A Local's Guide To Florence

A Local's Guide To Florence

Italy’s most enchanting city, Florence, offers world-famous art galleries, wonderful shopping, and delicious restaurants and bars — all in a beautifully romantic setting.

/ Simonetta

We sat down with Florence local Simonetta Sancristoforo Cattaneo della Volta, who is in charge of communications for the Ferragamo estate Il Borro an hour southeast of the city. Simonetta returned to the Tuscan capital in 2020 after eight years of living in London, where she worked at art galleries and auction houses.


Il Santino Wine Bar, right next to the restaurant Il Santo Bevitore, its wine bar is worth a visit after work. Try the whipped cod, daily toasts, and a bottle of whatever the barman recommends. It's always good. Via Santo Spirito, 60/R.

Palazzo Guadagni is one of my favorites. Take the lift up to the top floor and enjoy a cocktail on their roof terrace. Piazza Santo Spirito, 9.

ENOTECA BELLINI Very nice, small and cozy, but a great spot! Via della Spada 52r

Continentale rooftop can get a bit touristy, but it’s worth it for the view. Vicolo dell'Oro, 6r.

Il Locale is great for after-dinner drinks, Il Locale has an alluring vibe and design. Via delle Seggiole, 12r.

Where to Eat

Il Santo Bevitore is a typical Tuscan trattoria, which never disappoints. Via di Santo Spirito, 64/66.

Trattoria Sostanza: Order the Florentine steak and a big Tuscan red here. Via del Porcellana, 25.

Trattoria Cammillo is an old school timeless classic,trattoria is my favorite by far! The frittata con i funghi, sedano rapa con bottarga and the chicken curry are must orders. Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r.

Atto di Vito Mollica 1 Michelin star and it’s in a beautiful and fully renovated hotel called Palazzo Portinari Salviati (very beautiful!). Via del Corso, 6.

Caffe Cibreo This famous restaurant concept in the Santa Croce area, is delicious! Everything is sourced locally etc and they also own Ristorante Cibreo (a bit more fancy), Cibleo (Asian), and Teatro del Sale (you have dinner in a theater). They have a great concept.

If you are looking for something different than Tuscan food, try Atelier dei Nerli, which is owned by the Cavalli family.

Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio is an indoor marketplace featuring traditional vendors of fruit, vegetables & specialty foods since 1873. They also have a few places for a quick lunch, like delicious burgers and other botteghe.

Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, the city restaurant of Il Borro Toscana Estate, with fresh ingredients directly from the farm.

Where to Stay

The Place Firenze: I love the design and its cafe overlooking Piazza Santa Maria Novella, which is one of my favorite squares in Florence.

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Casa G : I have been and it’s a super charming boutique Hotel and the design is very well curated.

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Numeroventi is a super cool and upscale guesthouse in an art and design studio. It also hosts artist residency programs.

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Casa Howard: A beautiful boutique hotel and historic residence, with a cozy British design, located near Santa Maria Novella.

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Culture & Shopping

Manifattura Tabacchi is an amazing industrial building that has been recently renovated. The new MT boasts a multitude of functions: food court, co-working areas, art galleries, artist workshops, ateliers, hotel services, offices, and residences.

Palazzo Strozzi is right in the heart of the city, this is the best place to see contemporary art in Florence.

Recollection by Albrici: The vintage shoppers must. You'll find beautiful nightgowns, silk and embroidered dresses, Pucci scarves, costume jewelry, and antiques you'll try hard to find room in your suitcase for.

A&L Tappeti: Don't leave Florence without checking out the Italian slippers and velvet handmade kimonos, sets, and silk-made purses inside. 'Heart to Heart' is the creative project of the tapestry shop owner's daughter. The creations transpire global travels.

Cinema Odeon is a collaboration between Giunti Editore and the Germani family, which has owned the theater for three generations, the new cultural hub will have programming ranging from films to book presentations and exhibitions. Also available in the galleries is a study area dedicated to reading and socializing. The Giunti Odeon, built in the Renaissance Palazzo dello Strozzino, also houses the Odeon Bistro.

When to Go

Avoid July and August, when it can get very hot and packed with tourists. Visit during the spring months or in September and October.