Florence has a wealth of gastronomic delights to discover during your stay. Here are some of our favourite places to visit for a taste of what Florence has to offer.
A grocery store since 1860, Pegna, in the Via Dello Studio next to the cathedral, has all the essentials that a grocery store should have, but with a special emphasis on gourmet goodies. They have a wonderful selection of local salumi (cold cuts) and cheese, which can be vacuum packed, ready for travel if you’re not planning on wolfing everything down at once.
You will also find a careful selection of wines, coffee, extra virgin olive oils (including organic and local olive oil), balsamic vinegars, chocolate, traditional dried and candied fruit in beautiful packaging, conserves such as Sicilian orange marmalade and a wonderful selection of speciality pasta (truffle, saffron and squid ink).
Since 1885 Florentines have been gathering at the unaltered nineteenth century Procacci to taste the house speciality, a tiny bread roll spread with the pungent crema di tartufo (truffle paste), and a glass of lightly spiced tomato juice. Stand at the green marble bar or sit at one of the little tables and enjoy the ambiance which attracted the royal seal of approval in 1925. Tradition has it that the tiny truffle sandwich goes with tomato juice but it is also worth trying with a glass of cold prosecco. If you have a passion for truffles, buy some crema di tartufo or dig deep and buy a whole fresh one from the little glass case to take home with you.
Crossing the bridge over the Arno close to Santa Croce brings you straight to the old Quartiere, or neighbourhood, of San Niccolo and the gastronomia called Zeb. Once a simple grocery shop, Zeb is now an elegant and fashionable place to stop and eat or to enjoy a glass of wine as well as to pick up some quality deli goods. If you are looking for gifts there are prettily packaged conserves and honey, cookies and chocolates, balsamic vinegars and olive oil. If you are passing by on your way to the viewpoint of Piazzale Michelangelo you could pick up a great picnic here, some prosciutto, cheese, grilled vegetables in olive oil, some fresh bread and perhaps an artisan beer.