Find your foodie (and cocktail sampling) feet in one of Italy’s most irresistibly romantic cities
By Cheryl Caira
Vicolo dell’Oro, 6
Perched atop a terrace on the medieval Consorti Tower – the clue is in the name – the fun and fashionable Hotel Continentale’s rooftop bar is a must-experience for evening aperitivos when visiting Firenze. Sunset is prime time for sitting back in the comfy seating and taking in the views, drink in hand, of some of the most iconic Florentine landmarks, including Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio and the Brunelleschi Dome. Choose from Italian bubbles, wine and a cocktail menu with creations such as the Improved Negroni or signature mezcal and mole bitters-infused drink, El Continental.
Via dell’Orto, 35
In a city renowned for its hefty Florentine steaks, Burro & Acciughe stands out as a go-to, relatively new on the scene exception for seafood lovers. Always bustling and filled with locals from the artsy Oltrarno district, portions are generous and equally delicious. It’s about simple cuisine that shines through its ingeniously flavoured ingredients – the restaurant’s namesake also lends itself to one of its best dishes, a lightly fried mix of butter and anchovies, while the Paccheri del Pescatore is a seafood pasta medley not to be missed.
Via Europa, 9
Not strictly within the city of Florence, but well worth taking the time out to visit if you’re both a fan of discounted designerwear and want to experience one of the world’s few Gucci cafés. With direct bus services that run from the centre of the city, taking around 30 minutes, this is an elegant mall experience with a difference, with the Italian label’s rooftop restaurant serving up a mouth-watering array of antipasto, panini and desserts – all showcased in customary appealing style.
Via di Mezzo, 28r
A gem of a cocktail bar, lingering on a corner of the Sant’Ambrogio neighbourhood. Sporting retro décor details and imbued with a 1920s speakeasy ambience, the cocktails are presented as wondrous potions and almost a work of art, so expect the innovative and experimental. The Geisha Sound, a vodka-whisky-lychee-lapsang tea concoction arriving with mini parasol and fan in tow comes highly recommended, as does the Piscotto, a spicy-sweet take on the Peruvian/Chilean spirt with added biscotti. As the menu puts its straight off the bat – don’t even think of asking for a Sex on the Beach.
The historic market building in Florence’s old centre was reinvigorated in 2014 with the opening of a sleek and buzzing selection of food stalls on the first floor, open from 10am until midnight and serving up so many delectable options that indecision is inevitable. The delights on offer include truffle-sprinkled pasta, classic Florentine pizza, salamis, buffalo mozzarella, ice cream, and of course, wine and beer, and there’s also plenty of seating. Make sure to have a stroll round the ground floor and original marketplace, which is less of a dining space but full of vendors selling every colourful Italian delicacy imaginable.