you eat it. That is important. People love to stay here for one hour and laugh and talk and I do have many families that come in since it is inexpensive and the children can eat quality food while  the mom's and dad's have a much needed glass of wine!" Now that is true!

                    The wine bar and fresh sandwich 

   enoteca is located at:Piazza Nazario Sauro, 5/r .

"The sandwich that people most want to try is named the Ponte Alla Carraia (from the bridge) and has sbricolona salami and soft cheese named stracchino. All the sandwiches have fresh meat which I bring from my home village and fresh cheese from Tuscany. The wine is from Montespertoli and Tuscany. I want to promote and be proud of my village and have the Florentine people and tourists learn about it's products," says Francesco. Image may contain: table, food and indoorThe Ponte Vecchio Sandwich is made with Salami Pecorino and Pomodori. 

   I tell him to name a sandwich with only cheese and no beef, The Chicago Bridge Sandwich, since the cow burned down the city of Chicago and they don't want to eat the cow now!matteonana46's Media: ..finalmente primo sopralluogo al Vinarno!!! 🍷🍺
Grande Francy, un grosso in bocca al lupo per que

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"We have a indian bridge in the city of Florence and I have Indian spicy curry for that sandwich which isn't typical Tuscany, yet we do have that bridge and a statue of a famous India important person that visited Florence. I thought that since I have named all my sandwiches after bridges it is important for me to add a little Indian taste!"   338 208 9409
     As you enter the Palazzo of the Vecchio family, now owned by Francisco, who is a gracious and fun host, you

     notice the beauty of the works of art, the antique furniture, the sculptures and gilded mirrors that adorn every                     inch of the solid stone building. The Palazzo Ristorante has rooms, and each one is unique and different. Gorgeous.             Stunningly beautiful and I seriously didn't even care about the food for the first 2 interviews! I kept asking where does       that come from? O my gosh where does that sculpture come from? O my gosh is that real? O my gosh is  that a beautiful fireplace!  

                            "Yes, yes and yes," Francisco says, "I loved the restaurant and I bought it all!" 

                                                                                         Piazza del Carmine 24 Florence

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   And of course we must talk about the romantically elegant restaurant's food, since it is a restaurant. I tell Francisco that when I enter the Napoleone, I first see it all and approach the bar for a cocktail, a light caffe and about 15 minutes later realize that I can actually dine here! 

     For instance on the menu they have a entire page of truffles, with a first course page of truffle dishes, and a main course page of truffle dishes that follows. Entire pages! Which is truly amazing. 

      "I truly focus on the food. The restaurant is beautiful, yet it's purpose is to have my guests have a good time and to enjoy and taste the food. Every item is fresh and the chefs are the original chefs, by the way. When I bought the restaurant, I kept the chefs! We want to serve the freshest fish that we can find, for instance in addition to the fact that it has always been known as a restaurant that has the finest cuts of the Florentine steaks. That is why people come from all around the world to dine here." says Francisco. They offer me to try the wild boar which I love,  and the Merlot from Castello Ginori.

 Okay below is my Wild Boar! My favorite in the world.Image may contain: food

 And since Italy is famous for its wine...let's talk about the wine list... "It is mostly from Tuscany," says Jacopo. "Yes a few from Sicily or other regions, yet most from Tuscany." he says. 

      That Francisco knows the choice of his menu and which wine compliments it is important. "I know each wine that I present." he says, "and mostly my wine list is to enhance the choice of dinner. We are known for the food, honestly, although you love the ambience of the restaurant, the real reason I chose Napoleone is the finest reputation that it had already had for its food."

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    "The chefs everyday find the freshest fish and meat in the Centrale Mercato, and have been with the restaurant at least 10 years. The reason that we have the truffles displayed on full 2 pages, as first course and main course, is that I believe here at Napoleone that the truffle should be experienced as an entire category, not one or two dishes. The truffle needs to be experienced in many ways and my chef's are experts at that!" says Francisco seriously. I can't wait for my wild boar which has truffles.

     "Florence is known around the world for it's best cut of beef, yet we are some of the only ones that use the angus beef. The angus beef is from northeast Scotland and is known in the industry as the best in the world." says Francisco. Although I didn't try the huge Florentine steak here, the people of Tuscany love it and international travelers from around the world have caught on to the traditional plate. Mine is, of course, too fatteningly since I eat all of it! However, the mixture of the lovely wine that Francisco recommended, that Jacopo, the wonderful translater, gave for me to try and the wild boar dish with truffle is a perfect combination in the romantic restaurant. "We have many special items, such as I said, the truffles, which are usually only found in Tuscany and the intimate surrounding areas. They don't grow truffles in Germany or Switzerland, for example since it is too cold. Yet here, in the middle of Italy, is the famous truffle. Why we should give the people the delicate tastes to try of these famous specialty" says Francisco, and after eating my too fatteningly wild boar with truffle I see why they present it that way.                                                                                  

          I promise that you shall have a lovely night!                Please check out the website and instagram and perhaps you can choose from the lovely pictures yourself! 


Image may contain: food        Many years I have seen the door that leads to such a beautiful restaurant which is the 

        Palazzo Vecchio dated to the 1000AD and wanted to dine inside. With it's charming exterior at night when the Piazza Carmine is lit up and you delight with the laughter of the tourists, you become trasported back to the aristocratic feel that must of made up the Florentine mystery of why there is such amazing art and creation that has come from here. Wait! until you enter the world of the Vecchio family and its still preserved interior. "Yes, I bought the entire restaurant, the sculptures, the lamps, the pictures, the heavy furniture, the hunting artifacts in the Caccia room, " says Francisco laughing as I keep gasping entering each room. His father, Paolo, is busy watering and caring for the gardens that are attached via glass greenhouse rooms! Yes, real ones! A big throne chair graces the hallway near the bar(can we call a huge carved 1-1/2 story alcove a bar?) and I sit in it and say, "Paolo sit here as the king!" and Francisco's father laughs and sits and commands attention. (He looks perfect here!)The tourists that dine here say, " Siamo nel XVILLL, nel XVI onel XX secolo,"  which translates to "we're in the 18th, 16th, 20th century." That is how you feel when you experience each room with its own ambience that gives it character, from the real working old stone fireplace that is situated with two tiny vintage tables as you enter the hunting room, Caccia! That room is incredibly beautiful with hunting trophies from other bygone eras with old heavy furniture and table of solid worn wood for 1o in the center and 3 intimate tables near the side. Loved it's intimacy and delicacy combined. As you enter the big dining room where you can see the cooks make their famous creations, a huge table is in the center and reminds me of royalty, and indeed probably the aristocratic families, dining here. 

                           RESERVATIONS recommended: Telefono / Phone: 0039 055 2 608414                                                                                                                                                    0039 055 28 10 15

                I love the restaurant and with a couple of real exotic Beautiful ones in Florence,

it is in the top 3 literally. My grandfather's name is Dante and my grandmother Agnes, Italian and German respectively and when I first walked into the INFERNO RESTAURANT, I thought how beautiful it truly is..."yes we all love Dante's Inferno, one of the most eloquent poems ever written and since he is born in Florence we thought to make a restaurant that honors his poem and exemplifies the tradition of the aristocratic Florentines." says the very poetic Capo himself Luciano. 

                          "We sat down with a architect from La Spezia and we talked about our vision of the restaurant, the owners include 6 of us, me, Luciano Secci, my brother, Simone Secci, my brother Gianbattista Secci, my partner, Mario Pasquarelli and his nephew Andrea Pasquarelli and his father Pino. The vision we had is of a elegant restaurant that has the inspirational words of Dante on the walls, and is beautiful yet mysteriously different, a little playful. If you have ever read Dante's poem, you know the many levels of it, yet many people tell me that they find it difficult to finish and to understand. That is the restaurant, it is elegant and intimate and private and the cocktail bars are sophisticated and leveled and hidden. That is the poem. Many levels. The restaurant is not expensive, I think, since it's specialty is fish and flamme bois. We bring the food to the table and cook it with flames high. It is show only. The people love it and they feel special in here." says Luciano, since Mario is smiling all the time and speaks Italian. 

                              Via Ghibellina 80red      


"We have live bands every Thursday in the cocktail lounges and we have DJs every Friday and Saturday. Last Thursday we had a live Cuban band that made everybody jump up and dance!" says Luciano. "Here let me show you how I make cocktails, and if you could please let everybody know that during cocktail festival starting May 2, the best bartenders in Florence compete for the best mixologists and flare. We have the number one bartender of Italy on May 2 making cocktails for you here!" he says excited. Indeed it is kinda cool to hear the latin music in the 2 story galllery restaurant as you walk from room to room, about 6 of em! Plus the outside terrace, the restaurant is huge! No automatic alt text available.

When I ask why they love the restaurant? "Because we love Dante!" says Luciano. And Mario? "The same." he says. "We're proud to see the vision that we created come to a reality. It is ultimately our design with the way we wanted to create something and the architect designed it for us. Coming to the table is special and we like to show off. We want to have fun and make you happy." he says. And Michelin? Is that a plan?  

    Mario laughs, "We hope to do Michelin in the future yes!" he says. Résultat de recherche d'images pour "ristorante inferno florence"

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  "Yes, we have specialty of fish and honestly you can have a nice meal starting from 30.00 euros per person. If you want expensive bottle of wine the price could be 100.00 euros per person or more. Yet it is a restaurant that looks very expensive and is reasonable. I want everybody to come and enjoy the restaurant. Come have a Beatrice or Dante cocktail or a         flamme bois of lamb for a special dinner." says Mario, with the help of my translator!Image associée
    And guests having elegant dinner at Inferno. Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

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"My brother loves to show off and bring the flamme bois to the tables. The flames are high and we have a great banana dessert flamme bois, too. The cocktails have flames to some of those and since it is the INFERNO, we must keep the tradition of the name!" says Luciano. Does he do the flamme bois? "Only with the cocktails, I do." he says. 

                                          Here I am chatting with the Capo of JIMMYS Leathers...Florence Italy                                                                             check out the black leather dress...only 8 in the entire world tailored made! 
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing "The designs that we have are mine mostly and Sean, my brother. They are all original and I try to concentrate on the quality, feel, and I am famous for the colors. The new jackets that we have we carry in 15 colors. That is important since we are the only leather company that does that." says Jimmy. When I say that his store is becoming quite known around the world, Alex, his cousin says, "It is a brand, not a name. The name Jimmys is a brand that people around the world are starting to know like Louis Vuitton is branding the name Louis Vuitton." which actually is very true. Anyway the minute you walk into the stores I promise you that you shal say "O MY Gosh O my Gosh O MY GOSH it is beautiful." 
Jimmy has so many cousins and relatives working with him, that it is difficult or should I say impossible to have a conversation about leather that less it eventually reflects back to the owner, Jimmy himself. 
They all love him and they all love and are totally proud of the leathers that they 100% design and tailor themselves. Each and every one of the pieces of leather whether it be the gorgeous leather coats that they have become famous for, or the soft leather will absolutely love the team and the selection...about 1,000 different furs and leathers in two locations at the San Lorenzo Mercato. The one repeating comment that my guests that shop at Jimmys leathers say is they had "so much fun with the fellows!" or "they were so much fun to buy leathers from!" a australian team told me. It is true. They are really nice. Plus the leather is GORGEOUS! "We tailor every piece to fit you. We can do just about any color and if you need something totally made to fit you it takes a couple of weeks, but we can ship anywhere in the world." says Jimmy. 

  Via Sant'Antonino, 80r, 50123 Firenze FI

                 Piazza San Lorenzo 2 Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

     The coolest addition that is 100% only Jimmys Collection is the attachable fur black cuffs that you can attach to any jacket. "I have a collar, too that you can attach. It gives the jacket a little more sophistication and elegance. You can wear the one you love, for instance, the green jacket that is very soft and fitted to the body and when you add the black fur cuffs on the wrists it gives it a little something." says Jimmy. I say it gives it that feel of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys! It is true. Gorgeous! Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor
        Jimmys Leathers Piazza San Lorenzo 2Image may contain: one or more people and people standing
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Jimmy's brother above is the designer of the latest mid to long length men and womens' leather coats and although Jimmy does not let anyone photo his new styles, since he wants them exclusive, I can tell you that the leather melts in your hands, is super smooth and great huge collars...hint hint hint! 
Jimmy says, "We love when the people around the world send their friends in to us and I especially enjoy talking to guests that come here year after year. They say the leather coats are the best and I know that it is true since I make them!" he says laughing. Yet when it comes to leather, Jimmy is very serious. "We make all of our own leathers and I have been in the business 20 years. Sometimes my team says we should change the name to something Florentine, like Duomo or something, yet after the years people have come to know my name and they associate it with quality and high standards. That is important to me. I am proud of my name and I am proud of my leathers." he says. Very smart person.
   "The black leather dress that I have is very fitted and very 1950s classic. I only tailored 8 in the entire world and it is very difficult to make, actually. I hope that the women who buy the dress wear it with elegance, as I am sure that they shall and to remember that only 8 other people have that dress! "  A stunning black leather that while I interviewed the Capo of Jimmy's leathers at least 2 people stopped and admired the dress and said, "hmm..." I guess they were thinking about a important event!                                 
                              Bella! Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and shoes

                              alright let's start Learning how to play Polo people, and after buy a pair of great Salvatore Ferragamo shoes!
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   "We have about 20 bikes, 40 Segways, and 8 Vespas, and in addition with have 3 Wheel Carts with 3 people with 1 driver and 2 of these on private tours. They do all around Florence tours to Vineyards in Chianti to lunch in Chianti on the Segways or Bikes or following the 3Wheelers on Vespas.

         We Always make it educational and fun. An Experience. When you come here we only have professional licensed guides that make it a fun experience. The best guides make it the best tours." says Sonny laughing. "At the Segway Chianti tour you drink Chianti of course, and eat a Italian lunch in the vineyards, which is fun and pratical all at once! Risultati immagini per wine and cheese tour in florence segwaysVespa Firenze

 Sonny, who owns Segway Point in Florence, is great.


      "I started the Segway with 10 in 2010 and everyday from 2010 and 2011 and 2012 the people loved Segways and I had to buy more Segways. One day in 2014, the Grandson of Salvatore Ferragamo called me and said that he had his own private polo Segway Team and asked if I wanted to form a team to play together. I said yes and we started the Florence Segway Polo Team. Now I have Segway Polo Team classes where groups can come from 2 people just to learn or 6 and more to play with our team. It is 80.00euros per person with 4 hours of Learning and playing with the team on Segway Polo. And yes it is real fun." says Sonny when I ask if he has a great job!

               "Alright," says Sonny and tells me the story of why he has a age limit..."the Segway is from 16 to 75, 76 and older must show that they can ride a Segway. and yes here is a story of why. One day a very fit 77 year old came and started zig-zagging in and out if traffic showing off. He could really ride the Segway. Yet, 15 minutes later we receive a call from the journey and he hit a car. Fortunately he is alright, yet the car is totaled. We had to use the insurance that Segway gives to pay 5,000.00euros for the car. From that point on, you have to know how to ride the Segway!" I ask if he is sure it wasn't the car's fault instead of the Segways? He laughs hysterically, "O yes I am sure!". Enough said!

          Claudio and Laura have a real Tuscany restaurant situated in a 1000AD Palace of the famous Florentine family named, Corbizzi, who one of the son's killed Lorenzo di Medici's brother, and the result in the square, as is a Medici fashion, is to have killed the entire family of the Corbizzi! Yes; however, the family and food here is the lovliest ever, and yes I know since I just ate a HUGE (roman tradition) Carbonara although I am supposed to be on a diet!  "Yes sometimes we have wedding parties that come after the wedding for welcoming guests and they love the downstairs since it is very private." says Laura. It is also very very beautiful. Gorgeous and authentic with a real well and ceilings of such beauty in the original tall arched brick. Must see it! 
"Come let me show you the downstairs," is how me and Laura bond! The "downstairs" is the cellar of the original Corbizzi Palace and is elegantly beautiful. The leather soft grey booths are so gorgeous and I keep oooing and aaaing. "Yes I love these and added these in January. I love the way that they blend with the original Palace walls. When we came here me and Claudio start taking down the plaster walls and discover the 1000 ad brick. It is so beautful, yet is flakes so we can't really have the exposed brick above the heads of people. We chose to keep the covered white above and yet to all sides and the wine cellar you can see and feel the original structure." she says. It is so cool that I believe that you can bring a tour group here to talk about the Palace and learn the history of the structure. "Yes, yet ultimately I want to tell of the fresh ingredients and to promote the families that we use that farm with care and don't mistreat the animals. The cows have a good life and aren't mistreated" he says and here is the wonderful cuts! O and should I mention eat the Tuscany food that is lovely! And fattening. Now I must go jogging! 
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"We physically own the Corbizzi Palace," starts Claudio, who sits down with his very funny and gorgeous wife, Laura. "That is the reason here that we can give a family traditional Tuscany meal in a 1000AD palace. Most of Florence is owned by 10 families and the palace's are rented to other people at outrageous rents. They can't honestly afford to have family restaurants in these. Yet we can and many times people approach me, yet I love my mother and father who started the restaurant and I love my tradition of being a Florentine. I want to give the best food. The only thing that me and Laura have done the last couple of years is add fish to the menu, making it a little more appealing to a certain sect, and redecorated. Yet, the fish is cooked in Tuscany style. Every item is from Tuscany. The wine, the recipes, the ingredients." He pauses and for some reason me and Laura laugh a lot! He adds, "That is the real reason that Italy has the best food. We have the best ingredients, especially here in Tuscany. The very best. And we use the best. You must try!" he says and of course the pasta was the best! 

    The waiter, Valerio, brings me the wine of his choice and it is Vermentino. Everybody around the world knows that is MY FAVORITE one! How do they know ! 

         Via S. Pier Maggiore, 8   0039055 214424

                        Looks like Vogue Elizabeth! or Albert of Regensburg! at  ARLO true he is featured on the front of
                                                                         Vogue along with Dior, Gucci! How does it feel to be famous?                                     
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                                                                                                AH             Risultati immagini per arlo haisek pictures

                               Via dei Bardi 20

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"I am in my little studio workshop 3 years now and I hope you visit and love me and my jewelry please." says the kind Arlo as he signs a golden bronze plated nature bracelet, "AH"...
Arlo, "I am 38. I grew up in the country side of Florence and have been a jewelry designer since the age of 14. Everywhere it inspires my creations and I should try to make more." he says. "I have been in Vogue with Dior, Gucci, and of course me! The designs are from the 7th century of medieval period, and the nature of the works I create."
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                   "I don't know why they choose me with such greats as Gucci or Dior or Armani. They love my spirituality of my designs. Honestly I work with bronze, gold-plated, iron, and when I do the bracelets that are of a nail around the wrist I use the 7th century techniques which they would make each nail handmade in those days. I use the techniques yet now they are safe to wear!" he says laughing. "If I have a sponsoring investor, or course I would love to mold my creations for somebody that asks me to use precious jewels in the eyes of society; however, for now I use my natural elements." 
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                                                                   The Empire of Massimo! 

Massimo says,"Yes I own Baldovino since 1996 and il Francescana trattoria since 2015;" and yes Massimo does own these; however, Francescano is a famous historical restaurant that is steeped in culture and has been around since 1956...the famous stars such as Roberto Benigni and Giorgio Armani came here and many stars on the wall," says Massimo the young cool one who owns both."You must tell people to come and try the Antipasto Baldomare which is a mixture of the freshest seafood of cold and hot on the plate." he says."We have octopus on the fire. Which is Octopus on the Grill which makes it a little bit crispy. We have a new way to serve the seafood and we are happy to serve it Salmon Tartar, Tuna Tartar, Steak Tartar and that is the specialty that only we can do. I must emphasize that mine is a high quality fish and meat restaurant at night. Baldovino is becoming famous for that." says Massimo. 

              Um Yum Yum Yum my favorite! 

Have you ever entered a restaurant and instantly adjusted the bow tie and stood up straight? It is a formal authentic Italian restaurant in Florence that gives attentive special service in a formal atmosphere yet the people are happy and talking and normal. "The quality of service is the best and it is a formal nice dining restaurant yet at the same time we have to live good and be happy." says Massimo

The restaurant seems very elegant to me I say to Massimo. "Yes it is formal and elegant and yet we try to make people appreciate the friendliness too. It is about having a good night. A lovely dinner. It is the experience that we remember. And of course we have the highest quality of fish that we can possibly find." he says.
"The very first one in Florence that is named as a Bistro is mine. We open all day long. At lunch it is a fast lunch, and at night it is a formal restaurant that is famous for fish. Yes a fish restaurant is expensive yet it is because we must buy the fish and that is expensive." says Massimo. You will instantly want to sit and talk to him. Knowledgeable about many things of the romantic life of eating at one of his famous restaurants. "Yes Romantic. It is important dinner. We renew two kinds of menu here typical of Florence that we serve the lunch and a more formal night of the freshest fish possible. We receive that everyday from the Mercato and we are proud to give a new type of service to the food." he says. The Trattoria Baldovino is located near Sante Croce at 22 Via San Giuseppe, and for reservations which is a must during high season call 055.241.773.staff-filosofia-baldovino
You can immediately see that the two restaurants of Baldovino and il Francescana,are both filled with love. "The Francescana is a old restaurant that people around the world knew. When the owner wanted to retire two years ago, we thought that such a important restaurant we can not let go. Results images for baldovino restaurant florenceWe must preserve the institution and we bought it." says Massimo. "Francescano has only typical real traditional Florentine food such as the famous steak florentine from cows that you can only find here in the Tuscany region. Like Houston Black Angus only in Houston Texas. Florentine Steak only in Florence. In 1956 the il francescano started as a little Trattoria of two small rooms for the workers of Florence to come and have wine and lunch. And it grew to be bigger and famous." "Since 2015 I have owned the il Francescana and I keep the tradition of the real 25 years of Florentine authentic food that the restaurant is known for since it expanded into the restaurant you see today." says Massimo. I ask if I can go to the restaurant and take pictures. "Yes please do  and see the many faces of the people that come to eat. They come because they appreciate high quality and finest ingredients and because although they can go to any restaurant in the world because they are famous, they choose us." he is laughing. "Why? That is a good question. I guess they can just throw down 1,000.00 euros here and that is true. They love the il Francescana since it gives the people a respected feeling and yet a feeling as if one is at home." he says. Results images for francescana restaurant florence
   "The restauarant Baldovino is 3 years and counting. It has a great reputation around the world already and of course Francescana has been here since the 1950s. It has always had a great reputation and I am lucky to capitalize on the fact that when initially tourists would come to Francescana, they would wander next door to us and try Baldovino. And of course when they figured out that I owned both they came at least a couple of nights to both. Yes I love that and honestly it is good for business when people love it." says the very energetic funny Capo of both, Massimo. Come and have dinner and invite him to eat, he shall love it! 
"You know I have a great team. At Francescana it is traditional with the Florentine soups and steak and pasta and here at Baldovino it is high quality more modern fish and steaks. And believe it or not we have pizza at Baldovino, very good pizza, but we don't have pizza at Francescana. If the internationals come here and they love the friendly professional service and food of course, I hope the next day they try the other restaurant since they know we have the better quality." he says. It is true. My fish ? Excellent. Loved it. 

