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May 28, 2006 11:53 AM

Florence/San Gimignano - locally made foods?

  • j

We'll be staying near San Gimignano and making occasional visits to Florence in early June.
We'd love to visit a farm/shop where cheeses or cured meats (salumi) are made. Any suggestions?
Local restaurant recommendations are, of course, welcome, too. Thank you!

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  1. f
    fai jay (fai jackson)

    For me, no one should visit Florence without at least one meal at Cibreo and another at Il Bronzino. Also, Nerbone in the Central Market for a Bolito--great sandwich for lunch. Try a gelato. The tripe stand by the American Express office, by Dante's house is a highly florentine experience.

    Can't help with sausage making. Enjoy yourself. Italy is wonderful.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fai jay (fai jackson)

      Fai, those were the standouts for me, too - and that was about 8 years ago. It's a nice feeling to know that some places continue on without failing expectations. At Il Bronzino, we ran into friends we hadn't seen in 20 years. I will never forget that meal for a few reasons.. including the grappa.

      1. re: zuriga
        fai jay (fai jackson)

        My big "running into" at Il Bronzino was Lionel Ritchie and his entourage and then the next night at Cibreo I saw Emeril Lagasse--he looked pissed. I told the waitress he was a famous chef and she looked at me blankly. That was my first trip to Florence. It remains one of my favourite cities. I cite it all the time as somewhere I could live. It is a stunningly beautiful place of a very manageable size.

        1. re: fai jay (fai jackson)

          I don't think anyone in Europe or the UK knows who Emeril is. Maybe he felt unappreciated. :-) I have no idea how I heard about Il Bronzino back then, but it was a good find. We also enjoyed Pennello's which someone recommended. They have a very good antipasti buffet starter at a reasonable price. I feel lucky to live in the UK now.. much easier to get back to the favorites than it used to be.

    2. Go to the Slow Food website (, I think). I believe you can register there for free and access their database both for dining recommendations and for artisanal food producers. There is a famous butcher shop on the square in Greve that produces its own sausages and salumi.

      1. Jeeneeper,

        The local specialty in San Gimignano is sausage made from locally caught, wild boar. I had an appetizer of the sliced salami, along with some local cheese and wine. It was great, and fairly inexpensive.

        On another note, the frescoes of hell in the main church are really interesting and worth a look - very unique.

        Have a great trip!


        1. Had two truly extraordinary and memorable dinners in Florence in April:

          ---Il Guscio, via dell' Orto,49; phone: 39 55 224 421, and
          -- Beccofino, Piazza degli Scarlatti,1, phone: 39 55 290 076.

          We found the pannino con bollito at Nerbone over-hyped and rather mediocre. I'd suggest skipping Nerbone altogether and instead going around the corner and having lunch at Da Mario, a lively and colorful place that serves up very good food to mostly locals at incredibly reasonable prices.