Twenty four hours in Florence - Where to eat and sleep: Michelin stars to your neighborhood restaurants
March 6, 2017
My beloved readers, you all probably know of Florence and it does not need an introduction. There are about another 10000+ articles with recommended cultural and historical sites, I am simply going to share my preferred meal and hotel experiences. I have visited 3 times so one could say I am a "semi Florence connoisseur"
We start out the Florence adventure by checking in Croce Di Malta Hotel, which was a quick walk from the train station.
It is easy and convenient and a great value for money. Perfectly positioned both near downtown and the train station makes this hotel the ideal place to stay. Far enough from the center not to feel suffocated by tourists but close enough to walk to it within 5 minutes. Ask for Silvia, she was an angel taking care of us! The breakfast was great and plenty which was another pleasant surprise for Italian hotel standards.
Beautiful area for breakfast overlooking their gardens
Our room was spacious, clean and nicely decorated. Had a lovely balcony and a very comfortable bed. They also automatically provided extra covers and pillows, which somehow always seems to be tricky to find in Europe. I forgot my toothbrush and in under a minute they had one at my doorstep.
Be also sure to get on that rooftop terrace! The best views of Florence are there. Perfect photo opportunity anyone?
With this view we had to get a little glam ;)
After checking in we decided to head out and see the usual tourist spots. I won't go into details as they are well known but we of course were in awe of all of the incredible art and sculptures this city has to offer. Feels like a mini Rome.
After walking around had opened up our appetite we walked over to Irene Bistro at Savoy Hotel.
We had a lovely time at Irene Bistro. The food quality is great but what really makes a difference is the service. Managers, staff, everyone made us feel at home and taken care of; it was a lovely experience.
It is inside the Savoy hotel which is wonderful on it's own of course.
Started out with a traditional Spritz, delicious olives and almonds. Perfect aperitif combo!
cheers to an awesome place and beautiful views!
Their balsamic vinegar is to die for and their appetizers are all fantastic! They have a lovely terrace that even in the winter has warmers that allow you to enjoy the view of the square.
We even had a horse and carriage view for a bit! It was so surreal and beautiful.
A yummy start of duo of chicken liver pate and foie grass
When in Tuscany one must have some meat! We had a delicious beef fillet coked with Tuscan herbs and sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt.
Be sure to leave room for dessert! We had the classic Tiramisu (pictured) and a delicious chestnut tart with hot chocolate sauce.
Ended our visit with a nice relaxing moment at their cozy lounge.
I suggest you then head out to Fiesole. Little town a few minutes away from Florence and check out some great views of the city, my favorite hotel there for a drink is the Belmond.
After you worked up an appetite once again, end your evening in the romantic city of Florence with a bang! At one of the best restaurants in Italy: Il Cibreo
We all know Italian food is good, Tuscan food is great but Il Cibreo takes this to another level! Every single bite of every dish we had was mouthwatering and out of this world, this place is really worth every penny. From start to finish they make you feel like royalty, I am not surprise this is a favorite of writers, intellectuals and even Woody Allen is rumored to be a fan.
some traditional Italian pecorino cheese to start with!
Please note that face! we laughed non stop... also don't miss the chicken meatballs on my friend's plate. They were divine!
There is no menu (be open minded) and a lady sits at your table, tells you all about the options for the day and helps you pick the best options for you.The menu is based on traditional Tuscan cooking, before the introduction of pasta. Throughout the meal we were offered the best customer service. As an American I am quite picky with this and I must say I was blown away. We laughed, we ate, we even met the chef, I didn't want to leave even though we were there for over 3 hours! Be sure to not give this place a miss. It really lives up to it's two Michelin stars.
Amazing amuse bouche.
The super trio analyzing and plotting how our meal would be served.. I must say their plotting was a success!
More deliciousness on a plate!
Our favorite wine. But they were all delicious and paired perfectly with the food.
After basically being in a food coma they brought us not one.. not two.. but a TABLE filled with desserts! Of course they were all incredible so even against our stomach's promise for revenge we ate every single one. They were, as every other piece of this meal: glorious.
I had to then of course give the chef a hug and asked to be adopted:
We happily and giggly danced back to our hotel promising to never eat again.Slept like babies and of course broke that promise the very next day, where after walking through the Palazzo Pitti & the Boboli Gardens were once again famished.
Even on a rainy day Boboli gardens where quite a sight!
We had another delicious meal at the hotel's restaurant and I must say, hands down, best Carbonara pasta I have had in my life! So simple yet so unique. Affordable, delicious and perfect pre-travel meal. Our server even offered us some typical "vin santo" from the region to close our trip on a high note!
THE Carbonara dream
So in conclusion we love Florence, the bellisima "doorway" to Tuscany, and as Italians say: Cin cin!