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Eating Out in Florence

Florence takes its culinary cue from the surrounding Tuscan region.

Specialities include the bistecca alla Fiorentina (a great juicy steak), ribolitta (a black cabbage and bean stew), minestra di fagioli (a soup with the heady flavour of garlic) and gelato (yes, we owe ice cream to this part of the world). If you plan to dine in style, you’ll hardly be stuck for choice.

Grand restaurants with a la carte menus are easy to come by in Florence. In fact it’s the traveller who’s watching his budget who’ll have a problem. Inexpensive meals are hard to come by and if you’re looking to eat at moderate prices you’ll have to scout the supermarkets and frequent the rosticceria.

The alimentari that dot the vicinity of the station and Mercato Centrale cater to the budget traveller’s needs.

A trattoria is ideal for sumptuous Italian meals that are full of the wholesome goodness of ‘home cooked’ food. The friggitoria is typical of Florence. While some serve Italian cuisine, many include burgers, cutlets, baked potatoes and salads on their menu. A vinaio is essentially a wine bar but it will also have light snacks.

When in Florence, savour the flavourful chianti, a delicious classic wine. Traditionally 12:30 to 2:30 is lunchtime and 7:30 clocks the beginning of the evening meal hours. Reservations at restaurants are a good idea.

There is plenty of hip swinging, floor tapping, and drink guzzling action in the evenings at Florence’s pubs, nightclubs, and discos. Central Park on the outskirts of Florence and Tenax in the Peretola district are the known to be the best nightclubs in town. May pubs and wine bars dot the streets that you can head to if you’d much rather relax and enjoy a couple of drinks. You can while away much of the night meeting fellow travellers, mingling with the lucky ones for whom Florence is home, chilling out to great music and enjoying a good brew.

A few cinemas screen English-language films. The Teatro Comunale is the venue for musical performances and the local chapter of Friends of Music, Amici della Pergola, holds concerts at the Teatro della Pergola. The local papers have daily listings for what’s on show, where.

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