“According To a Local” is a series of guides for different cities around the world. This time, we asked a random Couchsurfing member questions about the city she calls home, Florence! Elena has graciously provided us with some great advice to make your trip to Florence, Italy perfect. We aim to keep it simple so you can get all the info without taking all your time. Here is an INTERACTIVE MAP of all her suggestions.
1. Favorite Bar:
I think a nice one for a tourist is Eby’s Pub, open only at night, great athmosphere and best shots in town. To sit, eat and drink I can suggest one of the Kitsch bars that has a good aperitivo formula and also cocktails- not bad at all!
2. Favorite Restaurant:
I personally like Le Carceri at Murate not only because they have good food at good prices but also because it’s in an interesting spot that you wouldn’t see if not already in the area.
3. Favorite coffee shop:
I like Chiaroscuro.
4. Favorite thing to do outside:
In summer you can bike all the Cascine park and go on to get to Renai, another park where you can find a lake, a “mini golf” and sometimes shows or concerts. In winter you can ice skate on the river Arno near Obihall in South Florence.
5. Best spot for a view:
Piazzale Michelangelo and the nearby Church of San Miniato.
6. Some of your favorite local drinks/food:
A drink that was created in Florence is Negroni and of course we have good wine such as Chianti. Lampredotto (a kind of meat) is from around here, as well as Bistecca alla Fiorentina (expensive but very good) and Coccoli (like fried pizza but hard to explain). There’s also lots of ice cream flavors like the Florentine Buontalenti.
7. Where to get these local drinks/food:
You can find negroni in any bar/pub of town, a nice one is be Ditta Artigianale (positioned nicely in a street full of pubs, ice cream places- best one for me is Gelateria de Neri). There are different sandwich/typical food places where you can get the famous lampredotto as well as all our plates of cheese and Tuscan appetizers with wine.
8. What you wish tourists knew coming to your home:
There are plenty of tourists all the time, most of them only see the big major attractions as Duomo and Ponte Vecchi. Of course those are “musts” but remember that we have more to see if you want to walk around, and we have lots of typical restaurants and shops, don’t always go and buy from a chain place that you know well already, you would miss a big part of the experience of being here. Try to live our style for a couple of days, you can have a better idea of where you are then.
9. Does your home have any good sweets (ice cream, chocolate, candy, etc.)? If so, where is a good place to get these sweets?
Best ice cream in center are probably Venchi, Gelateria de’ Neri and Rivareno.
10. Fun local activity for tourists to try (disc golf, surfing, hiking, cliff diving, etc.)?
You can go to the country side nearby and go horseback riding!
11.When is the best time of year to visit?
12. Do you have any names of local recipes you would recommend cooking up?
You can try the super easy Pappa al Pomodoro, a poor dish but if well made is delicious. Or Focaccia for lunch or something for dessert such as Ricciarelli or Crostata. Firenze is a “meat place”, we have some good vegetarian place but if you like meat try Rosticciana, Fegato in crostini, Trippa e lampredotto or chianina burger.
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If you’re looking for accommodation in Florence, check out “21 of the Best Hostels in Europe” for a spectacular hostel listing just outside the city. It’s even in an old monastery!