Montepulciano

If you’re travelling by car and got a place to stay at in Florence, you really should go and discover Tuscany. To feel the Tuscan rhythm of life, try Montepulciano. This medieval village rests atop a narrow hill and can be found in an unbelievably postcard-perfect landscape, filled with cypress trees and sun-drenched vineyards…The best way to discover the elegant historic center is on foot: as you walk along, you’ll come across Renaissance palazzos before reaching – at the highest point of Montepulciano – the main piazza. But despite its beauty, Montepulciano is also world-famous for its Vino Nobile, considered one of the best Tuscan wines in the world, made with grapes coming from vineyards surrounding the village. Also, it’s worth visiting the local food stores (I mean, their salami and cheese… well. I can’t believe I ate all the supplies I brought home!) and the oldest library in town – Magnanet Libreria Di Lorenzo Rago. The owner is the third generation of the family that opened it and there are more than 15,000 books (!) in their archives. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this place…

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Florence Addresses

Other than Trattoria Sostanza and Gucci Garden, which I wrote about in separate posts, here are five more addresses I found interesting in Florence.

Florence’s late-19th-century steel-and-glass market building in San Lorenzo underwent a makeover in 2014 when the second floor was converted into a contemporary food hall. On the first floor of the structure, traditional butchers, fishmongers and fruit/vegetable vendors supply the Florentines. But climb the staircase to the upper level and enter Mercato Centrale, a food-lover’s’ heaven that showcases the very best of Italian regional food. It’s a lively space offering sensual overload, and the range of gustatory delights is nothing short of eye-popping.

Piazza del Mercato Centrale 4

If you’ve been to Trattoria Sostanza (or didn’t catch a table…), go to Buca Lapi. It’s not as off-the-radar, but the restaurant serves classical, Tuscan food in a cozy, home-made way.

Via del Trebbio 1r

The name on everybody’s lips these days in Florence is La Ménagère, a space near San Lorenzo market that combines a restaurant, tapas bar, flower shop (which is actually the best part) and a home-accessories collection, concept-store-style. This place impresses with its details and is highly Instagrammable. Not entirely sure of the food though…

Via de’ Ginori 8

Procacci is this chic go-to spot for Florentines, who are exhausted after their shopping on the fancy Via de Tornabuoni. Delicious, little sandwhiches with truffle paste will make you addicted after the first bite…

Via de’ Tornabuoni 64R

Atelier Dipinti e Bijoux is Stefania Pastacaldi’s boutique. It’s the place where you can find exclusive items of refined, properly Italian jewelry. Gorgeous animal miniatures, used later on in jewellery, is the atelier’s signature. All strictly hand-made.

Via del Sole 24r

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All photos by Edward Kanarecki.