"We try to show love. It isn't just about o it is expensive. The reason that we are maybe a little bit higher expensive is that we buy more expensive ingredients and we make the pasta ourselves.Related imageI would rather spend money every morning at the Mercato buying the best ingredients than cheaper options. You know? The kitchen at il Francescana is friendly and Italian and real and when you take the pictures at the restaurant please feel free to go into the kitchen and say hi. You would love it." says Massimo. Results images for baldovino restaurant florence


                                    Results images for baldovino restaurant florence
"I believe that it is important to let people choose, which is why I have Angus Beef from Scotland and Ireland which is tender, to Italy which is thin to Houston Texas which is big cuts. It is amazing that the Italians rarely choose the Italian beef simply because they can find it anywhere in Italy. Here it is special since they know that they can find the beef from America here. Everybody wants to try something new." says the friendly Capo Massimo who is super fit and I ask how with such great food to choose from everyday he stays that fit? "I am always running from one place to the next. Being the Capo is great responsibility, yet it is fun I must admit. And it is real fun to have such variety of the best fish here with much raw red prawns and tuna tarta and salmon tartar and it is great to have such variety, but when i am in the mood for traditional I walk to Francescana." he says laughing. "When friends come if they order pasta at the table, I eat pasta. If they order fish I eat fish. I follow my friends' lead. I want my guests to feel comfortable. It is about my guests instead of about me. " he says. 
                                                                                  ZIO GIGI

                                                  via Folco Portinari 7 red.                                                                 Risultati immagini per zio gigi restaurant florence

No automatic alt text available."What do the Americans want?" Raluca asks and I say that they want to know that you like them. Basically it gives everybody hope around the world to come to a city that has smiles and hospitality and that greets the tourists with real honesty, respect, and happiness. It gives people hope to be in Italy since everybody seems happy! "Yes I am happy truly to have fun with my guests and I have made many facebook friends from everywhere the last 10 years." says Raluca."I am out here saying hi to everybody and I tell my guests that they don't have to spend tons of money here. They can have a entire bottle of wine plus a HUGE PLATE OF pasta for under 20.00euros and if they don't plan on drinking the entire bottle themselves they can each spend about 13.00 euros for wine and pasta." 

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The fun kind Capo Gigi singing to his guests.Risultati immagini per osteria zio gigi
At Zio Gigi the Capo is Italian and speaks Italian. Only!

However his fun and friendly team speaks a little Engish and I am allowed to interiew Raluca, "I am the waitress for 10 years and I guess let me see the reason that people come here? It is real simple. The Capo is funny and he sings sometimes as he greets the guests he all of a sudden starts to sing a wonderful opera!" And when I say hi to Gigi he starts to immediately sing! 

  No automatic alt text available. "And it is because of the fact that we are cheap!" says Raluca laughing. "I want to be honest, too," she adds, "we have the house wine that is very lovely and it is only 10euros and the food pasta ranges from 5.00euros to 10.00euros. The Italian food traditionally and locally is not very expensive to make. We continue that tradition, of seriously, the typical real food of the Italian people and give it to the guests. Of course the Florentine steak is a little more expensive, yet why do we have to make the prices really high if it only costs us a little?" Image may contain: 1 person, drink

   And here in Italy where vineyards are abundant a Capo can have his picture on his on wine! 
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Don't let the fancy picture fool you,"it is a real italian family traditional restaurant since 1963," says Andrea, the son who proudly introduces me to his mother and father and sister and cousins and uncle, you see the picture? "My father is in the kitchen and my mother, too. When my grandfather and grandmother started the restaurant in 1963 they both worked in the kitchen. The tradition at that year and seriously every year since 1963 has been a restaurant that serves great food with reasonable prices, I say the working person's prices." he says hurriedly as they are cleaning and getting ready for the dinner. "Yes people come in here every night we have reservations, yet I love the idea that you do to try to promote culture and Santo Spirito in Florence. I love it. Seriously we have the restaurant full every night, yet it is nice to help others." he says. WE LOVE ANDREA!     see the food on facebook!
"A couple of restaurants in Florence have many years as giving food to the guests yet we have 3 family generations of tradition in Florence." says Andrea."The food is simple, homecooked with only Italians and here at least, a team of 6 family and total of 16 persons working. I love all people yet I am very happy to say that we have real Italians with real recipes of many years. The prices are low because we want it to be a restaurant for locals and tourists to come. The working artisans that make cabinets and artisans and shoes come here all the time along with the internationals that visit and since I have been helping at the restaurant the last 30 years I know many people. The people come in and they always say Hi remember me? It is nice that they love the food." RESERVATIONS or be prepared to wait for that special traditional plate that you have traveled to Florence for!   0039 055 21 8 624 Santo Spirito Square...Immagine correlata
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                  I am hungry just talking to him! 

                         Via dei Michelozzi 9red                                                

                                     AndreaImage may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people eating, people sitting, table, food and indoor

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                       CINTO Cucina in Torre Restaurant is simply the best cut of meat in Tuscany

          and do we have Tartar, the Classica at 100/200grams, Tartare con capperi di Salina e filetto,  Tartare con pesto di pistacchi, (my favorite), Tartare in camicia e olio al tartufo, Tartare pomodori, crema di olive, A Plateau of 3 tartares each 100grams, you have the idea! 1/2 the menu is tartare!

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  Why Tartare? asks me.  Lorenzo replies, "Because we have a tiny kitchen and we can't cook a lot of food!" he says seriously yet it is quite funny. Located at Via Matteo Palmieri 35/37red, tucked hidden on the same Piazza as Natalino's you will find the 40 seat shabby chic beauty of a restaurant in the Palazzo that used to belong to Dante's Muse, Beatrice Donati. 
"I am only 24 and have been here running the day to day operational section of the CINTO since 2013, which is 4 years. My father and socials make up my partners, yet my father is a Professor of Physics at the Institute of National Research here in Florence. He is VERY smart!" says Lorenzo as we sat down in his adorable very chic restaurant to talk about the difference of CINTO and the rest of Florence. "We don't do the Florentine Steak, and the Ribollita for example. We do use some of my mother's and grandmother's recipes in the traditional food we serve, yet it is all about the cut of the beef. I guess you could say we are famous for raw meat, the tartare and we are very good at it, trust me.!" he says. 
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  "My favorite Tartar is the Classic one and let's see my favorite wine is the Vermentino White, which you love from Etichetta Nera and the favorite red is Ebo Cabernet Sauvignon." says Lorenzo. "Plus we have cooked meat too, such as the Whiskey Beef and the Pork Jalepeno. The One you love is the Peposo Tuscan Stew with Black Pepper." he says. 
"It has sophisticated food yet not in a stuffy sophisticated atmosphere and not expensive entries.  A couple can come in here with a bottle of wine and eat a plate of tartar each and it is about 30.00 euros per person, or share the 3 plate special of CINTO which is VERY big." says Lorenzo. 
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"I am proud of the wine and the presentation of wine. In the Cantina, the Cellar down the original stone steps is the table of 8 with a round table where you can see the wine stored around you. People love the coziness of the Cantina and they love to have privacy, plus if you come down here with 8 friends or more, you can have your own private party and waiter. Sometimes they point at the wine bottles and say can we drink that one?" he says as he shows me all the wine. It is warm and cozy and feels like home in the Cantina. Loved it. 

     "Hmm why do I love it? I love the people and the team we have is very funny and very young and we have great days with each other. Yet take their pictures, I don't like people taking my picture!" he says. As is my view too. 

     Le Village Sneakers, LAB_SHOP, Via Castello d'altafronte 26 
             The cool showroom of total custom handmade shoes from the son, Matteo Caparrini who branched out of the long tradition of his family's 50 year legacy of making custom made leather shoes in Florence, Italy. "My father is excited yet not so happy since I am a very good leather expert and shoemaker and I left to start my own design and brand, the first one in my family to do that. I had to open my own leather factory, of me only, since my father just signed a exclusive contract with Valentino to do his shoes." says the young and totally enthusiastic Matteo who along with his partner, Marco, own the Lab_Shop concent store. If you want to order the shoes and you are physically in a foreign country you can only order the ones on my website. The custom ones you have to come into the store in Florence. I have my shoes in Hong Kong, too!" says Matteo. The website is :                Image result for LE VILLAGE SNEAKERS
"Every shoe that you see I personally designed and handmade. Every one. It took about 4 months to open the store, yet I had been designing a couple of years of my own creations and 2 years since I left my father's factory and started my own. If you come in to the store and want a custom design fitted to your foot, it takes me about 3 weeks to do that. I do embroidery and add little accessories to your style and taste. I am very happy. I love my choice to do my own branding."                          EVERYBODY LOVES THESE SHOES! 
LE VILLAGE Donna Sneakers & Tennis shoes basse Rosa Taglia 39 Pelle

Since the year's fashion shows are featuring sneakers of all kinds on the runways I say to Matteo that is why he chose a perfect time to showcase his first collection. The models will all want to wear evening wear long slinky dresses with his sneakers and bows and the men will want to accessorize with the gorgeous leather shoes. "Yes, I know. I am very happy about that. I am real proud of my first collection and the opening days here were crazy with people buying everything. Check it out on facebook!" he says and I do. Kind of sad I missed the party...I love to drink wine, eat aperitivos and wear cool comfy sneakers that make me look funky!Image result for LE VILLAGE SNEAKERS
"I take the leather and cut 11 sizes from each piece of leather and stitch each shoe size myself. Each one is handmade and the custom made ones are real fun for me to do. It is nice to have the guest choose with me," says Matteo as he laughs and smiles all the time when he shows you each shoe. They are totally cool and 100% handmade leathers. "I go to Santa Croce, the city, not the square, where all the real good leather factories buy their leathers. It is a city about 30 kilometers from here. I choose the textures and the colors and take these to my own factory in Florence and start making shoes!" 

 Still trying to find him? Call: 0039333 3695 002Related image

                               "When you make the house of life,

                                      is balancing your personal life with business..."

"I hope for people to come into the restaurant for a nice long romantic experience." says Tommaso Vezzani, who loves Olive Oil. "After all the reason for the name of OLIO is for Olive Oil in all of its presentations." he says.While talking to Tommaso, a couple sat quietly enjoying the olive oil and gave me the card of the ownership of the business of the wine they own, How cool to meet such people while chatting with my friend! "Yes they come to appreciate the quality." he says. "We worked with the architect Barthel. It is a blend of the new and the old tradition and look. Here you can sit and see the chef making gnocchis and preparing the plate, or walk browsing the gourment store and to the library room of wine, or to the tiny alcove of where a specialty old-fashioned bar is to sit and sip a glass of wine while selecting each olive oil to compliment the segment of dinner. A light olive oil to use with the flavor of the fish, yet a spicey olive oil that won't compete with the meat. Each one is special for its use. In November when the new ones come we have a special tastings to introduce the new crops, and I invite people to come. It is special in the entire world to try. Every year we choose the best ones." he says.Reservations: 055 2 65 8198

"For us the cooking classes is to learn the fine art of Tuscany cooking with Olive Oil. It is a 2 and1/2 hr. class from 4:00pm to 6:30pm and they choose to eat the dinner at 7:00pm or go to freshen up at the hotel and come to dinner at 9:00pm. It is a professional sit-down dinner." he says. For me, I teach it in French, English and of course Italian. They receive the recipes and they are to have fun and pay attention." he says. "Sometimes during the day, my 12 year old and my 7 year old come to help me with the cutting of the zucchini and the washing of the salad. They love to do that. Me? I love the process of educating people, I suggest with the meal. In my fun time I go to the sea of south of Tuscany. I try to catch fish and of course at times I am successful and at times not! " he says:
   "It is important for people to know that they can come in and purchase from a Highest Quality Specialty Gourmet Boutique Store within the Elegant Restaurant the most exclusive products without having to sit down for dinner. Yet they can. Or they can come to the wooden cabinets and pull out a hidden draw and have a glass of wine standing and try the products. It is a elegant home. A elegant private sanctuary of the highest quality." says. "We have such tastings for the yearly Olive Oil, yet everyday they can come to try."
                                  Claire and Enzo's Vineyard...    

The Taverna Divina Commedia 
The charming Medieval Palace is hidden and in plain sight all at once, odd really that after 8 years it is the first year that I saw it! It is raining and cold and I stumble down a alley desperately trying to find shelter, perhaps as the Knights in the 400Ad had done before me? Images results for divine comedy florence taverns
And I walk  into a amazingly beautiful restaurant that is shabby chic and old world palace with a huge center brick open pizza oven and kitchen set as I imagine the Medieval times would have with open fires cooking the knights food! It is real charming and I am real hungry and I decided to stay and eat pizza! I am happy as the next sunny day I met the owner, Francesco, who introduces me to the story of his buying the restaurant and making the traditional Tuscany food with the cool pizza that I had. "I am a Musician and own the Eskimo which has live music everyday. Here we have bands that play outside in the little cobblestoned courtyard in the summer and in fact my friend, who is from Tuscany, is playing live music tonight. He shall stroll around and entertain the guests with real Italian songs. 
     We have huge 20 piece bands that play in the summer and everybody loves to hear the music and when they find the musicians down the alley they always come here and decide to eat the pizzas and the wild boar and the Florentine steak of course. It is really about the music though. Maybe in the future we can combine the Eskimo upstairs when the Palazzo is ready and the Pizza downstairs and have two different restaurants in one. And of course we can have live music in the medieval stone cellar since I love the medieval aspect of the building and play upon it all the time with the Knights of Templar.
                     via cimatori 5/7r   055 215369  
One day pershaps they shall have dueling guitars.
    "I bought the restaurant about 10 to 12 years now and initially it is two places and I combined these. It is a ancient building from the 400AD  and it is very important building. When I opened the restaurant I say to my friends from Calabria, do you know that in the famous city of Florence where Dante Alighieri writes his Divine Comedy there is no restaurant named for Dante. And I become the first restaurant that is named for that famous poem." he says. (It is a real long poem being a book essentially or a play although I could never quite read the entire long poem, let alone do a play on it. However, the restaurant is kind of cool since it has 3 levels and the cellar is eerily medieval. "There is a vault in the floor of 400AD stones and I want to open the vault yet I have fear as to what is underneath the stones. And my wife says Do NOT open it! and I say...hmm maybe I should open it!" I say open it! Tonight|! It could be the Knights of the Templar Secrets since both Michelangelo and Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci both were Knights of the Templar and just maybe... as I sit and talk to the Music Director as Francesco the Capo invited me to dinner and to hear the music a family  from Champagne France quietly eats dinner near us. Francesco's menus are beautiful in and of itself with corks from wine gracing the covers. 
     Plus we had a real treat quietly as I hear music start before the 22.00 hr. and sneak downstairs to see Steven Spielberg and a Great electric piano player jamming privately. I was amazed. The music? WOW and I saw a new side to Mr. Spielberg who actually seems very shy in person. 

   "The Eskimo is a elegant restaurant that is a little more upscale and we have fresh fish everyday and live music everyday.  EVERYDAY," Francesco says when he tells me the difference between the two restaurants that he owns. "I am from Calabria, which has natural wild beauty and here in Flòrence the difference is the sea side in the south is more gorgeous and the city of Florence in the North is more gorgeous." he says. Image results for eskimo florence restaurant

                                                 Markus, the musician director, tells me of all his favorite bands, Fleetwood Mac, ACDC,
Aerosmith...and I say I love Adele and One Republic and of course Robbie Williams. He tells me that after the Reggae band a jam session of talented guests shall be playing and that if I can sing or play an instrument it is alright although I literally can not sing to save my life and always wanted to play the drums yet my parents said it wasn't ladylike to play drums! 
    The one opportunity I had in Philadelphia to learn singing I took many lessons from a Opera singer who was a better comedian than a music teacher and one night we had drinks at Zanzibar Blue. The Director knew her, he was from New Orleans, and came to say hi. He started bragging about his piano playing and played for us and he says, "O yes I play the piano, my father plays the piano, my brother plays the piano, my sister-" and before he could finish my Music teacher says very quickly because she was mad about his braggin, "IS THE PIANO?"  and I remember spitting out my wine and choking and he turned on his heels and left the table. Funny girl that music teacher. That is kind of the conversation that me and Markus had while eating the famous pizza of Napolean style in the wood brick pizza oven that Abraham, the pizzaolo, from Egypt made for us. Understand the beauty, family atmosphere and eccentricity that happens at the Eskimo!
     Then although most people don't want to talk politics, Markus is an exception. 
The conversation went something like this, although with the Chianti I drank, the funny Francesco who broke his legs riding his motorscooter a couple of weeks ago, Markus the music director and the O MY GOSH CAN I do a TOOTSIE and go pitch my script to the Champagne family sitting near us, I can only remember bits and pieces. "Gentiloni is a nice guy," says Markus and says that in the future soon for the elections of Italy Berlusconi and Renzi are going to team up as one party. Which is kind of funny since they are Berlusconi and Berlusconi Jr. according to the Italian people. He asks about the upcoming Presidential elections in 1 to 2 years and I say that Trump has 4 years, yet Markus insists that the Italian people know that the American Presidential elections are in 1 to 2 years. to me.
    He asks if it is true that Hillary Clinton, a wife of a US President of 8 years with the highest American Security and briefings that one can receive in America, a 30 year experienced veteran of US Government Politics and the SECRETARY OF STATE, who probably knows more about the other leaders and heads of state than any other government official at least during the hayday of Henry Kissinger, remember how China and Russian became our friends, could not know that the highest level of classified security clearance of a nation, with access to all the leaders of the world's private emails, should not be sent on a non-secure non-monitored from the NSA or government internet server. 
    And the answer is she couldn't of not known and indeed, I say, in my opinion, of course she knew that is why she chose a company in Denver Colorado that ran her internet service from hardware and technology from their home bathroom closet, which has now been destroyed with zero backup, you know such as Facebook has even if you delete a message, facebook has it on harddrive backup somewhere...,and in addition the fact now with allegedly $2,000,000.00 worth of   aphysical brand new building headquarters and over 20 employees and new equipment the same internet company in Denver, Colorado now functions as a big company. 
     I also say that is probably why Donald Trump is President because the American Public panicked. 

