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I’ve been walking and bicycling Florence’s busy and beautiful streets for five days now; it’s been hot and muggy, rainy and thundery, and absolutely breathing. Florence has many sides, but my favorites are its sights and its food. Since I’ve seen most of its sights before such as the Uffizi Gallery, and the Duomo, I’ve been focusing on Florence’s aperitivo culture and fine dining.
Florence is the best place in Italy for aperitivo (Milan is a close second.) Aperitivo is an evening activity commonly found in Mediterranean countries, specifically Spain, France, and Italy. Between 6 pm and 11 pm, large, all-you-can-eat buffets are provided in the price of one drink. After a long day of sightseeing, it’s a good way to recharge.
Last night, Kristin and I tried the bar Negroni, which is supposedly the birthplace of the Negroni cocktail . We’d had a long day of work (I’m updating a travel guide for Florence) and decided to end it with two martinis for aperitivo (8 euros/person). It’s usually difficult to get a good martini in Italy, but Negroni Bar did it right.
And the buffet was top of the line. It included two types of pasta, three types of rice and couscous dishes, numerous variations on bruschetta, pizza, and salad. The bar is located on the Oltrarno side of the river, in Piazza Demidoff, where a few bars feature impressive aperitivi. Another good area is around Basilica di San Lorenzo.
Tonight I’m going out for Florence’s specialty, bistecca alla fiorentina, and in the next post I’ll focus on Tuscany’s traditional foods.
Written by and photos by Mattie Bamman for EuropeUpClose.com