Thanksgiving in Florence

Where and how to celebrate

Mary Gray
November 6, 2014

For Americans in Florence, not acknowledging Thanksgiving can feel like cultural betrayal, yet finding a way to celebrate when daily obligations don’t slow down can prove challenging. Even the most seasoned expats may find themselves longing for the little things: their favorite aunt’s stuffing recipe, the group expressions of gratitude, the inevitable tryptophan-fueled naps and the rowdy cheers of family football fans. Flying across the Atlantic for these all too brief rituals is impractical, but fortunately, it’s easier than ever to give thanks right here in Florence. With so many options for a Tuscan Thanksgiving, you may be counting your blessings like never before.

 

Do you always think of dessert first? Mama’s Bakery is right there with you—call them at 055/219214 to take care of all your Thanksgiving pie needs. With no Turkey Day on the Italian calendar, you might not be able to skip work on Wednesday to prepare a feast, but you can order one of American Salad Company’s thoughtfully prepared Thanksgiving Kits. Choose from holiday favorites like free-range turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted yams, peas, homemade gravy, apple and cranberry sauces, two types of stuffing, and a selection of Mama’s Bakery pies. Email orders@americansaladco.com with your selections by November 23. The kits pair perfectly with wines from Vinoutlet at borgo Ognissanti 70/r or Vini e Delizie at via dei Banchi 45/r—throughout the month, both shops are offering discounts starting at 10 percent for Thanksgiving celebrations.

 

If your version of ‘lending a hand’ at Thanksgiving usually means staying out of the way, there are plenty of places to celebrate without lifting a finger. Head to The Diner (via dell’Acqua 3), one of the first places in Florence to serve Thanksgiving dinner, for a fun Tuscan twist on the standards. Expect pumpkin-filled tortelli in tomato sauce, chestnut-stuffed roast turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and green beans. The complete menu costs 25 euro and includes water and two glasses of wine. Call 055/290748 to book your spot. 

 

The Ristorante Accademia (piazza San Marco 7; 055/217343 to book) was another Thanksgiving trailblazer in town. Entering their fourteenth year of festivities, they’ve got a loyal fan base of international families who dine there annually to mark the occasion, and they’re happy to welcome new faces into the fold. The 35-euro menu (drinks not included) is refreshingly classic: pumpkin soup with cornbread; turkey with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce; mashed potatoes and creamed corn; and a choice of apple strudel or pumpkin pie for dessert.

 

If you’re more of a football fiend than a foodie, get your gameday fix at the Red Garter (via de’ Benci 33/r). Enjoy a tailgate-themed menu complete with buffalo wings, beer and other concession-stand staples, and watch top NFL teams battle it out beginning at 7pm. Call 349/2968513 for further details or to book a table. Spend Thanksgiving old-style at 1950 American Diner (via del Moro 85/r, 055/281193 to book). Choose from a fixed-price plate of traditional Thanksgiving treats or order anything off the menu. In the spirit of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, some balloon artists will be on tap to provide entertainment for the little ones. For what is sure to be a seriously sophisticated spread, head to Il Palagio Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel (Borgo Pinti 99). Dinner costs 85 euro, excluding drinks. For further information or to book, call 055/2626450.

 

And, last but by no means least, why not spend Turkey Day with The Florentine at Florence Food Studio (via dell’Ardiglione 39/r)? Look forward to a full menu of autumn harvest soup, roasted Indian turkey, sage cornbread stuffing with chestnuts and cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, caramelized Brussels sprouts, biscuits and pumpkin cheesecake. Mouth watering yet? Email redazione@theflorentine.net to reserve your spot—there are 30 places available. TF subscribers old and new will pay 40 euro, while non-subscribers pay 45. 

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