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                                            Vini E Vecchi Sapori, via dei Magazzini, 3R
     "Yes, come here, it is a picture of my Grandfather and Grandmother when they opened over 60 years in Santo Spirito and 35 years now here at the location just about 50 meters from Piazza della Signoria, yes the famous one with the statue of David. We are a BIG family, 7 of us, brothers, mother and father and cousins that work in the tiny Osteria everyday," is the start of the conversation that I had with Tommaso, as he shows me the family pictures in the cozy alley Osteria.
 "My brother, GianLuca is the cook along with my Mama, Rosanna. My father loves to wander in the stores around the Osteria and talking to his friends and wanders in and out to talk to all the old-timers. And my brother, Enrico is with the guests, along with my cousins Massimo and Pasquale. And of course Gloria is with the kitchen help. We have fun, yes, yet sometimes with always talk about the Restaurant both here and at home."
    "Yes we need breaks," says cousin Pasquale and Enrico chimes in fast, "Yes, we need breaks a lot. We're always with each other." 
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"We're a simple family, and we've been here many years. I write the menu in Italian and English EVERYDAY: it is special everyday," says Tommaso.   "My father usually picks the wine and every so often he chooses something different that a local winery, perhaps comes in to share. We all try it. I invite you to come to dinner!" he says.   0039 055 2 93045
The restaurant is cozy and you most probably will have a conversation with someone sitting next to you, in addition to the people you come with! If you are solo, you shall meet new friends. I got kisses from the entire family!
"We have traditional dishes from at least 35 years, yet we have dishes from Florence that perhaps people don't really know that they are typical such as Fried Chicken and Fried Rabbit and of course the Wild Boar with Duck Sauce," says Tommaso. "It's a old-fashioned Osteria where friends and family can come to enjoy our crazy family, full of laughter and chaos everyday. We have great food and a very lively atmosphere. You can tell us your secrets and we can share our life with you." Image may contain: food
Pasquale says,"We find the wild boar from the hunters and the wild rabbit and the guinea fowl, and I am a hunter of women." I ask him if wild women are on the menu? He laughs, "Only rabbit, fowl and of course the wild boar that the Americans love!"
    Tommaso,"Ok, just to let you know that Pasquale is kidding. We buy the wild boar and the wild game from the farmers that are certified to accept these from the hunters. I love eat the food, however, I am a bad cook. At home, mama cooks for me and here mama and Gianluca cook." Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, drink, table and indoor
Some people say that to eat here is the favorite restaurant since it is filled with love.
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                   A must to come and try a cozy Osteria dinner with the Mazzanti family of Florence! 
                                   Ristorante il Granaio on Via dei Tavolini 14      
 "Il Granaio is a family restaurant of me, my wife Silvia, my sister and my brother. It is a restaurant built on love and family. With Passion," says the very honest , sincere and kind Capo, Armand. "I want it to be a beautiful restaurant where people can come and feel comfortable and try the Tuscan specialties with the little touch of the creative side of my chefs."
     His wife Silvia laughs, "And beautiful people can come here at night. We have these big lights, yet at night we turn the lights off and we place candles on all of the tables. It is very intimate and romantic here at night. Everybody is beautiful." 
                                                              RESERVATIONS:  0039 055 2 91027
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  Silvia, Armand's wife, is very beautiful and friendly, "We have a restaurant that we have put our heart and soul into," she says and is echoed by his equally beautiful sister who says, "It is a family and we are very close. It is my first time to actually eat in the restaurant, though, and it is delicious and I love it."    "It  is a restaurant as Silvia says, of heart and soul."   
     Armand's sister is a lawyer, by the way, who lives in Albania and says, "Yes I am a very good lawyer,  yet I love artists and anything to do with artists. I have always loved that. I would love to be here to help my brother, yet I live in Albania and now I see how happy and successful my brother and his wife are with our restaurant and me and my fiance are going to open a coffee cafe in Albania!"
     And while the family is young and friendly and of most importance very happy to please the guests, the food speaks for itself with its gorgeous presentation and playful fusion of Italian products. I can't wait to eat it!

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"The wine is Italian, of course ,and little by little I am buying more wine. That is something that I want to do especially here. More wine for my restaurant,"laughs Armand. Yes since I love wine!
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  I loved the very rare specialty items on the menu that I had never heard of such as the Octopus ragu, or the Chianti Sushi. "Yes it is a first time for me to see such items, too and we work with my very good friends who are the chefs. They combine products in a different way, a Tuscan fusion and we are trying to add more fish to the menu, too. The restaurant is very elegant and romantic at night and I want the menu to fit that." says Armand. 
     "Tartare, I believe, is very difficult to do the right way, yet my chef is very good at it. We have Salman Tartar with Avocados, for instance, which is different than most tartar. He is a very creative chef and as my friend fun to work with. Now we are in the process of  changing the menu to a winter one since Tuscany and especially Florence is famous for the Ribollita soup, for instance, and the Florentine Steak. The tourists appreciate it, in all varieties, and the Americans and Asians seem to love the Florentine traditional food.
I want my menu to reflect the seasonal fresh products and shall change my menu every three months."  Image may contain: food
   And of course the question everybody is curious about, is it difficult to open and be successful with a new restaurant in Florence? Both Silvia and Armand look at each other and laugh, "Yes!" they say and Silvia points to imaginary circles under her beautiful eyes. "Look! We are exhausted. At the first couple of months we were so dedicated to the love of showing the restaurant in its best light that we stayed here 16 hours everyday. At night we rarely slept.We care about the guests too much!"  
                                                                 (Here a couple of guests that are happy they do!)                                                                                  Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, table and indoor 
      "Now we stay about 12 hours a day, and we hope to have Armand's brother come to us from Albania soon to help out. Although it is a family restaurant and everybody is a equal partner, we are the physical presence here everyday."  Armand's sister is emphatic about that, too, "They are the passion that you feel and see when you walk in the door. They love the restaurant and they represent it's image everyday. Yes, it is my first day to actually eat here, yet I know my brother. We are family. I know how hard he works everyday. Yet see how much care has been put into the restaurant? That is because they both work very long days to make it the way that they want it to be, the way my family is. Very friendly and caring." 
                            La Menagere restaurant is too beautiful for words...
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           ...chatting with Laura who is the lovely director the last 3 years and the Capo at the "sharing table" at La Menagere, I felt too much as if repeating myself again and again. I couldn't find the words to exclaim how sincerely and seriously beautiful and awe-inspiring the restaurant is. "That is truly because of the architects," says the shy Capo. "They designed the entire place to fit into the style of the very important noble family of, Ginori that aligns the street of the same name. The architects are from Florence, of course,,"  They designed here and the new project that the owners are involved in which is the Student Hotel of Florence. Angelo is the head Director of both and these days can be found at the gorgeous Student Hotel overseeing the Restaurants and Workspace that they have inside the Hotel. 
   Here Laura and Angel gather near the piano. "Though we do have pianists that entertain for the guests everyday, the piano is open for the guests to play. If you can play the piano, we would love to hear you. The restaurant is open all day from early to11:00every night. The guests can stay in the bistro which is just on the other side of the wall from breakfast to late night or they can choose to dine at the long sharing table, the intimate yet fun section where they can watch the chefs as they prepare the food or the fun playful section near the flower shop." 

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  When you hit the pages of Vogue you should know that you have made it in the world!

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"The food here is a mix of let's say International fusion with Italian recipes and Italian products. The chef is a Michelin one star and we are very lucky to have him as our head chef. Although we don't strive to be Michelin, we are too quirky and too varied, I believe and the utmost comfort and stimulation of the intellect for our guests is more importance for us, the fact that he can make Michelin quality and does is important for us," says Laura. 

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  The only problem with La Managere is the fact that it is too cozy and too comfortable and even the big chefs giving the master whiskey classes are somewhat of hilarious jokers! They have too much fun here and they don't take themselves seriously, at all! They do give the guests the best that the fusion world of international food and Italian food combined can do, the greatest cocktails, the loveliest service and the flowers...o my gosh if you come to lunch you shall never miss a anniversary!       
     Why is that, you ask! The owners of the flower shop, in the middle of the restaurant La Menagere, are Ilario and Hamleto, who have been in the flower business the last 12 years.   "We used to have a concept store on Santa Croce Square in a clothing store, yet the architects approached us when they were designing La Menagere and asked us if we wanted to have the flower store inside the restaurant. We of course said yes and everyday from 10:00am to 22:00pm we are here! We have too many guests that want to buy flowers and glass vases and baskets for the flowers and we are always on. People take our pictures constantly. The flowers have such a beautiful aura to the place and the light smell of the fresh flowers everywhere in the restaurant combined with the earthy, woodsy feel of the place give it such success," says Ilaria. I ask Hamleto if he gives a Shakespeare quote with every purchase and he just smiles shyly!  The flower stores name is Artemisia and the facebook link is: yet they can be found everyday in the middle!Image may contain: flower and plant
                 Now to talk about the new project which the Capos and Laura have said is a totally separate entity, yet one in which the same architects built and since it is to gorgeous and has the restaurants of the team inside it here it is:
     The view of the Student Hotel 6th floor pool and bar is the most beautiful in all of Florence...
    Enter in to find the bar, bakery shop, restaurant and the late night cocktail bar and DJ here...
                  Viale Spartaco Lavagnini, 70,
mingle at the hotel for guests around the world and semester students in concept stores, clothing stores, biking stores and 4 restaurants and bars open to the public til 2:00am! Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting and indoor
                                                         Simbiosi Logo
                                                    Florence Italy 
Via de' Ginori 58r
055 06 40 115
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                 My friend Krista loves Simbiosi!
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  "The team of a restaurant is very essential to its success," says Francesco who has been with Simbiosi the last year. "We are all very fun and we laugh a lot with the guests. The open square kitchen in the middle of Simbiosi is one of the reasons that everybody loves coming here. It is very accessible and very important for our chef above others to be a nice guy. You know people are always approaching the chef to say hi and to see how the chef does the food. If it was a chef ramsey I am not too sure he would talk to the guests in a nice way!" says Francesco. 
     "And the food and wine, being organic and or biological is geared to a certain type of guest. They ask to know about the food and the team must be very knowledgeable about it."
The team of Donato and Sophia are VERY PLAYFUL, VERY AS you can see from the decor, which is stunningly beautiful, decadent, erotic, and well, playful! The food at the Pizza Simbiosi has always "been organic from day one. That is something that is very important to Donato and Sophia and is a personal choice. Organic and biologically produced products are very healthy for you as they contain no added chemicals or preservatives and for people with allergies that is important, too." says the fun loving Francesco who Sophia asked me to do the interview with today. Image may contain: dessert and food
  "You can see from the decor of the restaurants and the presentations of the food, along with the laughter and joking of the team that Donato and Sophia aren't your normal Capos."  True, they're playful and creative and actually from my point of view a little bit of genius thrown in there! 
                               ...and the newest addition to open in 5 days is the adjoining wine
             bar that of course has meat and cheese plates and organic wine. Of course! 
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    "Simbiosi design is 100% Donato," gushes Francesco who is probably the most enthusiastic person, besides me, that I have met! "He has the creative genius to see a room and turn it into a work of art. It is Decadent, Exotic, Erotic, Playful, Gorgeous and Comfortable at the same time." I say yes it is a little bit EYE



