Florence is one of our favourite Italian cities. Our daughter lived there for a year and discovered a number of hidden gems. From her experience, we learnt to explore ‘south of the river’. It’s very different from the hectic, touristy central part and has a very bohemian feel. The Santa Spirito piazza is a lovely open space that has a number of good restaurants, without the prices of those in the centre. The food at Gusta Osteria (two seconds from the piazza, on the corner) is very authentic and is often frequented by Italians. If you fancy sitting in the actual piazza itself, Borgo Antico is very enjoyable. Whilst it can be quite touristy, the quality of food remains. For the best pizza in town (Italian friends swear by it!), try out Il Pizzaiolo in Via de Macci. This place is always busy so be prepared. Our favourite restaurant in the whole of Florence is in the southern part of the city and in the outskirts. Although it’s fairly tricky to find, it’s worth it (and you’ll escape the tourists). The antipasti platters are particularly good! The restaurant is called La Beppa Fioraia, on Via dell’Erta Canina Gr which is two minutes from San Nicola. As with all restaurants in Florence, try to book.
For the best view of the city, the walk/climb to San Miniato is worth every step. Most of the tourists stop at Piazza Michelangelo but carry on up! We promise you won’t be disappointed.