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Feb 25, 2013 10:20 AM

Draft of options for Florence, 4 nights. Which places do I reserve and how far ahead?

We are a group of husband and I, sons ages 12 and 14, and my 70 yr old dad. Not super budget travelers but not wanting to blow lots of money on dining either, so middle of the road, with maybe a little splurge for something memorable. We don't want to dress up past khakis and a nice-ish (no logos or writing but not collared/button down) shirt. Boys are well traveled, love food, and well mannered.

We are all, including the kids, good eaters with a variety of tastes...some of us aren't big fish eaters, my dad isn't very adventurous past chicken/beef/pork, we are all interested in authentic but not offal.

I have a few lunch options for each day depending on whether we want sit down lunch or quick on the go...and a few dinners I haven't decided about. Do we need to make reservations for lunches? And how far in advance do I reserve dinners, especially with 5 of us? I read that Sostanza can book out 3 weeks ahead?

So here it is:
Arrive in Florence at SMN at noon. Check into Hotel Europa on via Cavour and head to Piazza della Signoria area.

Cantinetta dei Verrazzano

OR if we want to sit down/casual pizza maybe?

La Bussola?

Oltrarno, we want somewhere fairly close to Ponte Vecchio as we might have to minimize walking a bit for my son who might be in a walking boot!

Trattoria la Casalinga


Trattoria 4 Leoni
I have read this is open from noon - on, is that right? Might like an earlier dinner so that is a plus.


Boccadama (I like the outdoor seating in the piazza option)
Is there any seating?

Il Fagioli (Santa Croce)
Vini e Vecchi Sapori


Da Nerbone
OR for sitdown
Gozzi Sergio

Trattoria Sostanza

Cooking class and tours at Castello del Trebbio. Lunch there.

Trattoria il Due G

Any thoughts, suggestions or advice? I'd be happy to hear it :)

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  1. There is seating in 'ino but not a lot. Stools around big barrels and a window shelf with stools if I remember correctly.
    If you're going to Vini (which I loved) definitely book in advance; it only has about 5 tables. You can call, the host speaks English, or have your hotel call and reserve, which is what we did.

    1. just a couple of notes for you-- cantinetta di verazzano has a bakery attached so you can always order their sliced baked breads, or the cecina ( chick pea crepe) not sure if they also have pizza slices. I love the pea and cheese stuffed foccaccia sandwich and the prosciutto, white truffle arugula cecina.

      Nerbone inside the market DOES have seating-- just in front of the shop there are marble tables.

      I ADORE Gozzi's was one of my neighborhood hang-outs. I also LOVE Pepo' just next door toTrattoria Mario's near the market on the back side.
      There is also Rosso pomodoro in the back lot of the market-- for naples style pizza

      1. All your choices look great to me.
        And yes, you do have to book Sostanza pretty far in advance. But 10 days should be ok.

        Vini e Vecchi Sapori is teeny tiny, so you definitely have to reserve there too.