                       "Okay and as the Wild Boar from the Hunter's that Donato uses must go through a certification, as all of the food that we use as certified organic, the total opposite is true for Manzo. That restaurant Donato wanted to be totally specialized in meat. We don't use only organic there as he didn't want to compete with Simbiosi and that is only beef at Manzo," explains Francesco.      Beef Beef Beef! 
L'immagine può contenere: 2 persone, persone che sorridono, cibo e spazio al chiuso
      The Manzo team is blushing, I think! 
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       located at Via Ginori 24...I love Manzo!
  BALDOVINO RESTAURANT in FLORENCE, ITALY, one of the restaurants of the
                                                    EMPIRE of MASSIMO                           
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              "WE are known for the Fish and the Meat, honestly. Both of the highest 
quality, yet I believe the reason that people come to Baldovino is to taste the way that we prepare both. The fish is prepared in different old-traditional styles of each region of Italy, and I know you said the family that ate the fish baked in salt and covered with foil, as the waiter serves the fish to each person is impressive to you. That is a old Sicilian tradition and I guess the guests come to experience that tradition , yet the fish is pretty good too!" says Massimo. 
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 "The combination of the fresh and raw fish is seen here and is a famous platter of Baldovinos." 
 RESERVATIONS:  003 905 5 241 7 73
The day that we took the photos I laughed with the waitresses who showed me that the little alcove here with it's elegance and privacy is the favorite of the guests. I would imagine it to seem that way since it is cozy and fun to sit here. The little room that it is hidden in is very elegant, too, and it is my jewel that I found on the 3rd visit to Baldovino. 
    "Yes," says the sweet Capo, Massimo, "many of my guests say that they didn't know it is here and now they must eat in that room!" 
     The entire restaurant is decorated only with the eye and talent of Massimo and his wife, who blend colors and style with aplomb. Love that restaurant. 
Believe it or not, the pizza I believe is the best in Florence, and it is such a fancy place you would imagine Massimo's other restaurant, Francescano, would have the pizza. Yet it is here in the elegant 1920s atmosphere of the very chic Baldovino where you can find it.              Via S. Giuseppe, 22R                                  Resultado de imagen de baldovino bistrot
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               The second restaurant of Baldovino's is Francescano, which is a very old and respected restaurant on the square of Santa Croce, where all the celebrities come for it's cozy and untouched home feel and its great personal service.
   "When I bought Francescano from the original owners, I wanted to keep the elegance and the respect of that restaurant and not let somebody turn it into something its not. No, I loved Francescano, myself and I only added higher ingredients and better quality of the recipes that we use. Some of the recipes at Francescano and Baldovino are mine, of course. Some the old school traditional ones of Florence. On the walls you see many famous people and your favorite one was Armani, right!" laughs Massimo when I say, "O MY GOSH ARMANI!"
"Francescano is traditional, and my chefs have the experience of many years of Italian cooking and their grandmother's recipes, should we say that?" laughs Massimo, who is very proud of having saved the legendary restaurant and kept its original owner's vision. "I haven't even changed the decorations in the 5 years that I have owned it. I keep it all the same, yet I would love to add some famous stars on the wall from my reign if course!" he says. Let's see! "The Francescano has every Florentine recipe and the old-school version. It has a home feel that when you enter you are in my home and the waiters treat you as such. There is always friendly and easy laughter at Francescano and perhaps that is why the people that are famous in the eyes of society come here.   O yes we are very famous for truffles which you say that you love. They are lovely to work with as a chef, too, since you can do many things with my favorite."        003 9 05 5 241605Resultado de imagen de francescano florence
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   "To be treated as if they are in their own homes. And of course the Florentine steak which is the best I can buy." Resultado de imagen de francescano florence
                 Good, Old-Fashioned and my favorite wine Chianti, with Francescano's own label!     
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     Everybody in the world knows that I LOVE THE CABIRIA on Santo Spirito since
    the last 8 years I have eaten aperitivo buffet here about 5 of the 10 days that I am at Florence.
                 Mostly since being on a student type of journey, I love the 8.00euros spritz and tons of food. And while there is less expensive buffet, the CABIRIA team is funny and kind always. 
 Cafe Cabiria Lounge Bar and Ristorante Ricchi are on Santo Spirito Square.Risultati immagini per ristorante ricchi firenze
    The very friendly and woodsy feel of Cafe Cabiria is one of the reasons I love coming here for aperitivo since you can sit with everybody at tables and meet new friends. It seems that the person in the picture is getting ready for the aperitivos which starts at 19:00pm to 21:00pm, that is 7:00pm to 9:00pm for us Americans! 
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"The Restaurant Ricchi is since 60 years and the people love it both in summer and winter since outside we have the covered terrace and inside the romantic setting of the restaurant. We have a gelato full service bakery bar, the pizzeria which is very cosy as you can watch the pizza being made in front of you and the famous florentine steak and pasta there," says Ishmael who is such a nice person and after finally 3 years of trying to meet him I do! 
    "We're very lucky to have the very big outside tented terrace of Ristorante Ricchi and the tiny one with the Cabiria since the people love to sit outside on the beautiful Square of Santo Spirito, yet I believe that they come because we have great food and my team is always friendly."
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"Yes everybody loves the buffet, especially the Americans and the English," says Ishmael when I keep gushing about the food and the huge drinks that they give you. "That one is about 30 years now that it has been serving the aperitivos and Santo Spirito has been given the reputation, I believe partly from my Cabiria buffet that they have great aperitivos. WE do and although the Italians do come here to do aperitivo, it is the tourists that come and make a dinner and a night out with it. The lunch time you can order food from the menu, yet at night it is only buffet and aperitivo." Risultati immagini per cabiria restaurant santo spirito
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The Restaurant Ricchi is very romantic and glamourous inside although the waiters and the team are all super sweet and funny, the food is great and you can people watch on Santo Spirito! 
                    NATALINO RESTAURANT THE GORGEOUS CHIC AND                                              FRIENDLY FAMILY RESTAURANT
                                              OF FLORENCE                                                                                          located at Borgo degli albizi. 50122 Florence.          

                      Related image                                The famous painting of the original Natalino from the 1960s sitting in the far right side with the bottle                                               of wine at his arm. Today we have the 1993 family of the grandmother,                                                 1st generation, Alessandra and the 2nd her daughter, my friend Laura and her nephew, who is the 3rd generation with the funny Alessandro:  Gabriele and Roberto'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 and his wife 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. 
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"The restaurant is part of a ancient and important church that is on the entire square yet burned to the ground. The remaining church is the Natalino's restaurant. On the back wall is the famous painting of the original Natalino pictured on the far right side from the 1960s and the painter's father on the left side. It is a important painting and to be honest we can't touch the walls since it is historical." 
    I tell Laura upon seeing her gorgeous mother with her chic hairstyle that the one thing I notice different about the restaurant is the new fashions the family members seem to have and she starts laughing. "Yes we are a family friendly traditional restaurant that wants to be in the modern age!" And when I say I want to look like her? 
My very good friend of many years is Lara, who looks like Jennifer Lopez, you know that gorgeous singer! "I started a running program and am continueing it!" she laughs enthusiastically as we talk about life, florence and the food we love to eat at Natalinos. "The most of importance is the people that welcome you to have a fun lunch and dinner at a restaurant. If the food is good, yet the people are unfriendly I don't like it much. If the people are very friendly I love it." 
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           Would you love reservations with the family to have a romantic and fun night in the city of mystery, Florence, Italy?    0039 05 52894 04
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  Eduardo starts laughing when I ask about his bar, "It is basically breakfast and lunch and dinner with aperitivos. I do love music, yet the records everywhere that you see decorating the bar is really just with the help of a architect friend of mine and me. If one of my friends comes into the bar, trust me, they would not say that the bar represents me. I thought it cool. A Lot of people say that it is a chic and modern young bar and at night we turn the music up a little louder. Let us say that at 20.00pm you can come in and til 1.00am you can find great music and great aperitivos from my award winning chefs. We have pasta and tons of food and it is all you can eat, yet people say they have a lovely time at the bar drinking our cocktails and chatting. It is a social place, right on Sante Croce square and the tourists come and find us."                    I tell Eduardo that to me as a American it is what we call a YUPPY BAR! YOUNG URBAN PROFESSIONALS, you know the lawyers, doctors, financial whizzes...etc.
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           located at Borgo dei Greci 1 right off of Sante Croce Square in Florence
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    Eduardo is the fun and lively son of the Peruzzi family. "All my brothers are the same. If someone that knows us were to be asked if we are different and if the Peruzzi leathers, Toricodo or Oibo matches each personality they would say no! They are all alike in terms of the brothers. Yet each place is different. I do not know why. I guess we all have our own versions of what it is to be passionate about our businesses, yet for me, I hire fun people and knowledgeable people and I trust that when I am home at night that the guests that come to my bar, OIBO  are going to have a great time. My chef you met now is hilarious and he wants people to enjoy his food. Yet I have 4 different chefs, one at breakfast, one for cakes, one at lunch and one for dinner aperitivos. It is a big deal for each of these." 
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    "The tourists wander into the bar and have a bite to eat and we let the guests know about the music, cocktails and aperitivos at night, every night. Sometimes they do come back for aperitivos and let us know that they enjoy the bar. That is cool. That is what we want. That is the reason that we do OIBO. For people to have fun in life."
                    Torcicoda of Florence, the ultimate luxury of dining in the city...
                                       via Torta 5r , reservations at 0039 0554 69 11 93  

