A picture is better than a thousand words and this cannot be truer than in Florence where everywhere you look, there is a story to tell. Large-than-life monuments and landmarks have origins that stretch far back in history, and over the centuries Florence has renewed itself again and again. Today, you can see its transformation for yourself simply by visiting the historic centre's fiaschetterias, essentially wine cellars turned restaurants. Legends, anecdotes, true stories beg to be heard, over a glass of Tuscan wine.
While admiring art in the Galleria dell'Accademia or taking a stroll in the beautiful Giardino della Gherardesca, save time for a fine dining experience at Il Palagio. Executive Chef Vito Mollica goes straight to the best source of each and every ingredient in the pursuit of a wonderful dish. He believes that the better the ingredient, the more simplistic the cooking method should be, in order to exalt its genuine taste. Enjoy with any one of the 50 wines by the glass and you will see what he means.
LUXOS Recommends: Cavatelli pasta 'cacio e pepe' with marinated red prawns and baby squid / Cavatelli cacio e pepe con gamberi rossi marinati e calamaretti spillo
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Borgo Pinti 99, 50121 Florence, Tel. +39 055 2626 450, www.fourseasons.com
Savour Florence's living history at Le Murate, housed in the famous Palazzo dell'Arte dei Giudici e Notai. Admire frescoes from the 1300s and Roman archeological finds; painted all over the ceilings above you as you tuck into Giovanna's dishes inspired by her mother's authentic recipes. Reviving some of her fondest flavours from childhood, Giovanna is a bona fide cook in the truest sense. Alle Murate's menuzine highlights her recommendations every season. Made-from-scratch butter, pappardelle and tortelli are to die for.
LUXOS Recommends: Stewed lamb with mashed potatoes and fried artichoke / L'agnello stufato con patate schiacciate e carciofi fritti
Palazzo dell'Arte dei Giudici e Notai, Via del Proconsolo 16, 50122 Florence, Tel. +39 055 240 618, www.allemurate.it
This centennial trattoria's modest décor and humorous name belie its dedication to traditional Tuscan cuisine since 1901. Da Burde has many stories to tell, so why not take your seat, try a few hearty dishes and hear them all over an excellent glass of wine? All-time classics such as bollito misto, roasts, stews and grilled specialities, as well as homemade soup and fresh pasta, are perfectly complemented by the impressive cellar. In town for a few days? Make reservations for the themed tasting menu.
LUXOS Recommends: Florentine salt-cod / Baccalà alla fiorentina
Da Burde, Via Pistoiese 154, 50145 Florence, Tel. +39 055 317 206, www.vinodaburde.com
Extending its reach past Tuscany, 'Cibrèino' has been sourcing the best ingredients from its close-knit community of suppliers throughout Italy for over 35 years. Besides Florentine cheese and olive oil, pasta from Puglia, lemon from Sicily, oregon from the Pantelleria, tangerine from Calabria and truffle from Piedmont are just some of nature's bounty highlighted in the seasonal menu. Here, every dish is a signature dish, so go for your heart's desire and you will be well-rewarded.
LUXOS Recommends: Yellow bell pepper soup, squid in zimino / Passato di peperoni gialli, totani in zimino
Trattoria Cibrèo-Cibreino, Via dei Macci 122/r, 50122 Florence, Tel. +39 055 2341 100, www.edizioniteatrodelsalecibreofirenze.it
Once you cross the threshold of Il Latini, you will be transported back in time to an era when conversation over good food was de rigueur in Florence. Discover traditional Tuscan gourmet through the eyes of the Latini family. Deep-fried zucchini blossoms, heartwarming soups, ravioli and penne – distinctive dishes combine top-notch ingredients and authentic preparations. The wine cellar, where it all started so many years ago, presents the best of Tuscany and beyond, completing your gourmet experience.
LUXOS Recommends: Charcoal-grilled steak / La bistecca sulle brace
Palazzo Rucellai,Via dei Palchetti 6/r, 50123 Florence, Tel. +39 055 210 916, www.illatini.com
Il Santo Bevitore
Laid-back and friendly, Il Santo Bevitore is a modern-day trattoria where a contemporary dining concept unfurls just a few steps from the ancient Ponte alla Carraia. Have a satisfying fish soup and round steak at the restaurant, and let the monthly featured menu take you where great taste is. Alternatively, go for a glass of wine, the freshest beef tartare and selection of ham in Il Santino gastro-bar at number 60. No matter what your choice, your journey promises to be a delicious experience.
LUXOS Recommends: Beef round tip with artichokes, potatoes and olives / Groppa di manzo, carciofi, patate e olive
Il Santo Bevitore, Via Santo Spirito 64/r, 50125 Florence, Tel. +39 055 211 264, www.ilsantobevitore.com
La Giostra's 17th-century location sets the tone of your dining experience where the dream to create slow food – very slow food – brings everyone together at the table. Start with a Chianina beef carpaccio, then try the Tuscan pesto tortelloni filled with Assisi burrata or the veal osso buco alla toscana, and save room for desserts. Entrust the most outstanding wine pairings to the sommelier who is on hand to make the right choice from their extensive cellar. The wine will compliment your dish and your personal taste.
LUXOS Recommends: Mermaids of Ulysses pappardelle pasta / Pappardelle alle sirene di Ulisse
La Giostra, Borgo Pinti 12/r, 50121 Florence, Tel. +39 055 241 341, www.ristorantelagiostra.com