Francesco says, "I am a musician at the heart. I love music and I love playing. My own band plays here and it is named Italica Street Band," he says and when I say like Metallica? He laughs, "We are traditional Italian music, " he says, "Actually, my mentor was Mogol who is very talented and famous in the music world. I learned from the best, I say that I am born in the Music Business," he says laughing. O that is why I say, anyway, he says, "I sing and make concerts everywhere at every place with Italica, and at the Eskimo which is famous, especially amoung Florentines, we have all kinds of music, such as jazz, reggae, swing, rock and roll. I am best known for my song of quaquaraqua which means that you are a very bad person. If a Italian says quaquaraqua that is the saying." And I say o my gosh I wonder if a Italian has ever said I am quaquaraqua. "My love of and interest in is the reason I opened the restaurant because I needed a place to play music personally." 
  "The restaurant itself asks for and needs reservations and is a high standard and has a high reputation. We serve food til midnight and sometimes if people are listening to the live musicians and say they are hungry the kitchen stays open til 1.00am. Hey, if the guests are hungry, I feed em. Regardless of what time it is. Since we have live music til from 22.00pm to 2.00am everynight, it makes sense that people still want to eat!" he laughs when I ask the difference between the two.
"We don't make Pizza at P.d.m. Eskimo. And no it isn't for the people from Alaska. It is a Italian saying that means to wear a jacket and to keep warm. And here at the Taverna Divina Commedia we have a very traditional restaurant where the best pizza in the city is." laughs Francesco. I ask Angela if they have the best pizza, " I would say that the Fiorenza pizza that has pomodoro and salame toscano with capers and onions is the best and the Sfilatino del Giglio is the most famous of the restuarant. Mostly people love the atmosphere the soft music and the friendly service," says Angela. 
                                                         Eskimo, Via Pisana 128, Firenze, Italy. 05  57 120 34

   You know you have to laugh when you have such beauty as the Baldovino and Francescana and right below it a fun place for all the youngsters age 18 to 83 to come and have a great time til 4.00am! "Yes I could, since it is a private club, open later;  however, it is my choice. And yes the public can come join the club and enter. It is what I would say has been the most famous Dive Bar in Florence the last 20 some years." says the friendly Capo who I met at The Diner! of all places. I say that I tried to find the very hidden BLOB club about 5 years and it is funny I find him in a American Diner."Yes it is a very long story. When I first opened the Blob Club I am much younger, of course. Yet as the years went on I saw that the people who were partying all night and having fun were very hungry after hours. Maybe I can open a English Breakfast cafe open all night for these guests. That  is in 2005. However, during the years since everybody was hungry we would go to the Acqua Al 2 every night. They would stay open for us, and that is how I met my partner, Stefano, at the Acqua Al 2, and Ari who now owns the Acqua Al 2 in Washington DC:" I say that I met Ari and that I have been to that restaurant in Washington DC which by the way is always super busy. 
L'immagine può contenere: 4 persone, spazio al chiuso
    The big question is where is it?  The Club is located at Via Vinegia 21, and all I can say is GOOGLE it!  
"Hey it's a dive bar, let's face it; however, it is THE dive bar, the most famous in Florence. That I am very happy about owning." he says laughing. "Okay to continue my story" says Valentino, "sorry I stayed at the BLOB all night watching the Philadelphia Eagles beat Tom Brady and my mind is mush!" he says as he keeps juggling words, and his team starts laughing, "Alright, while at the Acqua Al 2 restaurant Stefano and Ari said they wanted to open a brunch place and they had originally owned the restaurant here where Acqua Al 2 is housed before they moved right next to us. They started the brunch here and it does alright and they start adding fish and a little fancier and it does okay and then we gradually in 2007 became a team and opened it to have it the The Diner. Yes the American tourists and the college kids come here ALL THE TIME!" laughs Valentino. "You would be surprised though at the Italian people that love the diner, too!" Check out the facebook...

  I make a little memo to myself to remember to ask Valentino the Guys and Dolls question, cheesecake or apple pie? Who loves what at the diner!

L'immagine può contenere: 6 persone, persone che ballano e folla
A little addition today, while at a little cafe 3 American students started talking to me and I asked about the BLOB! 

"We love it. We go about 3.00am to it!" they say.

   And I ask Valentino which one is his favorite? I expect him to say the Blob club. "Actually my favorite is 

The Diner and I don't know why. I guess the Blob club has been mine for over 20 years and I am more excited about doing cool things with The Diner. I can actually learn how to sleep again, too. That is important.Everyday til 4am is a little bit much after 20 years and I try to see to all 3 of course, yet I also like normalcy in my life now too, and I am engaged and that is important, family to me. Plus the diner you have regular college kids that come here in the mornings to say hi and do a coffee to take with them to class or pancakes or something and you have the locals that love to come in and eat lunch and people become your friends. At the Blob it is definitely a party place. The thing that interests me, though is although my bar is the best dive bar in the city, it isn't a fighting bar. Of course that life of late night bar scene has its moments, yet I try to be a good guy and it is about having a nice night out partying with friends. Florence is strange, too, after 4am it is pretty much quiet. People party to 4am and after they go to bed!" says Valentino, who would know being THE Party guy of Florence, Italy for 20 years! 

L'immagine può contenere: una o più persone, persone sedute e spazio al chiuso
Alright tourists how can you resist these great milkshakes! Yum! And the chocolate chip pancakes are the best, too; however my favorite at the Diner is they have a huge basket of french fries and great Burgers! American style of course! Hope you love it. Nessun testo alternativo automatico disponibile.
       Alright feel like a casual burger and fat fries? 

   or a blueberry filet,fresh homemade pasta, truffles on tortellini, famous Florentine steak of the southern Tuscany region known around the world, the best Italian wine, which includes my Chianti, and just a couple of doors from The Diner Florence has come to know and love!

L'immagine può contenere: cibo e spazio al chiuso
L'immagine può contenere: cibo e spazio al chiuso
       Alright The Diner Florence is located at:

                            Via dell' Acqua 2                                    which is now a great segway to the 3rd restaurant, the very famous and very beautiful Acqua Al 2, my fav!                            Nessun testo alternativo automatico disponibile.

"You know it is a restaurant of such fame, I met a couple of movie stars since being a partner here, and yet at the same time for all of its highest level cuisine and beauty I remember that the Capo Stefano always gave us special late night hours to have the kids out partying come to dinner. Of course one time a group of American kids came in drinking wine from a bottle they brought and asking us to open their beers and they were immediatly escorted out of the restaurant; however, that is about respect, if you come to a place you should respect the place's traditions." Valentino says and honestly I have to say I see it that way too. 

     The restaurant is adorned with beautiful plates and  star's autographs on the plates in colorful designs and it is very elegant and cozy at the same time. I would say make reservations!                                                                                                

        L'immagine può contenere: una o più persone, persone sedute, tabella e spazio al chiuso



                                    HOPS PUB Is a fun Pub. It has old fashioned booths and great 5.00euro burgers and pints of 10 Craft beers from italy Belgium and Germany every month plus 35 to 40 bottles. It has a couple big screen televisions nestled high above almost unnoticed in its rustic medieval charmed bricked cave, yet the funnest thing about the packed think "FRIENDS" PUB IS  the owners, Michele, Leonardo and Simone.  The beer contest Femminile is the funniest. I loved the old fashioned photos and I then realized the photos are totally real just looked old fashioned because of the cool brick atmosphere!

    Viale Spartaco Lavagnini 7/R   003 9055 384 1786

    right next door to Hostel Florence Plus 57 meters! 

"Okay honestly we're young guys and of course we want to party. When you are young you always say to friends, hey wouldn't it be cool to own a Pub? One of my friend's mother and father owned the Pub here that is before the Irish pub. We said alright let's open our own and make it a Pub that we can do inexpensive burgers yet high quality, great beers, yet our tastes of Craft beers only and fun events plus sports. That is why we opened. However, I much stress, that it was MUCH STRESS! when we opened. I had never been a bartender before in my life and I learned on the job. The good thing is that we laughed all the time the first year learning it and had the best time and our friends all came here and loved it and laughed all the time too. So we thought, you know it is real fun." said Simone, taking a little bit of a bitter IPA for me to try. It is good but a little face scrunching at the same time. I loved the Red Ale. Yum. "How about me, you want me too?"There is something poignant and sad about a favorite bar of yours closing at 3am. "Yes, sometimes when I am not in a good mood, yet I must be on for the guests, I must smile, I must entertain. Yet when I meet my guests I start to laugh and smile and the night is better. It is odd. At 3am it is a different type of tired. You know the people are coming here to party and have a good time, so you must be on the party mood. Yet, honestly while the first couple of years we drank and partied all the time at work, now it is, alright let's have a great time and meet people at "OUR" BAR, yet THEY HAVE A PARTY NIGHT, we make them have fun at their party!" says Simone. "Besides ultimately it is my bar. I own it. If I want a free night I take a free night. The first couple of years I was here all the time anyway since even on my free night off, my friends would say, Hey let's go to the bar! and so we went to the bar!" says Simone. 
"I don't have any regrets. Hey I like to taste beers. I like to drink beers. I have fun. I am happy I chose my career. I think it is important for people to see the life they have and not have any regrets. I would do my life the same way that it is." says Simone. I say I am happy he says that since I do too. Do I have any regrets in life? Only I would do it the same except I wouldn't get caught number one, and number two I can't think of anything and number 3 I would of stayed and run after my friend Albert like Austin Powers down the aisle with tons of girls running after him! HA ha ha. 

     "Yes, you know it is experience. What you know now...etc. Yet it was fun the first couple of years and now a different kind of fun. Now it is less stress in O MY GOD HOW DO I MAKE THAT COCKTAIL! Now I know how." says Simone! Bildergebnis für hops pub florence

       Bildergebnis für hops pub florence


    The funny and fun owners of HOPS PUBFLORENCE. 

 Head chef Matteo, formerly of Le Cirque head chef New York
   "You know, fate is a funny thing. Both me, and Matteo my head chef have dual citizenships of Italian and American and both worked at least 10 years in New York without knowing each other. I lived literally right around the corner from Le Cirque in New York, which is considered one of the best restaurants in the world, where Matteo was head chef. I ate at the restaurant, actually when he was the head chef, yet he was in the kitchen and I was a guest. When we moved back to Florence, around the same time a mutual friend introduced us and we met for the first time in doing the restaurant together. In fact, as a child, Matteo's mother was my dentist!" says Matteo. (Both are named Matteo, one 38, one 43.)
      Image result for bar e cucina florence
    Matteo Boglione Chef Bar e Cucina
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     The food presentation is AMAZING! 

"Yes, when we designed the Bar and Kitchen, which Bar e Cucina literally translates to we wanted an international feel. It has 1920s lamps, it has 1950s art deco, it has its own style that can't really be defined and that is what we wanted. I add new little details everyday. Honestly the first 6 months since we have been open is a experiment of us and the guests. We are 100% intune to the needs of the guests in trying new plates, new presentations, new music, new cocktails-for instance when people come in at night and sit at the bar I want it to be a elegant place. No loud party bar since they are here to eat and I don't want them disturbing someone sitting intimately at the table.And it is important to say that at 22.50 if you come into my restaurant and you want to eat and the kitchen closes at 23.00pm, you can still order and we stay til you are finished. After 23.00 though we can have people here sipping cocktails all night, well at least til 2.00am." he says laughing. 

         when I ask if they collaborate. "We worked together initially in choosing the location, the international flair of the restaurant, the lighting for instance from ebay of famous designer Tom Dickson architectually renowned, and the 1920s era is both of our choices.  Yet the bar we both wanted as a sit down to eat bar, which there is few in Italy, yet many in chic Manhattan, is custom made for us with lighting underneath that we turn on at night. The Barstools are a combination of three designers that custom made these for Bar e Cucina, the chairs all custom made, and the tables, and I even wanted a pure industrial look with plain concrete on the floor yet constructurally that seemed impossible to do." says Matteo walking me to each section of the 35 seat restaurant, including the bar seats. 

             reservations : +39 055 282634

  "So, yes we have good cocktails. Yet it is a Bar e Cucina and at lunch we have items for around 10 to 15 euros,    yet at night it is a 35.00 euro per person dinner and up. We've molded the ideas we have with the feedback of the guests and it seems to finally be merging. You know I am learning since it is my first restaurant that I have owned and while everybody told me you will work a lot, I didn't believe them! Now I do believe my friends! Yet it is fun, too. The first year is always a learning year and we seem to be busy all the time while others are slow at this time of year. I guess they like us! " he says as he hurries out to buy more fresh lobsters since they ran out earlier in the day! I would say that is a success! 

                           BAR E CUCINA

                               VIA DEI NERI 12 R                                    
                                 FIRENZE, ITALIA

"As far as having any say in the choices my chef makes to bring to the table, I eat his food!" laughs Matteo Mechelli,

          Immagine correlata

The Restaurant Garga is famous for many things, most notably, from the Capo, Alessandro, is three items: the love of the art of Florence inherited from his Canadian artist and chef mother and famous Florentine artist and chef father, the combination of the culture of the international plates that Alessandro himself has since brought to the table(having worked 8 years in New York city), and the interaction of the guests with both his food and the ability and opportunity to become artists themselves! 

     "When my mother and father started out in 1971, they were butchers for 8 years. They had parties at the house and painted all the time and it might not seem to be creative to be a butcher, yet think about it!, who knows the quality of the meat and how to prepare it better than a butcher!" laughs Alessandro and it certainly makes sense. 
     "They decided to open a restaurant right here to incorporate their love of being entertainers and artists and their love of cooking. My mother brought her famous Canadian cheesecake to the Florentine people, yet coming from America, she also brought many famous international people that came because they heard of a restaurant where the chefs came from the kitchen after the dinners and cleared the big wooden tables and painted while the guests stayed and drank wine and talked about philosophy and the importance of art. Every night they would paint on the tables and when my father became sick we started a foundation at the local hospital where we gave some of his most important paintings to the exray department. Here while you are waiting for the technician instead of worrying about what is next you can enjoy the beauty of the art and the memories of it.  That is important for me as well as for Garga. In my life the pleasure of cooking has brough many important people to let us meet and has brought many important memories. Art conjures up memories as well as the smell and taste of food," explains Alessandro. 
     When I ask him of his fondest memories of people that we would recognize he immediately says, "Definitely Jeff Bridges. He came here during the showing of his film, The Big Lebowski, which me and my father had gone together to see. He is exactly the way he is in the movies. The nicest and most down to earth person ever. He shows up and he is totally cool to sit and have a great time with. He sat with my father and his friend who has done many of the artistic pieces here and they talked for hours about life and philosophy and painting and we have stayed in touch all these years. He sent 2 of his best friends, one is Robin Coleman of the Gladiators and they came and chatted with us. They said that Jeff had told them to come and meet me that I am pretty famous in America! We have had many stars such as Robin Williams and Leonardo DiCaprio and Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, all of which are the nicest people you can ever meet. I won't mention the ones who weren't," he says laughing. Ah People! 
"I would say the way that me and my father are alike is that he loved to eat and make parties all the time and I love to eat, entertain and cook! Yet that is certainly the job of a chef, right? To entertain the guests. And since you asked me if I am nervous when I serve my food to the guests, the answer is yes, everytime. Especially when I make a new recipe, I sometimes hide in the kitchen if they sit in the room where I am cooking in the window and peek to see if they love my food. As a chef, it is a profession and we should be used to it, yet everytime I wait since the individual tastebuds are each unique, right? My plate, I hope, is beautifully presented to the guest, and I know that to me the food is ready to be tasted of the guest, yet since each person is different I do tend to be nervous each time. And I can tell if a person loves it. They taste first and a little smile comes on their face and they eat a couple of bites. Perhaps they sit back and talk a little about the food to the people at the table about the food, and they continue to eat.That  is when I know I did my job!" he says. Risultati immagini per garga restaurant florence via s. zanobi 33
"My father always said that the plate is like  your canvas. The food is your masterpiece of colors. I stay true to that inspiration. Every single dish has to have my approval before it comes from the kitchen to the guest. As if they are in a photo shoot! " Says Alessandro. 
     "You know, many people have asked me if I am happy with my life. The answer is yes and maybe. I have only known the life I have and I know that it is special and that I am priveleged to have had such famous parents. Yet I lived in a bubble of the art world of Florence! It is all that I have known and I hope that I bring the excellence that my mother and father have come to be known for to the table." he says humbly. I think of the Dan Fogleberg song, "the leader of the band," which is one of my favorite songs and memories of my father. Immagine correlata      located at:   Via San Zanobi 33-R
Risultati immagini per garga restaurant florence via s. zanobi 33
"Of course people come to restaurants to eat, yet here they have a total experience of the atmosphere and the service and the artistic experience and history of each piece of art and finally the food. It is decorated from years of my mother and father and the last 5 years of my touches. It is as if you are in my home, instead of a perfect architectually designed restaurant. That, I feel, is why people love it. And I have continued the artistic tradition of my family with the tablecloths and the painting. Each guest is allowed to paint on their tables as I ready the food. When the dinner is finished, at the end of the month, we have a little contest and the winner receives a dinner for two from us. I, myself, am not a artist, yet I know the importance of continueing the tradition of the painting on the tables that my mother and father used to do that made the restaurant world famous." 
       "O and of course my mother has cooking classes, which you can reserve ahead with 3 classifications: up to 8 people where you all start the morning at 9am in the Mercato choosing the ingredients, and 8 to 16 people where they all go to the Mercato, yet the prepping here is divided into 2 groups, and finally the 16 and above groups where it is more a cooking demo of me and my mother and they have lunch! Every year the Smithsonian group comes here from Washingto DC and they do that class. Every class, of course, has the lunch included. Afterall, you have to try your own cooking, right!" he says laughing. 
Risultati immagini per garga restaurant florence via s. zanobi 33
   "Let's thing I would tell young people to inspire them? Alright, live each day and fight everyday as it is the last one." says Alessandro. 
                     Restaurant Garga 

 055 475 286 

 "Always analyze something you combine differently and see if your taste buds approve and finally remember that everybody is special." 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Risultati immagini per garga restaurant florence via s. zanobi 33
                                                        ART 17 birreria borgo la croce 64red

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, sitting and indoorThe two brothers from Albania, "the wild and crazy Albanians" says the talkative Zeno, the younger of the two, the older brother is Erion. "You saw me at the King Grizzly Pub", reminds Zeno, although I knew he worked there, I didn't know that he is the brother the older one told me about all the time. Last December I met Erion, who was thrilled to be opening his own Craft Biere with lots of different crafts on tap, yet he always said he had to talk to his brother too, his partner. And then when I went to chat with the friendly and knowledgeable bartender of 6 years at the King Grizzly pub, Zeno, I didn't know it was the same person! Now I met Zeno and I said "O you must be the brother everybody talks about!". 
                                     Risultati immagini per art 17 birreria photos"You know people drink a lot of beer in this city!" laughs Zeno, as he shows me the huge selection of craft draft beers from "countries around the world. Every week we have different beers. And yes I have tried all of the beers!" he says laughing. Well, you gotta try the product to know what it is ! They also have something fun on their website named Untapped where you can write your ratings of the beers! cool. 


As you see Erion playing with his new toys the super cool taps of Art 17 birreria, come in and have some great beers in a super natural cozy atmosphere of where everybody is a friend, you can hear great live music on the weekends, and everyday taste about 5 new beers if you are tiny like me or big maybe more! Image may contain: 1 person, text

"My little daughter is named Aurora!" says Zeno, and of course he has a beer for her too! Image may contain: drink

"I think one of the things the international tourists and especially the Americans love is the high selection of the foreign craft beers, and of course although we have many Italian craft beers that the Italians come in to try they say they are always willing to try other countries beers too!" says Zeno. And Zeno? "I myself like the dark lagers." and he lets me try one. It is on tap tonight, the best dark lager I have ever tasted and make sure you run to that bar! December 6 is my sister's birthday so I have to wish her a beer birthday and she, too loves lagers! 

"You know here it is about the beers! We don't have a kitchen and honestly there is so many aperitivos around us that once your done snacking and ready to get serious about drinking walk straight to us!" says Zeno. Risultati immagini per art 17 birreria photos

     The favorite of Florence, Vico del CarmineVia Pisana 40red
Photo of Vico del Carmine - Firenze, Italy. La pizza in cottura
"I like the boss who works with us to the tables. He tells me if the people say that the food is good here or not. " Paolo says and laughs and I say O yes they better say the food is good,I guess! The reason I loved the restaurant the first time I saw it is the friendliness of Pietro and the family. All Smiles and real affection, not fake. And the other reason is the beauty of it. It could take you all day to see each and every detail that the restaurant shows about the authentic city of Naples. The food is the best...especially the pizza, it is a meal. When I entered today Paolo greeted me and let me know that the cousins moved to their city that they love, Naples, where they own a restaurant. Here he has decided, "To do a little addition such as the seafood salad appetizers from the region of Campagna. For instance we have mussels with pepper and spice and wine, and we have octopus, baby octopus in tomato sauce, salmon that is marinated 2 days with orange and salt,and 5 specialty fish from that region. That is my addition to the restaurant." says Paolo.          055 233 6862
Risultati immagini per vico del carmine photos florence
The entire restaurant is as if you are sitting in the city of Naples, with laundry hanging on lines, soft pastel painted walls and authentic street signs of a Naples neighborhood, and although it is aesthically pleasing to be soothed by the beauty, the food is, afterall why you came here, right? You won't be disappointed as it is the best Naples style pizza in the cit of Florence and while sitting one night eating dinner, the accountants of the place started chatting to me. They said they come here every Saturday night with the families (about 12 of em) and eat dinner. Yes it is that awesome and the cooks all come from the city of Naples. Enjoy. Paolo, along with his brother, Ivo, own the lovely Naples city replica restaurant. It is physcially beautiful and playfully old-school which simply means that you will have a REAL Italian experience here. The two are both nice and young, with Ivo only speaking Italian. Paolo is always happy and laughing and says, "I love Florence. I am a Naples native, yes, yet I am very happy with my life here in Florence and the people. I love my restaurant and I love my life." And we love his food!                                         
Risultati immagini per vico del carmine photos florence
If you want to hear the chatter of real Florentine Italians and the Old School boys, you must come here on a Friday and Saturday night to experience the real Italian culture. Hint: tons of loud talking, affectionate yelling and lots of laughter. 
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The lovely Capo, Alessandro and Angela, of Trattoria l'Oriuolo had me laughing much today. I first met Alessandro's assistant of social media, Fillipo, who insisted he uploaded photos everyday. However, "Fillipo is lazy. He has not done his work in one month. The photos need to be how do you say? Added to the internet!" says Alessandro joking with Fillipo who shyly blushes in admittance. Yet, the photos as you can see show the real beauty of the very lovely and handmade restaurant from the lamp posts of Venice Italy that the city had and they ran and grabbed to the very heavy furniture of solid Italian wood. No expense is spared. "The local farmers are the only ones that we use. Here try my latest coup which is olive oil from a farmer about 25 kilometers from there and although the olive oil is expensive it is worth it. It is biological and tastes great. Taste for yourself!" says Alessandro and he runs back and forth to the kitchen while I taste the smoothest olive oil ever. "In Florence only about 5 restaurants are lucky to have been given the olive oil. We happen to be one of these." he says proudly. 
Image may contain: people sitting, table, food and indoor
"My brother, Francesco is young and enthusiastic when he started the Trattoria and used the finest of all materials to create it. He had tons of energy, yet owning and maintaining a restaurant 24 hrs a day is very difficult. We helped him at first since me and my wife had owned the Bed and Breakfast in Florence, which we LOVED to do. Last year Francesco says, Alessandro can you help me? I want to open a cool cafe American luxury diner and it is too much for me to do both. And me and my wife bought the Trattoria and now we are totally happy and Francesco and his American girlfriend, Megan, are totally happy! " says Alessandro who is so funny since he is 100% honest in his interview. Most people say that they love being the Capo of because they love the social interaction of the guest. "Yes that is important , yet honestly I bought the Tuscany only restaurant since I LOVE TO EAT." he says laughing. 
...the coolest Cuban bar around, right in between my buddys FELTRINELLI LEATHERS and JIMMYS LEATHERS.