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                                                    Via Torta 5r
                           Innovative Gourmet and Traditional Tuscan fare.  
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    With the famous collaboration of the last 5 years of Matteo Peruzzi, yes of that noble Peruzzi family, and Alessandro Fabbri, the famous chef, the award winning Toricoda of Florence is reborn. Mostly do to Matteo's elegant and gorgeous wife from the Czech Republic, Lenka, who is a master of elite image representation of her idea of what a prestigious restaurant should be. result for cucina torcicoda of florence
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  "Sometimes I am surprised when a person comments on the fact that each chair in Torcicoda is about 400.euros each. That is the detail and luxurious elegance that the architect put into each of the 150 seats in all of the rooms here.  Luigi Fragola is the architect and he has linked us around the world on his site, too. We are very proud to showcase the exquisite food and presentation from our chef in such a elegant setting and the guests simply gush about the decor." says Lenka.
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"We have many items that distinguish us from the other restaurants in Florence such as the fact that Torcicoda is one of about a handful of restaurants that charcoal grill the beef, such as we do. All of it. We have about 7 different highest quality beef from around the world everyday, such as the Chianina beef from Florence, the American Bison at 120.00 euros per kilo, the Japanese Wagyu beef at 90.00 euros per kilo, and the Irish and the Scottish Angus beef. All charcoal grilled. We have a chef who has 12 people that help him in the kitchen and he has the luxury of handmaking the pasta and cooking it right in front of you to order. We have a degustation menu along side of the Traditional Italian menu so that the guest who wants to pay 35.00 euros per person can sit at the same table in the restaurant with the guest that is alright with paying 120.00 euros per person from the degustation side of the menu. And the pizza section of Torcicoda is set in the same palazzo with the same 400.00 euro chairs, yet the pizza is a boutique specialty pizza that is just pizza. We have music on Fridays and Saturdays, live music, and that is greatly appreciated, too." says Lenka.Image result for cucina torcicoda of florence
                                                             Via Dell- Anguillara, 5r                                                         No automatic alt text available.
The family of Peruzzi is a old school family that dates back to the Medicis and before. The family owned every banking system practically in the entire Roman Empire and when war broke out the Kingdom of England asked Peruzzi for help. "They received a enormous amount of money from our banks and after they won the war they refused to pay us back. The Peruzzi family centuries ago went backrupt. However, we do pretty well here as a leather empire family," laughs Guilio, the youngest Peruzzi family son who is the only one who works at the leather company. The other, Eduardo owns Oibo and Matteo owns Torcidoda.    
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You can find the gorgeous leathers near Santa Croce, right on the square, between Oibo and Torcidoda. 
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                                                      Available at Peruzzi Leathers Image may contain: shoes
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"The two restaurants are of me and 3 socials," says Giuseppe, the chef pictured above with his team at La Spada Trattoria.                                                                                                                     "My brother is at our other restaurant named Cento Poveri, which is from the church in the square opposite the restaurant and is for the tradition of feeding the poor everyday. They used to feed for centuries at least 100 people everyday and now they sleep and feed the poor there. We decided to give that feeding of the needy respect and honor the important tradition and that is why we named our second restaurant after that ritual everyday.  That restaurant is opened for 10 years now." he says. 
           The Basilica di Santa Maria Novella is the famous church of Cento Poveri. 
"At Cento Poveri we have the Pizza, which is I would say not the best and not even close to being the worse, it is right in the middle, a very good pizza and the pasta dishes and the Florentine steak are very traditional, of course. Yet at La Spada we have the Steak and the pasta not pizza and the typical Florentine traditional plates, too. Both restaurants are very reasonable and we want a family place not a super expensive place." says Giuseppe. 
L'immagine può contenere: 1 persona, sta mangiando, pizza e cibo
"Along with my brother Claudio, and the other Claudio and his cousin, Augustino who you have interviewed the last 3 years, that makes up our team. Yes we have a great time. The restaurant here has been here 25 years and it started as a little restaurant with a big rosticceria and now it is a very big restaurant with a little rosticceria. 
Yet for 300 years it was a little Osteria with wine and maybe a panini."'immagine può contenere: cibo
                  Via del Porcellana 41 r
      reservations:  0039055 2188 46
"The local Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, all the designer stores come here to eat lunch because the lunch is only 11.00euros and they love the food. And it is a great marketing strategy since when the guests come to the stores they tell the tourists to come here to eat! I love it! And the rosticceri is great because people can take away pasta 4.00 euros and only 4.00 euros chicken. That is great for tourists at apartments for one week or the hostel backpackers since they have kitchens. Or if they want to taste the food here and come to do dinner at either restaurant that is the real idea. Come and taste it and have a lovely time in Florence and at night come and sit down and have a great dinner."   Via Della Spada 63                          reservations:  0039055 2187 57
  When you are interviewing the Capo of a very traditional and respected restaurant in Florence(300 years old),                           you are very thankful as you are eating his very gracious offer of lunch tasters that he slides the phrase, "o and I am the Chef, too," since you were about to compliment the very cool and colorful plates and bowls that they serve the ribbollita in:a traditional Florentine soup pictured here. So you recover and first compliment him on the hefty pasta portions, the chianina steak and fresh vegatables stylishly placed on the degustation plate.  OOPS! "O I love the food it is great, and the plates are nice, too." I interject and Giuseppe smiles and tells me the plates are from England, in an aside as if that is very funny and the food is much better!  Okay, yet the Italian food is fresh and simple. A very nice happy lunch we had! 
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                                            CAFE FRESCOBALDI on Piazza Frescobaldi 1          
     Okay the place to come in to have that perfect Italian latte or espresso is Cafe Frescobaldi located at Piazza Frescobaldi and soon to have the wine of Frescobaldi. One of the charms of the Italians is that they always name their cafes and restaurants from the piazzas or streets they are on! Love it!                                            
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"The bakery items such as the cookies and croissants are from a local cafe named Cafe Imperiale and they are very known in Florence as having the best baked items. We know that reputation as the highest quality and the Florentines know if they come here they can have the same," says Denis.
 "Me and Denis have had the cafe only one month. When you come back in another month we shall have Frescobaldi wine, too,"says Julian who is pictured here with the other famous Florentine man, Matteo Renzi.   "Now we have only Chianti, yet the cafe is very young and we are evolving as we do day to day. I want the highest quality of wine, too, and Frescobaldi is a great family along with having excellent wine. Plus everybody loves Frescobaldi."                                              
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"Alright I love coffee and the one that we chose is Italian, of course, named Moka Arra from Florence. It is the best, and the coffee machine that I chose is famous because it is almost impossible to make a bad coffee. You have to work real hard to make a bad coffee from the machine. I mean you have to be an awful coffee maker." And we start laughing. "It is the Cimbali M100 machine and it is attached to a machine that regulates the coffee depending on the weather. The grain of the coffee is fine and the weather affects it, so the machine adjusts. It is very cool." he says. And expensive. "It is VERY expensive, yet I want the best. I want the highest quality of coffee that Italy is famous for and I want people to come to my cafe because they know they can start the day with a special coffee from Cafe Frescobaldi. Plus, the tourists love to drink coffee all day and every time you make a coffee here, in the morning, afternoon, night it is a perfect coffee. It is totally state-of-the art coffee maker and we needed something to make our cafe special." 
   Alright the coffee machine looks like something out of James Bond movie and as I chat with Julian and Denis, about 15 Italians mosey in to have their daily espressos. "For us it is important to give the cafe a great reputation and that is why we try to do that with the best coffee. You might say, it is only a espresso, yet so many people start the day around the world with that ritual of a social moment with coffee." Risultati immagini per moka arra coffee
"And as important as our meats and cheeses that we serve to the guests is, the coffee of Italy should be treated with importance, too. It is a part of the culture," says Julian. I told you he LOVES coffee! 
   Alright when in Florence do as the Italians do, specifically the Florentines...Aperitivo time. We as tourist from around the world love the special tastes of the local Florentine italian delicacies that are aboundant during Aperitivos, along with the famous wines and spritz's. 
"Yes since our bread and cakes come from a small village near Florence, where some of Julian's family lives, named San Casciano.  We have the very freshest and highest quality real Italian homebaked products. The Italians love it and although we have only been open one month, we are starting to have a great reputation for the panini and the sweets. The panini I range from 4.00euros to 6.ooeuros depending on the meats used in the sandwiches. I am mostly responsible for the panini and Julian loves the coffee machine," laughs Denis. 
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                     Alright everybody ready to meet me for aperitivo time, as you start to walk from the bridge to the Santo Spirito you should first pop in the the quaint and fun young cafe and try it tonight. You will have a lovely time and drink a local aperitivo named the Aperol Spritz. My favorite! Right at Piazza Frescobaldi, and while most aperitivo times are 18:00pm to 20:00pm the guys here really go all out and make it last til 23:00pm when it's over or when they run out of paninis! 
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     The original Rooster Cafe is located on Via Sant'Egidio 37r, and is opposite the restaurant that Francesco originally started named L'Oriuolo, which his brother, Allessandro and his wife Angela now own. His girlfriend, Meaghan and I had a couple of chats at the cute international one of a kind cultural cafe last year and today. "O yes I am American, yet I have made Italy my home, at least now today, with Francesco!" she laughs when I ask her if she plans on staying in Italy. "I just came back from America for visa reasons, yet I love Italy much and missed Franceso!" she says as she tells me of her influence in the way the two cafes represent International food and American culture and the very traditional Italian culture.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Image associée
   Rooster Cafe Firenze at Porto Rossa 63
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Meaghan says, "My boyfriend, Francesco, is a visionary and has many creative ideas. I am the artist, having trained here in Florence, yet he is the designer of both restaurants. I have my little artistic touches, though." 
     "The students feel at home here and now they say that they are very happy that a second location that is open all day, gives great cocktails and has a traditional Italian menu with cool and new presentations to try is open for them too!" laughs Meaghan. 
     "Francesco does Italian food like no other person I have met, and it is beautiful to look at too!" Image may contain: food
"Let the Francescos do the food, I can do the artists!" laughs Meaghan. 
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"I believe that we are the only restaurant and cafe that does what we do. It is innovate and fresh and young and along with the new addition of the opening of Rooster Cafe Firenze at Porto Rossa 63, with Francesco's uncle, the famous Francesco at the helm of head chef, we are slowly receiving a respected reputation as a great restaurant. We have trendy mixologists all day at the Firenze Restaurant location and they make some great cocktails, too!" laughs Meaghan as she enthusiastically gushes about both places. 
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"You know my Francesco won't admit to being a great cook, yet he is, I've tasted his," giggles Meaghan. "I, myself, and the artistic one and I am very happy and excited to be introducing artists of all medium to both cafes, with art, photography, live music and live readings perhaps in the future."Image may contain: dessert and food
                       "We opened the Rooster Restaurant in April and it is doing alright. I LOVE the fact that the Rooster Cafe on Porto Rossa 63r is open all day and all night and has two very special and highly particular menus. One in the day is international and has such items as the waffles and pancakes and fried chicken and at night the Italian Traditional Kitchen is and it isn't such as:  the famous uncle of Francesco, who's name is Francesco Bilotta,  and who is the head professor at the Accademia Italiana Chef here in Florence for the Famous Culinary school, is finally able to showcase his own cooking skills as our head chef. (Kind of like Chef Gordan Ramsey having his own restaurant in addition to having his own school, yet without the screaming.)" says Meaghan and me adding my own little comments!    "We have many of the students from the schools here, the international ones and especially the Americans who love the cafe. I guess they miss pancakes!"                                                                              My Friend Meaghan and Francesco and the team...
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                         LOVE CRAFT Whiskey and Blends at  Borgo S. Frediano, 24 rosso.  
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"I loved the whiskey bars of Seattle when I lived in that city one year, especially the world famous Canon, which is just amazing. I fell in love with it and finally coming back to my home Italy and Florence was able to open my own." says Gabriele who along with his partner, Manuel, own the very cool and unique one of a kind Whiskey Bar in Florence Italy. 
"We both have beards and wear casual clothes in the culture of the very elite Whiskey Clubs such as the old distinguished gentlemen sitting sipping their whiskeys and smoking the cigars. We want to introduce the whiskey to everybody and if people feel comfortable approaching the bar and asking to taste a whiskey and yet some say they don't really know how to drink it, I am very happy to chat and talk about the way to drink a whiskey to have the best taste that you can from that particular one. We have Scottish and American and Irish and Russian and Japanese, we have a lot of whiskeys, 150 and counting and it is very important to know that there is very different tastes and strengths of each one." says Gabriele. "The other reason that we have beards is that we are member of the charity club that is named Bearded Villians which is anything except villianous! , Established in 2014 in Los Angeles California U.S.  with the purpose of showcasing the bearded men with character from your next door neighbor to the supermodel on GQ mag.)
 They work around the world for a good heart and soul to help charities."      0039 055 269 2 968No automatic alt text available.
"When it becomes busy, we have full bar waiting and they are happy to wait 4 to 8 minutes. The reason is that it isn't a bar where you order a drink grab the drink go sit in the chairs. It is a whiskey bar where you can ask us about the whiskey's, order a flight from the chalkboard which includes 3 types of whiskeys. Image may contain: 1 person, standing, beard and indoorFor instance the FLIGHT WHITE RABBIT is a 3 whiskey taster of American, Italian, and Russian whiskeys. You try each one. The total of 3 is probably equal to 1 glass of whiskey. Maybe you have never tried a Russian whiskey and want to and Yes there is a huge difference between a Russian Whiskey and a American Whiskey." says Gabriele. 
 Manuel laughs, "Gabriele is the Whiskey Capo and I am the mixologist and the difference is that I am the one that makes the fancy drinks for you and Gabriele serves you Whiskey in all different forms. I know the Whiskeys of course and yes we do have to drink the Whiskey. I love the bar and I love the concept, yet coming from the mixologist side, I had to learn a little about the Whiskey. I need to be able to tell you the difference between a Smokey Whiskey and say a Spicey Whiskey, for instance. You need to let the guests smell the bottle, inhale the vapors and let it permeate the senses to really taste the whiskey. We have tasted each one and I guess Gabriele says that it took many years to actually drink a glass of each of the whiskeys." ( I mean they only have 150 Whiskeys and with 365 days in one year, you could actually drink all of these in 1/2 a year.) Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, drink, night, table and indoor
     Gabriele says, "Yes I have drank all of these and I will admit that is one of the fun parts of owning the bar! In the future I have already picked some of the rare Whiskeys that I hope to give my guests a chance to taste. The one Whiskey that is 30.00 euros a glass here is the PREMIER BARREL Whiskey, (I have it pictured above) and since they don't make this Whiskey any longer it is the last time you can ever taste it. I would suggest buying a glass and although it is 30.00 euros you can be one of maybe 5,000 people in the world that can say they had a glass of that Whiskey. That is how rare it is. The reason that I love Whiskey is that each Whiskey and each Whiskey Distillery has many combinations of the right way to taste it. You can have Whiskey with ice or straight up or with a tiny little drops of water and taste it to your comfort. And of course many ways to have Whiskey in a cocktail drink, yet I am talking about enjoying the Whiskey. The pureness of the Whiskey in and of itself." 
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"The guests that come here are very different in the way they dress, their age, their ethnic background, their job titles, the regions of Italy where they live and of course the international tourists are finding us more and more everyday. Since we have the MAD bar a couple of meters down the road, they have earned a great reputation the last year and the tourists making their way to them, see us instead and mosey in with curiousity, love it and start drinking whiskeys!" says Manuel. "We're friends and that helps, yet we love that people are starting to know us, too." 
                             ADAGIO RESTAURANT in Florence Italy is a Unique concept restaurant that highlights different regions of Italy every month, along with a special evening with a guest chef from that region and a degustation menu along with it. The two partners that own Adagio are David and Giavanni, both full of innovative and detailed ideas of what they want their restaurant to be. Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting, people eating, table and food
   "The word Adagio in and of itself is a musical direction meaning to slow it down. That is the philosophy of both Giavanni and myself both personally and professionally at the restaurant Adagio. To relax and live life slowly and to savor each moment. We have 5 philosophy ideas attached to the restaurant which are:                        1. Excellent Italian food, 2. Territories of Italy represented in the original way of the culture of food from that region, 3. Biodiversity, 4.Typical regional dishes, 5. Culture.  And that is pretty much how we run and visually see the restaurant developing." says David when I first meet him today and he shows me the lovely lay out of the Adagio. 
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                The restaurant is located near the San Lorenzo Mercato at  Via De'Macci 79 rosso.    

