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Though Hemingway calls itself a cioccolateria, it serves a lot more than just chocolate. But if you are craving something sweet like truffles, hot chocolate or cookies this is where you should head.

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This relatively new cafe has everything you could want in one place. Not only is it tastefully decorated in vintage retro style, Amble serves everything from cakes and coffee to cocktails and light lunches. It is located in the busy Ponte Vecchio area and is a good place to catch a break from tourism.

And though Il Chicco di Caffe is no secret, it somehow manages to preserve the neighborhood feel and makes those who come feel welcome.

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Lunches are delicious and cheap, while dinners are slightly pricier, but equally worth the cost. While this place is more wine bar than cafe or restaurant, you can certainly drink an espresso here as well as eat food. But most come here for the wine. For a delicious and wonderful night out, take a 5-star splurge at La Bottega del Buon Caffe. This Michelin-starred restaurant will surely impress with its innovative takes on traditional Tuscan cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients from Borgo Santo Pietro and directed by head chef Antonello Sardi.

If you need another draw there is the fine riverside dining. The true secret as to what makes them so good lies in the combination of toppings — for example, Semel dares to mix up anchovy and orange! The menu here changes daily.

48 hours in . . . Florence, an insider guide to the cradle of the Renaissance

This hip cafe might just have it all: food for the hungry and drinks for the thirsty, as well as a host of events that include readings and concerts on the weekends. This small trattoria keeps a fire burning in the kitchen to cook their bistecche. The steaks here are not as huge as many of the others on the list and can almost be consumed by a single person. Like many of the restaurants on this list, however, Sostanza has a great list of seasonal sides.

Be sure to make a reservation. Located in what used to be a stop for coachmen where they would wash down a tripe sandwich with a glass of wine, Buca Lapi is one of the restaurants in the center of Florence best known for its delicious steaks. It is a large restaurant that manages to still treat its customers well, through service and food. Because of its popularity, make sure you make a reservation if you want to try the Chianina meat here.

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  • Head across the river to the Oltrarno to try a bistecca alla fiorentina at this home-style restaurant. And be sure to save room for dessert, like the millefoglie.

    Located in the center, it is popular with tourists and locals alike. It is open only for lunch, so be prepared to cozy up to enjoy one of the best steaks in the city. Somewhat off the main tourist drag, the Antico Ristoro di Cambi is a family-run restaurant that serves traditional Tuscan fare, which of course includes bistecche. The ambiance is simple, and in the summer there is a patio on the Piazza Tiratoio. Locals know that the best produce is found at outdoor markets. In Florence, the baker still makes the bread, the butcher still cuts the meat, and the pastificio still makes the pasta.

    Florence Top Best Tips about Florence by Local Experts – TooMuchTuscany

    Or, take the guess work out of it and let us be your local guide to Florentine food on our walking tour! Drinking in Florence is never far behind eating in Florence, or before, depending on how you look at it. Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino are just a few of the best known from the region. The best way to really experience Tuscan wines is to head to a winery, usually situated outside of the city. Aperitivo is one of the best ways to end a day of sightseeing. Order a glass of wine and some snacks, preferably a tagliere with local cheeses and cured meats, and watch the Florentines finish their day.

    Head over to Uva Nera in Borgo Ognissanti for some great drinks and snacks. While many of the most well-known attractions are on the same side of the Arno River, the Oltrarno is a vibrant area worth the trip. The Piazza di Santo Spirito is a great place to start. Just be sure to wear your most comfortable shoes, it will be worth the investment! The brick streets and uneven walkways are not conducive to small heels. The bus system is quite reliable. Getting around by bus is pretty easy too, you just need to know where to get your tickets and what the routes are.

    The Santa Maria Novella train station is conveniently located in the city and fairly easy to navigate.

    Florence travel guide for first-time visitors

    As with any train station, be aware of your belongings at all times. I have never had any problem finding a bar the Italian name for cafes that offer free wifi to customers. I usually just get a coffee and a pastry and have a seat outside. The city of Florence now offers free WiFi in 12 piazze and parks.

    Access is via password in compliance with Italian laws, and limited to one hour a day. The summers can be quite hot and horribly crowded. The winter is a bit cold, but you will not encounter many tourists at all. Visiting in the off-seasons will give you a much deeper experience to not have to fight the crowds and it will be significantly less expensive all the way around, especially the airfare! Taking a drive through the Chianti, home to the most well-known Italian red wine in the world is something every Tuscan visitor should do.

    Extending over the provinces of Florence and Siena and covering all of the area between, Chianti offers a unique landscape with green, rolling hills covered with fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages, and countryside homes in stone. You will want to find yourself in Sienna at the end of your drive. Second only to Florence in importance in the history of Italian art, Siena is a must see in Tuscany.

    Stop and people watch in Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful piazzas in all of Italy, as you soak in all that Siena has to offer. Take a virtual tour of Siena and get a taste of how magnificent this city really is! If you do not want to hire a car and drive yourself, you can take a bus or hire a day excursion driver to bring you there.

    I prefer to fly Luthansa. With layovers in Germany, I find the airports to be accommodating and easy to navigate and the airline to be reliable. I try to avoid a layover in Paris whenever I can, getting stuck in a massive airport can easily make you miss your connection. My favorite 3rd party travel booking site is Skyscanner , I have saved hundreds of dollars booking through them. You can also take a bus or a train in, which will bring you to the Santa Maria Novella station, right in the middle of the city. Get lost!

    I love walking down random streets and experiencing the true quaintness of less-traveled paths. Just remember to be safe and always carry a map! If you get really lost, just ask anyone to lead you to the Duomo. Palazzo Strozzi — Here you will find a constant rotation of exhibits. It is often overlooked because the current exhibits will not be listed in the guide books.

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    With all exhibits in english as well as Italian, the breathtaking presentations are certainly an underrated gem of the city. You will not be disappointed! Every time I visit this remarkable city, I fall in love all over again! From the food to the culture, the architecture and the art, the language and the people.

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