Uffizi

Le Mossacce


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Home cooking at the right price near the cathedral.

Gelateria dei Neri


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Named after the street where you find it, this ice cream shop is worth seeking out!

All'Antico Vinaio


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One of the few genuine Florentine fast food places left in the city.

All'Antico Vinaio is always busy; it could be for the great food, the great prices, the interesting characters crushed into the tiny bar and spilling onto the street, or perhaps it is to do with the help-yourself-to-wine arrangement!


La Bussola


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Best pizza in town! Even with a few updates over the years, La Bussola has retained some its 1960's style in the original long marble bar with suspended seats of chrome and wood.

Settle in at the bar and order your favourite pizza or try something new from the separate list of superior pizzas with all Tuscan ingredients from specialist producers.


Lounge bar Lungarno


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An elegant room with a view. For a coffee with style, try the lounge of the Lungarno Hotel. Make yourself comfortable in one of the deep cream-coloured sofas and gaze across the river to the Ponte Vecchio. With soft lighting and gentle music this is a great place to relax from sightseeing and soak up a different atmosphere. Rather like a gentleman's club, with the open fire and framed engravings and prints, good coffee is served with petit fours and art books are close at hand to browse the treasures of Florence. In summer there are a few tables outside also with a river view. Service is impeccable and the powder room is exemplary.

Old Stove Signoria pub


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A pub with a view.Sitting in one of Florence's most historical piazzas, the Old Stove Signoria pub has one of the best outdoor spaces. Lodged between the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's medieval town hall, and Palazzo Uguccioni in monument-filled Piazza della Signoria, you really can't beat the people-watching potential of this pub. Enthusiastically decorated as Irish pubs go, the interior has the dark wood and kitchy ornaments that pubs call for, and even a huge basement area complete with fireplace for the rough weather. But why forego the opportunity to sit outside with Medici duke Cosimo I's sculptures looming over you in this fantastic and fascinating piazza? The menu is strictly a pub menu, offering imported draught beers from 3.50 euro for a half-pint, local and imported bottled beers as well as cocktails, spirits, soft drinks and international snacks.

Fusion bar


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Elegance and style at the Ponte Vecchio.What it lacks in the way of a view, the terrace of this Ferragamo family hotel makes up for in sheer elegance. Umbrellas and sofas in white with dark hardwood decking bring understated sophistication to an otherwise plain piazza hidden from the crowds at the Ponte Vecchio. Minimal décor with maximum impact continues inside with huge standard lamps, wooden blinds, and soft tones. Stools provide ring side seats to observe the art of bar tending and a neat row of tables lines the wall for those who prefer an intimate cocktail. Interesting tasty morsels served with cocktails are inspired by the fusion cooking of the restaurant menu; help yourself from the bar during the early evening or trays will be served to you at your table. If the bar is busy and it is too warm outside, try the airy space of the library to relax into one of the cool white sofas. Exhibitions of photography and contemporary art are held here throughout the year and can be admired in the bar and the library as well as the hotel lobby.During the summer months, cross the piazza from the Fusion Bar to the sister hotel Continentale and take the elevator to the top floor to enjoy a cocktail with a breathtaking view of the city from the medieval tower around which the hotel is built. After dinner drinks are candle lit for the most romantic of settings.

Oro Due


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Classic designs by this traditional family-run goldsmith.On a side street between the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery is the quaint and classic Oro Due, a family-run goldsmiths workshop. Working in the traditional Florentine manner, the young Lorenzo and his father create the gold pieces in the workshop that you can spot behind the counter, while sister Veronica helps customers choose and try on pieces.All the work is of 18 kt white, yellow or pink gold, priced according to weight, as the tradition goes and is often embellished with precious stones. Find simple, elegant and both contemporary and traditional designs such as tiny, vermillion coloured coral-branch pendants or earrings, diamond studs, delicate bracelets, Florentine style rings and very friendly service.There are also some unusual one-off pieces such as real antique Roman coins set in a gold pendant.

