Florence Food

The Italian cuisine is known for its diversity at regional level, abundance in taste and seasonings but its main characteristic is its simplicity. That’s why Italian chefs count on the quality of the ingredients rather than the complexity of the preparation.

The Florentine cuisine is also simple and abundant, so the perfect way to discover our rich and fascinating culinary tradition is through our Food Walking Tour. This tour will accompany you into the discovery of the most popular dishes you can find in the cradle of Renaissance. Lasting 3,5 hours, the food walking tour includes 8 tasting stops and takes role in the historic city centre of Florence, in particular our guides will bring you in the neighborhood of the most famous two-level food market:  San Lorenzo Market.

Keep on reading and discover what delicacies you can find once arrived in Florence.

COFFEE:

espresso, corto, lungo, americano, macchiato, cappuccino etc. From different qualities of coffee, once toasted and mixed together you can obtain the most appreciated aroma. Two are the species you can find the most: arabica and robusta.

100% Arabica

100% Arabica

100% Robusta

100% Robusta

The first one with a low level of caffeine, an oval shape and a delicate and fragant aroma; the second one with a higher level of caffeine, a rounded shape and a intense and rich taste.

Which one is the best? Taste both of them and choose the one that fits perfectly your taste. Then learn how to use a Moka and which type of coffee is the most expensive and why!

TRUFFLES:

Truffle Sandwiches

Truffle Sandwiches

Do you love or hate them? Very precious and hard to find, truffles are a specialty in Tuscany. Waiting for the perfect weather and the right humidity of the soil, lagotto dogs are ready for the truffle hunting. In Florence you have the possibility to taste some sandwiches with a special cream. Characterised by a strong scent, black truffles are one of the ingredients of the secret recipe used for the cream. P.s. Don’t try to ask the secret recipe!

PASTRIES:

Millefoglie

Millefoglie

Bigné

Bigné

Two types of pastries will be served to you: Bigné and Millefoglie.

The bigné, consisting of a little rounded dough filled with cream, is considered as one of the most delicious pastries and the ideal to satisfy young and old.

The millefoglie, instead, is composed of puff pastry layers alternating with layers of custard cream. Their sweetness is indescribable and only once tasted you can understand.

WINE:

White and Red wine tasting

White and Red wine tasting

Wine and food pairing

Wine and food pairing

Continue with a wine tasting: white and red. Discover the delicacy of two typical Tuscan wines: the Vermentino and the Chianti classico, how to recognise the original ones and how can you pair these exceptional wines with everyday meals and cheeses.

EXTRAVERGIN OLIVE OIL AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR:

Extravirgin olive oil & Balsamic vinegar

Extravirgin olive oil & Balsamic vinegar

Beside the wine, Tuscany is also important for the production of olive oil. As per the wine, it’s important to knwo when the olive oil can be defined extravergin and depending on its freshness how to paired it with food. The same is for the balsamic vinegar. More the seasoning increases, sweeter the taste becomes.

For example: a n°12 (seasoning time) balsamic vinegar is the perfect topping for a vanilla ice cream.

CANTUCCI AND VIN SANTO:

Cantucci & Vin Santo

Cantucci & Vin Santo

These dry almond cookies are typical desserts of the Tuscan culinary tradition, especially paired with vin santo (typical dessert wine). What is the correct way to eat cantucci? Deep the cantucci into the vin santo and eat them! What a strange name for this wine! Maybe, it just comes from its common use during the Mass.

SALAME, PROSCIUTTO AND BEER:

Zafferan Beer

Zafferan Beer

Salame, prosciutto & cheeses

Salame, prosciutto & cheeses

Taste some salame and prosciutto di cinta. Curiosity: the name comes from the particular colour of the little pig. Complete the tasting with some craft beer directly from the Valdarno area. What does this beer have different from the other? One of its special ingredients is the zafferan!

FIRST COURSE DISH:

Ribollita soup

Ribollita soup

Ribollita is one of the “poor” dishes typical of Florence. It’s a soup, traditionally prepared in some areas of Tuscany, consisting in stale bread and vegetables. In Italian, ribollita means boiled more than once. This because, in the past, farmers used to cook a grand quantity of soup and then boiled it again in the next days.

