Sharing the same owners as the popular Gelateria Santa Trinita, the Florentine proprietors are bringing their decade-long experience to this snug Arno-side lounge. With golden views upriver in the outdoor seating area by the Santa Trinita bridge, diners are tempted to watch Florentine life unfurl alfresco, although the interior certainly deserves more than lip service. The original 15th-century patterned terracotta floors convey the history of this locale nestled within the historical Palazzo Frescobaldi, while a gold and chocolate colour palette elevates the Il Salotto experience. A ravishing flower chandelier tempts passers-by inside, where they are greeted by an upholstered bar counter and settees, fancy chairs, and custom-made wooden shelves displaying the best bottlings.
Lunchtime bites are seasonal and generous. On a torrid summer day, the brie and grapefruit salad refreshes and the charcuterie and truffle butter crostini fill. In the afternoon, a tearoom vibe takes over as locals and internationals order gelato from the neighbouring parlor or beverages served with a selection of homemade tiramisu’ in a take on a tasting of the quintessential Italian dessert: classic coffee + mascarpone; cantucci cookies + vin santo; amaretti + rum; mango. For a special occasion, order one of the special Champagne cocktails, all variations on the classic French 75, purveyed from the impressive lineup of maisons and refined spirits hand-picked by the owners. If it’s too hot for a tipple or alcohol’s not your thing, there’s an intriguing list of mocktails built around exotic super fruits like golova, acerola and acai.
As the sun sets on the Arno, the friendly and professional staff at Il Salotto serve fine wines by the glass (or the bottle!) alongside a studied trio of fish, meat or vegan antipasti. Grattamacco, Tua Rita and Prima Pietra are just three examples of the single servings available at this riverside wine bar and eatery, representing some of Tuscany’s most enticing coastal wine regions: Bolgheri, Suvereto and Riparbella. Gazing out at the twinkling lights, glass in hand and nibbles galore, life in Florence feels good indeed.
Il Salotto Santa Trinita
Lungarno Guicciardini 3/5r
Open daily 11am-midnight