"The month of September was the region of Puglia and we had a lovely cook who came and greeted the guests during dinner and introduced each course. We have between 3 to 4 wines with the dinner from that region and since Giovanni is a sommelier he is the one who works with the regional chef to choose the wine for that night and for the month. The cost of the degustation night with the chef from 8.00pm to midnight, or later, is around 45.00euros and includes it all. Chef, intro, music, food, wine, and the culture education of the ancient tradition of the food, of course. October is the North of Tuscany." Image may contain: food
    "The one item that we really try to adhere to in the philosophy is that if you come at 7:30pm and you eat dinner and you want to stay at that table having wine and conversation til midnight that is alright. We NEVER PULL A PERSON FROM A TABLE." Giovanni says emphatically. "The kitchen is open til 11.00pm and you can eat and drink wine til 1.00am if you wish." reservations:    0039 055 051 7094
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"I love that Adagio has two different souls in the kitchen. The traditional regional kitchens of each section of Italy and the Ancient traditions  and the modern exotic, yet Italian dishes that the chef has on the menu everyday. The first month we were settling in and we weren't too much in sync with David and my vision of how we wanted the menu presented to the guests, yet now when the chef does the menu he knows just what we want. I love his menu, such as the Duck with licorice or the Pappardelle with Rabbit Ragu which the Italians eat all the time, yet the tourists find fascinating. Or the Erotic Ravioli which basically is I guess the uterus and the stern and the tongue stuffed inside the ravioli. Quite tasty, yet exotic. " says Giovanni. "You should come to a meet the chef night and try the regional dishes, you would love that experince." he says and I hope to, someday. Image may contain: 1 person, text
"We started together about 3 years doing Christmas gifts for employees of Italian companies all around Italy, with concentration of food and wine. We traveled to different local suppliers and farmers and vineyards and make Christmas gifts for the companies to give to their employees so of course we knew everybody after awhile and when we decided to open the restaurant it began a long process of about 1 and 1/2 years. In May of last year we finally found the location and 7 months later we opened the restaurant. We took many hours, many of planning the regions and the menus and how we would present these to the guests and the best way to introduce the chefs and to introduce each region from a food culture point of view. I believe the restaurant is special for many reasons yet especially the fact that we are the only restaurant to have a modern exotic daily menu and a traditional regional menu that is presented every month. Very unusual everywhere in Italy and in Florence." Says Giovanni, David's partner. "The piano player is pretty cool too, with the piano that you see here. I was going to say that he ususually comes on Tuesdays yet since he only came once I guess we should wait and see." he says laughing. Image may contain: 1 person, food and indoor
     The three of us, me and my partners, bought the very traditional and famous Truffle Tuscany Villanamed Il Convio Restaurant in the lovely rural village between   Florence and Pisa, three months now." says my friend Luigi.   Located now is a VERY GOOD TIME to go the Restaurant, where Luigi's beautiful and talented girlfriend, Anatella sings tonight,  Via San Maiano 2 in the village of  San Miniato Basso.          
           Image may contain: table and indoor"Here is the most famous Truffle Restaurant and where the precious white truffle comes from, " says the very funny Luigi, who knows more about the daily Italian life than literally most anyone I know. "Me and my two friends bought the restaurant villa, which has been here a very long days, about 3 months now. The little village is most famous for the white truffle, which of course is used very rarely and very delicately around the world. Alba is famous in the north Italy and here." says Luigi. "You must tell the tourists to come, since it is world famous, the truffle festival in November. Every weekend we pay special homage and respect to the November month and every weekend every restaurant holds a festival on white truffles. Tourists come from everywhere in the world. Yet please tell the tourists they must drive or have somebody drive to the famous village!" says Luigi.  
                                  San Miniato Basso,    Tuscany between Pisa and Florence                                                                                          No automatic alt text available.                                                                             Reservations: 0039 0571 408 11 4                                             
                                                                                                                                                         The elegance and total Old-School respected sophistication is found at the lovely Vecchio Mercato
near the famous actual Mercato in Florence, Italy, soley owned of the Capo, Luigi, who in addition owns the Tuscany Villa named Il Convio just mentioned! 
"Yes, I have two daughters, one is little about 7 and one is a older teenager. The young one absolutely loves me and if I ask her to help she is very happy, the older one ignores every word I say and when I am finished with my lecture says, "NO" to me and walks away." laughs Luigi. Aaa it is nice to know that somehow cultures, although in many ways different, are exactly the same! 
"You know, Florence is all about the Florentine steak that we are very proud of actually. We have many guests and we try to show the culture with the food and the song on Monday nights here at Vecchio Mercato," says Luigi, my personal friend about 5 years now. Image may contain: food
Luigi's passion is "playing the piano..."  
mine? listening to someone playing the piano...
and drinking the wine that is special to the 
very funny and classic and sophisticated  
Vecchio Mercato here love! 
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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." Although I wrote the passage above about 3 years now, I love the fact that a Capo loves a Piano so much that he actually learned two songs when he added a piano to his restaurant! 

