There is nothing more than I love than character and quality. One may say a cappuccino is nothing more than milk and espresso, but for me it is a coveted pleasure that I partake in at few places. There are a few things that can put me in a funk and one of those is a bad cappuccino, and you may think that could never happen in the country of coffee culture but I assure you it does and it does for many reasons.
1. The method in which milk is steamed is fundamental. 2. How it is poured over and weaved into the luscious dark espresso and 3. How much the barista actually cares about their job. While Gilda’s isn’t some hipster coffee haven doing flat whites, the coffee is light years ahead most bars around Florence.
Anytime I have been into Gilda’s, it has been like walking into a friend’s home. There is no high pressure. There are no overwhelming crowds. There is not some hungover barista annoyed by your caffeine feening existence. There is a little spread of homemade pastries welcoming your arrival into this little peaceful nook into the heart of the very Florentine Sant’Ambrogio, one of the most special neighborhoods in the food-loving world.
I quite enjoy the presence of Gilda, her wildly awesome red hair reminding me of Lucille Ball and an unforgettable thick Florentine accent, chit-chatting with the locals discussing probably really important things but all I can notice is the art nouveau decor, attention to detail and how really eclectic just having breakfast can be in Florence.
If Gilda is not at the bar serving up smooth coffee, her son is. Funny story: for the longest time I thought this gentleman was her husband. She is just that badass that I would have pegged her with a man young enough to be her son.
They do lunch and dinner too. They source their fruits and vegetables from select vendors/producers in the Sant’Ambrogio Market while they source their meat from farmers in Piedmont which includes heritage breeds of cattle (beef) and source fish from a local cooperative in Viareggio.
There is no table charge and breakfast at Gilda’s offers you a sweet oasis from the usual coffee bars dotted all over Florence. The pastries change every day, for example I had one recently with summer apricots and a dot of custard and the most perfectly buttery, flaky chew.
….And this is why I will probably have diabetes by the time I’m 30 for as long as I continue to live in Florence…
I was not paid or endorsed for this post. I just felt like sharing. All pictures are mine. So go and visit Gilda and her son (not her husband) in Florence:
Piazza Lorenzo Ghilberti
50100 – Florence – Italy
tel. +39 055 234 3885
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