Fiori del Tempo


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A jewel box as big as a wardrobe or a jewellery shop as little as a cupboard? Either way you look at it, this little gem (no pun intended) is more than meets the eye. Handmade by Frencesco Deidda, his sterling silver and gold-plated jewellery – pretty pieces in simple but covetable designs inspired by the Renaissance and Art Deco – fill every nook and cranny with a wide variety of pieces and colourful stones to suit every taste, age or outfit. Materials used range from semi-precious and precious stones, freshwater pearls, resin and plexi. Better still, it's all very easy on your wallet. Choose from classic freshwater pearl earrings from around 6 euro a pair to gold plated antique replicas that go from around 20 euro to huge romantic blooming resin rose earrings for 30. If you're in the area, you can also visit the slightly bigger boutique in Via de' Ginori.

Piazza della Signoria


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Piazza della Signoria is so-called because of the Signoria, the ruling body of Florence's Republic from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. The Signoria (not to be confused with signora, or “madam”!) was a group of nine men, known as priori, who were randomly chosen from a hat from the guilds of the city to rule Florence for two months at a time, locked inside the Palazzo Vecchio. The area where we find Piazza della Signoria had already been an important square in the ancient Roman times, and was surrounded by a semi-circular theatre, Roman baths and later on, a church. The unusual “L-shaped” piazza owes its form to a series of historical events starting from the second half of the 13th Century. At that time, two warring factions, the Guelphs and the Ghibellines were fighting it out all over Florence. And when the Guelphs finally took control, they razed 36 houses and towers of their rivals to the ground: on the so-called “damned” land, it was forbidden to build a single thing and salt was thrown all over the ground so that not even a blade of grass would grow. It was paved for the first time in 1385, officially making it the square that we essentially see today. Ever since the early times when Florence began building that active and enterprising community that would characterize its long history, Piazza della Signoria has always been the symbol of civic life in the city, as opposed to the religious center which grew up around the cathedral. It has always been the focal point of the Florentine government and as such, this square has been witness to centuries of important events from public executions to visits by the most important Kings and Queens and leaders alike. At the ringing of the bells within the tower of Palazzo Vecchio, the Florentines would gather to listen and approve new laws or, perhaps to run, fully armed, ready to defend city institutions. Some of the most significant executions of the city have taken place in this piazza. Some might recall a rather gory scene in the film Hannibal, which is set in Florence and plays on an actual historical event – in 1478 there is an assassination attempt on the Medici. Lorenzo the Magnificent escapes, but his brother Giuliano is killed, and the family responsible, the Pazzi, and their conspirators more than pay the price. Many – including some of the most well-known citizens of the city – are thrown out of the windows of the Palazzo Vecchio and left to hang for everyone to see and jeer at. Artists such as Botticelli and Da Vinci drew and painted the dangling corpses of the conspirators. Florence in the 15th and 16th centuries found sculpture to be a very important way of promoting the government's image, representing the city's struggle for freedom, strength and courage, helping boost morale during times of unrest, or celebrate the victory of a new government thus creating what we see today as a magnificent open-air museum, with some of history's most important artists represented by their statues of heroic legends. The Loggia dei Lanzi is the arched, open fronted building next to the Palazzo Vecchio and is the perfect showcase for these sculptures although its original purpose was to be an elegant podium for public ceremonies. The bronze statue of Perseus holding up the bloody head of Medusa is one of the best known sculptures in the loggia. Cellini recounts in his biography the trouble he went to for this sculpture, where, in the middle of a fever and running out of tin to bind the bronze to cast the statue, he begins to throw in pots and cutlery and anything else he can find from around the workshop, causing a fire along the way. In the end, several parts of the sculpture, which was being in cast in four separate pieces (Perseus, the head of Medusa, the body of Medusa and Perseus' sword) had to be recast several times before finally being fused together. Recent tests on the sculpture reveal that Medusa's head actually has a much higher percentage of tin than the rest of the figure. Persus is accompanied by another masterpiece: The Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna. The dynamic, intertwined figures of his most famous sculpture, the Roman legend of the Rape of the Sabine Women were only named after he had completed the work, in fact the artist did originally intend to represent three interacting figures in movement, a mature man, a youth and a beautiful woman: taken by the younger man from the weaker older one. An impossibly beautiful and skillfully created work, carved out of just one single piece of marble, this sculpture competes with Michelangelo's David in being one of the most impressive studies of the human body in marble and a simple exhibition of the talent of the sculptor.

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