Top 4 Panini Places in Firenze

Firenze: The City of Molti Panini. With a vinaio on every corner and lampredotto as far as the eye can see, it can be difficult to weed out which sandwich spots are worth your time and euros.

Tuscany is famous for pecorino cheese, unsalted bread, and salami Tuscano, but the panini possibilities are truly endless at the fine establishments below. If you haven’t checked them out, go now, before it’s too late!

I Due Fratellini 

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Two Brothers? More like Too Delicious!!! Due Fratellini is definitely the best bang for your buck. For 3 euro and some change you can have a sandwich that will rock your gosh dang world! Add a nice takeaway cup of wine to the mix and you’ve got Italian street food at its best! Located right across from Chieso/Museo Orsanmichele and down the street from Piazza della Signora, this is the perfect pit stop for a quick and delicious sammys when you’re on-the-go!

All’Antico Vinaio

All'antico Vinaio en Firenze, Italia

via Flickr.com

 

 

All’Antico Vinaio is an absolute staple of Firenze.   Ordering a sandwich from All’Antico Vinaio is like buying a one-way ticket to Flavor Town, population: You. The thick focaccia bread and generous meat and cheese portions will fill you up without costing you the big bucks. Located right down the street from the famous Galleria degli Uffizi, All Antico Vinaio couldn’t be easier to find. Just look for the long line of hungry Italians waiting to get their hands on one of All’Antico’s savory sandoozles.

Salumeria Verdi (AKA Pino’s Sandwiches)

Pino's sandwiches
via thosewhowanderblog.com

It is absolutely bananas how delicious Pino’s sandwiches are. If you’re near Santa Croce, you’ve just gotta to stop by Pino’s. My favorite is the “The Best.” This magic combo of tender roast beef, eggplant, la bomba (or “spicy” as Pino calls it), pecorino, arugula, and fresh tomatoes truly earns this sandwich its name.  In addition to the excellent sandwiches, it doesn’t hurt that Pino may just be the friendliest man in Firenze. The warmth and excitement that Pino exhibits anytime someone walks through the door is just an added benefit to his delicious sandwiches.

Vinaino di Parte Guelfa

vinaino di parte guelfa

via 10best.com

If you want a true, authentic Italian sandwich experience, look no further than Vinaino di Parte Guelfa. This hidden gem of Florence is run by the dynamic brother duo of Leonardo and Luca, who are happy to help you figure out which sandwich is best for you. Vinaino di Parte Guelfa is located behind the H&M on a side street of via Pellicerria and is frequented almost exclusively by locals, so it’s a great place to practice your Italiano! 

Must-See Places in Firenze

Whether you’ve decided to remain in Florence for a weekend or need a list of things to do when your friends and family visit, here is a compilation of the best things to do in Florence!

Duomo: Biggest church in Italy. It’s in the center of the city so you’re going to walk past it a million times and probably use it as a reference to figure out where you are. If you get a chance climb up to the top –- the view is incredible and totally worth it.

Ponte Vecchio: Aka the bridge with all the buildings on both sides. There are a bunch of stores that sell gold and jewlery all along it and the view is gorgeous. You can make it a quick walk through or stop and window shop, but this is a quick and easy thing to check off your Florence bucket list.

 

Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens: The Pitti Palace is the palace that the Medici family lived in which is now a museum with a lot of famous artwork. Inside the palace are several different museums in addition to the Boboli gardens in the palace’s backyard that is especially beautiful. The gardens are fairly large with many different paths so you can walk around for a while and bring food and drinks and relax.

The Leather Market: Best place to buy all your leather goods – you can negotiate the prices on the strip with the vendors.

Mercato Centrale: This is the market where locals come every day to buy their food. They have the most incredible breads, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, pasta, fish, meat, dried fruit, etc.  Everything is so ridiculously fresh and so cheap, you will never want to go to a supermarket again. Sample everything when you walk around it!

Piazza della Repubblica: This piazza is distinguished by its merry-go-round. Surrounding the piazza are a lot of delicious cafes and shopping. When it’s warmer out, there’s a lot of live music that people come and listen to for hours.  There is also a rooftop cafe on top of the department store La Rinascente — if you go to the top floor of the store you can sit up on the terrace and get coffee or drinks with a view overlooking the Duomo.