                                                                       0039   331 773 1536
You know that it is a 1920s real authentic Cuban bar, a cuban speakeasy where you can imagine Billy Holiday with her benefactors having a intimate meeting since the owner is totally Cuban...however, it is also ingenious. And seriously, a genius thought of the concept 1920s real Cuban clothing vintage style store upstairs where "everything is for sale." says the owner in a charming Cuban dialect of halting English. 
   "WE HAVE LIVE MUSIC ON THURSDAYS...! where the Cuban girls dance, sing and fight in the Latin way,!" as he shows me the hilarious video, yet they have great music! "Every night I write Cuban music 5 hours here and my protege plays the music on the piano." he says. He shows me upstairs and I try hats on and ooo and aaa at the gorgeous vintage dresses. LOVED IT: Immagine correlata
"I am from Cuban, Santiago, about 22 years now and it is most important to say that every item in here is 100% cuban, the cigars, the drinks, the music, and the clothing. I am cuban and I want a speakeasy funky blues bar that you can feel totally at ease and Cuban." says Lopez. Um...okay. it is pretty cool, actually and the MOJITOS ARE THE BEST! Every lime is real and all authentic ingredients, too! 
From vintage Cuban rollerskates to derbys, which Lopez , the Cuban owner, gave me to sewing machine tailored dress patterns of the 1920s Cuban styles, you can find these upstairs, "where I thought, people work til 7.00pm or tourists come to a city for a couple of days and after visiting the Ufizzi Gallery they try to buy a dress but all the stores are closed, so at 8.00pm to 2.00am they can come to my concept Cuban bar and clothing store upstairs and buy a nice dinner dress, a nice men's suit to go our for the night or party all night here with me..I make great Mojitos, by the way," says the dashing Cuban Lopez. (ps. he does make great Mojitos of which I had a virgin Mojito, no alcohol please since I already had two wines at a non-descript no sign outside alley bar earlier...I take after my father...).
         Mercato, Via Sant'Antonino rosso.

                                                                italy with us tours.                                                                                                            

                     Okay for these of us who know our child is venus...check 

                    out the birth of Venus, Botticelli, Uffizi Gallery Florence                          

Risultati immagini per uffizi wonders
Says Ahmed, "I can bring you on the real exciting tours of Florence. You know people come to  Florence to eat the food, of course, yet to experience the culture especially. Since I have been many places in the world, and born in Egypt, I know that cultures are different. For instance, one time I went to the Italy wine in Verona and met Russians. They bought $12,000.00 worth of wine in 30 minutes. They say, "I love it buy it now." That is Russian tourists. They love life. They see something they love. They buy it." he says laughing. I say that I know. I stayed at the Villa Franceschi The day before they opened Louis Vuitton in Venice. Marc Jacobs wanted my room the next day so I had to leave. The helicopter pad was occupied I guess. However, the night before I dined in the exquisite dining room with 5 Russians and their very chubby 17  year old. The entire night after the Verona wine event,which Antonio the Capo had brought them to, they  ate much. The chubby kid ate nothing. They brought me a dessert tray of 3 cookies. I ate these. They brought the Russians a 3 tiered tray "high tea english style" tray of dessert cookies. Risultati immagini per italy with us tours florenceWhen the 17 year old saw me eating the desserts, the adults brushed these away and ordered more wine. The "little" boy looks at me, grabs all the cookies from the three tiers and starts eating! I laughed and asked for more cookies. We kind of bonded in the sense I hope I made him feel included in the dinner since the other adults ignored him, and in the sense that I showed that it is acceptable to enjoy which one loves.

 "Yes, since each culture is different, it is important to let everybody have different tastes and when they ask questions to acknowledge their wants." says Ahmed. "Actually in Russia, the kids are encouraged to eat tons of food since the fatter you are the more esteemed and weatlhy you are regarded."! says Ahmed. Nancy his assistant and I laugh. "That is the way with my Italian Grandmother, too, " she says laughing, "as a matter of fact when I call her and say I want to visit she never asks what time I arrive, instead she asks what do I want to eat! She assumes I will arrive it is just a matter of how much food she has prepared for me to eat." she says. 

Met the new director of Florence Tours Italy with us, today. His name is Ahmed and his great funny assistant is Nancy. 

"Alright, I want you to add every tour we have here and Rome, "says Nancy when I first meet her. She is funny and delightful and most of all trustful and honest. "You have to meet my director, Ahmed." she says. And I finally meet him. He is very serious and very knowledgeable about his tours. They have a great private tour of Ufizzi for only $125.00 per person and if you bring more than 2, the 3rd on is only $40.00 per person in your group! (hint you can share like a fraternity group!).Risultati immagini per david museum florenceSuch innocence and fragility in his face! Hmm...he reminds me of someone, I can't put my finger! on it! 


How about Florence in one day, David and the Accademia, Florence the Essential (for those history buffs you know it all), or since they are based in Florence and Rome, if you are physically in the eternal city of Rome for $169.00 you can take the highspeed train to Florence, see the city and back to Rome! They are very knowledgeable and the tour guides are years spent in school for their degrees(a must in Italy to be a tour guide) and here they must learn scripts and pass many tests before actually meeting "real" people! Ciao and have fun!                                 

 "Since the tours officially start in December, my tour guides are on vacation the next 2 weeks, if you dare to have me, the Director, take you on the tours, go ahead and make reservations, it is my pleasure." says Ahmed, who has been a tour guide the last 20years in Bali, Florence, Egypt, you name it. HINT: WORTH IT: Ahmed tells you many secrets of life I CAN NOT PRINT HERE!

                  How poignant, sad and majestic is the reality of beauty...the statue of David,

I think based on the mystery of "God" of Micheangelo's pieces I would of married him! Wow! Immagine correlata

"You know Alberto started Tuscani 1 at first with many sceptics. He had only antipasta with 4 meats and cheeses and one item, the Florentine steak. People said O you can't just offer meats and cheeses you have to have pasta and other dishes. Yet Alberto said that he is only specializing in the antipasta of salami, proschuitto, finocchima salami with fennel, soft cheese with honey from pianza, the famous Florentine steak as the only meat dish. It worked. People loved the highest quality of the best products and they came. Now today, here at Tuscani 3 you can have two kinds of pasta which is the street food that you are eating now, " says Barbara, the beautiful tiny delicate wife of Alberto. "The two pastas tortelli and ravioli are only found at the Tuscani 3. If guests ask for it, we send them 5 minutes from Tuscani 4 or 5 minutes from Tuscani 1 to Tuscani 3 to eat the pasta. Honestly it is a Tuscan experience of long conversations with great wine, atmosphere and the best highest quality of cheeses and salamis of the Tuscan region. That is our expertise. We do not feel that you can have a expertise of 15 pages of a menu. How do you know each product? How do you know each person that gives you such? We, me and Alberto take drives and we just drive wherever we want. If we see a place of interest, perhaps a farm of wine or cheese or pigs, we go in and we say hi and we try the products. We find many of highest quality and interest and we eat and buy. It is that simple." says my very lovely personal friend, Barbara, the wife of Alberto. 

   "And here in I'Tuscani 3 we started the see in the window chef as he prepares the two pastas for street food takeaway and sit down service. Everybody loves to see him make the pasta and you eat it as he makes it!"    055    2853 36                        Located at Via Dante Alighieri 18redImage may contain: 1 person, sitting, eating, drink and indoor

 "You know if you want some great cheeses of the region, some great Tuscany wine, and you want to try the real Florentine steak, which is about our speciality, come and try. We have family oriented and cozy Florentine rooms where you can get to know each other and have a great evening. Albeto is very proud of his products and showcasing that quality to his guests." says Barbara."And Tuscani 4 is coming in a couple of days. I am happy that we are starting to think about bringing a Tuscani restaurant to America." 

             reservations:  055 906 5507

"The 3 places we have now are all beautiful, rustic, and authentically decorated with charm to bring coziness and a atmosphere to linger. It is a place for experience. Yet we spend many hours and miles driving and finding the right farmers. And we have tons of fun doing it." says Barbara as she introduces me to her great friends, one from New York, who teaches her husband English, and her name is Janine, her Sicilian husband, Francesco. We eat tortelli, drink much wine, and taste the salami and different cheeses that melt in your mouth in the 3 hr. lunch. "I am from New York and moved here after meeting my husband in Sicily. I met Barbara and teach her husband english. They are great friends now and I can tell you that she loves to tell us stories of the farmers and the people that her and her husband drive around the countryside and find. They choose the best quality products. You can taste how good these try that...." she says and if you meet her you must try. I ATE A LOT! of food and such a lovely afternoon of conversation. 

        Here the lampredotto of Tuscanino 

      You can find the smaller intimate Tuscani at 

                     Via de Federighi 37 red. 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "5 years finally"     Trattoria da QUE GANZI

                  located down the hidden alleys of Via Ghibellinia                      only steps from Santa Croce, where you shall find it full every night of locals from Florence and the lucky tourists who called ahead with reservations.Why? "When you come in at 19.00 or 20.00 or whenever and order dinner and a bottle of wine, you can sit til Midnight!" says the friendly, very knowledgeable and caring Capo, Domenico. "My cook is away 5 days and now I am redecorating and doing my new wine list. It is 16 pages long, features 300 wines and each one has a description , however, every guest that reads Trip Advisor knows that I personally take the order from each individual and give wine recommendations to each. They always point at me and laugh, especially the Americans, "I know you!" they say and wait with enthusiasm for me to suggest a wine."                  

                               Risultati immagini per que ganzi restaurant florence
Have you drank every bottle in the restaurant? I ask of the 300 he meticously adds on the menu and he laughs, "Yes and many more. In my life I have probably tasted 3 million; however I am a sommelier that took 4 years to do the expert level. You have to taste a lot of wine. But have I drank 3 million wines? No it is impossible. Have I tasted that many? Maybe." says Domenico. "I love wine. I have 150 wines that are between 15.00 euros to 30.00 euros. each. And many locals and if the internationals know they come in and they buy a bottle of wine and they take it home. If my bottle to sit and drink it here is 25.00 euros, you can take it home for 20.00 euros. I give people the 20% each one. My restuarant very rarely has two sittings. I love my people to come and sit all night. Okay sometimes they come in at 19.00pm and stay 2 hours to go to the theater, yet if my reservations are from 20.00 pm on you can't take someone else's reservations. And if they want to stay til midnight even if I have lines outside I NEVER kick anyone out of my restuarant. They come as family."                 

                              reservations suggested or come early... at 055 22 60010

"The details is what makes a difference." says Domenico who takes one month to do his wine list, travels to the Verona famous wine event and tastes "at least 500 wines every year in 2 days. Of course you taste and spit the wine out or you would be very very very drunk!" he says laughing.  "I used to be a professional handball player for Italy, yet at the age of 27 I decided I wanted to own my own restaurant and although I can cook, Matteo is a very good cook. I have two girls that follow my orders to every table and we make it professional, yet familiar." says Domenico who laughs a lot.                                                Immagine correlata
"Why are we totally packed every night? Good question. I would love to say that it is because of the attention that we do to detail. I am the capo. I do face to face with each guest. I want to know the guest and I want the guest to know that I care. The internationals trust me completely with my suggestions. The Italians not so much!" he laughs. "The Italians want to choose their own wine. They know the Italian wines and they know which ones they want. The Asians love for me to help them!" he says honestly.  
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  "Okay the food. Let's see. We have pesce that is our specialty and we have Tuscany food. The wine is from all of Italy and the food Tuscany and a little Sicilian since my mother is from Sicily. We have octopus, sea bass and a couple of huge soup bowls full of mussels, clams, calamari, all seafood in broth for 2 people and that is named the GANZI. Which by the way the QUE'GANZI is named for a Italian slang which means it is a "cool restaurant. A special cool place to eat." Risultati immagini per da que ganzi firenze
"You can come in here and stay all night." says Domenico and when I ask if people can come in at 22.00pm, he says, "No it is impossible. My kitchen seating is last seating at 22.00pm, and of course you can stay and enjoy the atmosphere and wine til midnight, yet we have to give Matteo the chance to make the food! Maybe you come in at 22.00pm and he makes each person's dish and you receive the food in 30minutes, yet we can't have someone come in at 23.00pm No. That means we would be here til 1.00am!" He says, no it is impossible a lot! 
            Risultati immagini per da que ganzi firenze
                         You must come meet Bettina, and "Jonny" the waiter of 20 years! 

                                            Via dei Leoni, 8-red, 50122 Firenze   •   Tel: 055 239 8013 

Home Page
Everybody knows what comfort food is, right? "Yes we come from California and it is our second day here in Florence and we eat here everyday!" says a young enthusiastic American couple today at lunch. 

    Later, Bettina, one of the two owners, says, "Yes it is true. Last night they came and ate the linguini and the wild boar and stayed and chatted with me over wine. And today at lunch I come in and see the same two people and they are sitting at the same table! They ordered different food, yet they said they loved the cooking. That is the way with Buzzino which has been here since 1848. In that time it is opposite the Medici palace which used to have real lions caged in the walls to show the prestige. That is why the street is named  Via Dei Leoni" says Bettina. Risultati immagini per trattoria buzzino florence

"I love wine. Tuscany alone has over 3,000 wines and here at the restaurant we have new ones every year. Yet we only have 30 wines a year. I choose from vineyards and festivals and wine invitations. You name it and I try it. I love the wine. You must tell me which one you prefer, " Bettina says as she has me try a traditional Chianti and a smoother softer one. I prefer the softer one. "Yes the Badilanti is a very good wine!" she says laughing. "You have very fine taste!" and I am afraid to ask how much it is! My mother always would say to me, "Emme if you have to ask one can not afford it." and I always said what if I am only curious? She would raise her eyebrows at me as if to say, Curious about how much it is? Immagine correlata
              immagini per trattoria buzzino florence
"You are either a food person or you're not. I am a food person. I love November at the restaurant since the old-school Florentines come in and they sit at night and talk for hours. It is quiet here from now to Christmas and it is nice to sit and have cheese and wine til the wee hours of the morning. The food that we serve you say is comfort food. It is true. It is simple traditional Italian food, yet it fills you up. It actually is the same food that almost 200 years ago they used to serve here. They would put the stewed beef with wine in the terracotta ovens at 5.00am and they would all go to work. They used to work very hard in those days, and at 12.00 lunch time the food would be ready. They would come back and all eat here in the kitchens. Allessandro was a good friend of my husband. We all owned the Trattoria 20 years since, and eventually only I am the other owner." she says. "Allessandro is the brother of the owner of Tre Merli, which I see on your site. They are both very different of course. The recipes that we use here are mine. I used to cook in the kitchen and now other's cook for us and use my recipes. I love to eat and sit with the people!" she says laughing. Me too! Profumo di Funghi nel Cuore di Firenze!
         She gave me torricelli and pepeso, a dark meat stew to try. Can I say I am very fat plus 3 desserts, lemon tart, tiramisu, and a lovely cream one that I loved the most!                                   Risultati immagini per trattoria buzzino florence
                                       Fratellini leather Factory, Firenze  (New Jersey)

                                                   Via Porto Rossa 12 R  and   Via S. Antonino 60 R                                                                                                               0039 055 212 833

No automatic alt text available.The two brothers who make up Fratellini at the Lorenzo Mercato showroom are as different as night and day. One quiet and shy and one very creative. I usually deal with Elias since he is the creative one and talks all the time. They both have such beautiful bags and accessories at the Lorenzo Mercato that you keep falling in love with the next one and the next one and the next one...come see for yourself! 

Elias kept showing me the classic and traditional luxurious ones and his brother kept showing me the multi-colored snakeskin and patterns which I love! 

Classic wallets, photo albums, glossy heavy backpacks, luxurious multi-colored accessories, blue, red, green, snakeskin backpacks, bags, purses, asian designs, you name it, they have it, all luxurious and of beauty. 
   "We work with exotic leathers and companies that produce the exotic leathers. We carry a couple of different brands inside the store in addition to ours. I think it is important as long as the quality is of the highest. Since we have our own factory that is important to brand the leathers with the image of high quality and texture. Even in my photos I am demanding to show that." says Elias. 
Here he is doing what he does best, having fun showing his leather exquisite products. "We've been here since 1991, me and my brother and we really care about the quality most of all." he says as he arranges the leathers for the pictures and even though they are soooo beautiful, he is never satisfied. "I don't like the glare on that one, we need to show the Fratellini logo, " he says and asks his brother to brand the brown leather, which they both do together. "I want to show the bags with our names and to let the people know that these are our designs. In about 30 minutes arrives many snakeskin bags if you wait to take pictures." he says enthusiastically because he knows I love the snakeskin, having one of my own and everybody around the world always tries to steal my bag! Now they can come into Fratellini and buy one of their own! 
                              Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Meet Trattoria Roberto 

                                 the family restaurant, at Via Castellani 4r,                                                                                             003 9 055 2188 22  

                  "The Americans of today, rather than 2 years of Obama, are funnier, friendlier, they try to make you know they are individuals that haven't experienced the real Italy here as in America. They are curious and they love to try the Italian food. We have seen many more Asians, too. People seem friendly when they come in. They want to laugh. They want a good experience." says Allessandro. "Here we do great fish, since we're from the coast and my family has that specialty. In addition, we have tagliatelle with cinghiale, which is the wild boar and every American seems to love that, in addition the Europeans love the way we prepare it, and we have the traditional risotto al nero di seppia which is rice with cuttlefish and cuttlefish ink, and the florentine steak , which Florence is famous for, yet ours is only 3.60 per gram, which is very reasonable. And of course the foreigners love the truffle dishes. You have to come and try and since my brother has left, I am the wine chooser. Okay, yes I do ask if it is alright if I do a certain item, yet even if he says no, I do it anyway if I love that wine. Everybody has their own tastes and wishes. Honestly, if my family wasn't in the cooking business, I probably would of been a accountant! My father is the accountant here, yet it is really my choice to be the accountant and so you do what you can." he says. He is always happy and always smiling! 
Risultati immagini per trattoria roberto firenze
 Allessandro, "The reason that I am happy all the time is that I love my job, I love my family 99% of the time, and I love people. 
"O, you must meet my adopted sister, who is from the Phillipines and has been with us 20 years. Although I personally have never been to the Phillipines, she is so nice, we all want to go!" says Allessandro. Below is the famous Ribollita soup. 

Questa foto di Trattoria Roberto è offerta da TripAdvisor.
 reservations: 003 9 055 2188 22   

Questa foto di Trattoria Roberto è offerta da TripAdvisor.
"My name is Allessandro and he is my father, Roberto. We've owned the restaurant 41 years and I should say that in the kitchen my father is the boss and my mother is the second boss. My father is a better cook, but don't tell my mom I said that and in addition she only speaks Italian!" he says as we all sit down today to try some homecooked food that they prepared before lunch. Risultati immagini per trattoria roberto firenzeMine is a vegatarian casserole of rugala, broccoli, cauliflower, and artichokes inside. Yummy and healthy with red wine of Montepulciano. They ate the lovely pasta and the father prepared the famous Florentine Steak. Why have they had success 41 years and others not? "We have homemade food, everyday, of the highest quality 41 years, and my family comes from the Amalfi Coast. They know how to cook the fish!" he says. "...and we're cheap!" 
I ventured into the kitchen today to take some photos and while the cuttlefish is cooking and isn't finished yet, I got to try the vegatarian one in the back. Yum! 
                                         Risultati immagini per trattoria dell' Orto firenze

The Trattoria is very beautiful and totally hidden, you probably won't just wander down a alley to find it, therefore let me help you, it is located at:  Via dell'Orto, 35/ A                  Telephone/reservations 055. 224 148  

  Risultati immagini per trattoria dell orto firenze    

They have 3 sections, the garden which is vaulted, reminds one of a quiet Villa, the old Tavern in the cellar which leads you to the Renaissance, the first room which is 2 story high and accompanied by lots of wooden tables and heavy seats, tons of people laughing and talking and did I mention the food!

                  Anybody else love truffles? Image may contain: 14 people, people smiling, indoor

     photo Salvatore Ranieri facebook of Trattoria Dell Orto
    It reminds me of the pasta my Grandfather used to make from Palermo...real Italian food.!

