Florence isn’t just famous for its Renaissance architecture and the Statue of David. It’s also one of the food capitals of Italy. A place that’s all about eating well and living well.
In Italy every region, and every city, has its own gastronomic tradition, with ancient recipes and specialities that can only be tasted locally. And Florence is no exception, home to some delicious traditional dishes that are as precious as the city’s works of art.
Take the Bistecca alla Fiorentina. A thick T-bone steak cut from the local Chianina cattle. The grand-daddy of cuts that makes all other “steaks” look a bit underwhelming. There are the cured meats the Tuscans are mad about, that make perfect matches for Tuscan bread or schiacciata all’olio. The lampredotto sandwiches that have locals and the most daring visitors queueing up at food stalls for a taste. And don’t forget the prized truffle whose heady, distinctive and expensive aroma makes every dish a delicacy.
And when it comes to drinks, Florence excels as well. From its prized Chianti wines produced with ancient mastery, to the traditional sweet Vin Santo wine and one of the most famous cocktail inventions of all: the Negroni.
But it’s not just the food itself that makes Florence a top foodie destination. It’s the experience that surrounds it. Here life revolves around food, not the other way around. Going to a trattoria and watching someone cooking your bistecca over an open fire is all part of the enjoyment. As is talking to people about the ingredients and how they prepare them.
Usually much of this is reserved for locals. But Eating Europe opens up this authentic experience to everyone, with tours that give people a taste of the real Florence, a chance to try local specialities, see how they are prepared and talk to the experts who know food best!
Taste Florence with Eating Europe
Let’s start with the Florence Sunset Food Tour. Ideal for any food lovers who want to get off the beaten track and immerse themselves in the tastes of the city. When the sun goes down head off to Piazza Santo Spirito to learn the secrets of how a real Negroni is made and drink it while you watch the world going by. You’ll taste Tuscan starters and learn how to pair them with wine. And you’ll get a live cooking demonstration of the Bistecca in a friendly trattoria. Round off an unforgettable evening with a drop of the local Vin Santo sweet wine served with cantuccini biscuits and you’ve had the ultimate Florentine meal. This tour is run by expert guides and gives you the chance to wander the streets of the Florence, learn the secrets of Florentine cooking culture, and share it with like-minded people.
Then there’s the Other Side of Florence Food Tour which will whet anyone’s appetite. This 4-hour tour leads you through one of Florence’s hippest and most traditional neighbourhoods synonymous with authentic trattorias and top cocktails. The area, known as the Oltrarno, is situated on the left side of the Arno and has a more bohemian and laid back feel with plenty of atmospheric cobbled streets and places to pause for an aperitivo.
With 8 different stops you’ll get to watch a demonstration of the almond-based Cantuccini biscuits being made, sample local cheeses and the famously tasty finocchiona. You’ll sample crostini with a glass of Chianti. And visit a local trattoria to try one of the seasonal Tuscan soups or stews. At the end you’ll get to taste artisan ice-cream and learn the real meaning of the word “gelato”. If you’ve got space for it, there’ll be time for a coffee in one the Oltrarno’s boutique coffee shops.
These tours really open up Florence for you and being able to do it with fellow foodies makes it a very special experience indeed. You’ll get to learn a lot about the city along the way and pick up lots of useful information and tips for the rest of your trip.
Truffle hunting & Cooking Classes
If you want to delve deeper, check the other tours offered by Eating Europe. The Tuscany Truffle Hunt gives you the chance to go in search of truffles with an expert truffle hunter and his trusty dog. For anyone who wants to learn the secrets of Tuscan cooking there’s even an authentic Florence home cooking class, where you’ll first shop for ingredients at the market and then learn how to make your own pasta. And taste it of course!
For anyone who is passionate about food, these tours are delicious rite of passage in Florence and a chance to live the city like a local.