Streetsmart: Piazza Tasso
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Streetsmart: Piazza Tasso

Piazza Tasso wears many hats: family park, foodie haven, nightlife hub. Though it’s often glossed over in favor of glitzier Oltrarno hangouts, this vibrant slice of San Frediano paints a full portrait of Florentine life. Sit on the benches for just a few minutes and you’re

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Thu 01 Oct 2015 12:00 AM

Piazza Tasso wears many hats: family park, foodie haven, nightlife hub. Though it’s often glossed over in favor of glitzier Oltrarno hangouts, this vibrant slice of San Frediano paints a full portrait of Florentine life. Sit on the benches for just a few minutes and you’re bound to spot gossiping grandmothers, trendy twenty-somethings and giddy kids in equal measure. Wary of that postcard-perfect, ‘packaged’ version of Florence? Rough-and-tumble Tasso will win you over in no time.

1. PARK & PLAYGROUND AREA, piazza Tasso

Need convincing that true neighborhoods still exist? Turn your eyes toward the action in the piazza’s central patch. Count the nonni congregated on the benches or the neighbors engaged in lively debates. Watch a spontaneous game of soccer draw players from varied generational pools. Lightning-fast children zoom down the slides as their parents catch up and compare notes by the swingsets. Join in the action or just pop by for some people-watching: these park scenes would make Mister Rogers proud. 

2. CULINARIA BISTROT, piazza Tasso, 13r

Looking for an alternative to your go-to trattoria? Book a table at Culinaria Bistrot, where the modest prices, farm-happy practices and friendly service are bound to impress. At first glance, Culinaria could be any homey Tuscan eatery, but its De Gustibus Network is what makes it distinct. A grassroots group of organic farmers, tour operators and consumers, De Gustibus promotes high-quality food production through tours and cultural events. Culinaria is the community’s crown jewel, a tasty lunch and dinner spot where everything is sourced directly from the farmers.   

3. LA SORBETTERIA, piazza Tasso, 11r

This no-frills sweet shop is a favorite among gelato gourmands, sugary-toothed toddlers and savvy travelers. Beyond its drool-worthy desserts, La Sorbetteria’s second strength is Antonio, the gregarious gelataio at its helm. His trademark flavors include the ultra-rich catrame, a hearty dark chocolate taking its name from the Italian for ‘tar.’ Pinoli and pistachio are two other top choices, but the salted caramel will send your tastebuds into overdrive. Try it before this treasure closes for the winter.

4. CIRCOLO AURORA, viale Vasco Pratolini 2

With its dangling lights, funky drinks and down-to-earth clientele, Aurora is the pulse of piazza Tasso’s nightlife scene. Have bartender Julian mix you a Montego Bay Spleen, a grapefruit cocktail named after the St. Germain song. See and be seen in the alfresco seats or huddle up inside once the weather turns cold. Kick back and chit-chat over a cocktail, or come check out the bar’s eclectic events and concerts: the outdoor space’s end-of-season party is set for October 24.

Piazza Tasso and surrounding streets:

5. Black Spring – Indie bookshop with coffee bar & events – via Camaldoli 10r

6. Progetto Verde – Natural products – piazza Tasso 11a

7. Gnam – Burgers, soups, aperitivo – via Camaldoli 2/r

8. Biblioteca Pietro Thouar – Library & study space with English section. Free membership – via Mazzetta 10

9. Trattoria BBQ Firenze – Traditional trattoria with mostly meat! – piazza Tasso 9r

10. Tasso Hostel – Lodging & events venue – via Villani 15

11. Ink-P – Silkscreen, applied arts & design shop – via Camaldoli 4B/r

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