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Jun 8, 2012 06:57 AM

Florence, Unfashionably Early

Visiting Florence this summer.. Staying in Pisa free on points, so Florence will be day trips. After touring all day with a kid, I am assuming we are going to be tired, hot and hungry early in the evening, around 7, and needing to return to Pisa, so late dinners not an option. Will we be able to walk into a trattoria that early, around 7, without a reservation? Will they even be open? I have a list of places in the Oltrarno. Thank you.

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  1. No, trattoria or restaurant kitchens won't be open or serving food that early.

    There are several places In Florence (like Coquinarius on via delle Oche) that serve sliced meats and cheeses, and salads, in plentiful amounts all day long. Most of them are not in the Oltrarno, but I'm not sure you'll be wanting to eat that far from the train station anyway.

    Your other option would be to grab a snack like pizza, a kebab or a gelato and head back to Pisa -- and by the time you arrive there, restaurants will be opening.

    1. IIRC Mangiafuoco Bracerie is open throughout the day. It's between the Accedemia and the train station, so very convenient.

      Mangiafuoco Bracerie
      Via Guelfa 24/R, 50129 Firenze, Italia

      1. We had an early dinner at Boccanegra. We had a reservation, but at about 7:00 there were several empty tables, so you might be OK without a reservation. This is a place that locals told us about, that does not seem to be on anybody's radar. Dinner was fabulous! Their casual wine bar, just next door also makes a great pizza.

        1. In my opinion, the day trips to florence will get old, fast, with a kid if you are staying all the way in Pisa. Maybe you should consider researching places to eat near your hotel. Trains will also get more scarce and maybe slower, later in the evening. so having a gelato or a snack in a wine bar and getting back home (maybe with some fruit,cheese, bread etc purchased in the market) may be a better bet than looking for dinner in florence.

          You may even want to consider daytripping to alternative destinations up or down the coast for some of your days.

          the oltrarno is not convenient to the train station, so I dont think it would be a good dinner spot, with (likely) a tiring child.

          1. Appreciate the suggestions. We only have 2 days in Florence, the rest of the week we'll be exploring other places in Tuscany.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Kat

              that sound like more fun! Id just mention a place that we enjoyed with our kids in Florence, Trattoria Mario, near the central Market. Its only open for lunch but that til 3:30 it appears. good pasta, meat, soups, friendly and tasty, no reservations.

              1. re: jen kalb

                I finally went to Trattoria Mario after years of intending to do so and absolutely loved the food. It is, however, most emphatically and uncompromisingly, what it is: well-priced, delicious, down-home food. Not the place to dawdle over choices; not the place to linger over lunch; not the place a kid could wander around. This is not a criticism, mind you--I loved it and would probably be a regular at lunch if I were so fortunate to live in Florence. You just need to understand what it offers to see if it works for you.