A taste of Tuscany
We love Italy for a lot of reasons but one of the main reasons is definitely the food and how the Italian cuisine differs so much from region to region. As we were visiting Florence for the first time and only had three days there we knew that one of the best ways for us to get a good understanding of the regional favorites was going on a Food Tour. Over the last couple of years we’ve gone on several food tours in different cities and we’ve always found that they’re an excellent way of understanding not just the food traditions, but also to get a historical understanding of the city that you’re staying in.
We did some research and quickly found the highest rated food tour in Florence - Florence Food Tours. We signed up and were ready to explore Florence on a sunny Friday morning. We walked through the historical centre of Florence to our central meeting point, where we met up with our local guide and other tour guests. Our tour guide was incredibly cheerful and energetic - we knew we were going to be in good hands. We really appreciated that Florence Food Tour makes sure that groups are never too big so that you get a more intimate tour and can ask questions along the way.
First stop was of course - coffee! We went to a locals' favorite coffee place close to our initial meeting point where our guide explained to us why Italy is world-famous for their coffee, even though the coffee plants don't, of course, grow there. We learned about various coffee beans and got to taste a couple of different coffee variants. A great way to start our tour.
Next up we went to the most famous truffle shop in Florence and had a mouth-watering sandwich with truffle paste. This place with its rich history, located right off the most expensive shopping street in Florence, also had a lot of great truffle treats that you could buy and bring with you home.
We continued walking through the beautiful streets of Florence towards the local market. The city life was buzzing with activity and the sun cast warm rays on our pale winter skin. Pure bliss. Close to the market we stopped by one of the city’s famous bakeries where we tried several Italian favorites - several of them were freshly baked and still warm.
Since it's never too early for wine (!), next we went to a cosy little wine bar to learn about, and enjoy, some local wines. We had a private session with a sommelier who gave us a couple of red and white wines to try along with some lovely Italian charcuterie and bread. This place felt super local and wasn’t just another tourist trap - definitely worth a visit outside of the food tour too.
After a couple of glasses of tasty grapes we went on to the main food market in Florence - The Mercato Centrale. In this palace of food our tour guide had planned several stops. We tasted everything from fresh strawberries with aged balsamic vinegar, a fantastic pasta with ragout, various local olive oils, amazing chunks of fresh parmesan and of course some more regional wine. Needless to say, we were full after what had been food paradise. The great thing was that we got to meet all of the different vendors and learn about the products that they cared so much about.
We walked out of the Mercato Centrale - full from food and of new impressions. We actually thought we were done with our day at this point, but no. Florence Food Tour had one last trip lined up for us. We walked 10 minutes (needed after all of the food) and got to a local gelateria to finish off our day with a traditional ice cream. Everything looked amazing there and with +15 variants it probably took us five minutes to choose which one of the flavors we wanted. The ice cream was unbelievable. You could really taste that the ingredients were of the best quality, and it was evident that the guy who ran the place had a lot of pride in his creation.
If you're visiting Florence and you're interested in food as well as history, then you definitely need to go on the Florence Food Tour. We learned so much about the history of the beautiful city and we really felt that we were in good hands throughout the day. We got to try so many local specialties that we would never had if we had gone there by ourselves. We're sure you're going to love it!
We want to dearly thank Florence Food Tour for some amazing and delicious couple of hours. Why don'y you pop over to their website (click!) to learn more and secure your spot?