Piazza della Signoria: A lot of famous sculptures are here – the most famous being the fake David. Always lively and things going on here – you will walk through it a lot. There is a ton of history in this Piazza with the Medici Palace and Uffizi Gallery.

Uffizi Gallery: One of the most famous museums in Florence with a lot of Renaissance paintings inside. However, it’s a fairly large museum and some say it’s exhausting so be prepared.

Accademia Museum–The David: You obviously have to see the David, and this is one sight that will not disappoint.  It is definitely worth seeing- you won’t believe how big it is! You can buy tickets in advance – they’re easily purchased online or if you have visitors their hotel can do it for you if you ask.

Piazzale Michelangelo: Walk up to the top of Piazzale Michelangelo for the best panoramic view of Florence. You can sit up there during the day or go during sunset. There are usually people playing live music up there and a bunch of little stands where you can get little trinkets, scarves or food. A common activity for students is going at sunset with a bottle of wine and sitting on the steps for an hour or two. It’s also a great place to run to because there are a lot of steps which makes it a great workout.

Piazza Santa Croce: Every single important person is buried in this church. It’s nice to hang outside when it’s beautiful out –you can lay on the benches, eat, listen to live music, people watch, etc.

Santa_Croce_(Florence)_-_Facade

via wikipedia.org

Basically, just walk everywhere and take in every sight you see.  Every street has something adorable on it and for the most part people are friendly. There are millions of little stores and restaurants that are hidden that are exciting to find and are a fun way to get to know the city. Also, if you’re ever bored you can always walk into a bakery or gelateria and treat yourself to a dessert…when in Flo right?

ZAZA TRATTORIA

One of my favorite restaurants I have been to in Flornence is Zaza Trattoria.  Zaza Trattoria is located next to the Central Market in San Lorenzo.  Everytime I go to the restaurant, I am never disapointed.

Something that makes Zaza Trattoria unique is there wide variety menu.  Personally, I have never been to a restaurant with a menu as large as the one here.  When you are seated, the host gives you three different menus double sided as well as a small daily menu.  There is a whole menu for: truffle, fish, appetizers and first courses, second courses and grilled meats, and the daily menu.  These menus are also filled with different options from top to bottom.  This is great if you are with a large group of people because there is an option for everyone; no one will be dissapointed or unable to find something on one of the menus that they want to order.  You would think a restaurant with that many options would be on the more expensive side, but they are not.  They are reasonably priced.  There are options that are pricier, but many of their menu options are affordable for college students who are studying abroad.  My friends and I are always wanting a meal at Zaza Trattoria.

I highly reccomend students to go to Zaza Trattoria.  The meals are great, the prices are great, and you will want to bring your family and friends there as well.

www.trattoriazaza.it

 

IL RUBACONTE: RIGHT NEXT TO BARGALI

Are you in class and you’re really hungry and you realize you only have a 20 minute break before your next class? Go right next door to Il Rubaconte and you will be sure to get a lunch that is extremely quick and satisfying. Whether you are in the mood for a salad, panini, or a glass of wine..you can get any of these things less than 2 minutes away from Bargali. Il Rubaconte is not just tasty but it is very convenient and reasonably priced for college students that don’t want to spend 15 Euro on lunch everyday. I find the workers friendly and willing to make you happy with seating you wherever you would like and providing table service. Every time I go into Il Rubaconte I switch up what I order and I have never been disappointed. It is really nice having a small cafe next to school because not many people in Florence have that right next door. Not only do students like to go to this cafe but Professors are always going in for a quick Espresso in between their classes. On Wednesday nights Il Rubaconte does family style dinners where you have to pay 15 euro and you get a whole bunch of food that will fill you up for the rest of your night. They provide meats and cheeses along with breads and meals to follow. Obviously, they have lots of different wines that can satisfy whatever taste you prefer. Il Rubaconte is a must-have if you are going to school at Bargali or even if you are walking along the Arno with family visiting from home. It is quick and easy and it will always make you happy every-time you go in.

