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.
"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.
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!
enoteca is located at:Piazza Nazario Sauro, 5/r .
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!
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
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.
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." https://www.facebook.com/TrattoriaNapoleoneFirenze/?ref=page_internal
"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. http://www.trattorianapoleone.it/
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!
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
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.
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!
Mario laughs, "We hope to do Michelin in the future yes!" he says.
"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.
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 bags...you 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
"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!
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!
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
Via dei Bardi 20
328 96 74 550
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
"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.I 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.
via Folco Portinari 7 red.
The plates of pasta are HUGE and they look scrumptious! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Osteria-Zio-Gigi/1131906573617423
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!
"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?"
Via dei Michelozzi 9red www.trattorialacasalinga.it
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! http://www.cucinaintorre.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.
Still trying to find him? Call: 0039333 3695 002
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, http://www.poggiolanoce.com/en/philosophy. 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
Viale Spartaco Lavagnini 7/R 003 9055 384 1786
right next door to Hostel Florence Plus 57 meters!
"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!
Head chef Matteo, formerly of Le Cirque head chef New York
"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 CUCINAVIA DEI NERI 12 R
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!
"My little daughter is named Aurora!" says Zeno, and of course he has a beer for her too!
"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.
SABOR CUBANO...REAL LIVE DANCING CUBAN STYLE...
THE COOLEST VINTAGE BAR OUTSIDE MERCATO
italy with us tours. https://italywithus.com/florence-tours
Okay for these of us who know our child is venus...check
out the birth of Venus, Botticelli, Uffizi Gallery Florence
"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.
"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!).Such 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!
I think based on the mystery of "God" of Micheangelo's pieces I would of married him! Wow!
"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 18red
"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
Here the lampredotto of Tuscanino
Via de Federighi 37 red.
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."
reservations suggested or come early... at 055 22 60010
Via dei Leoni, 8-red, 50122 Firenze • Tel: 055 239 8013
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.
Via Porto Rossa 12 R and Via S. Antonino 60 R 0039 055 212 833 http://www.fratellinisnc.com/
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!
the family restaurant, at Via Castellani 4r, 003 9 055 2188 22
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
Anybody else love truffles?
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.
055 287 062
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!
Trattoria Sant' Agostino is located at via Sant' Agostino 23R, Florence, Italy 50125 Tel 055 281 995
Piazza San Pier Maggiore 3 red. 0039. 371 3 96 6388
Ristorante Il Paiolo
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.
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 personally love the Frescobaldi wines and family.
"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/ 8r
+39 055 210916
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.
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."
| for reservations please 055 212427|
Above a young protege attends to the
learning the art of Cammillo Tradition!
"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.
Luigi's passion is "playing the piano..." says the affable owner of Vecchio Mercato...you guessed it right across from the famous Central Mercato in Florence. "Here let me play for you..." and he plays "happy birthday." I start giggling. "Wait, I can play two songs..." and he plays a second beautiful ballad. Why only these two songs? "Because I love the piano and I love these songs and I wanted a piano in here and I wanted to say that I can play two songs." Alright... however the 6 nights during the week that you can hear jazz music on the soft speakers you can come on Monday night and a real live pianist plays music for you while you dine. Located at Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 12/13 it has a beautiful intimate dining area inside and the lively mercato and merchant carts outside. 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...
for reservations call 055 211978
Here is the elegance of the entrance to the Mercato restaurant. Is it expensive? "It is normal say between 15E to up to 300Euros if you include a expensive bottle of wine." He says. The atmosphere is romantic and intimate and I ask if he has any other interests besides the restaurant and the piano! "Yes I love to ski and see the cinema and I have two daughters...one 6 and one 16. The 16 doesn't listen to me at all...o she pretends to and I talk on and on and then she says NO! at the end of the conversation!" he laughingly says. And the 6 year old? He smiles. "That one loves me. Daddy Daddy Daddy. All the time." "Maybe in the summer my 16 will say I want to work with the restaurant and I will be happy!" he says. A new Generation.
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!
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.
my favorite pint of Guinness and buffet for only 4.50 euros !
Borgo degli Albizi, 17/r - 50122 Firenze -
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
Piazza della Signoria 2/R 055 215372
Borgo De Greci 39 red, 003 905 527 4 1590
(a French Provincial style from the Capo's French wife
with real authentic Tuscany food...charming...)
"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
"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!
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!
Via Santo Spirito 46Red 055 0469048
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!".
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...
"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. "Hmm...am 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!
You must come to chill and check out the fun and natural ambience of GOSH!
"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. https://www.facebook.com/ilovegatto/ Via Ghibellina 151\r
It is as if I expect Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti to walk in the door!
http://www.trattoria-armando.com/trattoria.htm the elegance of the hidden restaurant is a safe landing place for the international stars of Teatro...
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 her...at 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!
That is right APERITIVOS at 6:00pm to 9:00pm only 7EUROS!
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.
"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.
"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