   Me? I love the food and the music  and the great funny company. Luigi is ALWAYS HONEST and Normal, you know a real person who loves to chat with you. You will love that restaurant trust me. 

  I love the photo here since it reminds me of my little baby, Matti at the age of 8, playing the piano! 

Two lovely girls viewing the Mercato leather carts in the morning asked me why they should come to eat lunch at the Vecchio Mercato...they were American and about 25 to 30. Lovely. I said, "Hmm, because the Capo is a very cool funny person who has a hilarious real Italian speaking cooking team, the most respectful kind service and it is a real traditional lovely experience that you will receive." and I guess that was enough for them since they immediately went there to eat! 


How about  Tagliolina al tartufo, which is fettucine with heavy cream, Tagliata Di Manzo Al Tartufo Con Fonduta, which is sliced steak of beef with truffle and fondue,  Antipasto del Cacciatore(Salsiccia Di Cinghiale, Pecorino, Sott'Oli) which is served per 4 people or one and it is a Hunter's Appetizer with wild-boar sausage and sheep cheese, all of these traditional and respected recipes of the Tuscany region, not to mention the GREAT WINE selection that Luigi carries! 

                                            While Demetra is formed to as a compliment to the famous
           Fullup Dance Club in Florence Italy only a couple of months now, sitting quietly above the famous club of 1958 its heavily covered cloth chairs and elegant soft hues of ivory and white with brown and soft orange linen napkins, has friendly formal and elegant service as well, yet a comfortable atmosphere prevails, maybe do to its playful persona of its club owners, Monica and Simone. However, the sophisticated quiet restaurant above is on its way to a degustation menu and Michelin status, of that I am sure! 
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   "The restaurant, Demetra is only a couple of months old and it is something we designed and thought about a long while, since it is above the famous FullUp Dance Club and since we are the first time open in the summer with the tiny, exquisite and elegant restaurant, Demetra, we spend much details on the presentation of the food. On the highest quality, with a special menu. A tiny menu of the most delicate and charming items, such as Tagliatelle al Ragu di Cinghiale, or Filetto di manzo al Chianti conn chipos di patate viole e sedano rapa alle due consistenze.
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"My new baby is the Demetra," says Monica in her soft voice. "Simone is all about the Dance Club and now I am having fun with the kitchen team to create a excellent menu to offer the guests. Since we are young and playful I believe that a degustation menu awaits us in the future and my team wants that goal, too." says Monica. 
                                                                         Phone: +39 055293006
                                                          located at : Via Della Vigna Vecchia 25
       During the fifties in Italy the night life and the club scene, as well as in America is a very social way to meet people, to be seen and to intregrate the culture of the era into everyday life, of which is was a Big Part of music, especially.  The 1958 Club promotes Diversity since the family of Monica has entered the scene, buying the dance club in 1978, and adding the beautiful elegant restaurant above since only 2 months.
"Come follow me," starts my tour with Monica being my tour guide through the VERY BIG Dance Club, FullUp, although open again in August 27, it is a maze of 3 rooms and a private room complete with its own intimate bar and DJ booth. "In here we do live music too. And it is available to do aperitivos in the room here and the room to the left of the smoking room." she says as I say how beautiful the club is. 
"We have very famous DJs and the Club can hold up to 300 people in comfort. It is a dance club and you have to weave your way in and out of the people dancing, to find the room you want, of course!" laughs Monica. I ask her if it is totally fun to own a dance club. "My family bought FULLUP in 1978 and yes it has been great fun. Now my boyfriend Simone does the Dance Club, although it is very funny when you ask Simone if he dances down here with me." she says. 
    Alright I ask Simone if he dances downstairs since they have a Dance Club with many famous people here and he laughs, "You know we used to have many famous celebrities come and we're hoping with the elegant tiny restaurant upstairs that they feel comfortable dining upstairs and sneaking into the downstairs Dance Club through the VIP door straight from the restaurant. It is free for the guests of course, and while the other entrance a cover fee of about 10.00 to 15.00 euros depending on the event, DJ, live music etc, is a entry fee it always include the first drink, and that is alright with the guests. And yes of course we have a selection process. It is a elite dance club and you must want to have a good time, and be dressed a little special." he says. 
 "The Club is about diversity and we have Fairy Gold that is world famous every Saturday to come and have fun, we have American Student Nights on Thursdays and they seem to totally enjoy meeting the local people and the other internationals. It is a famous club since 1958 where people can come to party and dance all night." says the owner, Simone, who along with his girlfriend Monica own FULLUP and Demetra. 

"I am most excited to see the dance club evolve through the years and although me and Monica don't really know the exact reason that her family named it FULLUP we try to fill it up with dancing people!" laughs Simone. "My new project is revamping the entire club with a new decor and I am taking the entire month of August to do just that. We reopen and ready for guests at the 27th of August, at least that is the hope, maybe early September. I want my vision of the image of the classy club with its many varities of the highest DJs and Music and atmosphere along with the private rooms of Elvira to carry on the famous tradition." 
  The wild crazy dancers of the FULLUP club doing what they do best, dancing to the KONGA night where the students come to have fun. 
      The many rooms of FULLUP include private intimate rooms with aperitivos and your own live music or the bigger noisy rooms near the entrances! 
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"Yes Phil Collins, Denzel Washington, they come and they are very big stars, too" says Guilian, "Yet my dream is to have the aura of the golden ages such as the Frank Sinatras and the Sophia Lorens and the Carlo Pontis, such as Francis Ford Coppola. Many times has Berlusconi dined here. "  And as we spoke and I had a lovely glass of that sparkling Italian prosecco, a Arabian sheikh and I had a chat at the marbled 104 year old bar. 

 "The restaurant is only one in the entire Europe that is awarded the UNESCO HERITAGE SITE AWARD AS A RESTAURANT" says Guilian as to one of the reasons he loved it. 

"With a restaurant name that famous as Sabatini, the wine list has to be good, traditional and rare including wines that people know, ask for, and respect and our Bubbles include such names as:    
  • Belle Epoque Perrier-Jouet

  • Glos des Goisses Philipponna

"I wish to do a 2 star Michelin which the restaurant had many years...the reputation of the Sabatini and the famous family that belonged to the Medici lineage, is legendary. I am pursueing with heart my dream." says one of my very lovely friends, Guilian, who has bought the Sabatini in Florence. 
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       The delicate dishes include the Sabatini Panzerotti tagliolini with porcini mushrooms, maltagliati prawns and black truffle, the very famous flambe Sabatini spaghetti(prepared right in front of your eyes, absolutely not to be missed), scampi alla pescatora, sliced beef with aromatised Brunello and fillet with tartare also prepared right in front of the guest.                
"The whites have such presence as Capo Marino Jermain and the reds Bellevista Vittorio Moretti" says Guilian as he twirls a glass of red wine for the sheikh from Saudi Arabia, all of us having a lovely time enjoying the elegance and the hospitatility of such a fine name as Sabatini. 
                         The Unesco Heritage Site awarded the protection of the Sabatini restaurant and when one dines here one sees why. The furniture was taken from a ancient church from the 14th century and inside the Pulpit is visible as is the benches that they have converted to sofas to sit upon. The Roof Garden is a amazing beauty and the entire restaurant is now completely protected from the Fine Arts Department.      

