Florence and the entire region of Tuscany in Italy, for that matter, benefit from a long gastronomic tradition renowned for its dishes, the preparation of which has maintained unchanged in time. The Tuscan cuisine has been deemed poor and of peasant origin, but the quality and the combination of the ingredients, the vegetables, the chesses, the spicy salamis, the meats, the fish, the seafood, the high quality olive oil and the exceptional wines have become increasingly renowned and appreciated by people all over the world.

People from Florence in particular and from Tuscany in general enjoy eating and offer tourists the occasion of sampling their local products. Italian food enthusiasts find a generous example of what is best in the Italian cuisine while visiting Florence.


Just as in the entire Italy, meals consist of appetizers or cold snacks (antipasti), the main course (primo piatto) most of the time referring to pasta, rice (risotto) or soup, the second course (secondo piatto) consisting of fish or trimmed meat, and, finally, the dessert (dolce). As a matter of course, the delicious menu can only be accompanied by the renowned Tuscan wines and by an espresso, overtopping a rich meal.


Unlike other countries where breakfast also implies the eating of salty food, in Florence, just as anywhere else in Italy, the day starts with sweet products: pastry, biscuits, croissants, fruit juice, toast spread with chocolate or gem and milk with cereals, along with a coffee or a cappuccino.

Lunch and dinner

As a rule, lunch and dinner begin with cold snacks (antipasto) consisting of bruschette (toast topped with garlic, fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper, seasoned with a drop of olive oil), affettati – dried salamis and prosciutto crudo (raw dried ham) – possibly accompanied by crostini di fegatini (chicken liver pie) or olive paste pies.

The first course after the appetizer is referred to as primo piatto. Despite the fact that pastas and rice are served as a rule in Italy, Tuscans also prefer minestone – a thick soup made of vegetables, beans – and ribollita – one of the traditional Tuscan dishes.

A further traditional Tuscan dish refers to pappa al pomodoro, a soup made of vegetables, tomatoes and croutons.

One can never disregard, as far as meats are concerned, bistecca alla fiorentina, the famous Florentine Chianina and Maremmana beefsteak. Game is also a frequent presence within the Tuscan cuisine. Boar, pheasant, deer and rabbit meats are the most notable. The best cheeses are made of sheep milk, and pecorino is but an example of them.


Just as anywhere else in Italy, desserts consist of fruit, traditional sweets or delicious ice cream.


With respect to wines, Tuscany offers a large range one can choose from; one doesn’t have to be a connoisseur in order to sample a red Tuscan wine.

Chianti is the most reputed of all the most appreciated wines, but Vino nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino can also be sampled here.

After a hearty meal, other alcoholic drinks are also tried, such as grappa or amaro, in view of enabling digestion.


Coffee is a genuine institution in Italy! With respect to coffee too, tourists have plenty of options: espresso coffee (half cup of black coffee), coffee lungo (diluted coffee), coffee ristretto (highly black coffee), coffee macchiato (with milk), cappuccino with fresh milk cream, corretto (with cognac).

Where to eat

While visiting Florence, in order to have an experience as complete as possible, one must try the local dishes. Tourists can have meals at the restaurant (rather expensive), at the osterie or trattorie which serve excellent dishes at lower prices most of the time, whereas pizza joints offer delicious and relatively cheap pizzas. Lighter meals are offered by bars serving tavola calda (warm meal). Enoteca (wine bars or restaurants) put forward the largest range of wines.

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