NEWS CAFE: A POPULAR PLACE TO GRAB A CAPPUCCINO

News Cafe is very well known here in Firenze by many locals and study abroad students. Are you in the mood for a cappuccino or even a small snack, News Cafe will satisfy you! News Cafe has a variety of drinks including alcoholic beverages and even some small little sandwiches. You will be sure to get a beverage that had a lot of time and effort put into it. News Cafe is unique because of its intricate designs that are placed on top of any hot beverage you order. Who wouldn’t want the design of the famous Duomo on the top of their cappuccino?! Many study abroad students like to come into News Cafe and sit down and enjoy a nice drink and get some work done. The cafe provides a very relaxing atmosphere and the people who work there will be sure to give you the WiFi password so you can get the work you need done. Even if you are not going in to do homework and you want something “To Go” they will be happy to make you something you will love. News Cafe is one of the more unique shops in Firenze and is easy to find. You can find News Cafe right near Santa Maria Novella on Via del Giglio. It is right on the corner and is very hard to miss!

news-cafe

Gusta Pizza, Me Gustas Tu!

Screen Shot 2012-12-01 at 3.46.55 PMby Allie Pruitt
Ask any abroad student where to get the best pizza and without hesitation he or she will respond, “Gusta Pizza.” Hands down, Gusta makes the best pizza in the entire world! Exaggeration? Nope.
Gusta is located on Via Maggio, just across the bridge on the Arno’s south side, an area a bit less touristy than the city center. The small restaurant is run by Italians originally from Naples, and it’s always packed. The simple menu includes about eight types of pizza, each one more delicious than than the last.  My personal favorite is the classic Margherita. The sauce is to die for, the mozzarella actually has flavor and the crust is divine–not too thin, not too thick. Once you try Gusta, it is impossible to not go back, and I go as much as possible because I have never tasted anything like it, anywhere.
A Gusta pizza costs only five euro and is worth every centesimo. Gusta makes it seem perfectly natural (and oh so easy) to eat an entire pizza by yourself, without guilt! Check out this video where the men of Gusta show off their culinary skills!

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The Irresistible Caffè Serafini

by Alyssa Thermos

During my time abroad, I was lucky enough to live in an apartment in a residential area of Florence near Piazza Beccaria. This elegant area is bustling with Florentines, not tourists, and just across the street from my apartment on Via Gioberti–a great street for shopping–I discovered Caffe’ Serafini. I’ve been hooked ever since. At first glance, Serafini seems like a typical Italian pasticeria, where a multitude of sweet pastries are baked fresh each morning, but upon closer inspection, Serafini is really one-of-a-kind. The pastries are the most delicious I’ve tried in Florence, and the caffe’ is known for its specialty coffee, the fornacino (pictured below). This creamy chocolate and coffee delight literally melts in your mouth.

But don’t stop at breakfast! Serafini offers a variety of lunch items, too. From sandwiches and pasta dishes to meats and vegetables, this self-service lunch is the healthiest and most delicious  you’ll ever eat. It’s true that at first the same few regular employees found my broken Italian a bit frustrating, but after I’d stopped in a few times, they started treating me as if I was part of the family. That kind of hospitality is comforting when you’re far from home and I will certainly miss the staff at Serafini.

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Plus, if you’re looking for a casual and authentic aperitivo, Serafini charges modestly for a drink and provides lots of wonderful hors d’oeuvres.

I may not have found Caffe Serafini if it hadn’t been for the location of my apartment, which is a bit off the beaten path yet still a short walk to Santa Croce where I attend classes. I highly recommend getting out of the city center now and then to experience a real day-in-the-life of a Florentine, and there is no better place to do that than at Caffe’ Serafini!

downloadThis is what Italian fast-food looks like! (lunch at Caffe’ Serafini)

CAFFE’ SERAFINI
VIA GIOBERTI 168r
50121 FIRENZE
0552476214

Le Murate: Florence’s former prison now hub for art, culture and music

Le Murate is the main center of art and contemporary music in Florence. It includes a cafe, a library, a box office for the city’s major events and a gallery of creative workshops. The building also has a great history, in fact it is the former prison in Florence but now, conversely, it is  a symbol of freedom and culture. Ideally located in one of the most characteristic neighbourhoods of the historical center of Florence: between Piazza Santa Croce and the lively district of St. Ambrogio.

Screen Shot 2012-11-30 at 2.29.04 PMle_murateLe-murate-firenze