Le Giubbe Rosse, the quintessential literary café in Florence

Le Giubbe Rosse, the quintessential literary café in Florence

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I feel a deep sadness every time I pass by the piazza della Repubblica; the modern and air-conditioned buildings and its terraces do not allow the contemplation of at least four classic splendorous cafes in the city: Le Giubbe Rosse, Gilli, Donnini, and Paszkowski. It is almost a total eclipse; there is no room for bias. As a general rule, the tourists are the ones using most of the modern facilities in town. Based on my regular visits to the premises of Le Giubbe Rosse, on the «outside» old terrace and in the interior you will always see mature local Florentines taking Amaro, Negroni or simply a cup of coffee. It touches me deeply that there are still some genuine places in this city. A city that increasingly chooses to please tourists instead of respecting its legitimate and long-standing culture.…

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Florence Cocktail Week 2019, fancy a drink?

Florence Cocktail Week 2019, fancy a drink?

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Following the success of previous editions, Florence Cocktail Week 2019 is back in May for a week dedicated to custom cocktails. The event, which runs from May 6 to 12, is promoted by Paola Mencarelli and Lorenzo Nigro and will feature masterclasses, roundtables, and tasting sessions at 30 cocktail lounges around town with notable bartenders such as Santa Rosa Bistrot, Mad: Souls & Spirits, Winter Garden Bar, La Menagère, and Rasputin.

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Le Murate, Florence cultural meeting point

Le Murate, Florence cultural meeting point

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The first and only time I was in Le Murate was in March 2015. It was a first date and I fell in love with him. The relationship prospered, although soon after it became complicated and exploded. A thousand pieces of my heart flew through his room. I picked up a few and I took them with me, in case they were needed for the future … Today I return to Le Murate to reconcile with my past in this city. Because one really starts to belong to a city when the memories of a certain ‘past’ happened on that particular place … Le Murate also has its own past. This Florence former prison has been converted into a local cultural meeting point. In addition to modern apartments, Le Murate now hosts a bookstore, an art gallery, a wine bar, and a café: Le Murate Caffè Letterario. Literati, intellectuals, and local cultural scene players meet in this bar-restaurant-café. In addition, they organize lectures, debates, art exhibitions or live music. In summer, the open-air patio leads the night, and even films are screened here.

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Gilda Bistrot, Paris in Florence

Gilda Bistrot, Paris in Florence

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In the Florentine neighborhood of Sant’Ambrogio, in piazza Ghiberti, Gilda Bistrot fully embodies the style and atmosphere of Parisian bistros: soft lighting and candlelight, wooden furniture, antique porcelain, and vintage accessories. The art nouveau permeates every corner of the restaurant. Gilda is like a small museum of great taste and excellent food. Its gastronomic proposal includes not only traditional Florentine dishes but also covers gastronomy from all Italian regions. It is the perfect place for a first date; success is guaranteed, at least in the aesthetic and the culinary ……

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A «panino» at La Prosciutteria …?

A «panino» at La Prosciutteria …?

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«Vero maiale! (Real pork!)» is the motto of this narrow but elongated place where cured hams hang from the ceiling and young and cheerful waiters cater in foreign languages to locals and travellers. La Prosciutteria is located in Via dei Neri 54r, one of the most vibrant streets of the historic centre (between Palazzo Vecchio and Santa Croce), with plenty of cafes, bars, restaurants, ice cream shops and stores. They provide with regional artisan products such as wines, oils and jams, as well as merchandising. Undoubtedly, the best is the Tuscan glass of house wine for only 2.5 euros, which accompanied by a panino with prosciutto, pecorino cheese and olive pâté costs 7 euros. Try to avoid lunch time (1-3pm) as it becomes too packed. In addition to panini they sell cheese and sausage on wood boards. Self-service basis.
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Rasputin, a secret bar in Florence

