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Florence Tourism and Vacations: Best of Florence
There’s no better place for Renaissance art and architecture than Florence—from the Galleria dell’Accademia (home to Michelangelo’s David) to the cathedrals and arches that make up the Piazzale Michelangelo. But just beyond the main sights, you’ll find some of the city’s off-the-beaten-path gems, with (bonus) way less crowds. San Miniato al Monte is worth the climb for the frescoes and unbeatable views. Oltrarno, just across the river, offers plenty of vintage shops, boutiques, and cool cafes. When in doubt, do as the locals do: Post up in a piazza with a plate of fresh tagliatelle and a glass of Chianti and watch the city go by.
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A wine lover’s guide to Florence
Most people visit Florence to see the Renaissance art, but my main priority was the wine. I wanted to drink it, of course, and also learn about Florence’s long history with wine. The city is an ideal jumping-off point for day trips to countryside vineyards, but I discovered that there are enough great spots in the city itself to keep wine lovers busy for days.
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- Fiaschetteria Fantappie53We stumbled into Fiaschetteria Fantappie on a food tour and it quickly became our happy hour spot. The bar has affordable local wines by the glass as well as light snacks. My move was pairing a glass of Chianti with the crostone with olive oil, truffle salt, and pecorino. If you go, be sure to also check out the Grocery Pirgher Marzio a few doors down for local meats and cheeses.
- Le Volpi e L'Uva1,137The Ponte Vecchio is a must-see in Florence, but the crowds are intense. Le Volpi e l’Uva is located just far enough away from the bridge to offer some much-needed peace—and wine, both by the glass and bottle to go. The shop buys wine directly from the makers, with a focus on native grapes and organic and biodynamic farming methods, and has an amazing selection.
- Eataly Firenze1,963I enjoyed Eataly in both New York and Chicago, but the Florence location is by far the best. It has a bookstore, multiple restaurants, cooking classes, and, of course, lots of wine. I spent the better part of an afternoon strolling the aisles, but it’s also fun to have dinner here because the wine you order is usually available for purchase.
- Coquinarius2,475If, like me, you’re hungry after seeing the Duomo, head to Coquinarius—a casual spot right behind the cathedral. It carries a more robust food menu than most wine shops (you have to try the carpaccio), plus an excellent list of wines by the glass and bottle. You can also opt for wine pairings with your meal.
- Casa del Vino176This is a hidden gem, emphasis on the “hidden” (it took me a while to find it, but it was so worth it). It’s tucked behind the merchant stalls in Florence’s outdoor leather market and is the perfect place for a glass of wine and panini after shopping for handbags. The shop has a beautifully curated wine list—order a glass of prosecco col condo—it’s only served at a handful of wine shops around town.
- Enoteca Pinchiorri1,552If you’re looking for an extravagant night out, Enoteca Pinchiorri is the place. The three-Michelin-starred restaurant specializes in Tuscan cuisine and has an extensive wine list with over 4,000 different labels from both France and Italy, including hard-to-find vintages.
- Vineria Sonora31Vineria Sonora was one of the hippest wine bars we visited on our trip. While most of the wine bars in Florence have an older vibe, Vineria Sonora felt very new and cool, with a much younger crowd. The bar has a focus on natural wines from small producers, so it’s a great spot to try some unique, affordable offerings. What we loved most: the live music.