Alfresco Dining

Editorial Staff
July 16, 2009

 

Wondering how to stay cool while enjoying a great Florentine dinner?

There is only one answer: stay outside and away from the steaming indoor ovens.

There are plenty of options for dining alfresco-we've included our favorites here.

 

 

Caffè Pitti

Piazza Pitti, 9r - 055/2399863

www.caffepitti.it

This chic café is located directly across from the enormous Pitti Palace and the adjacent Boboli Gardens. It functions throughout the day as a typical Florentine bar-albeit a little more ornate-but the evening is when things really get interesting. Depending on the night, there could be live music.

 

 

4 Leoni

Via dei Vellutini, 1r, Piazza della Passera - 055/218562

www.4leoni.com

Tucked into a tiny Oltrarno piazza, Trattoria 4 Leoni offers the perfect mix of locals and tourists heartily enjoying their Tuscan specialties. Big, white umbrellas provide the right amount of shade for diners sitting in the piazza.

 

 

Borgo Antico

Piazza S.Spirito 6r - 055/210437

www.borgoanticofirenze.com

Restaurant/pizzeria with tables facing the facade of Santo Spirito. It may not be the coolest place temperature-wise to eat in August, but the generous portions and quality pizzas at a fair price make it a good place to go.

 

Fuori Porta

Via Monte Alle Croci 10r - 055/2342483

www.fuoriporta.it

Huge crostoni and yellow paper on the tables make this a classic for good eats with friends in the open Florentine air.

 

TERRAZZA BARDINI

Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 6 - 055/2008444

www.moba.fi.it

Enjoy Florence from a different perspective at this newly opened terrace café connected to the contemporary art museum at Villa Bardini. Boasting innovative dishes and fashionable cocktails, it is the perfect place for a light meal or an aperitivo on a warm summer evening.

 

BORGO SAN JACOPO (BSJ)

Borgo San Jacopo 62r - 055/281661

www.lungarnohotels.com

The Oscar for the best tables in all of Florence go to the beautiful Hotel Lungarno restaurant: the two tables on the mini-terrace facing the Ponte Vecchio are so dramatic they could be the stage for an opera. You'll have to book in advance and sell your mama to have a shot at one of them, but it could be the highlight of your summer dining experience.

 

AL FRESCO

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL

Borgo Pinti 99 - 055/2626450

www.fourseasons.com/florence

If you are looking to treat yourself to a leisurely lunch or dinner in the shade of centuries-old trees in a Renaissance era garden, then this is your place. The two huge terraces with pool views are ideal for those who want to escape from the heat of the city and enjoy chef Vito Mollica's fresh summer menu.

 

 

A bit outside of the city

 

Trattoria Le Cave di Maiano

Via Cave di Maiano, 16 - Maiano (Fiesole) - 055/59133

This Tuscan country trattoria in the village of Maiano is reached by Ataf bus #7; however, reaching it from there requires walking almost a mile up a winding country road. On a cool day, the walk can be pleasant; if the scorching August heat is pounding down, however, spend the few extra euro for a taxi. The trattoria itself consists of a converted farmhouse and a tree-shaded terrace with views of the Fiesole hills (but not of the city of Florence); the food is excellent.

 

 

Lo Strettoio

Via Serpiolle 7 - 055/4250044

www.lostrettoio.com

A solid choice for modern Tuscan cooking with an extraordinary view of Florence.

 

I Ricchi

Via della Docciola 14, Cercina - 055/402042

www.iricchi.it

Driving up the Sesto hills is like taking a mini-vacation...the fried goodness of the dishes is the grand prize.

 

 

GELATERIE short list

 

Indulge in an affordable luxury. There is no doubt that those coming from other parts of the world will find Italy expensive in all sectors except for two: great coffee and homemade gelato. Since this is the summer issue, we've put together a list (not nearly complete!) as a starting point for your marathon of chocolate and vanilla, lemon and pistacchio in this boiling heat. Send us your reviews and let us know which ones are worth listing next time!

 

BADIANI

Viale dei Mille 20r - 055/578682

 

CARABÉ

Via Ricasoli 60r - 055/289476

 

CARAPINA

Piazza Oberdan 2r (near Piazza Beccaria) - 055/676930

 

CIOLLI

Via Ramazzini 35r - 055/677554

 

GELAT'AMO

Via Doni 18r - 055/3245806

 

GELATERIA LA CARRAIA

Piazza Sauro 25r - 055/280695

 

GELATERIA DE' MEDICI

Via dello Statuto 3/5r - 055/475156

 

GELATERIA DEI NERI

Via dei Neri 26r - 055/210034

 

IL SORRISO

Via Erbosa 70 (Gavinana) - 055/689007

 

GROM

Via del Campanile - 055/216158

 

LE PARIGINE

Via dei Servi 41r - 055/2398470

 

PERCHÉ NO?

Via dei Tavolini 19r - 055/2398969

 

VESTRI 

Borgo degli Albizi 11r - 055/2340374

 

VIVOLI

Via Isola delle Stinche 7 - 055/292334

 

 

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