"We are the only place in the world that specializes in Flambe cooking with the true and authentic process of Flambe at the table here at Sabatini. It is art form performed only with the highest quality of talent and only very few can ever perform it with grace and safety and showmanship." says the very qualified Capo. 

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"The Sabatini family already has the reputation of a solid respected character and the building is a protected fine arts site, my job is to present the service and the atmosphere along with the finest rare wines and champagne with the highest quaity of food to the plate. I have only been here 3 months and within a couple of more I am bringing on my entire team that I am creating to include the Head Michelin Star chef and his team of 3. My entire focus is on the real Italian hospitality of formal and friendly with impeccable service and discretion." says the very happy Capo as he twirls my Prosecco in my chilled glass and presents it to me. It is all about the show! 

    A very beautiful Italian guest shows how elegance is meant to be! It is about simplicity and grace. Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, table, indoor and food

"Yes of course with us being very traditional, we have the Chianini Florentine steak from the very finest cuts we can find."Risultati immagini per sabatini firenze
The talented waiter is careful to keep everybody safe while he performs the show! Risultati immagini per sabatini firenze
                               Here the garden room with its architectural beauty combined with nature. Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoor
"In addition to the beautiful presence of the garden room, with its authentic beams, we have private rooms where you can dine with romance and intimacy and many important deals of the Florentine families were signed here many many years ago." says Guilian. "I want to slowly and slowly to bring back that era of elegant and traditional dining to honor the famous Sabatini family and give its name symbolism and respect that the name deserves." says my friend and Capo Guilian. Located at: via panzani 9/a          

                                              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                          

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           La Galleria degli Uffizi is on the list of the world’s top 10 museums and art galleries
                                ps. One of the other delights is actually meeting Ahmed, the Capo
             of the Italy with Us Tours in Florence who is so much fun that I stayed 2 hours talking!   AND YOU SAY YOU ARE STUCK IN ROME...WE HAVE A TOUR TO THAT! 
                                 Florence Day Trip from Rome HIGH SPEED TRAIN FROM ROME
  • Duration


  • Available Days


     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. 

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

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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!

                                                   La Giostra & La Giostra II Florence Italy
                        Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, people standing, drink and indoor
      The famous Michelin Restaurant in Florence is located at 10 and 18 Borgo Pinti; reservations:                                                                                       Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting, table, night, drink and indoor

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. Image may contain: table, indoor and food

 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. may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoor

"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. 

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. Immagine correlata
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.
              The mysterious beauty of La Maremma starts with the very special wine list...
and continues to the traditional ribollita and Florentine steak  and tagliato di tonno, Pecorino fresco grigliato con peperoni dolci and garganelli ai funghi name a couple of better dinner choices...    
Alright maybe you are a vegatarian! Yes they do have asparagus scrumptious items on the menu, and they present the plates with flair, and remember I said that it is a romantic restaurant which means that everybody needs to dress up when they chow down on the wild boar...just kidding! Image result for la maremma florence
L'immagine può contenere: 1 persona, persona seduta, notte e spazio al chiuso
Alright guess what the restaurant is famous about? That is right...eating the WILD BOAR? nope the famous Florentine Steak, 

  And here proves the fact that many love to eat the boar which the restaurant is famous of, yet the Florentine Steak will get you a photo so I guess if you want a picture on the facebook hall of fame, dress up, put on that makeup and ask to eat the Florentine Steak.

          L'immagine può contenere: 2 persone, persone che mangiano, cibo e spazio al chiuso
Okay being a restaurant that has quietly and continuously built a reputation of the highest standards, no slanderous trip reviews please, with guests raving about the food and the lovely atmosphere of locals and tourists who appreciate it,     I find it difficult to find a table. Yes I know the Shakespeare category of the biggest strength...etc. Make reservations and have fun. The wine list is stunning, too and the chefs colorful playful hats make you giggle. 

         The cool sweet Capo of Maremma 
  I have loved Florence the last 8 years since it is a city of beauty and culture and romantic interludes such as can be found here at the Maremma which is near Santa Croce. Tiny and intimate yet playful and famous in the Tuscany region for Wild Boar!
The traditional restaurant is softly lit at night and you can hear the musicians as they play on the Santa Croce Square if the doors are open, or the soft happy chatter of people from everywhere in the world, usually laughing at the Florentine Steak presentations! Nessun testo alternativo automatico disponibile.
"The restaurant is famous for the Wild Boar and that is why I have the little stuffed boars on the top of the ledges since the children love the wild boars as much as the adultes, except the children love to grab the wild boars and that can lead to problems!" says Marco who is the friendly and I am very happy successful Capo of Maremma. 
                         The Micheal Collins Pub in Florence Italy at  Piazza della Signoria 30r.
    "It's your local Pub in Florence!" says the young Irish owner of the famous Micheal Collins Irish Pub on the famous Piazza where you can stare at the Statue of David all day..."It is about drinking a good Irish pint of beer and meeting other international travellers, being a American Student drinking your first pint of beer ever at the age of 18, which is funny to watch how much they love that Guinness, and having a great time talking to the real local Florentines who appreciate the great selection of quality Irish beers that we have." Image may contain: 2 people, indoor    And what self-respecting Irish Pub would be the same without the standard Wild and Crazy Irish people! 
"My slogan for my famous Micheal Collins Irish Pub is to have the people know it as  "The Local Pub in Florence" says Jimmy who is 1/2 Irish and 1/2 English and as fun and sweet as can a person be. "I worked here a total of 8 years and the last couple of years bought the Pub. I try to combine the students and the international tourists with the Steady Loyal Irish, English, American, Canadian, Australian and let's not forget the Kiwis, the New Zealanders. And the local Florentines are very important because they want to feel at home and welcome in the city that is literally their home." he says. "My team is international with a couple of the Florentine bartenders and a girl from Croatia and one used to be here from New Zealand. I want my team to be funny and friendly and talk to people and honestly that is why it is of interest to me since it keeps me in touch with the world too." 
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Okay wait a minute is that me in my wedding veil? Now why would anybody in a right mind want to frame me! Okay people I know you are jealous of my beauty and my ability to drink the big guys under the table yet I don't think I can fit in the frame, going to have to ride my bike at early dawn and meet the lone biker below! See you later...O and save my pizza please! 
While the Micheal Collins Irish Pub on the famous Piazza with the statue of David and Neptune in Florence is a great drinking and socialising pub in the summer on the outside garden, during the autumn and winter they have the basement music club open everyday with a variety of shows including open mic and kareoke!                Starting September til 1:30am.
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"Why is a Irish Pub Irish?" answers Jimmy, "I believe it is the atmosphere and the feeling of being comfortable and with friends that you always have in Ireland when you walk into a Irish Pub. The Irish are just that way and that is the real reason everybody comes since they know they are going to joke and have a good time at a Irish Pub. I am the only Irish owner of the some 9 Irish Pubs in Florence, though, and that is why you should come drink the Guinness here...O yes and we are the CHEAPEST GUINNESS IN FLORENCE AT 6.00euros a Pint!"
    The cheapest is a Italian draft at 5.00 euros and the most expensive craft beer draft is only 6.50 euros at a pint. That is the best you can find and we're right on the square, O and I am the only Irish owner, too, make sure you say that!" says Jimmy.
Besides watching it happen at Florence right in front of everybody, you can see the statue of David, people watch and drink the cheapest Guinness of any Pub in Florence right in the famous square. O and the pizzas, yes real pizzas are only 6.00euros! REAL PIZZAS 6.00 Euros people and they have chicken pizza! "And the nachos are very big and good too, don't forget the nachos!" says Jimmy. 
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  Late at night, early dusk or early dawn a lone bicycle rider drinks a solitary pint of Guinness. I love that picture. 
                                    To Book Directly at the most Romantic Candlelight Only Restaurant: 


                                                                     Ristorante Il Paiolo...via del Corso 42red

"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. Immagine correlataThat 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! 
 The traditional authentic recipes that Guilian has added from his mother's kitchen perhaps are given at the romantic tables with love.                                                           Risultati immagini per osteria paiolo florence
"I think that people should come here not because it is me but because of the way that I live and the way that I envision my restaurant. I want people to read that maybe I am 50 years old or 20 years old. Let the people guess. In the last year that I owned the restaurant I raised the Trip Advisor from 1,600 place to now about 160 ish place. That is important to me." Guilian says. He offer me the Ravioli di patate al tartufo nero which I am going to try and of course to take a picture of as the Japanese in the past often do! However being modern and having heard that it is more Chic today to hide and discover I am going to tell you of my lovely experience!   Located at : Via del Corso 42, 055 215019 it is the "only restaurant on the street, only cafes or etc fashion is allowed here, I am the only restaurant which helps!" says the young owner Guilian.  "And we do it all in a quiet way. We don't attack the people and even when you are sitting at the table we take care of you and we offer you very formal attentive service yet in a very friendly happy way and a family way." 

       one of my favorite quotes of Guilian:

     "The Restaurant is Lit with Candles Only at Night"Image result for ristorante il paiolo firenze

"The real spirit of Florence is about tales, tales of mystery, of intrique, of love, and yes of things that do go bump in the night and while it is true that now I am a restaurantuer, it all started as I studied and read my books about the law studying to be a lawyer, that I met and was charmed by the 40 year old woman who used to own Paiolo. She was giving it up since she couldn't find a person to do it her way with love. Here is to her." says Guilian.                                   
                             Risultati immagini per il paiolo firenze
                                   The Maestro Chef of Osteria del Pavone, which took Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco, the famous traditional restaurant of Florence of many years, about 3 years to realize from start to finish...finally available and open the last 8 months, "yes, it is a little bit more expensive and has only 35 seats and clients visit it through the back door, so to speak, down the secluded alley, and yes, I am most happy that it is finally open, the 15th century building took a lot of love and patience to complete." says the Capo, Marco, who zooms in and out of the two adjoining kitchens to visit Cinghale to help his father, yet maintain the captain of the ship position at del Pavone. 
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Risultati immagini per osteria del pavone florence
"It is where people that do a lot of research on restaurants, culinary masterpieces and cultural food experiences of cities come to eat. It is a masterpiece, itself, and although at least 70.00 euros a person, worth it. We only have 35 seats, reservations a must, although you can sit with my head bartender and drink a glass of one of our 13 houses of champagne and chat, you should make reservations to dine." 
                       immagini per osteria del pavone florence
"The quiet and intimate dining experience of Osteria del Pavone is noted in addition of its specialty champagnes and wines, of which we carry limited bottles of wine that is stored to age in Jars, not barrels, which is exactly the unique experience that some people search for." says the Capo Marco. 
                                                 Osteria Del Cinghiale Bianco in Florence is a favorite 

Marco is the Capo of the Osteria and his father, Massimo, started the restaurant in 1984 and is mischievious saying, "I am the trouble maker!"

