Now there’s a reason to walk beyond the San Niccolò tower with the opening of Ditta Artigianale’s latest coffee shop in piazza Ferrucci.
Former Italian barista champion Francesco Sanapo and his team have transformed the former James Joyce pub, a favourite among Florentines and left derelict for years, into a colourful and design driven neighbourhood café. Striped parasols dot the courtyard among planters filled with herbs and a greenhouse-like bar tempts for a cocktail. There’s no doubt that Ditta Artigianale piazza Ferrucci is set to become Florence’s big summer hangout for 2023 and beyond.
Inside the striking yellow and grey palazzo with terracotta statues tucked into niches, Ditta’s hallmark design makes an impression. From the green tiling to the gold counters, this regeneration provides a different spin on the Florence speciality coffee brand usual outposts. Books and newspapers line the contemporary shelving. An on-site bakery seeks inspiration from France and northern Europe as New Yorker bread master Joshua Shuffman turns out loaves on a daily basis to serve the needs of the four other Ditta Artigianale’s stores in Florence – via dello Sprone, via de’ Neri, via Carducci and lungarno Soderini. Plus, the cakes and cookies are all freshly baked by Florentine pastry chef Francesca Grillotti. Expect banana bread, red velvet cake, pain au chocolat, among other sweet treats. Meanwhile, the food includes the usual Ditta fare: internationally leaning, but with a focus on Italian ingredients. At the press preview, we tucked into the loveliest of Caesar salads, asparagus pesto toasts with burrata and croque monsieur.
Ditta Artigianale piazza Ferrucci makes no bones about its aim to be respectful towards local residents. “This eatery is the continuation of our love story with Florence,” comments Francesco Sanapo. “We started out in really touristy areas before opening in Sant’Ambrogio to introduce the brand to Florentines. With Ferrucci, we wanted to bring life back into a place that was a social highlight for years, while giving it a new look in terms of format and design. It’s a place that’s not just for breakfast or a quick coffee, but a cultural hub, a haven of greenery, somewhere where people can socialize over a cup of coffee. Last but not least, we care about local residents, which is why we’ll be open from 7am to 11pm.”