5 Restaurants You Must Try!

imagesBy Elizabeth Vogler
Former Marist Italy, M.A. in Museology

O’Vesuvio Pizzeria

A true Napolitan Pizzeria, or otherwise known as “the place where the ‘Jersey Shore’ cast worked.” That’s right, they worked (I use that term very loosely) here while filming their season of “Jersey Shore” in Florence. But that’s not this restaurant’s only claim to fame. They are also famous for having the real pizza from Naples. If you are a soccer fan you can come here to watch the games which they play on large screen televisions, although if Napoli is playing you better be one of their fans! They are open from 11 am to 11:30 pm every day, so you can enjoy lunch, dinner, or a midnight snack! The pizzas here are large, cost about 7-10 euro, and are as fresh as they come. You can watch the chef roll out your dough, top it with goodness, and throw it in the wood oven to cook for several minutes. It’s a self-service restaurant so make sure to clean up after yourself when you’re done!

Fiaschetteria Nuvoli
Piazza dell’olio, 15, 50123 Florence, Italy

This place is truly a hidden treasure. Located only blocks from the Duomo, it disguises it self as a coffee bar / panini joint, however if you walk inside and follow the steps downstairs you will find a seating area located in the cantina. This restaurant offers home-made Tuscan cuisine for cheap. The menu is only in Italian but the waiters speak English and can give you advice on what to order. Not that you will need it, as everything here is good! The walls are lined with wine bottles and if you look carefully you might even be able to see the hidden tombs of Medici family members. This place is especially nice in the summer as the underground setting offers a nice relief from the sweltering temperatures outside. Come prepared to share your table with strangers as it is always busy and the tables are mostly long with benches on each side to seat as many as possible.

Trattoria Quattro Leoni

Located in Piazza della Passera, a tiny triangular piazza between Piazza Santo Spirito and Palazzo Pitti, this restaurant is a little pricey but definitely worth it. When the weather is nice you can even set outside in the piazza. The food is Tuscan and absolutely delicious. The cheesecake is phenomenal you simply cannot turn it down.

Trattoria Anita
2 Via del Parlascio, Florence, Italy

Located on a small street between Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza Santa Croce, this restaurant is a great place to spend your lunch hour. You can get a Primo (soup, pasta, or rice) as well as a Secondo (meat or fish) and a Contorno (vegetables) for 9 euro. That’s a lot of food and it’s all fresh as the menu changes daily. The staff are friendly and if you go often enough they will probably remember you! Dinner is served here as well.

I Fratellini

This literal hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop is loved by Florentines and tourists alike. 3 euro for a handmade Italian panino – what’s not to like? Do expect to wait in a line the curves into the street if you hit this place up during peak lunch hours. However, the sandwiches are well worth it! There are over twenty options on the menu including vegetarian. While this restaurant does not offer any place to sit, you can stand near by where they have installed wine glass holders so you can have your wine and eat your sandwich too. Or you can take a short stroll to any of the nearby piazzas to enjoy your panino while people watching.

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