GELATO:

Italian gelato

Italian gelato

The gelato, milkier than the ice cream, originally comes from Florence. The legend tells that in occasion of the wedding of Maria de’ Medici and king of France Henry IV, Bernardo Buontalenti (architect, sculptor and painter) realised sorbets mixed with cream and offered them to the guests. Only in Florence you can find the original Buontalenti flavour!

BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA:

Bistecca alla fiorentina

Bistecca alla fiorentina

Lastly, you can’t leave Florence without trying one of the most typical dish of the Tuscan cuisine: the bistecca alla fiorentina. It simply consists of a t-bone steak grilled over a wood or charcoal fire and served very rare. Characterised by a thickly and large cut, it is suggested to consume this delicacy between two or more persons.

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di Riso

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di Riso

Named after its principal ingredient for the filling, the Budino di riso is a typical Tuscan pastry, specifically coming from Siena.

This little pastry, eaten mostly during breakfast and accompanied by a cup of cappuccino, makes everyone droll not only for its cute appearance but also for its flavour. If you are travelling in Italy, you will surely encounter this dessert all over Florence, so come and try it!

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di riso

A typical Tuscan pastry: Budino di riso

There is a good news! It’s easy to bake! Here’s below its recipe.

Ingredients:

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 200gr superfine flour
  • 100gr butter
  • 100gr sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • grated lemon peel

For the filling:

  • 1/2 lt milk
  • 150gr rice
  • 4 spoons sugar
  • 4gr baking powder
  • aroma (lemon or vanilla)
  • powdered sugar
Budino di Riso

Budino di Riso

Procedure:

Suggestions before the start: the shortcrust pastry must rest for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator and the boiled rice must cool down. Calculate the needed time for the preparation of this dessert.

  1. Shortcrust pastry: Knead the cold butter with the flour. Add the other ingredients kneading all together quickly. When you obtain a compact mass, roll it up with the plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator.
  2. Filling: In a pot pour the milk. When it boils add the rice and the aroma (as you prefer grated lemon peel or vanilla). Mix continuously until the rice is totally cooked and there is no trace of milk. After obtaining a mass, add two spoons of sugar and let it cool down. Attention: If you don’t mix the rice, it will stick to the bottom of the pot and it has a burned flavour.
  3. Cream: Whip the egg white until stiff. Add the egg yolks, a pinch of salt, two spoons of sugar, baking powder and the stiff egg white into the mass of rice. Mix all together lightly.
  4. Roll the shortcrust pastry and form little circles using a cake tin. Put them in muffin stamps. Pour the mixture of rice and put the stamps into the oven at 170°C for about 30 minutes.
  5. When the little budino di riso are cooked, take them out of the oven and sprinkle the powdered sugar on the top!

Has this little pastry taken your attention? Are you an Italian food lover? Are you coming to Florence? Join our Florence Food Walking Tour and prepare your palate to a journey into the authentic and typical savours of Tuscany!

The half-moon pizza: Panzerotto

The half-moon pizza: Panzerotto

Characteristic of the central and southern regions of Italy, the Panzerotto is a circle of stuffed dough, closed on itself to form a half moon. The panzerotto was born from the poorest Apulian culinary tradition: people used what remained from bread’s dough and cooked it with pieces of cheese and tomatos. Prepared with the same dough of the pizza, the typical panzerotto is filled with tomatos and mozzarella. It can be cooked into oven or fried in extra virgin olive oil. To fully savour the product, the panzerotto should be eaten hot.

Panzerotto

Panzerotto

Did the panzerotto hit your curiosity? Read on to know how to make it!

Here’s the ingredients:

  • 500gr flour
  • 300ml lukewarm milk
  • 25gr butter
  • 12gr fresh beer yeast
  • 5gr salt
  • 1tsp sugar

For the filling:

  • 150gr tomato flesh
  • 250gr mozzarella
  • Oregano q.s.
  • Basil q.s.
  • Salt q.s.
  • Oil q.s.