Rasputin, a secret bar in Florence

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There is no doubt that prohibition awakens desire. Rasputin stands as a speakeasy: an exclusive bar behind closed doors, to which only a few are granted access. Indeed, all cities in the world have their secret bar. The speakeasy concept emerged in the first decades of the twentieth century in New York, in full swing of Prohibition. I’m not very fond of cocktails, as seeing a beautiful glass with just capacity for a cappuccino, priced 10 or 15 euros, from which one could only drink a sip almost as fast as a shot, makes me feel terribly upset. I prefer a jar of beer or a generous glass of wine, which despite the anxiety for drinking guarantees a prolonged delight. …

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Palazzo Guadagni, aperitif deluxe in Florence

Palazzo Guadagni, aperitif deluxe in Florence

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Rooftop views are unparalleled in Florence, proof of it is the rooftop garden bar at the Hotel Palazzo Guadagni. This ancient palace in the Oltrarno area has a privileged view from the loggia, which turns the palazzo’s terrace garden bar into a marvellous setting for having a red wine or a cocktail in Florence. It is a novel space neither overly exploited nor well known in Florence yet, thus you can take an aperitif as a local and without the need of a previous reservation. The views, the atmosphere and the service are simply unique and it is the perfect spot to amaze dates and visitors.…

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St. Regis Winter Garden Bar, a 5 star inner garden in Florence

St. Regis Winter Garden Bar, a 5 star inner garden in Florence

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Florence, with its artistic wonders and cosmopolitan air, has become the universal dream of any traveller. The present and past essence of the Tuscan capital can be breathed in the atmosphere of historical The St. Regis Florence Hotel, which boasts a superior category in piazza Ognissanti since the mid-18th century. Placed in central Florence, at the former Palazzo Giuntini, the picturesque St. Regis Florence has been the favoured stop of experienced travellers for decades. Granted with the Gambero Rosso BAR D’ITALIA prize since 2015 and for four consecutive years, its Winter Garden Bar provides visitors with an exceptional and personalized experience. Gratify yourself with an aperitif, an afternoon tea or after dinner drink accompanied by live piano music and savour the creations arranged with fresh ingredients and masterfully prepared by Bar Manager Christian Pampo and his crew. Everyday, Bloody Mary from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., afternoon tea from 3:30 to 5 p.m., and champagne ritual from 7 to 8 p.m. Open to the public, welcoming and exquisite service.

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Procacci, wine and truffles since 1885 in Florence

Procacci, wine and truffles since 1885 in Florence

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Considered one of the most historic delicatessen in the city, the traditional and sophisticated Procacci shop is located in the heart of Florence, on centuries old and prestigious Via de’ Tornabuoni. With its historic legacy in artistry and handcraftsmanship, Procacci soon won vast recognition amongst the citizens, especially for its gastronomic specialties made with truffles, such as its famous sandwiches. Savoring these specialties continues to be a popular ritual followed both by Florentines and visitors.
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Trattoria Sergio Gozzi: authentic Tuscan «casalinga» cousine in the heart of Florence

Trattoria Sergio Gozzi: authentic Tuscan «casalinga» cousine in the heart of Florence

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This family-run trattoria, semi-hidden in Piazza San Lorenzo, shows a lot of stickers from Tripadvisor, Yelp and all of those platforms, which prepare respectable reviews of commercial establishments for tourists to visit in droves. The number of stickers on the door normally corresponds to the length of queuing. However, such claims seem to me of doubtful value, as I never had much faith in the reviews written even by acquaintances. «Casalinga» is related to the sort of cuisine, in this regard, not only homemade and Tuscan, but also highlighting the quality of the food, rather than the presentation of the dishes or the decoration of the premises. Trattoria Sergio Gozzi displays an interior design with a genuinely rustic and modest personality. The menu of the day is brief but compelling. Affordable prices.
Trattoria Sergio Gozzi (since 1915), piazza di San Lorenzo 8R, 50123 Florence | Open only at noon, no reservations | Best after 2:30 p.m.

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