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Apr 10, 2013 06:46 AM

Critique my Florence itinerary

Last weekend of June. Wife and 2 foodie girls (11, 12)

Friday - lunch at Mercato centrale - This is possibly 1-1:30 so hopefully Nerbone will not run out of stuff. Will pass Mario on the way to check the line

Friday Dinner - Del Fagioli or Sostanza. Leaning toward Sostanza

Saturday lunch - Trattoria Mario or Nerbone depending on the day before

Saturday Dinner - La Pentola (not clear if they are closed on sundays. Would rather do it sunday to free this night)

Sunday lunch - Trattoria Ruggero after morning at the pitti palace. If dinner is better here please advise.

Sunday dinner - Ristorante Accademia. Very close to our hotel. Good reviews but getting a slightly touristy vibe. One of the few I see open on Sundays.

Possible snacks along the way: Procacci, Gusta pizza, Mariano,
I Fratellini


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  1. You've certainly done your homework well! Here are a few comments:

    If you have to choose between Sostanza and Fagioli, then definitely Sostanza. It's really a great experience. But if you can fit Fagioli in somewhere else, you should.

    Saturday Lunch: Don't go to the market both days. Try something new. Maybe one of the panino places like 'Ino, Semel or Vinaittieri.

    Saturday: Yes, Pentola is closed on Sunday

    Sunday: A big Sunday lunch at Ruggero is great. But I don't think you'll be up for a big dinner too.

    Sunday Dinner: I've never heard of Academia.

    Sunday: maybe you can have lunch at Antica Mescita di San Nicolo, sit outside and have salads, antipasto , cheese etc. Then go to Ruggero for dinner?

    Snacks: Pugi for focaccia; all the tripe stands; Cosi for pastries; Vestri for chocolate. And don't forget gelato!

    Hope this helps

    1 Reply
    1. re: minchilli

      Thanks Elizabeth! You were a big help for me even before this post.

      Unfortunately Fagioli is closed Saturday/sunday so cant make it.

      Just to clarify I'm not planning to go to the market both days but eat at Mario on one and Nerbone on another

      I was sort of going back and forth on whether to have lunch or dinner at Ruggero but now leaning dinner. Will need to grab a taxi or bus to it from pointe Grazie somehow

      Love your snacks. How can I forget Gelato. Just like churches and Bistecas we have a strict limit of 3 per day ;)

      Thanks again

    2. just adding to Elizabeth's tips. You need to leave your name at Mario's, just don't stand in line! when you go in, Fabio will take your name and then ask how long the wait is.

      it is their 60th anniversary this year- i used to live around the corner for 20 years--- always a favorite!

      1. I have nothing much to add but, since we're going to be there shortly after you (starting mid-July), I have a personal interest in hearing about where you went, ate, etc upon your return. We've been to Florence several times & agree that you should definitely hit Nerbone (the earlier the better... they do run out of things) & that Sostanza is worth it, if only to contrast to the Peter Luger experience. Also, there's a leather school inside the church at Santa Croce that's worth a visit and may not have already hit your radar.

        1. Was looking for Florence ideas and came across this. I live in the same area as Gusta (just moved to town) and tried it out the first day I got here. Maybe it was an off day, but I found it extremely overrated. I later found a place just beyond Porta Romana -- Antica Porta, which was excellent. The service was a bit gruff, but the pizza itself was amongst the best I've had here.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Russian

            Surprised to heat about Gusta. We never made it there.
            Best meal in Florence was at Ruggero which is not too far from you Russian. Check it out. The English speaking tattooed waiter is married to a Russian, hence English speaking

          2. sounds great. I second the Sostanza rec. I know that Florence has a reputation among foodies as not being as great as other parts of Italy, you will find good food just about anywhere there. Be sure to have a glass of amari to help you digest.

            4 Replies
            1. re: petergreen

              Just got back. Sostanza was on our first night and filled with Americans but as everyone raves, the butter chicken is delicious. It is a great spot for a reasonable dinner. The Bistecca was also wonderful. We also enjoyed Trattoria Il Contadino. We had no idea why the line was so long until we sat down and were told the prix fixe meal was only 13 Euros or so. Everything was simple but good.

              1. re: babiesandfools

                Belated big thanks for reporting back. Just looked up Trattoria Il Contadino and wow it does sound like a tremendous value. Something to keep in mind for next time

                Btw, this trip is well behind us. Full report can be found here..

                and here...

                1. re: babiesandfools

                  "Sostanza was on our first night and filled with Americans but as everyone raves, the butter chicken is delicious. It is a great spot for a reasonable dinner."

                  May I ask which seating you chose? And if it was the 7:30 seating, did you feel rushed? Thanks.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    We did have the 7:30 but we did not feel that we were rushed by the waitstaff. I think inherently one might feel rushed as it is fairly bright in there, we were sharing tables and could see the later seating coming in but it really worked ok for us as we already had a mindset of wanting to go somewhere else after for drinks after.