Questa foto di Trattoria dell'Orto è offerta da TripAdvisor.
   Arturo is old school, about as old-school as you can get!  The lovely aspect of the real Italian cuocos who also happen to be capos is that they have such great stories. Arturo was worried that the Italians couldn't  read my English story on him and so I have a two fold story, English and Italian! Image may contain: food
"The Florentine steak is my specialty as is the meat of Florence. I use only traditional recipes and fresh products from Tuscany. I speak only a little English," says the adorable Capo and I say that is alright I speak a little Italian and we can talk like Reeses Pieces, a little Italian mixed with a little English! "You must try the food. As only when you try the wine and the food can you write about the quality." says the wise Capo. That is true and although my articles are about the Capos, when they ask if I want to eat I always say Yes! Hmm...I am as wise as Arturo! I love the gleaming dark elegance of the haunted atmosphere of the great Trattoria, please try and say hi to Arturo.Risultati immagini per trattoria dell' Orto firenze
   Don't let the quiet dark glossy elegance fool you, the minute you walk into the Trattoria you almost can not talk because of such laughter and friends walking from table to table to chat. I was immediately greeted by two tables full of Italians saying hi to me! The waiters took me to show me the gardens and the rooms before they even knew I was a journalist! It is total friendly as if a family. Lovely. 
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Arturo says that he has been here 15 years and he has decorated the entire restaurant himself. It is full of lovely wine displays, and wooden beams, dark and varnished high above and heavy dark wooden tables that I totally love. They have famous Tuscany wines and wines from around Italy. The Florentine steak, as you can see, is a REAL Florentine steak! The food is Tuscany and all prepared by the maestro, himself, Arturo, who is the king of the cucina, that is kitchen to us English folks! 

                              TRE MERLI via de Fossi 12...

The elegance of Tre Merli
has never been in question, and with the new renovations happening as we speak til December of 2017, it still isn't in question. "Every 5 years I redo the restaurant. We, 5 of us, started the restaurant in 2001. Now, in 2017 it is only mine
. It had been a famous pizzeria since 1944 in the same place before that and when we bought the restaurant there were so many famous people on the walls, Sophia Loren, Frank Sinatra, all of em, since that was the golden age of theater and the restoration of Italy plus the fact that Florence was a great theater city. We didn't keep any of the photos, although now I wish we had to compliment the elegance of the place. I want it to have that 1970s sophisticated look that it has always had, yet at the same time we're totally changing the theme of the restaurant. It is going to be a big difference in the front of the place where we plan on adding a wooden bar and 6 types of German beers. Plus sports television and in the dining room on the big wall a Big Screen television. I thought it nice to bring the younger generation in and they love to see sports games. The menu here has always been a mediterranean one. We have the typical wild boar and Florentine steak, yet now since the kitchen is huge and has a, big grill, we can do hamburgers and fried chicken. I know that is important to people to drink the beer, watch the game and eat the chicken. That is a American style." says the funny Capo that has too many ideas.                                                                                             

           Risultati immagini per pizzeria tremerli florence
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"I went to college in New York in 1992, 1993, 1994 and lived in the midtown near the theater. I worked at some famous restaurants in the east village and thought New York the most beautiful city I had ever seen. It is strange because although I have visited America since that days, I haven't been back to New York. My family has a vineyard, though and the only place you can buy our wine is here at the restaurant, on the vineyard, or in New York where we export it from Italy." he says laughing.
   The lovely restaurant, one of the most visually beautiful in Florence and one of my favorites 5 years is located on Via De' Fossi 12 plus on the Via Del Moro 11R. So if you have a secret redezvous you don't want your sister to know about you can run out the other side!
                     055 287 062
Risultati immagini per tre merli  florence italy
     "You need to come into the restaurant tonight to try some of the vineyard wine that we produce..." says the nice and life loving Capo, and since I am invited to try his wines know where I shall be tonight! Risultati immagini per chianti colli senesi
"Although I have yet to fly back to revisit New York, I always remembered America. Now I can give the American people and International tourists a mixture of both. They can come into a very famous and elegant restaurant, eat traditional Florentine and Mediterranean food, plus drink some beers and eat hamburgers and chicken at the bar. I thought with the televisions and the sports games that I would make it a little more American." he says. He seems to always be thinking of his guests. I guess that is why although it is stressful for the rest of us to completely revamp something that is a success and try new ideas, he is quite calm and happy to risk it! He is fun and I am sure he shall enjoy your stories that you share about your culture and experiences when you visit. Ciao and have fun. 
             Santa Croce Square, Old Florence Leathers,

                                     14 Largo Bargellini, 1,  /055 244 074

      Florence is renowned in the world for the leathers, people come from American, China, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Cape Town, London, you name it and they fly especially to Florence. It is the one place in the world where you can have a guarantee that the leather you buy is hand tanned and sewn by artisans and craftsmen with hundreds of years of experience. I have met a couple people in my 5 years doing leather interviews that I totally trusted and loved. Luminoso and his team, along with his adorable children, and lovely wife, are amoung the nicest. They love the leathers that they show to you and they are of the highest quality. Mine is a patchwork lightly colored bag that I treasure, yet you can choose from so many sizes, shapes and bags, and of course the coats, depending on your taste. 

    "Yes that is my jr. capo, " says Luminoso as his 5 year old comes sauntering out of the leather store with a real cool jacket on. "We have sizes that fit around 5 year olds and up. My wife? She has about 100 leathers!" he says laughing and I immediately trust the store. Whenever people say they don't wear leathers, yet they own a gorgeous Florentine leather store I am suspect! Here at last, a lady that loves her leather! The little girl says, "I already bought mine!" although she looks about 3! The mom shrugs as if to say, we own a leather store, what do you expect! 

  "I love the location of my Old Florence Leathers, which is on the Santa Croce Piazza since many tourists from around the world come here and I have a chance to show the leather quality to the guests. I have many ideas, of course for the tourists, and after 6 months of research I opened my own Gelateria next door to the Leather store. All the recipes are mine and I use the highest ingredients. When the Florentine people come here, they say they shall only eat my gelatis from now on, that is how good they are!" says Luminoso proudly as he lets me taste the gelati. Honestly, the best ever. Ever. "We give 10% to everybody who comes in and says they saw on EmmeAnesBook! That way we know how many sweet people read your site!" ha ha ha very funny!
"The ingredients that I use are made only with the highest available. I use pistachios flown from Greece, yes they are expensive, yet they make my gelati taste exquisite. You try my gelati and it is the king. That is what I want to be. The King of Gelati in Florence!" says the VERY FUNNY CAPO Luminoso! "And I only use the cream produced from the milk of the cows grazing freely  from Mugello produced in the historic Il Palagiaccio farm. That makes the Gelati so smooth. Every flavor is my invention. And when you come to the Gelateria you can see the people making the Gelati in the showroom windows that I designed especially for that." he says. It is great! 
             promo -10% gelateria royale Firenze
             Trattoria San Pierino and Trattoria Sant' Agostino of Florence Image may contain: food and text "Alright ready, I am the owner of two restaurants, one is Trattoria Sant Agostino and the other is the newest one which is Trattoria San Pierino. The two unique things about each is that the Trattoria Sant Agostino, which is located steps from Santo Spirito Square is that we are the only restaurant in Florence that deep fries the Florentine Steak with Egg whites, and you have to call me a day before for lunch or early say about 12.00 to do dinner. It takes a while to marinate the sauce. Alright and the restaurant here is that it is the only place in Florence that has the farina flour from Ferrara Italy. A finest flour that makes the pizza very soft. The Florentines love the thin pizza and since I am a traditional Florentine I do too." says the very happy and young looking, Saverio. "I have been the capo here one month and at Trattoria Sant Agostino about 10 years." he says. "We participate in a couple of events such as the wine tastes and the food festival of one day that is named Triticum which is on 11.22. 2017 in Florence at Piazza Pier Vettori at the Palazzo Confesererceuti. We are showing how to make the piazza and of course you can eat it!" he says. Alright we shall.Image may contain: text
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"Please tell everybody around the world that the meat that we use in the sauce is all cow. You might be surprised coming from America that anything except cow would be used in meat sauce. However, in Florence, restaurants typically use cow, pork or chicken in the sauces. Here we do cow." says Saverio. OK! The only meat sauce I want to eat is cow thankyou very much. I am a little inhibited when it comes to my food. Tripe? No Thankyou very much.

         Trattoria Sant' Agostino is located at                    via Sant' Agostino 23R, Florence, Italy 50125                                  Tel 055 281 995


             Trattoria Sant' Agostino is located at                      via Sant' Agostino 23R, Florence, Italy 50125                                    Tel 055 281 995

....the charming rustic traditional Trattoria 1958 of Sant'Agostino and the modern Naples inspired Trattoria San Pierino both show the creative and inspiring side to the happy Capo, Saverio, who says, "I look young since I am always happy. I am never stressed. I love my new idea of great pizza at San Pierino and I love to try to do new things!" he says. 
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                                Via dell?Oriuolo 18/r, Florence, Italy 50123                                     tel 055 200 1225Risultati immagini per trattoria san pierino florence

 The Arch on the way to Trattoria San Pierino....
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"And make sure that in the article you say that the Pasta is homemade. All of it. We make it fresh, the vegatable fresh from a farm and the flour specially from Ferrara. The owner of the farm is a friend of mine. I have made many relationships around the city of Florence and Italy and try to use the best products. It is about my finding great food!"

             The very funny small bar and kitchen named THE SMALL BAR AND KITCHEN

                                   Piazza San Pier Maggiore 3 red.       0039. 371 3 96 6388  

             The Small bar and Kitchen Florence ITaly                                Piazza San Pier Maggiore 3 red         THE SMALL - Bar & Kitchen Piatto                


"Just tell people to come here from 12 to 12midnight. The kitchen is open and if you come and sit here at 11.00pm at night, we can open the kitchen. It is about having a high quality Tuscany meal and wine and it is a little kitchen. You can have 20 of your friends inside all night eating if you want. I am the capo and cuoco and I can cook all night!" says Renato maybe joking!? "It is cold  in Florence in November. You have to come inside, and we only have about 25 seats, yet if you are alright standing and drinking wine, that is better and we can have maybe about 34 people!"
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"Hey I am a business person and I found it of interest here with the famous Lion's Fountain and Natalino's and thought, why I should add a little tiny restaurant that is full of Tuscany wine and atmosphere and funny paintings and good food. And you can squeeze 20 people in here to drink good wine and have a lovely night to remember. I hope they come!" says Renato and his funny kind waiter who joke  a lot and give me great wine to try!
                                 THE SMALL - Bar & Kitchen Piatto
          ...located behind the Duomo at Via Dei Pucci , at 37. call for directions at 05 5906 0110
    "The important item to mention about the name TOn Sur toN is that it is a play on the name, it is the opposite, such as most of my jackets are reversible. They are the finest silk leather and the look of snake on the other side. I have these in 18 different colors. You should try it on." says Alireza Badiei, the capo who owns TOn Sur toN in Florence, Italy. "The problem with the name is that people all around the world assume that TOn Sur toN and walking by the storefront, both, that the store is too expensive for them! That is the reality everybody can afford an item in the store. I show you, I have jackets above reversible for 380.00 euros and for 110.00 euros and jackets for 1,000.00 euros. I show you the difference and you choose. I NEVER bargain. I don't believe bargaining. When you eat a steak you don't ask the restaurant owner, can I have the steak for 30.00 euros instead of 45.00 euros. My leathers are high quality and they demand the price. Yet the students want a nice leather jacket and can only afford a 125.00 euros jacket, I have that too." says the very honest nice capo of TOn Sur toN. 
   "You know some of the bigger leather names work only with groups, it is impersonal like assembly lines. I work with custom and handmade stitching and personal relationships. I don't like assembly lines and I don't like people who come in here and say hey let me give you this and this. Australians are the coolest people, they come in, they take their time, they buy the piece of special leather they want such as a nice jacket and they pay the price. The Americans are hilarious when they come in they try and try and they ask the people with them, what does this look like, and they laugh and they take awhile to decide, yet they buy and they're happy. The Europeans know the highest quality of Florence and they look at the details and stitching and fit and then they buy. The Middle Eastern take their time and look at themselves in the mirror, if they like, they buy!" he says. He definitely knows his guests! 
  "I have been in the leather market many years and the last 4 years couldn't deal with the cheapness and bargaining, so I opened TOn Sur toN, my own store. It has a lovely reputation and I am nice and quiet with everybody. When you come in you can buy a wallet or a purse or a nice expensive leather jacket. I work with you to fit it and I show you the handmade custom stitching. There is a reason that items come expensive, they don't fall apart!" says the capo. That is true! 
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And the South Americans, the Asians, what do they look for? I ask. "The Asians want certificates and they want quality. They don't care about the price as long as it is high quality. The South Americans are all about the style that is important to that culture. It is fun to work with each and to proudly show my leathers. I love that I have such variety in colors and I can make any color on the reverse, too." he says. 
   Alireza with two guests from Asia, happy as can be with the quality of the jackets, the girl has on my favorite!

                                                                                                               Ristorante Il Paiolo

"My vision is to make my restaurant MIchelin. It is very easy to work hard everyday with that goal. I am revamping the recipes and now they are 80% mine, along with the team, and at night we have 5 servers for such a tiny restaurant. Yet I want a good reputation and the only way to slowly move up the ranks is with hard work, attention to the guests and food, and a great attitude. That is my aim, to make the best traditional food from the kitchen, yet to keep the tradition of the woman who made it famous for 40 years. My promise to her." says Gulian. He is animated, young and talkative and I know that you will have a great time to lunch and dinner and most importantly the food is awesome! 
                         via del Corso 42r
                         055 215019
The beauty of the intimate restaurant, very tiny and set amidst the busy street of Corso, is why I chose it the first time many years ago, okay about 5. A little Italian lady owned it 40 years! The most delightful meeting I had in 2017 is with Gulian, who is the 34 year old capo of Il Paiolo. 
    I sat down at lunch in the upper alcove, which is intimate, romantic and private, however it being lunch it turned into a funny conversation with who I thought to be the accountant!Yet when we started talking it turned that he is the capo! 
     "I went to law school and my mother is so proud and I used to eat in the restaurant all the time. My favorite little real Italian restaurant in Florence. I heard that the lady was closing the restaurant. She didn't want to sell it to keep her tradition. So, one day I walked in and say that I shall love your restaurant the way that you do and I am giving up the corporate world(much to the disappointment of my mother) and becoming a Capo of the restaurant.
 She, unbelievably, said yes!" 

                     and at night it is very romantic...
"The tradition of the Paiolo is that it is zero kilometers, which means that all the food used to come here from Florence region only.  Yet, when I came in I decided to have all the ingredients from everywhere in Italy, only the highest quality, and the food Tuscany. That way the guests can have the best food and the Tuscany recipes. It is the only way I could do it. And the wine I choose myself. I know each and every vineyard and the wine is all from the region of Tuscany. We have the best wine in the world with Chianti. It makes sense to give the guests Chianti. When people go to the Champagne region of France they don't order wines from Germany." 

                  Contacts: instagram




     I loved watching the tourists walk into the restaurant. Usually tourists will check out the menu, check out the prices and maybe wander in. Here it is such a real beautiful restaurant that every tourist sees it, looks inside and comes in to sit down, take off their sun hats, lay down the sunglasses and relax with a glass of wine..taking time to find a perfect choice on the menu...Loved it. 


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Vincenzo has a lovely and delicate art collection adorning his walls of the Osteria. It matches the soft mysterious beauty of the multi-level intimate restaurant and while the other restaurants of the city have the outdoor sitting and umbrellas, even Vincenzo's outdoor garden is elegant. "The art is my personal collection, from the fire truck painting, to the large open book of pages, to the different colorful cars on the walls. It compliments the restaurant where the food that I give my guests is very personal to me and I want the guests to feel as if in my home, surrounded with my traditional views. The Wild Boar, I believe, is the best here. And yes when me and my friends do a wild boar hunt, we do bring the wild boar back here and have a feast, yet it is only me and my friends. Italy, as it should, has very strict rules on the high quality of the wild boar meat and we of course must buy the guest's meat from licensed approved farmers." Okay that being said, Vincenzo, is it fun to go on a wild boar hunt, like Queen Margot's (Medicis) brothers and Henry of Navarre? "Yes, it is fun," he says!
                        You must call Arturo to order online:at Call 055 239 8811or walk in to his store and have fun trying on his cool glasses at via Por Santa Maria 82 , where his styles sell out QUICKLY since they are handmade and only one quantity! They are SOOOOO much fun to try on! However in America? No problem,! just call, say you saw it on EmmeAnesBook and tell him the style!

You can use Arturo's online site, or just browse as you fly to the gorgeous city of Florence and choose your styles! IT is best to call though to make sure that they styles they have!

I love the Capo of Bongi Eyeglasses, and have known him now about 5 years. Today we had much fun and as usual Arturo reminds me of my "sister Toni" who I have nicknamed " Eyor" from "winnie the pooh" I shall show you... "O Em, I don't know if we can do that, I mean my online store has models that have been sold, and I have new collections that I design everyday and I don't know how to add these to the online store since I don't know how to do that!" and of course I say, O I KNOW HOW TO DO THAT! and here they are! 
  I love the Bongi Collection of the Bongi Eyeglass Store and Cameras in Florence since Arturo and his mother sat down and for one year argued back and forth on how to design frames and glasses that represented their artistic vision, 7 years ago! 

Okay, if you aren't a progressive risk taker wanting only a one of a kind eyeframe, try these many brands

       "such as Persol, Ray-Ban, Alain Mikli, Starck Eyes, Lindberg, Etnia Barcelona, Anne et Valentin, Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Bulgari. 

As one of the oldest optical store in town, it has been recognized by the local government as " an enterprise of considerable interest for the tradition of selling the same kind of merchandise for over 50 years" and listed for this reason in the Registry of Historical Florentine Businesses," says Arturo. 

           ....and if you would love great camera equipment, the presitgious Bongi has been here since the 1920s and are world-reknown...Arturo laughs at me as I try to photograph his eyeglass collection(i am a writer I keep saying!) and quickly comes to my rescue to photograph the playful only $135.00 euro glasses. 
   "The name Il Matti means the fools, in Italian. My father started the restaurant 22 years now, although I am born in Naples Italy, the fact is since the age of 2 I have been here! And wait! Please to meet Chiro, he is the pizza maker from Naples." he says. I ask if I can  make my first pizza and Chiro shows me how to throw the pizza dough in the air, twirl it and finally I make my own, which I of course eat!  "In addition to the restaurant here, which is famous for pasta and pizza, I have a new restaurant that is only 9 months old, and it is a high quality expensive American steak restaurant named, La Braceria. It is only about 30 euros a person here with a nice bottle of wine, and at La Braceria about 80 euros per person. However, you can order the famous beef from Chianina one day before and have a reservation only lovely dinner," he says laughing,. 
"Since I am here 6 days per week, and we are open 365 days a year, the one day that is my play day I always see the Tuscany country. Yesterday I went to Sienna, here let me show you." he says happily as he shows me the lovely pictures of his day in Sienna. "I always see different restaurants and visit Tuscany vineyards. I love that. And I enjoy eating quality food and yesterday ate steak in Sienna. The people that own the vineyards, and especially Frescobaldi are my personal friends. As you can see from my wine, I have almost every Frescobaldi wine that they offer!" says Alesandro. 

    I personally love the Frescobaldi wines and family. Resultado de imagen de la braceria via dante 33 florence

"At La Braceria, it is all about the steak. It is basically a American Steak house. And the filet is served with Baroli wine! We are very pleased to offer the best beef possible and with certificates. The people that come to the Restaurant are mostly from Florence, I guess the tourists haven't found us yet! We have people that make a special night out for each other every week or every month or every 2 months. When the tourists discover us, we won't have any place for them to sit!" Alessandro jokes.
You must find , easy to reach,  the restaurant named Il Matti, located at VIA BORGO S. LORENZO 31r | FIRENZE | T. +39 055 214992 -

  "I love white wines, especially the white wines of Tuscany. I am the person that chooses the wine for all the restaurants. My dad is young, yet he is retired and I am the one who runs both the Il Matti and the La Braceria. A new fish restaurant is opening soon too, and I will let you know when. The La Braceria is a very posh restaurant with only 35 seats and a must reservation every night.             La BraceriaResultado de imagen de la braceria via dante 33 florenceIf you want a certain cut of beef you can request that one day ahead of time. And in addition, I would say that at La Braceria it is a very intimate romantic restaurant, where here at Il Matti it is a family restaurant." says Alesandro.
The young capo, only 24, is a delight. "I spent 6 months in New York, and now I am back in Florence. I love the Americans and always talk at the tables with the guests. It is my passion.! " he says.  Imagen relacionada
                                                                                    VINCANTO Vincanto is one of my favorite trendy, intimate and swanky ristorante cocktail bars around the world. It is on the famous Santa Novella Square and if has the little outside umbrellas, yet the inside is full of modern art from the personal collection of the owner, Giovanni, who is as he says, "A beach person at heart. I love the beach. I am happy here of course and I make the best cocktails, that is really what I am famous for, and my love of the traditional food of Florence and Tuscany, Here the people can find highest quality of Florentine food with a little modern fusion. And the tourists love the food, especially the little pig. It is high quality and sophisticated. And they love my art. The personal collection is mine from a friend, On ofrio Pepe, and now we do a little collaboration of him bringing a sculpture here every couple of months. People buy these beautiful sculptures all the time and I am happy to show my friend's art. But, ultimately it is about the food and the drink." he says. 


