Florence is a city full of romance, elegance, and charm. From every angle and view of the city, everyone is humbled and enchanted by its beauty. If you plan to explore the city after dark and are looking for advice on what to do, here are 4 ideas for ways to enjoy your evenings in Florence.
Head towards Piazzale Michelangelo, overlooking Florence, to commence your Florentine evening properly. It is a magnificent spot to admire the city from above and the panorama that unfolds before you upon your arrival will leave you breathless.
We recommend sitting on the stairs to wait for the sunset when Florence is bathed in golden light. A number of street musicians play songs, creating a magical and romantic atmosphere.
One of the foods you must try if you are in Florence is the "schiacciata", the typical Tuscan focaccia. There are many shops where you can enjoy a Schiacciata with a capital "S", stuffed with a variety of fillings and accompanied by a glass of delicious Chianti wine.
Another authentic culinary experience that the Florentines themselves love to indulge in is a succulent lampredotto sandwich, a typical mainstay of street food. It's a sandwich filled with abomasum, a cow's fourth stomach, excellent with the bread dipped in broth and accompanied by salsa verde.
When the queues of people who were waiting to savour this opulent schiacciata got ridiculously long, the owners decided to open 3 more premises along the same street (Via de Neri), all located a few metres apart. In short, it's a true indulgence situated just a stone's throw from Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery.
A small gem that is hidden in the historic centre, in a side street off Via de' Calzaiuoli, so still a short stroll away from Piazza della Signoria and Piazza Duomo. You can choose either the takeaway bakery products or sit down in the restaurant. The wine is excellent because it is produced in the castle on the owner's estate.
Focacceria Pugi is also popular in terms of numbers. There are three outlets in the city but the one in the historic centre is located in Piazza San Marco. "Pugi" is one of Florence's historic bakeries, opened in 1925.
Coming from Piazza della Signoria, in the first street on the right off Via de' Calzaiuoli there is another excellent place to try schiacciata. Here you can also choose to eat street food or sit at the table.
Among the most famous and historic lampredotto and tripe kiosks in Florence (the Florentine's fondness for offal includes the peasant speciality tripe!) we recommend:
A popular saying in Florence is that "the brain works better on a full stomach". So, after filling your belly with a delicious "schiacciata" and a refreshing glass of wine, the best thing to do is take a walk along the Arno River until you reach the Ponte Vecchio.
If the sun has not yet set, the sunset paints the bridge in gold. The columns of Lungarno degli Archibusieri form a small walkway where you can enjoy a very romantic view of the Ponte Vecchio. The panorama of the bridge is beautiful both with the light-effect of the sunset and in the evening under the starry sky.
Visitors must cross the Ponte Vecchio to stop for a postcard-snap of Florence on their smartphones and a feast for the eyes.
Gelato is Italian excellence, so much so that foreigners distinguish "gelato" from commercial ice cream. But where are the best gelaterias that offer real Italian gelato to savour during your evening walk in Florence?
Here are our recommendations:
At the entrance to Piazza della Signoria, this gelateria takes its name from the street of the same name, Via de Neri. The gelato is excellent and there are a variety of flavours on offer, so even the most discerning gelato aficionado will be spoilt for choice.
One of the most highly recommended places to eat gelato, for two reasons: location and quality. This gelateria is located opposite the Ponte alla Carraia, which is a perfect spot to admire the radiant and elegant Ponte Vecchio. It is a spectacle for the eyes and the palate.
Sbrino is considered a "farmer's gelateria" that impresses with its quality and surprises with its originality. Gelatos and granitas are prepared with the utmost care, with fresh ingredients and seasonal fruit. But the alcoholic flavours are the true speciality. Have you ever tried Negroni ice cream?
If the line doesn't scare you away, the organic gelato at Edoardo in Piazza Duomo will not disappoint and if you try it once, you will hardly be able to resist coming back a second time. According to many, the most critical phase seems to be the choice of flavours: it can even take twenty minutes to choose since they're all so appealing.
Enjoying a gelato in the evening in the elegant and charming Piazza della Signoria is an experience that opens the heart. The only natural response is to remain silent and admire its beauty. Near Piazza della Signoria (in Via Calimaruzza and Via Calzaiuoli) you will find the excellent Gelateria Venchi. Since 1878, it has been producing high-quality chocolate and, more recently, it also began producing artisanal gelato with ever-fresh products sourced from Italy.
Enjoy and buon appetito!
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