Novità: Brunch in Florence

All things new.
They may not be new to Florence, but they’re news to me.

Brac_FlorenceI admit that in that last few years I have almost entirely converted to the Italian breakfast of an espresso coffee and a pastry over the American toast, bagels, bacon, sausage, eggs, and drip coffee. I’ve come to look forward to my simple and delicious sweet treat and its eye-opening companion. However, every few months, there comes a day (usually a Sunday) where I need something more. I need the saltiness of lunch, the sweetness of breakfast, in the portion size of most people’s dinner, at an atypical time, and I need to wash it all down with a coffee, tea, smoothie and/or a mimosa. What I need people, is brunch, and I assume I’m not alone.
 
There is no word for brunch in Italian, which should tell you all you need to know about trying to find the aforementioned meal in this country. In my English-Italian dictionary it explains that “brunch” is a unique blend of breakfast and lunch, but gives no one-word translation. If you want to ask an Italian friend to join you for this unique feast, you would simply say “Facciamo un brunch?” This always seems a bit silly to me, but it’s a genre of meal that is clearly not Italian and calling it by its original English name maintains the separation between diverse cultural mealtime choices.
 
There are a few places that have popped up in Florence to help feed this deeply rooted (I’m talking DNA deep here) need for brunch. Want a bagel or a muffin (or, for holidays, a pie)? Go to Mama’s Bakery. Need an enormous omelet or eggs benedict with American drip coffee or a cappuccino smoothie and a side of french fries? Go to The Diner. But if you want classy and affordable (but also manageable size-wise) pancakes, french toast, Italian inspired salty crepes or egg scrambles with fresh smoothies, juices, and an impressive list of teas, all in the quiet, hidden courtyard of a bookstore? Well then there is only one place you can go: Brac.
Continue reading…

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,



Novità: The Bardini Museum

All things new.
They may not be new to Florence, but they’re news to me.
bardini_museumIt can be increasingly difficult to see and do new things in Florence when you’re constantly taking visiting friends and family to the same ten places that they “can’t miss” and, unsurprisingly, feeling less inclined to play the tourist by yourself once they’ve left. There are so many things I still haven’t seen. It’s as if every time I’m motivated, another friend is passing through and I’m visiting the same old haunts again*. In an effort to never say, “I still haven’t seen that” again, I made a list of places in Florence that, pitifully, would all still warrant the above response and I made a promise to start seeing them. That is how I finally made my way to a lesser-known (but wonderfully charming) museum known as the Bardini. I hope with this post I can motivate others – veterans and newbies alike – who, like me, may have not found the time or felt the inclination to add the Museo Bardini to their lists.
Continue reading…

Technorati Tags: , ,



Guest Blogger: Deb’s Fav Due Fratellini Panino (the love of her life)

Welcome our Guest Blogger, Deb!

Deb was a Select Study Abroad student and hands-down one of the most adventurous eaters I have ever met (and she has steep competition, ahem, Jane…). I loved that if we told her to try something she didn’t hesitate. It was after our very first day in Florence that she fell in love with a little panino (sandwich) shop and well…let’s just say it verged into the realm of obsession. We here at Select Study Abroad encourage that…especially when it comes to food in our favorite city. Going to Florence, Italy? You will want to know about this… Continue reading…

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,



Florence’s best kept secret and the city’s best restaurants

If I had a euro for every time someone asked me “what is your favorite restaurant in Italy?” or “where was the best meal you ever had,” I would be a wealthy woman and probably have purchased my own villa by now. Fortunately, my answer to all of these questions is the same – Davide’s. Now, for those of you who have had the pleasure of eating at Davide’s in Florence, Italy you know what I am talking about. You would also know that Davide’s is not the name of an actual place; it is instead wherever Davide Sama (restaurant owner extraordinaire) happens to be on any given night. Impressively, he owns and manages many restaurants in Florence…4 and counting. They are not chain restaurants. While the menus and ambiance at each are similar (i.e. friendly, cozy, welcoming, and always beyond satisfying), they are unique and serve a variety of different delicious Tuscan specialties. Chances are you will not find these establishments listed in your Rick Steves’ or Lets Go! guides. Trust me, this is a good thing. Correction: this is a great thing.

These places (listed below) are generally unassuming smaller restaurants, outside of the Florence city center (where restaurants are filled with over-priced and underwhelming tourist menus) and filled with happy locals (see map below). Continue reading…

Technorati Tags: , , , ,



Things to do PART III: Nightlife in Florence 101

A part of getting to know any city is finding out what it does when the rest of the world is sleeping. Here are some tips and my favorite spots in Florence for entertainment, libation, and general nighttime merry making.

**TIPS**
There are a ton of places in the city to go. Some have more Italians and some have more Americans. Unless you speak Italian it can be hard at the posh Italian places but there are some great spots where both tourists and Italians go and enjoy themselves.

Oh also, there is something wonderful in Italy called Aperativo. Learn this word. This is the genius idea that bars should provide snacks for their paying customers. Only sometimes these “snacks” are full-on meals. Once Americans caught wind of this phenomenon they quickly learned that they could drink what they would otherwise, while eating for free. Since this often meant bars had to provide more and more food they have either stopped all together or started charging for it. But the charge can be minimal so it is still really worth it!

Now onto my favorite spots… Continue reading…

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,