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   The elegant , sophisticated beauty of Vincanto.Image results for vincanto florence
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It is always a pleasure to visit and chat with Giovanni. I should say it is always fun. The word pleasure seems appropriate in the chic ristorante, yet Giovanni is such a casual and easy going person that you feel right at home. "I would love to have some good musicians in here, yet we become very full and it is difficult to move around live musicians and give people the food at the same time. It is something that I have thought about, though, since I do love music. Yet I want my ristorante to reflect something very special. I can only concentrate on the food and drink and the aesthetics right now. Maybe in the future we can have musicians if I can figure out where to put them!" he says.   reservations:  055 2741555
                     Risultati immagini per vincanto restaurant florence
                                            Image results for keys of florence photos     

         A TOUR BY CArRIAGE WITH                      THE WONDERS OF CHIANTI                                

The Coolest about The Keys of Florence Company? The people, I had the pleasure of meeting Roberta and Eleonora, and chatted with both about the company. "I am the Manager of the Apartments of the Keys of Florence, of which we have about 48 here,. They are all luxury apartments and they can range from 70.00 euros to 300 euros per night. The fun thing about the apartments is when the tourists book to stay from one day to one month, they don't know that we are also a highly qualified tour company of the city and they are always pleasantly surprised that they can manage the entire city just from booking their place to stay!" says the young adorable, Roberta. "I have been here 4 years and I am only 20 years old, yet I probably know much more about he city than most people. It helps if you are trained in art history, which I am, and of course it helps if you love culture!" she says.                                                            Risultati immagini per keys of florence pictures
"Yes and a cool story of Dante is that in the 600s or is it the, wait I think it is the 12 th century, Dante fought on the wrong side of the war in Florence and the city exiled him to Ravenna. That is where Dante is buried, in Ravenna. However, now Florence wants Dante back and the city of Ravenna says too bad  you shouldn't of exiled him!" they say laughing. 

"I've only been here one month, yet I've been to the Uffizi, which is the third most important museum in the world, by the way, many times already. I LOVE that museum. It has the famous head that is in the movie, Dante, in it. THE REAL ONE, I mean, it is amazing, " gushes Eleonora. She is the tour manager of "22 tour guides. The Tour Guides of Italy all have to be licensed and it takes at least one year of schooling to have your exams. It costs several thousands of dollars and you can tell that what is important to Italy is the highest quality of promotion of its cultural, historical figures, and historical buildings, and of course the food and wine." she says. 

   "We have many more than 22 tours, though. We have tours to the wine country and tours on horsebacking and we're working on more tours. I love the city. It has so much history and stories to tell. For instance did you know that in the most beautiful church in the world, Santa Croce, is the body of Michealangelo buried? Yes. Most people think that the body is buried in the Vatican, yet it is actually buried in the Medici chapel since Michealangelo was a artist of the Medici family." she says. 

         Reservations: 055 045 3121

                 at Via del Trebbio/ 8rRelated Image


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                                  +39 055 210916

Is any item in the restaurant totally Emilia? "Yes follow me," she says and we head down to the wine cellar."About 6 months since me and my boyfriend came down to the wine cave and he said, you know it would be cool to do special dinners and service here. And I said, yes, why not? We should have a modern romantic intimate touch to the traditional restaurant. Now if we make reservations of too many people, they come here and receive a more pricey menu, since it is one-on-one service and a special dinner. That is totally me." she laughs and is very cool about it. Loves the fact that she can add her little personality to the guests when they come to dinner.   
       reservations:    055 287178Risultati immagini per il latiniWe are all here to make the restaurant carry on the tradition that is it's original intent." she says.   Immagine correlata
"Yes about as Old-School as you can get," says my mirror, Emilia, the daughter of Sonya and Torello Latini. "I am the only child. I am 40  now and my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother started a winery store in 1911. In 1955, my grandmother and grandfather opened the restaurant here and for the last 125 years were one of the two oldest families in Florence with a restaurant in the same family. That is important. In addition is the fact that after 12 years in the office, here I come to the restaurant and my father says, O dear, as I say O let's move this and let's do that. Old Old School!" she says. 

                Via dei Palchetti, 6

Above, Emilia's  mother, Sonya, and father, Torello. "For me I am very shy and the first days that I had to come to the tables I was like, O sorry for intruding can I help with anything. Most of the times people are nice and when they're not I just say sorry. I am becoming better about talking to people." Below, Emilia.

          I am MOST PROUD TODAY to add two totally Traditional Old School families of Florence.

               One is Torello Latini's Il Latini of which Johnny, the cook, is at the helm serving great 

             Wild Boar Stew while the team eats and to which I am finally after bugging the staff the last 3 hours allowed  in the kitchen and to film the other "Godfather Scene" at the table. I ask if it is okay to film the lunch and they all say yes and ask if it is a good film! The 25 seconds of the real italian team sitting down before they give you that great italian service! 

     "Upstairs is a real Trattoria which is more of a family setting," says Emilia, "and downstairs is a more intimate ristorante setting." Speaking of families...? "Yes it is more difficult working with my family yet at the same time easy too since we instantly can understand each other's problems." 


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                         'immagine può contenere: 6 persone, persone che sorridono, persone sedute, tabella e spazio al chiuso
                                                                          Location is Borgo San Iacopo 57-r, Firenze. 

I love to think that I make that work with love, and that from my Grandfather Cammillo and my Grandmother in the 1943 when they open a wine bistro to today I hope to bring the elegance and respect that they first imagined. I am VERY HAPPY people can recognize my work, but it is easy for me. Once upon reading a book," the definition of the cook" , Vasquez Montalban, said, "is to transform material into sensations..." that I loved. I am both grateful and very happy making it work. I KNOW the food is good. I KNOW my competence is strong. During the years anyway we work as a team. It is difficult to be the only woman amongst all men and yet I am the boss. It is with utmost respect that I have for my team and they in turn for me.For instance the chef you saw leaving came here at the age of 15 and stayed with me, now the age of 54. Yet for all of that to do here everyday the highest quality with love it takes hard work. When one of the big strong men in the kitchen say, "O Chiara, O Chiara, O Chiara help I need a little bandaid, if they have a little cut on the finger, it is Mama Chiara they call, instead of Boss Chiara!" she laughs when she says that. 

      Above a young protege attends to the

   learning the art of Cammillo Tradition! 


"Ultimately my love is the idea of the food taking the ingredients that I have in my mind and imagining new ways to use each spice and each one in a way of the smell and texture and the way that they add to my recipes. That is something that I truly enjoy." says Chiara, who is a 3rd generation and one of the most respected Woman Restaurant owners in the city of Florence. Her daughter, Vittoria, says, "When we have the Tuesday and Wednesday at home my mother cooks for 15 people dinner parties that are very special. Instead of relaxing at home she cooks. That is her love. And I always eat at that table. The food is huge and much of it and sometimes the plates she makes for the guests at home she brings to the restaurant. She rarely cooks the food that we serve at the restaurant because all of the guests usually already tasted these!" laughs Vittoria, who that day is busy making tarts in the kitchen!

"I love the idea of cooking and I live to present my plates to the guests. When I come to the table and they ask from me a grilled Florentine Steak, of course we have that specialty, yet if they ask of me something special from Cammillo I will never suggest the Florentine Steak. As I am the creator of each recipe, I want them to try to one of my specialities such as the Mango Chutney. That is a delicate chutney that only we have served with perhaps prawns and a glass of wine." says Chiara, "one of the most famous recipes here is from when my mother and father used spices from India to make the Mango Chutney. When the factories closed, I panicked as I could not know of how to make it. I had a old can that it had originally come in from India and I knew each ingredient, yet not how much of each. I remembered the taste and the smell so much and I tested and tested. A little of that a little of more a little added ingredient and tasted and tasted. After many many tries I finally got it perfect from the very first taste. Now it is exactly the way it should be." she says. "The guests can take the Mango Chutney home when they leave the restaurant as we have these in jars. That is something I am especially proud of." Here you see Cammillo waving to her charmed guests, "Yes I remember you from 5 years now, " says Chiara when I see her now at Florence. I tell her that she is my very first guest on the Website when I first came to Florence and remember with such fondness of her and her families acceptance of me when they welcomed me to lunch. A newcomer to Florence! I had entered and they sat me at the family table near the window to the kitchen and on one side is drawings of children that love Cammillo during the years and adorning the walls valuable paintings and etchings from years and years. They all talked fondly of her Grandfather, Cammillo and they showed me old family pictures. Upstairs hidden from view is a grand elegant private table for up to 20 guests where birthday parties and important events are held. Just ask and you can secretly dine while peeking out the window to the tables below! 
  "Yes that is my view everyday, EVERYDAY!" LAUGHS is charmingingly funny to think of all of us tourists coming in awe of the Piazza and the statue of David and yet Daniela sees it as her backyard everyday! "Alright sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon..." she laughs and I wonder if she is speaking of her husband coming in the mornings or afternoons to the restaurant or the famous view of the Statue of David that is on the famous Piazza, where the entrance to Micheangelo's Original Statue of David awaits."         
                                                                      Ristorante Il David                                                                     Related Image

  Are the other 8 restaurants important? "Only me..." giggles the very beautiful lovely Daniela, who is the 3rd Generation of Il David on the famous Piazza in Florence. Perhaps the most important Piazza in the world? "Only my restaurant on the Piazza." she is adamant when she says the tourists should only come here! OKAY!  I say!                                        Piazza della Signoria 2/R    055 215372
   I finally found one picture of Daniela on her facebook, where most she says is taken from her husband who loves to be in all the tourists pictures and if you check out her facebook you will see that is true! He is in every picture laughing and posing with the guests!
"The restaurant, Il David, is 3 Generations old and is made from my Grandfather in the 1950s. It is unusual of a restaurant on a famous Piazza to keep in the generations since so many people come to buy these! We love our restaurant and it is from my Grandfather, my mother,Giovanna,  and me which is 3 generations. My father used to be at the helm yet he passed away. My sister, Barbara works with me and we run from the bar to the Casse to the people all day.
 I insist that we talk to each table and learn the stories of the people. It is not a restaurant that you rush food and leave. It is to have a good time with the guests. I enjoy the guests especially now the year now it is real friendly Americans that come. Every year they come, yet this year for some reason they are super friendly. And I communicate with the Chinese and Japanese and the Asians with hand signals usually if they do not speak Italian or English. Every culture tells me something new. I want these guests to remember us." she says.Image results for david restaurant florence
Of course the food is important...ha ha ha! "Yes they come of course because of the beauty of the Piazza and they want to see David, however, they come back here for a couple of reasons, one is the food since it is very good. Yes it is Tuscany, yet Italian and a little touch of international. The wine is all Italian and Tuscany and my husband is the wine master. He chooses the wine. The people that come here maybe stay at Florence 5 days and if they find us the first day it is amazing that they come here everyday to eat. I would say it is because of us!" laughs Daniela. "We are happy and friendly and they have a lovely vacation with us. The food is excellent or they wouldn't come back and the chef is here 20 years." she says. Image results for david restaurant florence

"I think that my mother loves too much the restaurant, perhaps more than me even!" Daniela says. "It is difficult to do a restaurant that is such famous on the Piazza and now I have a 3 year old daughter and it is very difficult. Family is fun and we do love the restaurant and for my mother it is her life. My husband is the funny one and he jokes with everybody. They love to take pictures with him!"she says. And her? "I love to take pictures of everybody else!" she laughs. 

     "Yes it is a beautiful view and in the summer with the fountain and the people it is always funny. Always. There is so many tourists that come and they are always surprises to watch. Yet I remember that the restaurant's food is special too. The Florentine Steak is unique in Florence in that we give 1/2 a kilo where everybody else is one kilo. That way a little person, such as me, since I eat the Florentine steak a couple times a month, can manage the 1/2 kilo!" she laughs when I ask if she always eats the Florentine steak. "We have pasta and old dishes from traditional Tuscany too..." she adds. 

"The most joy to us is really when the people that come here come the next year and the next. They're friends. For Example the picture here is friends from San Francisco and they come every year...they even look like fun!" says Daniela of her friends on facebook. "We have people from New York that come every year and now they start to bring presents to the baby, she is 3 and 1/2. They bring her dolls from New York and English books.It is lovely. We make friends from everywhere in the world as they come to try the Italian Tuscany experience we try to give."


                                            R & R FLORENCE EMOTION t-shirts

"The cool thing about my store is that anybody can request something on the t-shirt and I can make it. I love Braccio di Ferro, Pop-Eye the sailor man to Americans, and so I made my own T-shirt." he says as he laughs and shows me the shirt he is wearing. Think of Yves Saint Laurent in a wide modern open space waving you in so he can custom make a T-shirt for you and you've got Raffeallo.  "I made the T-shirt with different kisses from countries around the world, that is my design and I love it. The Tourists love that they can facebook me a photo and I can immediately make a handmade T-shirt from it!"   And the R&R what is that about? "Raffeallo and Rudy, my partner!" 


                   R & R Florence Emotion

                   Via Dell'Oriuolo 34

                           324 619 1217

Raffeallo shows me the Albanian alphabet that he added to a T-shirt, " The Albanian has 36 letters which is the longest alphabet in the world, so I put it on a t-shirt!" 


          PROFESSIONALLY COOL!       

    "Everyday I would walk past Robert Cavelli or browse in the Giorgio Armani stores and I could never find T-shirts that I really loved.I am from Albania and moved to Pisa 20 years and now Florence and saw a lot of different t-shirts. And one day I said, Maybe I can just make my own t-shirts. And I opened here 10 days now. Tomorrow we put on the sign and the store is operating now." says Raffeallo, who has hired Geraldo (like Rivera) for his graphic designer. The store is open, wide, white and modern with 4 expensive T-shirt maker equipment pieces meticously placed. 

Luigi's passion is "playing the piano..." says the affable owner of Vecchio 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. Now 2 years later, I come to say hi to the capo again! "What is new? I learned to play another song on the piano!"  he says and plays the song, Calypso, which along with the song, Summertime and Happy birthday, he says is his only songs. He asks if the other guests are alright with him playing and they say yes.

                          Lunedi Jazz al Vecchio Mercato Florency Italy...

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."               

       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 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. 

                                                             Via Giuseppe Verdi 16/R
                                           +39 055 240972           +39 055 244615                                                                                                               Images results for maremma florence

   Glamorous and intimate with seatings of only 65, the real authentic family owned restaurant has been here over 50 years, and has the etched crest in the doorway to prove it. "We are proud to give Tuscany products and especially form Maremma which is the southern section of Tuscany. The wine is from there too and if you come in you must try the wild boar in its various forms, which of course is only good with red wine and that is why we specialize mostly in the red wine of Maremma where the wild boar roams free. Images results for maremma florenceThe wild boar destroys the grapes from the farmers and the vegetables and that is why we must hunt the wild boar. It eats all that it sees. Yes they can get quite big and we go hunting with the dogs and the guns. To be honest, when my father used to go hunting he would stop and take pictures of the hunt, but I don't have time to take out my IPHONE and say "Stop Wild Boar" I want to take a picture!" he says laughing and his table of 4 team, including the cook start laughing. They are at the table sitting with us as we interview before opening that night. Are they eating the wild boar? I ask. "NO they are eating chicken!" Images results for maremma florence

    Opulence, Playfulnes, Conversations...that is the atmosphere at the SimBIOsi in   Florence with its new 5 month old Biological Restaurant...can we say that it is the loveliest                                                           techy Renaissance space we have ever seen?
                                                                                  Via de 'Ginori 58R and 60R 
              Image result for simbiosi restaurant florence italy
 The newest addition SimBIOsi Restaurant with fresh homemade pasta and biological pizza! 
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"The Long table is reminiscent of royalty at a formal dinner yet, it is for social contact. When people come in here to eat lunch or dinner they must sit at the long table and talk to each other. The conversations are always fun.' says Donato. 'The bunny picture has become social media famous and we have facebook games associated with it to COME PLAY WITH US.'
                           tel. 055. 06 4011 5
I first met Donato about 3 years now, he and his lovely girl of many years had just gotten the courage to transition from a online baby clothes business to a new Organic Biologically correct pizza restaurant. Not your typical bent on either course as it originally had opulence and shabby chic decor from day one. However, today I walked into one of the most fun and playful and lavish restaurants that charmingly fit into the old world white brick interior superbly. Connected to the pizza section with a small window in the century old brick walls, it oozes wealth.

'The open space kitchen with the modern tech equipment gives a funky tone to the restaurant. I combines lavish chairs that I found all around Italy, with playful new architectural designs and the pasta maker that the chefs use to make the pasta you order everyday. It has a feeling of being in a huge palazzo connected to the kitchen where you sit and talk to the host making the dinner and the guests that they sat next to you to make you have a lively conversation and joyful dinner.' Says Donato. I found it soooooo beautiful and gorgeous that I kept oooing and aaaing the entire appointment! 
Image result for simbiosi restaurant florence italy
                     The beauty of the 20 year and counting restaurant is amazing and the fish the Japanese chefs  use such as,  "Octopus from Morocco, Sea Bass from Celofania Greece, Red Prawns from Sicily, all come from a special dealer that I use exclusively," says Duccio. " After all of my years of experience, which is 9 years, a new owner bought MOMOYAMA and asked me to be the director. I said yes, although I had just finished with my law studies and with my law exams. I loved MOMOYAMA and stayed here at the Director. The first item that the new owner did is change all the vendors and only bought the highest quality from around the world of fish. I  had known with experience the best dealers and it is I who order everyday the fish. The dealers know me and I know the best. It is important of course to know how to prepare raw fish and sushi, yet at home I can prepare most dishes myself. Here only the head chef who really knows what he is doing can prepare the fish. It is a beautiful presentation of course yet first it must be the highest quality and the presentation comes from that." says Duccio Di Giovanni, the very eloquent and poetic speaker of the MOMOYAMA famous Japanese house in Florence.  He is serious yet funny as he shows me how to physically find the restaurant pointing to the old Aristocratic 300 year old numbers outside etched in the stone, "See we are at number 10red, which is different than blue or black. Sometimes people google us and they head down the alley then they have to call us on the phones and say, Where are you!" says Duccio.    I promptly add... 
                                       Borgo San Frediano 10/red,  Tele: 055 2 918 40

Risultati immagini per momoyama firenze
                   "The restaurant is set in a 15th century Palace and the tiny cocktail bar next door is a 11th Century Palace. We work with the beauty of the structures and the restaurant has a open garden in the back and two different staircases up to two different levels and rooms. The upstairs is private as is the gardens where you can have a special intimate dinner. At times we can have as many as 100 people here and I do it all myself. Of course I have runners help me, yet I wait on each and every table myself and talk to the guests. I don't use menus, since I know the special inventive items everyday, I am the one who deals with the highest quality fish everyday and know what the chef is having and I know the traditional Japanese menu that we have everyday. At first the Inventive Menu and the Japanese Menu were together. Yet I the new owner said that the Inventive menu isn't so inventive if it is the same everyday. So,  now we have the everyday Japanese menu and we have the Inventive menu which is inventive new everyday." Let's just say it looks yummy!
   I am most impressed with presentation and with  the preparation of dangerous and exotic fish, since honestly I am most impressed with what is difficult for me to do. Here they have lovely presentations with delicate and rare seafood everyday. A treasure I found, yet it has been here 20 years! How did I miss it! 
     Duccio says, "We  have a formal atmosphere with simple and friendly service with exquisite highest quality fish. That is about it!" 
     "The cocktail bar next door is light sushi and cocktails, which is special to Florence since the Florentines aren't used to cocktail bars as such. However, they love it and the international students and tourists are finally finding us!" he says. It is quite chic. 

                                     Immagine correlata
Met these two great, alright 3 since I met the mom first who is a wonderful person, people who own the lively Rock Music Pub named, appropriately Virgin Rock Pub since the lady is Virginia and the man Mateo! They opened the Pub about 1 and 1/2 years now and it has "been our dream. We love the Pub and Music and honestly it has been fun everyday. It has been work of course, and the first year only me and Mateo, yet now we have 3 girls that help us. We have live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday is Live Mic night and everybody can come and sing. In addition we have the cheapest and best aperitivo and buffet in Florence. Me and my husband, Mateo, were bakers for 15 years. We know how to cook! You receive a huge cocktail, a big pint of beer, a big lovely glass of chianti and the buffet and for only 4.50Euros! Plus you receive a stamp from us and at the 10th one a free buffet and pint!" says the lovely Virginia. She is such a beautiful warm and friendly person." We laugh as Mateo makes the buffet and Virginia says, "It is great since he is the cook. He makes every dish and I had to learn the bartending. At first, I read from the bartending book and learned the recipes and finally I know how to make many drinks. It is totally exciting and fun and relaxing to own a bar, and a lot of people agree that it is work!"
   Risultati immagini per virgin rock pub "We went to America in the last 20 years and went 5 times to New York and San Francisco and Las Vegas and San Diego and everywhere and really wanted to open a Music Bar in terms of how America had these Pubs. We have Blues that are live and we love both the Rock and Roll and Blues. People come here since they love the music, I hope they love me and Mateo and of course the atmosphere of the Pub. The Music is important to us and the pub revolves around it, as a matter of fact, the drums that are attached to the ceiling are Mateo's real drums." says Virginia.
    The Virgin Rock Pub is open from 3pm to 3am everyday and the most important aspect is coming in here and having a nice pint and chat with Mateo and Virginia, and of course listening to the music.  Virginia's favorite band is Guns and Roses and we're both kind of digging Aerosmith!
     VIRGIN ROCK BAR music ciao!
         Via Dell'Agnolo, 78/r   Call 342 516 1096
   When I ask Virginia to ask Mateo his favorite band since he speaks basically only Italian, he says, "The Doors!" Okay! It shows that we're in the early to late 30s age range here!
         Most Importantly is COME HAVE FUN
                 AND DRINK A COUPLE OF PINTS.                                
Risultati immagini per virgin rock pub florence

my favorite pint of Guinness and buffet for only 4.50 euros ! Risultati immagini per virgin rock pub florence

               Risultati immagini per ristorante natalino florence

Risultati immagini per ristorante natalino florence

Borgo degli Albizi, 17/r - 50122 Firenze -

                     055 289404

I first met the family that has owned Natalino in Firenze for 25 years about 3 years now. I interviewed Gabriele, the son, and the matriarch mother, Alessandra. Today sitting with honor at family table at lunch, I interviewed Laura, Alessandra's daughter and her nephew Alessandro, Gabriele's son. It is a funny treat and Laura makes you laugh a lot! 
     "It is my mother's restaurant since her and my father started it in 1993. I started working for her in 1995 at a early age. I have much fun here and I am happy that I do the restaurant. If I could have a choice of anything it would be to do Natalino since it makes me happy to have something that makes people proud to come to. It is difficult work and with my brother, Gabriele, of course we argue. Um, everyday!" she laughs good-naturedly. "Doesn't every brother and sister argue? See I am the type of person that asks my boss, who happens to be my mom, about every decision. Whether it is where to seat the important guest that is coming here for the first time, which wine we choose for the restaurant or if we should redecorate the tables with the glass tops...I always ask. Gabriele is the type that the next day you come into the restaurant we all have new wine glasses! I guess that is the difference!" Laura says laughing. Immagine correlata
Immagine correlata
"Although my mother looks like a little frail Italian Grandmother, she is the boss. She rules with how do you say? A iron fist in a velvet glove. She is the boss and she chooses all of the wine and all of the food that we serve. She speaks ONLY ITALIAN! and she wanders around the tables talking to the guests only if they speak Italian. We all speak english and talk to everybody. Everybody smiles and nods at her, yet they should know that the entire feel of the traditional Natalino is because of my mother, " says Laura with the utmost respect. "Hmm, let's ask Alessandro that question," she says when I ask if it is funny to work with her mom. "AAA, " starts out Alessandro, "is it always funny? Is it fun to work with my Grandmother? It can be." he says trailing and Laura and I laugh. "She is the boss," says Laura finishing his sentence. "I would say yes I hope so that it is a fun day since it is my life here. We are a simple people and a simple family. We try to be friendly with our guests and to be kind always with everybody. Yet we, me and my mother and brother, we are 3 different bosses and sometimes the heads have different ideas!" Okay got it! And the food?Risultati immagini per restaurant natalino facebook florence It is a gorgeous place and a gorgeous location and a great people watcher place and of course we love to meet the Italians and eat great food...
         is it the most beautiful picture you've ever seen?