Image may contain: people sitting, table, drink and indoor
Marco, the Capo, loves Truffles, and although it is added to the dishes of Osteria Cinghiale, it is a delicacy that only the finest restaurants of Florence can afford to carry on the menu. reservtions:
"Today I have to rush, since the film people come to film the wild boar, yet you can come for some champagne later at the Osteria del Pavone, if you wish." says the gracious Marco as he rushes around preparing for the girl that eats a lot and the film crew! 
    Located at Borgo San Japoco, 43rwith the new restaurant named, Osteria del Pavone on the alley side, is a favorite of mine...famous because of the or for Wild Boar.  INDIRIZZO: Borgo San Iacopo, 43R

"Yesterday, the television station came to film the tiramisu, and the lovely lady of the station came and ate from a huge baking dish the dessert. We all laughed since she just kept eating it, and I guess it is very good because she kept asking for more takes til she at her entire plate and kept eyeing the big pan!" says Marco. "And today they come to film another dish. Maybe she just loves to eat!"
To find do here:     Straight to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge admiring the many beautiful jewels and to the right on the first Cobblestoned street about 200 meters you will find a lovely 14th Century Palace of the Corsini Family which now houses the restaurant Osteria Del Cinghiale Bianco..."The table at the top is of course special. Everybody comes and that is the one that they ask to do... and we allow to stay the entire night! The view from the top! Now we make a special another restaurant that will be connected only throught the kitchen. It is still a section of the Corsini Palace and it has huge ornamated ceilings with paintings that is of a historical nature and such we need a long permit to restore these for the restaurant. Now finally it has been one year and the permits come. The outside used to be a alley and the huge rocks that make the road will remain as the bar area. Very beautiful and very in keeping with the original structure. 

     Yet for all of its tradition and respected old beauty, the charm of the new restaurant with the 35 table seating is unmatched as of and elegance and intimacy and a private setting around the alley to the entrance...champagne for me since I love it and great lovely portions for you! 

   THE COOLEST APERITIVOS IN FLORENCE...kitsch 1 and try to find the hidden Kitsch 2, too!
The two owners of Kitsch 1 and Kitsch 2 are Markus and Fabio. Each of these reflect the aperitivos cocktail bars, the Kitsch 1 is run by Markus who loves to be present and DJ from his super cool Iphone. That one, Kitsch 1 is located at : Viale Gramsci 1/r, near to San Croce,  and the Kitsch 2 which is run by Fabio the famous photographer is at Via San Gallo 22. 
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"Hmm, why do people come here instead of somewhere else?" answers Fabio. "We have a gorgeous design of renaissance and modern with velvet booths and chairs and industrial lamps and a eclectic audience of professional locals and international students and curious tourists with the best food at only 12.00euros from 7.00pm to 11.00pm all you can eat buffet and drink of the highest quality. You want Johnny Walker on the rocks and buffet? It is 12.00 euros. You want Sex on the Beach and buffet? It is 12.00 euros. You want a Manhatten, Old-Fashion, Martini, Mojito, you name it and we give it to you. Each additional drink til 11.00pm is only 6.00 euros. And if you want to bring the family, say children of 12 years and they want a coca cola or a juice and buffet, it is 12.00 euros. Where in Florence can you go and receive the best gnocchi, the best salads, the best desserts, the best variety of pizza and the best fish and meat of about 5 at least varieties every night at only 12.00 euros? All you can eat. The family can come and they can spend 48.00 euros of a family of 4 all you can eat. That is unbeatable in Florence.!"
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  And of course everybody loves the buffet at Kitsch 1 Image may contain: 3 people

"You know Martini sponsors me and gives us signs and brochures and especially cool DJ events, and it is a great collaboration. I know that when people see the name Martini it signifies respect and good quality and that is my place. Highest quality. I of course want my guests to have a fun night with the best possible food and drink. And music and yes itis true, sometimes we do dance on the tables.!"

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Okay, I ask Fabio if only the young and beautiful can come into Kitsch since as you see from the pictures here it seems that way! "Yes of course!" he jokes ! I think! 


When I met with Fabio at Kitsch 2 on Wednesday the 12th, the Martini Liquour Group was sponsoring the event to promote the new Fuori Martini to promote Aperitivo Spritz. We had a couple of course and they are lovely. Fabio told me of the way that he is totally conscious of his guests and the quality of food at Kitsch. "I only allow meat that is farm raised in my buffets. I know that the animals are raised to roam freely in the farm lands and that it is with respect when I eat food on a plate, I respect that food. I only use about 5 to 7 meats every night on the buffet, yet each cow or pig is raised on a farm. And the fish we use is of the highest quality, too. In addition the pasta is biological. I care about my guests and the food here is of the  highest quality. I am first a cook. I am as good of a cook in the restaurants in Florence that only serve lunch and dinner, yet my place is elegant, funky, renaissance style with a DJ and music and great mixologists that do the cocktails every night. I am proud to have Kitsch 1 and Kitsch 2." says Fabio. Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, drink and indoor
  Warning: ONLY the COOLEST IN CHILL GROUP of people who love to have fun and risk in life to meet new people, the Keeping up with the JONES's , the Double Doses of the Twins in Town and the Key people allowed at Kitsch...Ciao and o yes have a lovely day and a lovely night! Great cocktails, great dancing with DJs and great highest food...all at Kitsch...number one in Florence the last 20 years to do aperitivos til 2.00am! 
"I always have a couple of proposals from Beer and Liquour companies that want to sponsor us to do the year. Now Martini and a Beer company sponsor Kitsch since we bring a lot of people to taste the items, and I must do a couple now to renew the year. They love us and we love the sponsors since they come and do events of music and such with us all the time." says Fabio and above is the Germain! 
                        Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, indoor                                                                                               JIMMYS Leathers...Florence Italy                                                                             "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 Risultati immagini per jimmys leather

         Jimmys Leathers Piazza San Lorenzo 2Image results for the jimmys leather in florence
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     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! 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.                                                                 Risultati immagini per jimmys leather
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!                                 
                                                                          Trattoria Armando Florence Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people sitting, drink, table and indoor"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 from all the energy and laughter they share with everyone. 
"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!                                                                                                                                                                Risultati immagini per trattoria armando firenze

It is as if I expect Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti to walk in the door! "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.   On 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."      the elegance of the hidden restaurant is a safe  landing place for the international stars of Teatro...   - Trattoria Armando
Risultati immagini per trattoria armando firenzeThe 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, 0039.055.217263Il passato e il presente - Trattoria Armando

  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.            
     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.Related image

 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! 


                          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! 

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"

  "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. 

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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. 

