Florence 2005



Description:

The essence of Florence is both unmistakeable and difficult to pin down. It's neither the most charming place we've been to in Italy (that's Venice) nor the grandest (Rome, of course). But it knows its good points and it sticks to them: the concentrated explosion of Renaissance architecture and art that still defines its civic appearance today, and its misleadingly simple cuisine of oil and beans and salumi that has become a permanent part of our own repertoire. One can't visit here without taking away a lifelong impression.

Unfortunately a couple of restaurant visits (not the best ones) have faded from memory since we took this trip.

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Author: Dave Schweisguth


Alla Vecchia Bettola

Location:

Viale Vasco Pratolini 3/7
On Piazza Tasso
50124 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-224-158


Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Bargello Museum)

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Location:

Via del Proconsolo 4
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 055 238 8606
fax: +39 055 238 8756


Palazzo Pitti & Giardino Boboli (Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens)

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Location:

Piazza de' Pitti 1
Piazza Pitti
50125 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: Galleria Palatina 055-238-8614, Galleria d'Arte Moderna: 055-238-8601. Museo degli Argenti:
fax: +39 055 238 8727


Cibrèo Trattoria (Cibrèino)

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Location:

Via dei Macci 122r
Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 55 234 11 00


Museo Opificio delle Pietre Dure

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Location:

Via degli Alfani 78
50125 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 055 26511
fax: +39 055 287123


Pitti Gola e Cantina

Location:

piazza de' Pitti 16
50125 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 055 212 704


Spedale degli Innocenti

Location:

Piazza della Santissima Annunziata 12
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-249-1708


Hermitage Hotel

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Location:

Vicolo Marzio 1
Piazza del Pesce (to the left of the Ponte Vecchio as you're facing it)
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-287-216
fax: 055-212-208


Il Santo Bevitore

Location:

Via di Santo Spirito 64/R
Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 55211264


Volpe e l'Uva (Le)

Location:

Piazza de Rossi, 1r
50123 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 55 239 8132
fax: +39 055 239 8132


Trattoria dei Quattro Leoni

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Location:

Via de' Vellutini 1r
50125 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 055 21 8562


Antico Fattore

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Location:

Via Lambertesca 1-3r
Between the Uffizi and the Ponte Vecchio
Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-288-975


Piazza dei Miracoli

Location:

piazza del Duomo
56126 Pisa, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 050 835 011
fax: +39 050 560 505


GustaVino

Location:

Via della Condotta 37r
Florence, IT


Day 2 - Florence


Visits to the various buildings that make up Florence's iconic Duomo, punctuated by a memorable meal surrounded by ravenous locals at old-school Il Latini. This was Dante's neighborhood, too; here and around Florence, marble plaques with triplets from the Divine Comedy mark the locations which they mention. (A book of translations, available in Florentine bookshops, is an essential accessory.) The Casa di Dante was under construction, but the nearby little church of Santa Margherita de' Cerchi, where Dante first saw his muse Beatrice, is always open.


1

Battistero

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Location:

Piazza San Giovanni
50129 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 55 230 2885
fax: +39 055 230 2898


3

Piazza del Duomo

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Location:

piazza del Duomo
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 055 2 3320
fax: +39 055 234 6286


4

Casa di Dante

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Location:

Via Santa Margherita 1
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 055 219416
fax: +39 055 219416


5

Campanile di Giotto

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Location:

Piazza Duomo
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 55 230 2885
fax: +39 55 2302898


6

Enoteca Coquinarius

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Location:

Via delle Oche, 15r
50123 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 55 230 2153


Day 3 - Florence


In the morning, Medici loot and the atmospheric garden that must have been the model for so many leafy mazes around the world and in fiction. Quattro Leoni is conveniently near the Pitti Palace. In the afternoon, back across the Ponte Vecchio to the Museum of the History of Science, a very distinguished cabinet of curiosities. Tonight's dinner was one of the best of the trip, in a charming small restaurant with a personable host and food both firmly Italian and successfully creative. Good wine, too, including an exceptional vin santo from the Val di Nievole that I dream of having again some day. Today set a pattern for the rest of the trip in that so many of the great places to eat and drink (including a couple we've forgotten) were south of the Arno in the Santo Spirito and San Frediano neighborhoods. We seemed to commute to dinner down the long, January-dark Via di Santo Spirito almost every night.


1

Ponte Vecchio

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Location:

Ponte Vecchio
50125 Florence, Italy


2

Museo degli Argenti

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Location:

Piazza Pitti, 1
50125 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 55 238 8710
fax: +39 55 238 8699


3

Giardino di Boboli

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Location:

Piazza Pitti, 1
50125 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 55 265 1838
fax: +39 55 229 8732


5

Museo Galileo (Science Museum)

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Location:

Piazza dei Giudici 1
Next to the Uffizi at the Arno end of Via dei Castellani
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-265-311
fax: +39 055 265 3130


6

Enoteca Le Barrique

Location:

Via del Leone, 40r
50123 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 55 22 4192


Day 4 - Florence


Up promptly this morning for an ascent of one of the West's artistic Everests, the Uffizi gallery, less than a block from the hotel. Lunch at Antico Fatto, too was only steps from both gallery and hotel. We finally left the neighborhood in the afternoon for a walk around the city including the fabulously overdecorated Medici Chapel.


1

Gallerie degli Uffizi (Uffizi Galleries)

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Location:

Piazzale degli Uffizi 6
Off Piazza della Signoria
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-238-8651
fax: +39 055 238 8694


3

San Lorenzo

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Location:

piazza di San Lorenzo
Piazza San Lorenzo
50123 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-216-634


Day 6 - Florence


Today's walk around the northeastern center of Florence included the famous David (outshone, in my mind, by the Accademia's fine collection of Gothic paintings), a museum of the colored-stone opus sectile tables and such that are seen in collections all over Florence, and the famous Della Robbia decorations of the orphanage imitated in at least three places in San Francisco alone.


1

Galleria dell'Accademia (Academy Gallery)

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Location:

Via Ricasoli 60
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-238-8609
fax: 055 238 8764


2

SS. Annunziata

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Location:

Piazza SS. Annunziata
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 55 239 8034


6

Pane e Vino

Location:

Piazza di Cestello, 3r
50124 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 39 55 247 6956
fax: +39 055 421 1009


Day 7 - Florence


Back to the Pitti Palace for the art collections, and then to Santa Croce for its frescos and tombs.


3

Santa Croce Church

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Location:

Piazza Santa Croce 16
Piazza Santa Croce
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: +39 055 244 619
fax: +39 055 246 6105


Day 8 - Florence


A lot of walking today: around the city, up the dome of the Duomo, and around the fortresses and churches east of the Boboli Gardens. We were sustained by two paragons of Tuscan cooking. For lunch, Da Mario, a wonderful hole in the wall packed to the rafters and with barely an amenity but filled with warmth and serving standard-setting renditions of classic Tuscan dishes. At dinner, Vecchia Bettola, a big and bustling and yet nearly impossible to find trattoria near San Frediano's western city wall, where the stellar crostini while we waited for our table made us glad we'd been late for our reservation, and it was impossible to decide what looked best from all of the tables packed in around us.


1

Orsanmichele

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Location:

Via Arte della Lana 1
Via de' Calzaiuoli
50122 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-284-944
fax: +39 055 234 6286


3

Da Mario

Location:

Via Rosina 2r
At the north corner of Piazza Mercato Centrale
50123 Florence, Italy

Contact:

tel: 055-218-550


5

Piazzale Michelangelo

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Location:

Piazzale Michelangelo
50125 Florence, Italy


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