"The painting in the back is from the 1960s when the famous artist painted the fresco showing the depiction of the Florentine country life. On the mural is the host, Natalino, standing and Annigoni is sitting with his back to you.  While on the right is the chef of the father of Romano Stefanelli who is the author of the fresco. It is very famous and people always take pictures of it. The building is a 1,200 year old woman's monastery, a convent?  Perhaps is the name and for many years the church owned the building. In the 17th century it was restored, and we love to keep the charm of it. Sometimes I come in here in the morning and I look around and I say, "maybe I should change it? I talk to my family and we only change maybe the glass topped tables with the worn-wood look and the dark chairs to reflect that tradition. Ultimately it gives a cozy feeling to the guests that transfers them back to the 13th century. All comfort and lived in look to it. And of course we have the outside tables where the guests can sit and people watch. For me the guests are too funny, " says Laura. 
                                 may contain: indoor
  Near Il Barroccio V. Vigna Vecchia 31r

is a amazing 20+ year Tuscany kitchen that is homey and classic. The owner sometimes in the busy season has the help of the cuoco, yet in the little section as you enter is a computer on a small table and his handwritten checks for tables. It is amazing that on some days he is the cuoco and the waiter! How does he do all of it? "I am passionate about my life and my restaurant, young I think!, and you say I look shy yet I am  not shy. I only look shy. I love to have guests to my home everyday for dinner. When you come here you are a guest in my house and of course when you come to my house, I cook the food!" he says. Yes however 30 to 50 people as guests everyday for 20 years that is a lot of people.   

            For Reservations click on the link 

                  below or call: 055.627.109

    immagini per il barroccio 31 florence

   It is named "the little restaurant that could," for a reason. "Guests say that when they come to eat at 6:45pm they end up staying and having a bottle of wine or two til 10:00pm. I love my guests, if they want dessert and they want another bottle of wine and they want to talk about Florence and Italy and Chianti wine, I let the guests stay!" he says. The huge picture of tons of bottles of wine on a cart dominates the tiny room's wall and I imagine that it is a subject of many of his guests questions. "Yes they always ask if that is a real picture and they want to know the story. Let's just say the Italians love Chianti as much as the tourists!" Immagine correlata
Il Barroccio Suggerimento del chef
   Giovanni has great "Italian Grandma" food as I love to name it. The kind my very Italian Grandma from Modena used to make for us everyday. "The people who come here usually know us since we are a little hidden from the tourist traffic. They come for a week in Florence and if you read the trip advisors, you can see that they  come here everyday of the vacation. They say they feel like family and when they come and say, Giovanni make us something special, I go to the kitchen and cook dinner. That is every night. Every item is special and of course we have Florentine Steak and the Tuscany dishes yet it is my cooking and recipes. I hope that you bring me many lovely and fun guests," he says. I say yes that I do to!Risultati immagini per il barroccio 31 florence
    How charming and romantic can a Florentine Restaurant be? Check out Giovanni and Il Barroccio 31 which is famous world wide...the little provincial jewel...if you can find it! 
               "Yes that is my view everyday, EVERYDAY!" LAUGHS is charmingingly funny to think of all of us tourists coming in awe of the Piazza and the statue of David and yet Daniela sees it as her backyard everyday! "Alright sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon..." she laughs and I wonder if she is speaking of her husband coming in the mornings or afternoons to the restaurant or the famous view of the Statue of David that is on the famous Piazza, where the entrance to Micheangelo's Original Statue of David awaits."         
                                                                                                    Ristorante Il David
  Are the other 8 restaurants important? "Only me..." giggles the very beautiful lovely Daniela, who is the 3rd Generation of Il David on the famous Piazza in Florence. Perhaps the most important Piazza in the world? "Only my restaurant on the Piazza." she is adamant when she says the tourists should only come here! OKAY!  I say!                      

                                                       Piazza della Signoria 2/R    055 215372

   I finally found one picture of Daniela on her facebook, where most she says is taken from her husband who loves to be in all the tourists pictures and if you check out her facebook you will see that is true! He is in every picture laughing and posing with the guests!
"The restaurant, Il David, is 3 Generations old and is made from my Grandfather in the 1950s. It is unusual of a restaurant on a famous Piazza to keep in the generations since so many people come to buy these! We love our restaurant and it is from my Grandfather, my mother,Giovanna,  and me which is 3 generations. My father used to be at the helm yet he passed away. My sister, Barbara works with me and we run from the bar to the Casse to the people all day. I insist that we talk to each table and learn the stories of the people. It is not a restaurant that you rush food and leave. It is to have a good time with the guests. I enjoy the guests especially now the year now it is real friendly Americans that come. Every year they come, yet this year for some reason they are super friendly. And I communicate with the Chinese and Japanese and the Asians with hand signals usually if they do not speak Italian or English. Every culture tells me something new. I want these guests to remember us." she says. Risultati immagini per restaurant il david florence
Of course the food is important...ha ha ha! "Yes they come of course because of the beauty of the Piazza and they want to see David, however, they come back here for a couple of reasons, one is the food since it is very good. Yes it is Tuscany, yet Italian and a little touch of international. The wine is all Italian and Tuscany and my husband is the wine master. He chooses the wine. The people that come here maybe stay at Florence 5 days and if they find us the first day it is amazing that they come here everyday to eat. I would say it is because of us!" laughs Daniela. "We are happy and friendly and they have a lovely vacation with us. The food is excellent or they wouldn't come back and the chef is here 20 years." she says. 
Risultati immagini per restaurant il david florence
"I think that my mother loves too much the restaurant, perhaps more than me even!" Daniela says. "It is difficult to do a restaurant that is such famous on the Piazza and now I have a 3 year old daughter and it is very difficult. Family is fun and we do love the restaurant and for my mother it is her life. My husband is the funny one and he jokes with everybody. They love to take pictures with him!"she says. And her? "I love to take pictures of everybody else!" she laughs. 


            "Yes it is a beautiful view and in the summer with the fountain and the people it is always funny. Always. There is so many tourists that come and they are always surprises to watch. Yet I remember that the restaurant's food is special too. The Florentine Steak is unique in Florence in that we give 1/2 a kilo where everybody else is one kilo. That way a little person, such as me, since I eat the Florentine steak a couple times a month, can manage the 1/2 kilo!" she laughs when I ask if she always eats the Florentine steak. "We have pasta and old dishes from traditional Tuscany too..." she adds.                                          Immagine correlata
"The most joy to us is really when the people that come here come the next year and the next. They're friends. For Example the picture here is friends from San Francisco and they come every year...they even look like fun!" says Daniela of her friends on facebook. "We have people from New York that come every year and now they start to bring presents to the baby, she is 3 and 1/2. They bring her dolls from New York and English books.It is lovely. We make friends from everywhere in the world as they come to try the Italian Tuscany experience we try to give."
                     "The cool story of my father is that he worked for the famous vineyard of Antonori for 25 years when they were totally about the Antonori family. We had so much Antonori wine at our house! And you know that Antonori is the best in the world, it was REALLY GOOD WINE!" says Frederico, the son who happens to own the smooth Jazz boutique ristorante of L'Ortone in Piazza Ghiberti 87. "The name means BIG FARM and as a child I remember the entire Piazza Square as one big Farmer's Mercato, which it is today. At the first 3 years we struggled since people of Florence became to know us and everyday the reputation of my elegant jazz restaurant with reasonable prices became known. And the tourists from the 4 Stars started coming and they started talking about the restaurant that has quiet gentle service as if one is in a person's elegant home. That is my intention to give each guest as if I invited to my home for dinner." he says: reservations 055 234 0804

     "The cuoco is the oldest of all of us and at only 33 a totally funny team that is young and wants to build a great reputation," says Frederico, as he leads me up the brick stairway to the top where if you dine upstairs you can watch the cooks through the glass windows. 
    "My father has a wine business named Better Wines and I have a selection of 125 wines in my restaurant," says Frederico. "We have a large selection of French wines too,  which is unique to Florence since most of the restaurants only carry Italian wines. Since my father gives me the production company names we are priveleged to choose the best. However, if you come to my restaurant you can expect to spend between 30.00euros to 70.00euros and that includes the best wine. As you can see, the table here is from the 4 Seasons and they chose us for lunch! That make me very proud of that fact that people recommend my restaurant, yet it is affordable for everyone." says the young and funny Frederico. 
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"Yes I love the jazz and the blues music. People say that it has a Woody Allen, 1920s flappers, French cafe feel to it! It has all of these and that is alright since that is my vision. Elegance. Jazz. Soft music. Lovely service. Great food. It works. We're finally successful!" And they have live jazz as you can see.  "The important item here is that we give great service to the guests. We pride ourselves on that since it is fun for us to have people talk to us and tell us that they have a nice night. I guess we're still young enough that we feel comfortable talking to each guest and we love when new people come and say that they had a friend tell them about us. That is success." 
"I went to Hospitality school here in Florence and after the first 2 years I chose the restaurant sector. I finished the 3 years and went to work about 20 kilometers from here at a Michelin restaurant 3 years. I learned the very formal service and more importantly I learned how people appreciate attentive service. And from here I went to New York! Yes I know yet I loved working in the Tribeca region very much. I loved New York and Ioved the American people. I have since been to Los Angeles and I love that too!" says Frederico. "The process here is one day I asked my father if he would love to help me open my own restaurant at the age of 28. We renovated the entire restaurant and he is one of my partners along with my friend, Edoardo. Every person here is a friend of mine. And we hire the American students at the Cooking School too. They're cool, nice and want to learn. We like the Americans." he sayImage may contain: 2 people, people playing musical instruments, people sitting, people on stage and indoor
 The Tartan Jock Scottish Pub, although the chinese guy who owns it is not my favorite person, I love Scotland Accents, Scottish kilts, and yes about anything Scottish here it is ... the Scottish Pub at Florence, which is pretty cool except for the enforcers stealing my interview today it has real Tartan namesake crests everywhere and my absolute favorite bagpipes which were played near my sistes's wedding.   Once upon a time, my sister Gina married Matthew (two t's) at Jumer's Castle in Peoria and in the same castle yet a different wedding bagpipes played...they became intriqued at the wedding we were having and in they crashed to play at my sister's wedding instead! Truly Lovely...such a lovely time that my little brother, named Mathew, with one t, danced all night alone on the dance floor, only 3 years old. As I stayed watching him my little heart broke since all the "BIG FOLKS" not just ignored the little tyke of 3 trying very hard to dance and fit in, but were downright rude to a little child! Therefore I do what I normally do not do in Public and went on the dance floor and danced with him and took him to the room where I promptly kicked out the babysitter and babysat all the little ones including Mathew and we had story time all night. Don't you hate mean people? Anyeay from that day on I always associated bagpipes with that wedding, the good and the bad and the let's go to bed early while everybody else is dancing and my little Mathew can have a lovely night.      
                          Il locale
                                                                    OFFICINA FIORENTINA
                                                          Borgo De Greci 39 red, 003 905 527 4 1590
                                                                                      Florence Italy                                                                                                                     
"Silk scarfs, real ITALIAN SILK SCARFS are very rare," says SASHA, WHO OWNS THE BRAND NEW ITALIAN BOUTIQUE on Borgo De Greci 39 red, in Florence, Italy. "We're only here a couple of months,, yet I thought a long while about my represtentation of my idea of fun and young Italy combined with tradition. We have Missoni, which is world known and Just'O" he says and I say WAIT!. Just'O? I LOVE JUST'O. ROME HAS A HUGE BOUTIQUE OF JUST'O. "Yes I chose 5 of the Special items and have these here." he says. Risultati immagini per just o bags
                                     www.officinafiorentina.itRisultati immagini per franco pugi
"Franco Pugi is a VERY FAMOUS FLORENTINE ARTIST IN THE DESIGN OF HANDBAGS, yet he never lets people keep his items. He is exclusive for 30 some years and I am honored that he chose me. We display his very expensive one of a kind in the world handbags here." says Sasha. I say that I KNOW FRANCO PUGI! is more famous than LOUIS VUITTON!
                                                        immagini per beer house club
Okay anyday around the world from Florence to Switzerland to Regensburg to Los Angelos to Hungary to London to....we have specialty beers and the people that love to have fun and try all of at the
     Beer House Club I met Eggley and Herman, both of who partnered 4 years at a Duomo Osteria and now about 1 year and 3 months have bought the Craft Beer "Garden Osteria". It reminds me of the Beer Gardens in my hometown of Langley Virginia growing up with the laptop usable student tables inside and outside and the casual yet serious beer-drinking atmosphere.  
Eggley, "We have our own brewery now, it is little, yet we are in the production of 2 more beers within a month or so. Now we have the Ruby Kiss and the Green Sativa on the beer kegs. The Green Sativa is made with a touch of hemp and you can taste the grassy texture in it. Here try it." And I try a little taste and love it. Both of the beers from the name BHC are lovely and I would drink both of these if I came to the brewhouse. As usual for Foreign beers they are a little stronger than American ones. "The strongest we have now on draft is 10% and yes all the crazy American Erasmus students come in here and immediately order the 10% since they feel like kids in candy stores!" Says Eggley and I finish the sentence for him! 

            "you know the funniest           thing about us is
      that it is about 70%     girls in here at night and 
    30% guys! 
        Every night a lot                 of people come and 
                                         it is always girls!" Risultati immagini per beer house club

intimately, as one Pub owner told me in Dublin, "it's a Pub, Emme, it's just a Pub.
                  is a place where you can drink beer! 

                                                               IL TOCCO DI BACCO , firenze

                         (a French Provincial style from the Capo's French wife

                                    with real authentic Tuscany food...charming...)

                                 Image result for il tocco di bacco firenze
   °My husband cooks in the restaurant and I cook at home. He knows nothing about the kitchen at home!° laughs the very beautiful, Lea, who is 100% French. °We met about 7 years ago when I came to University in Florence. Was it love at first sight?° she glances at Arber, her Albanian husband who is 31, °No, ° they both agree. °The 2nd date is 2 weeks later at the same nightclub named SPACE. We leave together and it is love at second sight!° they say laughing. They are both refreshingly playful, funny and alive. °The people that come here are about 90% tourists and that is the reason that we do not change the menu. Why should we change the menu when every time the people it is their very first time in our restaurant. It is all new to them.° says the very honest Lea. The young couple are delightful, Lea is only 28 and has been here in Florence only 7 years, from France. Her husband is Albanian and has been here about 20 years and is only 31. "My mother and father from France and my brother are visiting for Easter and it is a huge help since we have 3 baby boys." "3! Already I say. "Yes one is 3 years old and two 6 month old twins. And everyday they come to work with they are." she says and in walks Mom and Dad with the twins. do you do that? "My facebook on the restaurant has pictures from 2 years ago. I really must take a couple of pictures and post these yet we are too busy!" she says laughing. 
                 Via Dei Leoni   6 red                                                      firenze
"The Americans love the Wild Boar," says Lea who introduces me to the, again, young kitchen staff and the waiter named Aldo who is gorgeous. "They are all either cousins of my husband or friends!" she giggles. 
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The restaurant is charming and has a open glass kitchen with a very French Provincial look to it. "That is odd since we bought the restaurant and it is the way still that we bought it. However, we hope the year of 2017 to redecorate it and yes I want to do a French elegant look to the restaurant. Of course it is a Italian restaurant and all real homemade Tuscany food, yet I am French and I know how to decorate!" Lea is laughing, trying to help her little boy eat chocolate Easter eggs, and smiling at the twins all at the same time as the interview. Do they ever go out for elegant romantic dinners? I ask. "!" they both laugh. "We are too busy doing the restaurant, the babies, and when we go home we only do family time with each other." I guess at the moment they had enough romantic nights.!Related image
                                  055 284863
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"Aldo is the waiter and he and I am always with the people. My husband helps his cousin in the kitchen and they are the big cooks. Me and Aldo have real fun with the guests who are almost always tourists and it keeps us busy talking to that many people of different languages. I speak Italian and French and English and my husband speaks Italian and English and Albanian." She says. When I ask if they always ask for the Wild Boar?

"The special is the Florentine Steak and honestly people come here since it is only 1 kilo for 35.00euros for two people. That is why they come and we of course have the pasta with wild boar. The Americans love that. No I do not have Trippe since we do not eat Trippe why should the people that come here try it." she says.     Um....YUM

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"Basically we have Just'o, which you say you have in ROME Italy, and you can make your own bags, MISSONI, and Franco Pugi. The most important item is that the people know that we have EXCLUSIVE SILK SCARFS THAT IS REAL ITALIAN SILK. VERY IMPORTANT TO SAY THAT." he says.
The funny thing about the family is that everyone of these people say, "it is slow at lunch and it is packed at dinner." Which I guess isn't too funny and then, "That is the way I like it, " says Rolando, Francesco's father, "I come here to lunch everyday and I come here to dinner everyday since he opened 25 years ago. It is nice at lunch it is like eating at home. Sometimes you have other guests come, but not too much. I think they think we are only open at dinner!" 
Francesco says, "Yes as you can see we have a couple of guests. At night we have two sittings at 7:30pm and 9:30pm and dinner is busy. It is 25 years of reputation and the famous people and the politicians come. Reservations is recommended and the food is excellent, the team is attentive yet friendly and we hope you have a nice time. At lunch it is usually the family joking, including the dog, yet sometimes people somehow find us for lunch and they join in." And about 15 minutes later, here comes the brother, Lorenzo and his wife, and Lorenzo says, "Yes I don't have a job so we come here every lunch and dinner to eat." His wife says, "He is joking he is joking, I mean yes he does come here everyday since his brother owns the famous restaurant and Francesco is very generous and we all eat here everyday, yet he does have a job!" the famous Ferragamo wife says! 

         "It is funny the name is meaning Chaos and the first year we opened it is nothing but chaos with my chef of 6 months breaking his arm and leaving me, untrained, to cook alone in the kitchen. The menu got real short since I could only cook a couple of things. My mother is a wonderful cook, but she isn't a "cook", and I found a Japanese chef that could cook great Italian and he has been with us 20 years now." says Francesco. I say that the name jinxed him! They should of named it Tranquility and they would of had smooth sailing from day one! 

                                         Immagine correlata
"Here sit with my family," says Francesco and when I sit with the family it is the entire family of brother is walking in with his wife, who used to be a buyer with Ferragamo in Florence, and the dog named Attila, and the young 19 year old son named Piere, and the father who is a famous Gucci Designer and owns, Madani,his designer store, and his beautiful aritstocratic mother, and the team and Francesco personally making the carbonara in the kitchen! I have a wonderful chance to chat with an original designer of Gucci and it is totally cool. He of course wants to know about "Trump" and says "I hope that he is joking. He is very smart and a true international businessman! Yet I hope that he is joking in his speeches." I say that I hope that too! And he says that Mr. Trump needs to go to finishing school on Political Protocol and I eat my carbonara.

     It is a 25 year old restaurant that has that real "old-school" feel to it. Lovely, homey and charming, and the family talks...a lot! 