       Gold Records and MillisiMi Wine Caverns in Florence what do they have in common!
 Anne Marie, the French Capo of MillisiMi, has a Gold Record Producing Husband who's 5 Gold Recordssit on the wall behind her very French very Italian huge office amidst the dusty wine bottles that are rare collector labels in the Caverns below the 16th century palazzo and the new bottles upstairs. 
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MillesiMi Wines: Grandi Vini D'Europa the Wine of Tuscany, Italy and France only.
                                              the deep 5 room rooms below the store MillesiMi Wines.
Anne Marie's son, a delightful ball of energy, has a craft beer cavern in the rear of the elegant sophisticated wine store, where she says,"It is a project of his since he is into distribution and importing of the beer which is different than the wine.The people know the quality of wine and the many centuries history of the vineyards around the world and shall pay a higher price for a good and rare quality of wine, yet my son has craft beer. It is very expensive in the terms of beer. The people that go to a pub want a good beer for around 5.00euros. Here they have to pay at least 8.00 euros to 12.00 euros per craft beer and maybe higher. My wine people don't understand paying that much for one bottle of beer." she laughs enthusiastically. I tell her that the beer aficionados pay that much, trust me. 
    We just have to let the beer lovers know that the beer in the rear of the 20 year old sophisticated rare wine store is here and they will come. Perhaps traipsing with their blue jeans and sweatshirts to buy the 12euro bottle, yet they'll come!  
                       Millesimi Birra is owned 
of the Capo's son, who is very passionate about his beer! He imports tons of it from everywhere around the world, including America and I am trying to encourage him to import my neices's brewery beer:
Chicago, Maplewood.  For the Millesimi Beer and for Maplewood
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I laugh and tell Anne Marie that the young hipsters from around the world shall soon be curious and come to check out the knowledgeable lady that owns MillesiMi for the Wine and mosey on back to buy a couple of brews! Strange, yet funny! 
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                   Located at:  Borgo Tegolaio 33/r
             Firenze, Italy. Please call: 055 26 54 675
            or email Anne Marie with questions: at 
                        millesimisrl@gmail.comImage result for millesimi firenze
   Find Santo Spirito for great happy hour aperitivos and it is a little alley down from Santo Spirito. 
  "Of course I love wine and yet when I receive a bottle, I can say that I know that vineyard and I know the year and I know the conditions and that although sometimes a wine journalist says "that 2014 was a bad year" and I disagree and say that 2014 is a very good year, and yet again if I have a bottle that is unopened how do I know the wine til it is opened and experienced?" says the very elegant and one of timeless beauty. 
    Anne Marie and I have a discussion about Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel. We love both. Anne Marie reminds you of both, she says Coco, and I say yes and Audrey. You know how Audrey has that perfect face that yet can't be copied.
      So beautiful.  Anne Marie.  She has nobility in her and I say that the wine store is her perfect choice since wine should be had with elegance. 
     "Yes I see wine as elegant. Each bottle has a history and when I find little local wineries only in France and Italy, this is enough. The wine producers only make about 2,500 to 20,000 perhaps bottles of wine per year, and when a person buys a bottle and comes back to buy another one, when it is gone it is gone." 
 The store is kind of a juxtaposition in the sense of the dusty old rare wine bottles in the Caverns below to the funky new craft beers that slowly slowly Anne Marie has allowed her son to present and acquire more space in her store for.
             The first time I met Anne Marie is 4 years ago! And he had a little tiny poster of his Archea Brewery beers he distributed and about 24 to 25 beers total and she wrinkled her nose and sighed, "What can you do, he is my son," and now I am very surprised to see the entire back room filled with exotic international craft beers on the shelves and a table where there is "A mess, simply a mess", says Anne Marie. The table obviously is used for beer tastes and it is quite funny to see. She says that many people have not found the craft beer in the store.  "YET," I say! Wait til the youngsters start coming in with their new sports grunge look, laughing loudly and making their way to the beer section! Her son laughs as he runs, kisses his mom and spurts out the door to a waiting taxi before zooming away.
        O, that is my son, she says introducing him! Just like the beer! Seen, bought and fastly consumed!
L'immagine può contenere: bevanda
 I love putting new entreprenuers on my website and the two very fun Capos of the Civico Leather are no exceptions, they constantly bargain with the guests and joke all the timewith a continue banter that is charming and funny instead of O my Gosh not a bargainer. The Americans love these guys, they are like the Dan Rather and Jim Belushi of The Wild and Crazy Czechoslovakians on Saturday Night Live...O and they have Great Leathers...located at                                                                                                                                   Civico Via Faenza...

 "The bag is great for the airlines, it is the perfect size, yet it is a little expensive, here let me show you all the compartments," says Stefano as he throws the stuffing out and shows me the soft leather. I LOVE THAT BAG. "Here beautiful Kenya woman," he says as a couple from Kenya walk in and the woman, although a little sophisticated starts to giggle. You will laugh with them, trust me. They are fun. And after all isn't that why you come to Florence and on vacation? To have fun? "We both worked many years, at least 20 in the Florence leather market, and we worked with Jimmys, who I see on the site. Yet here is our baby. It is brand new. We have to bargain with people. There is too many leather places and we have the highest quality leather, yet we have fun with people. We don't want to rob you and we want you to tell your friends and tell your friends and tell your friends, and that is the way you grow a new business. You work real hard and long hours, you're honest and you bargain. When you are more established in a couple of years you can be a little more choosy, yet we know people have to buy from us and we work with you. We want to grow the business, not get rich overnight." says Stefano. 

     "I live in the most famous section of the world for leather, and that is Santa Croce, not the square, yet the city where the finest leather is produced." says Marcus. "We choose the finest leather and work with designers. We custom make the coats for you and ship these to you. We are trying to do our best with the highest quality and right now we are concentrating on showing off our baby store.!"

"Meet Marcus and Stefano," says the funny Capo, "That is the names we give ourselves since the tourists can't pronounce our names, we have adopted Italian ones," jokes Stefano.    

           O hey, at least they are honest! 

The Kenya woman whispers to me, "I'm a chemist and even in the winter in Kenya it is 20 degrees, yet I AM ALMOST CONVINCED TO BUY THE COAT!" she laughs and I say she should buy the airline bag and take it everywhere. "Hmm I never thought about buying a bag instead." she says. Image may contain: people standing
"The above jacket is leather cuffs and collars and we can make it in any colors. You know we bargain and say Okay I can do you a great deal and the Americans love it. They say, Okay make me a deal. Some people maybe are too serious, yet the ones that come in here come to have fun and of course take home a real Florentine leather." says Marcus. 

"I love the ones with the hoods, and they are detachable and they are reversible, which is why they are a little more expensive, yet most people can do pretty good with us!" We do custom colors and custom made and only if you come into the store since we don't want to take your measurements over the internet." they laugh. Marcus and Stefano in their "baby" store. "Wait, wait,  we need to dressup!" shouts Marcus, yet he lets me take the photo anyway. They are very fun and everybody stays and laughs and talks to them. "The Americans are the nicest. They always say, O I have to think about it, then they buy it and say, O what the hey." he says.                                                       (0039) 347 27 85550Image result for civico 29 leathers of florence


          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! Related image
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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?                                     
Risultati immagini per arlo haisek pictures
                                                                                                AH             Risultati immagini per arlo haisek pictures


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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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                                                                                  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." 

     The plates of pasta are HUGE and they look scrumptious! correlata

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! 

   "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?" 

   And here in Italy where vineyards are abundant a Capo can have his picture on his on wine! Immagine correlata
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...
  I am hungry just talking to him! 

                         Via dei Michelozzi 9red                                                


                              and the team! Immagine correlata

                      Resultado de imagen para cinto restaurant florence 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. Resultado de imagen para cinto restaurant florence
"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.
"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

    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!

"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
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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!                                         
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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. Resultado de imagen para vico del carmine

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. 

   "The food itself, the friendly and sincere service that we try to give to our guests, who are VERY IMPORTANT TO US, TO ME AND ANGELA, is why we do what we do. Francesco is much more ambitious and is always looking to try new ventures, while we are very happy and content to presenting ourselves as traditional and representative of the true hospitality of Florence. As Francesco told you a couple of years back, my uncle is a famous Academia Teacher for Italian Chefs and we try to present the best of the culture of Italian cooking to the tourists." says Allessandro, who is talking about his brother, Francesco who started the restaurant a couple of years ago. He is funny and fun and Allesandro and his wife are honest, sweet and kind.
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                   The Famous Florentine Restaurant named Acqua al 2 with head chef Stefano Innocenti

            has been in Florence since 1978 and the idea is to give alternative cuisine to the guests, Italian of course, yet with presentation of fantasy from the chef and composed of delicate dishes to choose from. At the year it opened the menu is a immediate success and has continued these many years to present the guests the culture and food of the fantasy. 

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                                                                                       reservations: +39 055 28 41 70


              The cool funky fun of the traditional and elegant Acqua al 2, located at Via della Vigna Vecchia, 40/R.Image result for al acqua 2 florence
                                    Image result for al acqua 2 florence
            Since 1978 the original Acqua al 2 has been in Florence and the last 33 years the local Florentines have flocked to it, yet now it includes tourists and the students who love to try the fantasy dishes of Mr. Innocenti. In 2000, Martin Gonzalez opened the Acqua Al 2 in San Diego, California and in 2010, Stefano's childhood friends, Ralph Lee and Ari Geidenson opened the internationally loved Florentine restaurant in Washington DC.  We must ask if Mr. and Mrs. Trump have dined at the restaurant and that way we can all feel a little Florentine! 

     Along with the American Diner on Via Acqua right around the alley of the restaurant Acqua Al 2, the owners Valentine and Stefano also own the Dive all night famous Club THE a Friday night event...
Friday at 11:45 PM - 4 AM
Aug 3 at 11:45 PM to Aug 4 at 4 AM                     
The Blob Club
Via Vinegia, 21/r, 50122 Florence, Italy

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"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. 
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...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.
        Some of the cool items in the ARTE FASHION VINTAGE store located at 
Via San Zanobi 37 include the great wagon wheel wooden chairs and rockers that Fabio handmakes and finishes himself.                                           PHONE: 00390550601110 
Couldn't put down the great old-fashioned jewelry as each piece is beautiful and Fabio says, "I know everybody comes in here and says O my Gosh it is beautiful and they walk room to room and see each item and they keep saying, "O my Gosh" as they see more items!" he laughs. 

                                      TOTAL GORGEOUS CHAIRS LOVE THESE

"Maybe we can say that my store is open from 11:00am to 19:00pm, which is 7:00pm, yet honestly usually I am here early and stay late since many tourists and guests, especially the 20 to 30 year olds want to come in after 18:00pm. If you come into the store and love something you can stay and buy til 21:00pm, if you want. I love my store and I collect so much. The shoes I have from the 1930s to the 1980s and some are new colored sneakers such as the Gucci. Every item is special and I hope people find something that they love." says Fabio as two young people age about 24 to 25 come in and buy some cool vintage. "We went shopping at Gucci today," says one of the youngsters who's name was Domenico, "We wanted a little modern and a little vintage to mix it up." They say laughing as they buy their clothes and go out to see the city. 
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  Found some lovely shoes and great Austin Powers dresses ladys!

"I have had my store open almost 3 years now and it has a little mix of modern and vintage and handmade items such as these huge wooden rocking chairs and wooden chairs that I hand make and finish to look shabby chic. These chairs take me about 2 months to make and you have to let me know which color of sanded shabby chic you want, and yes I can make a pink one!" says the funny Fabio as he walks me to room to room showing me all of the coolest vintage and collectibles that he has acquired. "I have the vintage sunglasses of Prada and Dolce and Gabana and Playboy and Christian Dior, yet honestly these usually don't stay in the store very long since everybody loves these and collects these items." 

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"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 '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 5557

 You can find the smaller intimate Tuscani                                           at 

                     Via de Federighi 37 red. 

"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 

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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 

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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! 
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 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?  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! 
"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