If you’ve spent any time in Florence, you know that there is fabulous food around every corner. From gelaterias, to pasticcerias (pastry shops), to panificios (bread bakeries), the choices are endless. Of course you can just walk around and pop in and out of shops, but just like any other place that caters to tourists, not every food experience is going to be something that you want to write home about. Yes, I said it. Not every food shop or restaurant in Florence sells the stuff that dreams are made of. Why not hook up with a someone that’s really in the know and let them guide you to some of Florence’s best food finds?
Taste Florence, run by the very personable and knowledgable Toni (an American expat living in Florence), is the perfect introduction to some of the best food shops in the city of Florence. I’m a big fan of walking tours to get to know a new city and although I have a good feel for Florence, Taste Florence was just what I needed to guide my “foodie” group through the Mercato Centrale and the streets of Florence. After a few stops and some delicious bites along the way, we ended up at this grand market where Toni led us from stall to stall, sampling cheeses, oils, vinegars, olives, mostardas and chatting with the purveyors. There was time for making purchases and we left laden with goodies to take home in hopes of recreating a little bit of the Italian experience, long after we left the streets of Florence.
After the mercato there was amazing chocolates, some of the best gelato I’ve ever eaten and finally a wine tasting. When we parted ways with Toni we felt like we were saying good-bye to a new friend. She certainly made our day a memorable one and we all agreed that we would not hesitate to sign up for one of her tours in the future. Be sure to check out the website and if you sign up for a tour, be sure to tell Toni that Panini Girl sent you!