Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r, Palazzo Pitti
Oltrarno—literally, the other (oltro) side of the Arno—is home to some of the city’s best restaurants. Trattoria Cammillo is that kind of old-world, white-tablecloth, monogrammed-plates place that serves up simple Tuscan food, elevated with perfect ingredients and careful preparation. The menu is seasonal, and autumn is our favorite time to stop in for one reason: ribollita. Translating directly as “reboiled,” this traditional soup is made of layers of vegetables, beans, and stale bread (and it’s much more appetizing than it sounds). After starting with a bowl of this Tuscan staple, try the celery, egg, and bottarga side dish (which can be a meal in itself.)
Gelateria La Carraia
Piazza Nazario Sauro, 25/r, Palazzo Pitti
There are no artificial flavorings or colorings in the gelato at La Carraia, just the concentrated nectar of the best fruits, nuts, and herbs of the season. La Carraia’s display is enough to lure you in, with its creamy mounds of colorful options. Go for a more unusual one, like torta della nonna (“grandma’s cake,” a regional pine nut dessert), or the best one, ricotta. Best of all, the small degustazione (taster cones) are a steal at only one euro.
Borgo San Jacopo 14, Florence
Hotel Lungarno, owned by the Ferragamo family, is designed to feel like a maritime-inflected period townhouse with incredibly views from every room.
Piazza Santo Spirito, Florence
Rasputin is as close as Florence gets to a speakeasy. It’s in Santo Spirito, and to find it you have to rely either word-of-mouth or clues given over the phone. (It takes its secrecy seriously.) The name is a nod to the aesthetic—a moody, sumptuously decorated lair that feels a bit illicit, and the décor is a blend of over-the-top 1940s Italy with a hint of St. Petersburg thrown in (ruby-red walls, sloping brick ceilings, antique carpets, and a candelabra on each table). It’s the kind of bourgeois cave the owners imagined Rasputin must have frequented. The drinks are strong, and the candied citrus peel and dried fruit muddled into cocktails somehow tastes better here.
Viale Machiavelli 18, Palazzo Pitti
For a step into the Baroque, there’s Villa Cora, which was once owned by Napoleon’s widow, the Empress Eugénie. It’s known for opulent, spacious interiors and is situated within a city park that overlooks the Boboli Gardens—it’s a perfect starting point for exploring Florence on foot.
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