Procedure:

  1. Mix well flour and butter. It’s possible to substitute butter with 2tbs of oil.

    Homemade Panzerotto

    Homemade Panzerotto

  2. Melt well the yeast with the lukewarm milk and add it a bit at a time into the flour’s mixture, add sugar and lastly the salt.
  3. Form a compact and elastic block. Set it aside and let it rise for about two hours in a hot place.
  4. While the mixture rises, prepare the filling: in a bowl mix tomato, basil, oregano, oil, salt and mozzarella cut in cubes.
  5. Once the dough has redoubled its volume, transfer on a wooden pastry board and stretch it well with the help of some flour. Try to obtain a puff pastry of about 6-7mm (not too much thin).
  6. Using a 10-12cm bowl form some circles. Stretch again the remaining dough and create other circles.
  7. In the centre of every pieces, put some filling. Pour the edges with some water and close it using the fingers and make the form of a half moon. Seal them well using the fingers or a fork.
  8. Heat up the oil in a pot or a pan and fry all of the panzerotto until they become gold on both sides. If you want to use the oven, cover the panzerotto with egg yolk and cook them in ventilated oven at 180° or static oven at 190° for 20-25minutes.

 

If you are coming to Italy, you can’t leave the country without trying the original panzerotto! Join the Afternoon Food Tour with Beer Tasting in Milan and prepare your palate for this delicacy!

An Italian common street food: Porchetta

An Italian common street food: Porchetta

An Italian common street food: Porchetta

An Italian common street food: Porchetta

Porchetta is a savoury, fatty and moist boneless pork roast typical of central and northen Italy. It consists in a deboned, emptied and seasoned pig. Although its origin is still uncertain, the porchetta is commonly found as a street food. The realisation is not difficult! Do you want to cook it at home? Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 5kg pig loin: deboned and with pork rind
  • 1kg piggy shoulder
  • 2 tsp minced black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbs fennel seeds
  • salt
  • 8 bundles wild fennel plant
  • lard

Procedure:

  1. Debone and remove the pork rind from the piece of shoulder. Clean the pulp obtained from the clots and set it aside.
  2. Take the pig loin and regulate its shape by levelling off the sides. Separate the pulp of the pork rind from the short side, the one where the roll will be closed.
  3. Distribute the pulp (set aside earlier) over the whole pig loin to obtain a uniform layer. Season the inside part of the loin with fennel seeds, abundant salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then add also the bundles of wild fennel and in the end roll the loin very tight.
  4. Tie the loin with twine and protect the two extremities not covered by the rind with aluminuim foil.
  5. Transfer the porchetta on a baking tray and put into the oven at 160°C for 3 hours. Then, remove the aluminium foil and put the porchetta on a grill, in order to lift it from the tray. Distribute on the surface an abundant quantity of lard and oven it again at 200°C for 1 hour. During the last 10 minutes, raise the temperature to the maximum level.

    Porchetta Sandwich

    Porchetta Sandwich

How to eat the porchetta: The Porchetta can be served cut into slices or in a sandwich. The best when it’s just cooked.

Come to Italy and try the original porchetta during our Afternoon Food Tour with Beer Tasting in Rome you will surely love it!

 

A most special Italian bread: Cecina

A most special Italian bread: Cecina

Cecina, Italian special bread

Cecina, Italian special bread

Have you ever heard about “La Cecìna”? If not, la Cecina is an easy-to-make savoury pie composed of chickpeas’flour, water, salt and extravergin olive oil.

Despite it is considered as a poor meal and used as an alternative to bread, its Genoese’s origin is quite interesting! The legend of the Cecìna narrates that it was born by chance in 1284, when Genoa defeated Pisa in the battle of Meloria. One day Genoa’s galleys were involved during a storm and the drums of oil and some sacks of chickpeas that they were transporting, spilled and mixed with salty water. The sailors recovered what they could but some of them refused to eat it and left them under the sun. The result? It became a kind of fritter. The next day, starving to death, they ate the mixture and discovered its deliciousness! Once came back to Genoa, the sailors tried to cook it into oven and the discover was incredible.

Nowadays, the Cecina is a typical dish of the Mediterranean coasts, especially in Ligurian and Tuscan kitchens.

If the curiosity hits you, try this simple recipe.

