Some weeks ago I received an invitation to join the Florence Food Tour. I had already heard about the tours and read a few blog posts about them, so I immediately knew that this was something, I would definitely participate in: A guided tour to some of the most famous local places, lots of food and beverages, eating, drinking, and, not least: lots of great opportunities for food photography. I accepted the invitation in a heartbeat.
On a rainy Thursday morning I headed to the office of Florence Food Tour, where I was going to meet up with the rest of the group consisting of: Jaunese. The food tours are always held with a very small number of people (max. 10 persons), but today we were even fewer.
Jaunese, an American tourist from Washington DC, had just arrived in Florence the day before. So there we were: Me, the "local", Jaunese, who was completely new to Florence, and our guide Rossella.
We started out with a visit to one of my local favorites: Chiaroscuro. This was actually the only place on the itinerary, which I had already visited.
At Chiaroscuro we tasted two different kinds of coffee beans and the coffee made on them, and Rossella told us all there is to know about coffee. It was clear from the beginning that our guide was extremely well prepared and passionate about her job, something which made the tour even better.
After our coffee tasting we crossed Piazza Repubblica, where Rossella took some time to tell us some of the more traditional guide things about Florence, incl. things I didn't know, because, admittedly, I am so much more interested in shops, restaurants and other local places, than in history :-) I think it was already by this point that Jaunese proclaimed for the first time that she LOVED this tour, something which was repeated several times throughout the next hours. I couldn't agree more with her.
Next stop was Procacci and truffle panini.
Procacci is one of the historical cafes in Florence, and it is famous for it's truffles. I'm not a big fan of truffles, especially not the smell of them, but I did taste the panino anyway and I have to say it was actually quite good. Again Rossella told us all about the truffles, where they grow, how they can be found, their value etc.
Ok, now I should confess something. When we left Procacci, I actually started to feel hungry. We had only had our espresso at Chiaroscuro and the teeny tiny truffle panino, which I didn't even finish, and I was starting to think that maybe I should have eaten a bit more before "take off".
Boy, was I wrong. The amounts of food which were to come almost made me fall asleep in the street, and I had to hurry into a bar for a quick wake up caffé macchiato after the end of the tour and before getting my daughter from the nursery.
We now headed towards San Lorenzo and the market. Here we entered a wine bar, which I have always wanted to visit, but for some reason I have never gotten to: La Divina Enoteca.
It was 11 am and we were about to have a little wine tasting! I almost never drink alcohol and most certainly not at 11 am, but somehow I managed just fine today. (Maybe it was the hunger!). We tried a delicious Chianti Classico and a white wine, which I have to admit I've forgotten the name of. Both were really good. To go with the wine we had cold cuts (well, Jaunese did, I'm a vegetarian!) and some delicious cheese. The owner, Livio, told us all about the wine and the food we had, and Jaunese and I took photos of each other and the wine :-)
And so we entered the food market of San Lorenzo, where I have to admit I have actually only been once or twice before. I immediately got a bit lost from our "group" since I got so busy photographing all the gorgeous stuff, so I missed the first part of Rossella's guiding.
I did however catch up with them when it was time to eat again :-) This time we were to try a dish at Nerbone, which is a teeny tiny and very simple restaurant inside the market. Jaunese had some pasta with tuna and I had this delicious tomato and mozzarella salad.
After Nerbone we stopped at the famous Florentine bakery, Savini, where we tried some yummy schiacciata. (White salty bread).
And after the bread it was time for some oil, balsamic vinegar and wine tasting at Bottega Marconcini. A very friendly girl introduced us to two different olive oils from Tuscany, which were delicious, followed by some aceto balsamico on cheese. Once again yummy!
However my favorite part of this tasting was the vin santo with cantuccini. I hadn't had this Florentine dessert for several years, so it was with great happiness that I dipped my biscotto in the vin santo and enjoyed the fabulousness of a great dessert wine and some high quality cantuccini.
And so we headed towards our last stop on the tour and our last tasting: Ice cream. At Antica Gelateria Fiorentina we got to pick two flavors of a traditional creamy Florentine gelato. I picked cheese cake and biscotto, and it was fabulous, as ice cream always is in Florence.
After more than three hours we were happy, satisfied and full. Of food, of beverages, of stories, of impressions, of food... (oh, did I already mention that one? :-))
It was a really lovely morning, and I want to thank our guide, Rossella, for taking so good care of us and providing us with such personal, interesting and dedicated guidance.
I can strongly recommend everyone, tourists and locals, to go on a food tour in Florence. It doesn't even cost a fortune. 59 euro.
See more about Florence Food Tasting and Walking Tour HERE or stop by in Via dei Cimatori 9r in Florence.