The city’s Santo

Tom Fork, Sofie Delauw
September 9, 2010

Undeniably  one of Florence's best restaurants-for the quality of the food, the vast selection of wines and the inviting atmosphere-the very cosmopolitan Santo Bevitore is really just a friendly neighbourhood eatery and drinkery located in the heart of the Santo Spirito area. Childhood friends who grew up together in the Oltrarno, nurturing a passion for good food through their teenage years, owners Marco and Martina Baldesi and Stefano Sebastiani (all of which have full-time jobs!) serve Mediterranean-inspired, locally-sourced and seasonal menus that change every three months.


Chefs Claudio Salvadori and Nicola Chiappi keep an eye on quality while supporting the neighbourhood economy. They get their fresh fruit and vegetables from greengrocers in the Santo Spirito and San Frediano areas and every ingredient used in the kitchen is hand-picked from high-quality artisan food producers from across Italy. Examples of this are their delicious pecorino cheeses from Tuscany and Sardinia and their mouthwatering salamis from the bottega of a small, artisanal producer in Gubbio, Umbria. Their cellar boasts over 100 different wines, mostly from Tuscany and the rest from Italy, but also from France.


When the owners opened the eatery eight years ago, they asked a group of their friends to help clean the storefront, paint the walls and turn the grimy interior into a real restaurant. It has maintained the same simple yet elegant decor since its beginnings, made up of dark wood tables and paper placemats. As proof of its success among locals and tourists, Santo Bevitore has expanded to include a new coffee and tea area, as well as Il Santino, a gourmet specialty shop and enoteca next door that serves specialty cured meats and wine, but also offers take-away dishes.


To honour such passion for fine food, Santo Bevitore celebrates its birthday every year with a bash for foodies. This year it falls on September 19 at 19:30. Pass by for a glass of wine and some finger foods-all are welcome.


Il Santo Bevitore / via santo spirito 66r / tel. 055211264 /



Tom Fork is a pseudonym for any and all members of the TF staff. He is the ficticious critic and buon gustaio behind upcoming TF reviews of local restaurants and bars.


Sofie Delauw is a Belgian-born photographer living in Florence. After a short career as a recruiter, she moved to the U.S. and earned a degree in Photography. It was one of the best decisions she has ever made. Today she works as a freelance photographer and divides her time between Belgium and Italy. She shoots what she loves: food, interiors and travel images. See more of her work at

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