Florence Journals

A Steak to the Art

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A March 2008 trip to Florence by Liam Hetherington

Il Latini Photo, Florence, Italy More Photos
Quote: Florence's artistic treasures are all well and good, but you won't go hungry here either. I went in search of the famed bistecca fiorentina...

A Steak to the Art

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Overview

Il Latini Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Tuscany and Florence in particular are justifiably famous for their cooking. Perhaps the most famous dish is bistecca fiorentina. This is a vast tranche of steak, taken from a specific Tuscan breed of cattle, the white chianina. It is supposed to be the absolute bee's knees of the steak world - only maybe rivalled by Japanese kobe or wagayu beef. Pie-master friends of mine had raved over Florentine bistecca - so much so that I could actually hear them salivating over the phone just talking about it. Obviously I thought that I had to get me some of that!You will find bistecca on the menu of most reputable restaurants in Florence - or indeed throughout Tuscany. There are hurdle...Read More

Albergo Chiazza

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Hotel | "Hotel Chiazza - There are no Bargains in Florence"

Albergo Chiazza Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
I suppose Hotel Chiazza is proof of the maxim ‘you get what you pay for’. Yet I don’t think €40.00 (£30.00) a night is exactly skimping. However the exceptionally basic lodgings I had here cost the same as a pretty lovely en suite room I had booked right in the heart of Venice on the same website (www.venere.com), and was only 25% less than what I paid for another equally nice room in Siena. I suppose this is evidence of the price inflation prevalent in Florence – you try getting a room for a reasonable price!Location-wise, the Hotel is faily well situated. It is at the southern end of Borgo Pinti near Piazza Salvemini. From this small triangular square stright roads will take you d...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 11, 2008

Albergo Chiazza
Borgo Pinti, 5
Florence 50121
+39 055 248 0363

Belle Donne

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Restaurant | "Osteria delle Belle Donne - the Best Porchettino in Tuscany"

Belle Donne Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
I had not intended to come here. I only found the place while waiting for Da Il Latini to open for evening trade. But I certainly don’t regret my visit. As it was, it was a great introduction to Florentine cuisine.The osteria is located on the ‘Street of Beautiful Women’ (strange how I gravitated here, isn’t it?). It has one cramped room, the bar piled high with marrows, magnums of Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, and an inflatable Spiderman sat in an ‘Emmanuelle’-style wicker chair. One wall was coated thickly with postcards that must have been there for 25 years. I guess that it could seat around 36 people at the adjacent tables at a real push. It is certainly not the place to come if you v...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2008

Belle Donne
Via delle Belle Donne, 16r
Florence, Italy 50123
+39 0552382609

Il Latini

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Restaurant | "Da Il Latini - Worth the Wait"

Il Latini Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
It was after reading reviews on IgoUgo that I decided that Da Il Latini looked like a good restaurant to try out due to all the positive reviews. Well here comes another to bolster their reputation. This is an absolutely top-class restaurant. Great food, good service, a pretty decent price for what you get, and some quite remarkable theatre.Da Il Latini is set on a tiny blink-and-you’ll-miss-it alley. A review had said to get there at 7.15. I did, but the place was closed. It does not actually open until 7.30. I didn’t want to hang around and look desperate like the other two people that turned up while I was there, so I wandered off to have a look around. I eventually ended up at O...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2008

Il Latini
Via dei Palchetti, 6r
Florence, Italy 50123

Ciro & Sons

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Restaurant | "Ciro & Sons - Keeping it in the Family..."

Ciro & Sons Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Ciro & Sons is located not far from the San Lorenzo and the Cappelle Medicee, and so is ideally placed for a lunch-stop. As long as you do not miss the opening of the Capelle as a result, as I did. Inside it is very plush – brilliant white table cloths, gleaming cutlery and glasses. According to their website (www.ciroandsons.com) the patches of fresco on the walls are not merely for show – this restauarant is located in what was once the palace of the papal Aldobrandini family. So far, so swanky. And as the name (‘Ciro and Sons’, not ‘Ciro e Figli’) show, they are used to cate...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2008

Ciro & Sons
Antica pizzeria dell'arte
Florence, Italy
+39 (055) 289694

Ristorante Le Colonnine

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Restaurant | "La Colonnine - Trust the Waiters..."

Ristorante Le Colonnine Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
La Colonnine is a narrow wedge of a building between Via dei Benci and Borgo Santa Croce. It is hence pretty near Santa Croce. They advertised bistecca fiorentina so I went in to check that they could do me one around 4 or 5 etti. The bearded waiter said that the smallest one they did was 600g. I looked dubious. He could take it off the bone for me? Okay. At last, on my last night in Florence, I would get to try the famous bistecca fiorentina. First impressions? Well for starters, over half the customers here were Italian, something I always take as a good sign. Inside the awkwa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2008

Ristorante Le Colonnine
Via Dei Benci 6r
Florence, Italy
+39 (055) 234-6417

Moyo

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Attraction | "Moyo - Trendy in Tuscany"

Quote:
I was directed to Moyo by a waiter after I had dined across the street at la Colonnine. This is a trendy place; indeed in my experience the Via de’Benci is one of the few places with a nightlife scene in sedate Florence. The chairs have backs in the shape of the letter ‘M’. And at the window the ‘M’ is joined by an ‘O’, a ‘Y’, and another ‘O’. It has dim lighting with prisms in the shades. I got myself a glass of draught Nastro Azzurro (€6.00) and found myself a seat in the corner to watch the nightlife. This is where the beautiful people of Florence come. Mostly students, and principally Italian, but you can spot a few international types – much like myself, they were the scruffier ones! ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2008

Moyo
Via De' Benci, 23r
Florence, Italy 50122
+39 (055) 2479 738

Vestri

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Attraction | "Vestri - Gelato Heaven"

Vestri Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
What is a trip to Italy that does not include gelato? Whether you are an ice-cream maniac back home or not, Italian gelati is so often so completely out of this world it really does not deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as it. So sorry. I am very pleased to report that the gelato at Vestri well and truly hits the spot. At heart it is a chocolate shop, an offshoot of the original store in Arezzo, and in March the store front was decorated with Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies. However, it is certainly no slouch when it comes to the gelato. A good sign – as far as I’m concerned – is that the tubs of ice cream are covered and not open to every passing fly. Another go...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2008

Vestri
Piazza Santa Croce - Borgo Albizi, 11r
Florence
+39 (055) 234-0374