Indulging in the World's Best Gelato
Ice cream was invented (probably) in Florence in the 16th century, and today it's impossible to resist the addictive, luscious gelato flavors on offer throughout the region. The pistachio (pistacchio) and hazelnut (nocciola) taste like they've been made with nuts plucked straight from the tree, and the zesty fruit flavors explode on the tongue.
Sampling the Porchetta Sandwich
Take a suckling pig, debone, roll, spit, and roast over a wood fire, with a generous stuffing of garlic, rosemary and fennel. Then carve and serve on a crusty roll for 2.50€. Can it get any better than this? Available at most weekly markets.
Enjoying Aperitivo, Tuscan-Style
These days aperitivo means more than just a pre-dinner drink -- bars in Siena, Pisa, and Florence offer rich buffets of finger food, pasta, salads, cured meats, and pizzette, for free, with a drink (usually between 6 and 8pm).
Cibrèo (Via Andrea del Verrocchio 8r; tel. 055-234-1100; www.edizioniteatrodelsalecibreofirenze.it)
The amalgamated country-style decor of this restaurant belies its status as one of the city's finest kitchens, even after years at the top. The dishes are Tuscan at heart -- though they buck the standard by serving no pasta and little grilled meat -- with innovative touches and plenty of peperoncino for spice. You may have to wait even with a reservation, but the wait is invariably worth it.
Il Santo Bevitore (Via Santo Spirito 66r; tel. 055-211-264; www.ilsantobevitore.com)
Few places typify the new Florentine Left Bank vibe as well as this buzzing enoteca-osteria. Service is informal, even laid-back, but they take the ingredients that make up their refreshingly modern take on Tuscan food very seriously indeed. The wine list is one of the best in town.
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