This blog is about eating and drinking well. Most of the content concerns food in Florence since I am obsessed with it. I get some of my food recommendations from just wandering around Florence. The other half is from talking to friends and locals. The beauty about people in Italy is that they all love to talk about food and their next meal even while they are eating. Recently, I was catching up with the lovely author of Lost in Florence and I was telling her about my amazing new food obsessed pal who always is tipping me off to the best places and hole in the walls. Recently I discovered O Scugnizzo thanks to said pal. Being Florentine, he has a good sense of places which are real and not completely just trendy. I should mention that he is also an awesome musician, and it has been my experience that artists generally are dependable foodies- they understand that a certain amount of creativity and soul needs to go in every craft. He has the same standard that I do for finding the eateries with soul which do not cost an arm and a leg. More importantly, places that deliver tasty food.
So Lost in Florence said “Why don’t you start a column about What Giorgio Says about Florence?” So here I am.
Meet Giorgio…what does he say about eating in Florence?
His first suggestion to travelers and foreigners in Florence is to get outside the city center! Recently, he took me to Caffe Neri: a (dangerously tempting) bakery where the lead baker Simone Bellesi has won awards and recognition for the best Schiacciata alla Fiorentina (which is an orange zest spiked sponge cake topped with powdered sugar, sometimes cocoa and usually best with chantilly cream and chocolate shavings.) They had an overwhelming selection of cakes, mini tarts, pastries and even savory pizzas and sandwiches with their fresh baked breads.
The bakery also pulls decent espresso and creamy cappuccini. On the way there, he pointed out a couple parks and villas that I had never heard of! The zone is called Castello and is in the section of Sesto Fiorentino. Giorgio says: he doesn’t understand why people don’t take a bus or a train to these places that take 15 minutes when in London, you can easily spend 30 minutes on the tube. Granted, Florence is tiny and concentrated. It is not always necessary to go outside the center since there are good offerings. But if you are a food hunter when traveling, it serves as a good adventure to trek to more uncombed parts of this foodie paradise that is Florence and Tuscany.
How to get there: With the ATAF Bus (FYI The bus system here is full of morons. But unfortunately there is no other public transport option) you can take the 28 or take a train to Sesto Fiorentino. Or take a cab, get adventurous with a bike and spend the afternoon trapsing around the nearby Villa Castello and Medici Gardens (Villa Medicea di Castello)
More details: Caffè Neri Address: Via Antonio Gramsci, 809, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino FI Phone:055 452696
The next installment of “What Giorgio Says” will be his top 5 bakery and pastry shop picks in Florence: both within and outside the historical center.
In your genuine search,
The Curious Appetite
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