While I eat the very fattening food, I ask the young wife of Francesco's brother, Lorenzo, if she has many Ferragamo shoes! She blushes shyly and admits, "An entire closet full!" and I ask if she has about 125 shoes or more and she nods yes! "Yet most are dressy and high heels and it is impossible to walk on Florence's cobblestones with high heels." she says. Wow I would love to see her closet!     immagini per trattoria pandemonio
   The funny and famous family of Trattoria Pandemonio in Florence gave me a family lovely lunch
             and the sponsorings of Florence Italy today. The owner is the son named Francesco along with
        his best friend, Stefano, and his family, including his father and mother, made Roman Carbonara...
            the first I ever tried. Lovely. And the Father is a handbag designer that used to work for Gucci,                                                                           headquartered in Florence,
          his grandmother used to stitch for the Gucci handbags and his grandfather was the original designer                                                                of Gucci. Talk about famous! Find the lovely people and if you want a
 real treat come for lunch where it is quiet and you can talk to the family: Via Del Leone 50/ Call 055 224002
                                                        Gosh ...elegant bar of florence

                                                       Via Santo Spirito 46Red  055  0469048

"The Bar is something that I did with all my heart and it is a personal project that we wanted to do...something really different and we found the ristorante cafe in here and we thought, alright it is on one of most important streets in florence and  I want to show my appreciation and respect for that importance and do something elegant here. Something that people can be proud of and in January we opened after 6 months, since we started in June. I did the work myself and since honestly I am very pampered at home in Lebanon, I am very proud that I did it all myself.  

     Honestly, again, I couldn't call my dad and say, "Can you come here and fix things?" You know, I had to figure it all out myself and I am very proud of all that I have done, from the colors to the physical transformation of the place.  I am 1/2 German and 1/2 Lebanon. I have lived in Florence 5 years. My father has worked for a Italian company the last 20 years and we came to Florence all the time. I love the Italian people and I love the Italian people and I would only go back to Lebanon to visit since now Italy is my home.

       I am 24 and my partner is 20. He is my brother, Matteo. I am very humble, trust me when I say that. The first day I didn't know how to make a cafe espresso yet I learned very quick." He says 1/2 joking and yet at the same time totally honest! Okay, we have to talk about the flamingos, which by the way are everywhere in the cafe. "In Lebanon it is sophisticated and elegant and the people spend millions of euros on the kitchens and the decor of the restaurants. I love the flamingos and I love that style. It is very personal to me. And the name Gosh came from one of me and my brother, Matteo's, favorite songs. That is why we named it Gosh. The lawyer kept calling for months and finally he said " okay today I don't care what name you are naming it yet you have to name it something." And I said okay as I am looking at my MP3 play list...let's name it GOSH!  And we named it Gosh and now everybody comes in here, especially the Americans and the Chinese and the Americans say, " O My Gosh!" and start laughing and making inside jokes with each other, and the Chinese say quietly," o my gosh!".

When I first entered the bar, I met Matteo!  The younger brother. "I am real shy and my brother is the social one. I was in college yet since working here, I don't have time to go to college and since I would probably of ended up working in a place like Gosh, it is better that now I am a partner in Gosh and didn't finish college." he says. He is real quiet and nice and meticously and silently makes your drinks. It is difficult to make conversation with him since he is so shy. When I say to Alexander later that his mom and dad must be very exceptional people to have raised such nice sons he says,"That is because you don't know Matteo very well. He isn't so quiet all the time, trust me. He has his moments." A the lovely world of siblings!
"We had a Creative Aperitivo Group come here and ask to do a privato party. We made food for 60 people and expected that many. 
That Saturday night about 250 people came since they promoted it on social media and the internet and they were standing outside and inside and at about midnight we ran out of all of our alcohol! People were yelling at me "WHERE'S THE FOOD!" And I kept saying that we thought only about 60 people would show up! Seriously. Yet 1/2 of the people didn't even pay since it is only me and my brother behind the bar and a girl helping and we just couldn't make it to everyone. And I was just learning how to make drinks. IT WAS INSANE! Trust me. Fun yes yet at the time JUST INSANE! Next time, I shall hire more people to help out with all the guests that come!"

   The gorgeous cobblestoned Via Santo Spirito... Image result for gosh the elegant bar in florence at via santo spirito 46

  "When I go to the table I am very honest with the guests. I say that I am still learning. Trust me you  can't fake my inexperience, yet at the same time in the last 2 months I have become quite a good bartender!" says Alexander. "I come from a family that sets very high standards and I expect to set the same high standards. I didn't drink alcohol til now. Okay now I must taste the drinks to make sure that I am making the drinks right!" he says laughing. " I happy? Let's say that I am never satisfied. I am always trying to make better, yet I believe that I have a high quality place where friends can come and chill and spend a couple of hours drinking and socializing and having a good time. They come here and drink one drink and go to dinner and come back. In one week we shall  have a entire new menu. Right now it is food from Beirut Lebanon, and France and Italy...let's say International. Yet now the last 4 days I have learned to cook since I just hired a new cook. I am learning new skills everyday!" he says laughing. "Mostly and honestly since I went back to Lebanon after 1 month and asked my friend who is one of the most sophisticated and experienced bartenders in the Beirut culture to teach me. And he had to teach me everything about bartending.  And I learned silly things such as how to shake a shaker! Seriously. I had to learn it all. I jumped right in. I had to. I didn't have a choice. And now I am successful. I am happy and proud of what I have created." says the charming Alexander! No automatic alt text available.

                   You must come to chill and check out the fun and natural ambience of GOSH! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          IL Gatto le Volpe "The Cat and the Fox" 
     "The Americans always come in and they try new things when I sneak in the intestines one time to see if they would love it or the Trippe or the Oxtail into the menu I always wait to see if they say yes.  They say, "O I love that food, what is it." They admit that they would be a little hesitant to try it if they knew what it was. Yet when they do they love it. The Asians try it all. Now I have more American friends than the Italians! When I travel I rarely stay in hotels always with friends. " says Michele the 33 year old capo of the Pinocchio named Il Gatto le Volpe.       Via Ghibellina 151\r           
                              Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor
"Florence and Italy is and should be known for the culture, the affection and sincerity of the people, and the food of course. In 2009, the Italian law is lifted to let anybody who wants to open a restaurant business to do that. Before it was limited to the population per establishment. Now you can do anything that you want to do! It is both a blessing and it is bad of the competition around. The tourists are scared that they try the food and it is bad. We have to educate the people that if they come to here they love the experience and the quality of the real fresh food. I want the people to come here and have a good time and tell everybody that they loved it. My serious vision is to satisfy the guests, and to make the homemade food the best. To allow the guests that they must understand what they have in front of the plate. They ask all the time to explain the food and that is a pleasure to me. I used to be the chef and I know all there is to know about the cooking of Tuscany. It is sad if the guests eat and they don't like the Florence culture because the food was awful. I truly believe that money is not a object to the people. If it is a wonderful experience and they love the food they don't care how much they have to spend." says Michele. "If buying a sandwich is a Florence experience it is a sad day for Florence. Eating a good home cooked Italian dinner is a real cultural experience." he says. 
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Alright when in Paris and around the world my first years I really wanted an American Breakfast...welcome to Florence, Italy where you too can eat to the heart's content the lovely Italian food of Il ristorante Pizzeria Il Gatto le Volpe all day and night and in the morning venture to the little Boboli Gardens to see the beauty, have a French Toast and a American Scrambled Eggs and Fresh Fruit before the gardens and spend the day as a aristocrat...only to trek back across the Ponte Vecchio Bridge to have another dinner at the "The Cat and the Fox" aka Il Gatto le Volpe for Pinocchio fans! Image may contain: people sitting, table, food and indoor
"Say hi to Mario 83 years old." says Michele who is the young 33 year old capo of Il Gatto le Volpe in Florence Italy. "He has been here the last 27 years and is like a family to me. I started waiting tables at the age of 11 years old since my mother became ill and grew up here. The first day that I waited tables all alone is the Easter Monday, typically the busiest day of the year in Italy and it was fun and funny to do it all myself since I am that young. Now I would go crazy!" he says laughing. Pictured is Mario and Carlos the culinary genius's of "The Cat and the Fox". Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, food and indoor                                           

They definitely wouldn't be voted the worst thing to wear in Walmart! Here the cute couple choosing only the freshest food around! Anybody that has that much fun
you know is in love! 
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Outside the Boboli Gardens celebrating music
the Italian way! With love and laughter and music! As Shakespeare says, "If music be the food of love play
                            Via Romana, 45/R
There is a lot of reason that I love the culture of 
Florence and to show you is a couple of these pictures. After all most people do the same things in different 
ways around the world! "When Carlos came to the 
restaurant after 2 years he says to me, "I know good
friends of mine that have a restaurant near Boboli
Gardens." And I say, "I have a big happy restaurant,
I don't want to buy another one! And he convinces
me to come and to see it. What a great story the
couple had to tell." says Michele. 

"The couple were in their 70s and in bad health. When me and Carlos entered the restaurant it was dark and the outside terraces were packed with storage and needed tender loving care. Which the couple gave yet they needed energy too! I entered the home with the mother and the father was in a chair. I told him that I only wanted to reopen his restaurant to carry on the tradition of his life. To continue his story. He agreed. It took my entire team 15 hours to clean the restaurant and we opened the next day! Of course we redecorated and cleared the gardens, which now have 3 terraces. It has 2 seats high up, 4 seats in middle and 8 seats on the low terrace. It is a very beautiful and romantic gardens now. The guests of the Boboli Gardens all come to eat at the restaurant before and after the visit to the Gardens and my wife is the care-taker of that restaurant. She is 1/2 Cuban and she is very warm and friendly. The guests love her." says Michele. I say that I love Cubans too! 
                                  Call 055 211131

                  Piazza del mercato centrale 17


"HERE HERE HERE," says the Boss as he tells us to follow him everywhere and starts making desserts. We are very happy to try the desserts, too. "And the pizza you must see how it only takes 1 and 1/2 minute to make the pizzas!" Yep that is how long it is! Quickly and ready to eat now! 
...and the beauty and simpicity of a real Italian restaurant.Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

    Which one is the Boss... the Mama and Papa from Calabria and the team from Naples make up the hilariously funny yet O MY GOSH that food is to die for! 

        Below is Mr. and Mrs. Nicola who speak only Italian! and they're totally gracious and kind and real Italian Grandmothers and Grandfathers in the sense they keep feeding and feeding and feeding you food that is Ravioli Cellini(Nicola's recipe) and Star Pizza filled with Salami surprises and lovely Naples dessert...Yum! may contain: dessert, food and indoor

A young Asian kid is making desserts and Nicola starts taking over. The young Asian starts giggling. "He likes to make these." he says. When I ask Marcus the funniest thing about working with Nicola now? "Um...he is funny. He is everywhere at once and we love him. He is very affectionate and he has great recipes that he is always talking to the kitchen about. The funniest, though, is when he goes tot he pizza oven. He loves to watch Raffeale make pizzas. He is very proud of him." says Marcus touching his head as if in thought and laughing. "There video the pizza man. Raffeale!" shouts Nicola as Raffeale walks to us. "Video him making the pizza!" says Nicola with the help of Marcus who just grins and follows him everywhere shrugging his shoulders with a big smile on his face. How long has he worked with Nicola? "About 6 months now." Image may contain: 3 people, people standing, outdoor and indoor
   "Mamma Napoli is 24 years old," says the big Boss from Naples, "and we have the best pizza in Italy since my chef, Raeffele won the 1st award in the center of Italy and the 2nd in the entire Italy in the contest of Pizza. Now we have the festival of Florence for 3 days and he is invited to enter. Of all the people we support the youngest chef. 24 years is young compared to people that have chefs doing the pizza for 50 years. That is something that makes us very proud." says Nicola. "If you come at lunch come early since it is full everyday," says Marcus who is running back and forth as happy as he can be with the entire team showing me the pizza oven, the kitchen, the desserts of which Nicola carefully and lovingly make in front of us, drawing little smiley and happy faces on the plates... FUNNY yet YUMMY! As I follow him around the gorgeous Machiavelli decorated restaurant I see that it is soon filled up outside and inside with business people, politicians and of course excited tourists to try the best pizza in Italy. NOW THAT IS COOL...THEY WON THE AWARD FOR BEST PIZZA IN ITALY! 
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    The Lovely Private and Exquisite Restaurant in Florence named Trattoria Armando is Amazing for its Discreet hidden location and it's 60 years of traditional family recipes. However, wait before you say O another Florentine restaurant, it has the most special adornment of famous photos of musicians, opera stars and ballet performers that you will ever find except in the original Teatro Houses which of course no longer exist. Located at: Borgognissanti 140, 0039.055.217263
  Above in the video is the surprisingly young and funny team with the Matriarch Cook Giovanna Pieralli, one of the only very rare Women Cooks that head the kitchens of Italy, her daughter, Alessandra Pieralli, and again one of the rare Women Capos of the restaurants of Italy, and Pietro who is the nephew, Alona the young girl in the kitchen, Mika who takes care of the guests, Michael who is a young cook, Takumi who is from Japan and you see in his chef's hat, and Willem the Holland intern who is here from the cooking school of Florence's intern program. "I have had interns the last 10 years and I have these young talented people here about 1 month to 6 months. I take care of the housing for each. My mother loves to teach these young people since they have tons of energy and they absolutely love her." When I ask how her mother deals with the long hours of the kitchen, "Everyday my mother says, can I please come to work! and I say mama you can come at lunch or dinner because it is a long day. Yet she loves to come here all the time. It is amazing and it truly is a unique situation that we have in terms of women culinary owners and chefs." Since the Teatro House has moved 1 kilometer away, "We have less of the opera stars and the ballet house is gone. It is usual for the people to visit one day to do dinner, yet in the old times they came for one month to prepare for the opera and concerts and ballet. It would be nice to see the young stars of today come to visit to meet in the photos, the mentors of their youth." says Alessandra. You seriously have to see these took me 15 minutes to calm down. 

                               It is as if I expect Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti to walk in the door! 

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   "When I am 8 years old I took the picture of my hero Georges Pretre, the famous French Conductor and I went to his concerts since the Teatro House of Florence at that time is only 200 meters from the restaurant." says Alessandra.Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor
"I think the walls show the story of the Restaurant. It is 3 family generations and it is today to work in a family traditional restaurant one must know the history. We usually do a lot of work and to know that it is his. That in many ways it is a lot of sacrifice in a certain way. I was the Economic history at university. When my father got ill, I was 35 years old. He was going to give up the restaurant and I said let me come in and keep the tradition."  The atmosphere at the restaurant is gracious and traditional. A must treat of Florence.          Il passato e il presente - Trattoria Armando
Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoorOn the walls we have such stars as Russian Ballet Dancer Rudolf Nureyev... to which Alessandra says, "Yes he came here to eat many times yet when the restaurant is closed he came to eat at my house." And that is only one of 100's of photos that adorn the famous restaurant's is a look back in time and as of today the only actor is "Dustin Hoffman who came with his parents!" says Alessandra's mother, Giovanna Pieralli, the famous matriarch cook who brought her culinary talents to join the family when she at the age of 17 met Alessandra's father. "My grandfather, Armando, started the restaurant only in the front with meats and cheeses and wine. They only had a couple of tables..,and he bought the rest of the trattoria later and they made the restaurant." 
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                                       - Trattoria Armando                             the elegance of the hidden restaurant is a safe                    landing place for the international stars of Teatro...

"My father didn't help me because he didn't want me to do the job but my mother always in the kitchen had mixed feelings. To keep the restaurant yet how could a young woman do the job? Usually with the Italian restaurant it is a couple and my husband has another job and it is only me. I didn't think about it. It was a passion for me. It is the field of my life and I try hard and I have success at the end. I have grown up here." she says. 

       Although Alessandra's mother, Giovanna, speaks only Italian, as does the entire kitchen team, she and I had a funny non-verbal and verbal conversation. She said that when the famous ballet dancer came to the restaurant that he wanted to marry her. And I believe least that is what I think she said! She is such a beautiful lady inside and outside as is her daughter. It is a elegant restaurant where you have a hidden sanctuary to enjoy a relaxed and private lunch and a intimate romantic dinner, unseen from passerbys. Or if you like to people-watch there is still two tables in the front reminiscent of the early days where you can do just that! 

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                                         Okay Students and Tourists Guess  what I found?

              That is right APERITIVOS at 6:00pm to 9:00pm only 7EUROS!

                                                                                             Via dei Servi, 97/r - Firenze Italia                                                                                                                                                                                        
                                                  The Ok Bar at Florence used to be a tiny bar and Osteria about 14 years ago, and the family grew, Alberto is the son and he joined the team when he is 12 he says, and they opened up next door to  include a BEAUTIFUL ADDITION and bigger restaurant. The mother is long blonde hair and all glamourous and young and I tell her she should be out in the front greeting the guests not hidden in the kitchen!  Beauty shouldn't be hidden in the is out front as Liza Minnelli says, What good is sitting alone in your room? Come here the music is a Cabaret Old Chum only a Cabaret old Chum come to the Cabaret...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               No automatic alt text available.
Alberto says, "Follow me and I can show you the Osteria. It is quite cool. Come on follow me." he says and I follow him around the family hilariously fun Osteria. "Here is the wine cellar and it is the 14th Century. It is too dangerous for us to have people eating in the wine cellar because the stairs are dangerous, yet maybe in the future. We lease the building and when we first got it we had to dig and dig to uncover what is underneath. Full of dirt and now it is a beautiful brick and tiled wine cellar." It has that other worldly beauty of old time architecture which is surprising in the new home since, "Two young architects that I know from Florence helped us build the new addition. I am 26, the architects, Christiano is 26, and Jacobo is 26." It is a interview that mixes the real feeling of the family with tourists from Britain coming in and Italian Florentine residents coming in saying "Ciao Alberto" and him leaving me to walk outside and talk to the guests under the umbrellas and back to the interview and back behind the bar and asking his mom to talk to me and asking a guest to talk to me...everywhere. Lively conversation of a real day in a traditional Osteria of Florence! The mom, Cristina shows me pictures of the June 24, 2016 games that traditionally recreate the San Giovanni games of the 4 colors of teams competing. It's a little too brutal for me, but the Florentines say it is all in good fun of a time that the teams protected Florence form outside invaders! 
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The Beautiful Cristina Trambusti who, along with her husband Paolo, and her son Alberto own the OK Bar of Florence...she is the beautiful cook and trust me they have a great time in the 14th century Palace turned Bar and Osteria Kitchen. "Yes we're always laughing in here and we hire the interns from the Culinary School of Florence. They're great fun and they're great cooks!" she says and one of the interns is all smiles and laughing, "Yes she is very funny. My master Teacher at the cooking school is Allessandro. Here it is always fun to work when Cristina is working!" he says. 
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Alberto says that the people that built the Duomo used to sleep in the 14th Century Wine Cellar, the history of the Duomo's contractors were asleep under your feet that  you can imagine! Now everytime you drink a glass of wine you can imagine them! 

     Cristina tells me that the 4 colors of the teams that play on June 24, which is a totally lovely day, are green, San Giovanni Piazza, blue, Sante Croce, white is Santo Spirito and Red is Santa Maria Novella! 

      Me personally I shall do a little bit of the tamer things such as eating the food and maybe watching the people row the little boats in the yachting club in the river, eat some aperitivos and drink some wine. 

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                                                                                         The Empire of Massimo! 

"Yes I own Baldovino since 1996 and il Francescano trattoria since 2015; however, Francescano is a famous historical restaurant that is steeped in culture and has been around since 1956...the famous stars such as Roberto Begnini and Giorgio Armani came here and many stars on the wall," says Massimo the young cool one who owns both.

The restaurant seems very elegant to me I say to Massimo. "Yes it is formal and elegant and yet we try to make people appreciate the friendliness too. It is about having a good night. A lovely dinner. It is the experience that we remember. And of course we have the highest quality of fish that we can possibly find." he says.
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"The very first one in Florence that is named as a Bistro is mine. We open all day long. At lunch it is a fast lunch, and at night it is a formal restaurant that is famous for fish. Yes a fish restaurant is expensive yet it is because we must buy the fish and that is expensive." says Massimo. You will instantly want to sit and talk to him. Knowledgeable about many things of the romantic life of eating at one of his famous restaurants. "Yes Romantic. It is important dinner. We renew two kinds of menu here typical of Florence that we serve the lunch and a more formal night of the freshest fish possible. We receive that everyday from the Mercato and we are proud to give a new type of service to the food." he says. The Trattoria Baldovino is located near Sante Croce at 22 Via San Giuseppe, and for reservations which is a must during high season call 055.241.773.staff-filosofia-baldovino


"You must tell people to come and try the Antipasto Baldomare which is a mixture of the freshest seafood of cold and hot on the plate." he says. "We have octopus on the fire. Which is Octopus on the Grill which makes it a little bit crispy. We have a new way to serve the seafood and we are happy to serve it Salmon Tartar, Tuna Tartar, Steak Tartar and that is the specialty that only we can do. I must emphasize that mine is a high quality fish and meat restaurant at night. Baldovino is becoming famous for that." says Massimo. 

              Um Yum Yum Yum my favorite! 

Have you ever entered a restaurant and instantly adjusted the bow tie and stood up straight? It is a formal authentic Italian restaurant in Florence that gives attentive special service in a formal atmosphere yet the people are happy and talking and normal. "The quality of service is the best and it is a formal nice dining restaurant yet at the same time we have to live good and be happy." says Massimo

You can immediately see the difference between the two restaurants of Baldovino and il Francescano, yet they're both filled with love. "The Francescano is a old restaurant that people around the world knew. When the owner wanted to retire two years ago, we thought that such a important restaurant we can not let go. We must preserve the institution and we bought it." says Massimo. "Francescano has only typical real traditional Florentine food such as the famous steak florentine from cows that you can only find here in the Tuscany region. Like Houston Black Angus only in Houston Texas. Florentine Steak only in Florence. In 1956 the il francescano started as a little Trattoria of two small rooms for the workers of Florence to come and have wine and lunch. And it grew to be bigger and famous."