Ingredients for two pans of 22cm (diameters):

  • 180g chickpeas’ flour
  • 600ml water
  • 1tbs salt
  • 80ml olive oil
  • Black pepper
A slice of Cecina

A slice of Cecina

Procedure:

To prepare the Cecina, you will simply need a bowl and a whisk. Put the chickpeas’ flour into the bowl, add salt and gradually the water, and in the meanwhile mix well the compost with the whisk in order to avoid lumps. Add half of the olive oil and the remaining water. At this point you will obtain a very liquid mixture. Cover the bowl with wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes. What remained of the olive oil will be used to cover the two molds (it doesn’t matter if the oil isn’t equally distributed all over the surfaces). After this, distribute the mixture into the two pans. Preheat the oven at 200-220° and cook the Cecina for 15-20 minutes. If you cook the two pans at the same time, remember to alternate them on the ledges of the oven.

The Cecina is ready when the surface is gold and the peel seems to lift. To finalize the recipe, sprinkle the Cecina with black pepper and serve it hot. It can be served as appetizer or as a second course.

If you are food-lover and especially if you love Italian food, book an Afternoon Food Walking Tour in Florence with us! There’s a lot more to be discovered!

Italian Christmas traditions: from North to South

Christmas is coming… It’s time to enter this joyful moment of the year, during which everything is lightened and colorful.

And yet I really want all of you who are planning to visit Italy this time of the year to be ready, so let me just introduce the topic, would you? There is something very important to keep in mind when talking about Christmas Italian traditions: there is not such a thing as a single tradition! This is the very first thing to know when talking about Christmas in Italy! If you don’t trust me, you can ask about it to any of our tour guides along our Food Tours, they’ll surely confirm!

 Italian Christmas Traditions

As for many other things, food is a profound marker of Italy’s regional differences. In our country, every single region is proudly rich of its own local culture. One example? Panettone can be bought in any supermarket in Italy, but it is originally baked in the North! There will be no Southern nonna baking it at home!

 Italian Christmas Traditions

The same thing goes for tortellini, which are a tradition of Central Italy, usually homemade for big occasions. During Christmas time, tortellini are prepared in brodo, (in broth) and are served on Christmas day, and might be followed by bollito misto (a mix of boiled meat with special sauces and pickles).

 capitone_umido-986x400

Less famous are the Southern Italy Christmas traditions: in Rome and Neaples for example capitone is a must (even said anguilla in Italian, eel in English). This tradition most probably comes from Neaples, which lays by the sea and make therefore fish available quite easily. Some tried to associate it symbolically to a way of “eating” the devil, since the sneak-like shape of eel. Anyhow, the most traditional families buy the capitone on the 23rd, still alive, to cook it on the 24th. Indeed Capitone is eaten on Christmas eve, since it is a well-known rule widespread all around the country that it is better to eat fish on this day.

 Italian Christmas Traditions

Also typical of most of the Southern regions (Campania, Pulia, Calabria) are the zeppole (also called struffoli in some areas). This dessert is as simple as delicious: it is basically fried sweet bread dough. As easy it may sound, it represents a basic and yet strictly present part of the Christmas eve table. The Southern you go along the boot-shaped country, the wider the variety of sweets gets! Usually, a selection of fruits, both dried and fresh, are offered too (with a copious assortment of nuts). Better to keep it in mind if you ever happen to be invited to an Italian Christmas table, so that you can keep some appetite for the last course!

 

There are many other traditional Italian Christmas dishes! Don’t be shy, be curious and ask more during our Food Tours! Stay tuned for some luscious r

Torta Fedora: the best of Tuscany

Italian culinary tradition is wide and varied: all kinds of pasta sauces, the many versions of lasagne, tasty meat stews, pizzas, and last but not least: the desserts. There are so many of them that there is always something new to taste. One of the less-known ones is Torta Fedora, a real delicatesse of Tuscan cuisine. A soft heart of puff pastry, whipped cream and sponge cake covered up with a crunchy layer of dark chocolate.

Torta Fedora

Torta Fedora

I bet we already made you drool! No despairs though, you’ll get the chance to try this tasty dessert of our cuisine during our food tours in Florence!

And in case you like it, and we bet you will, here is a simple version of this recipe that you can try at home. The only thing that you might struggle to find is the alchermes liqueur, which you can replace with any another kind of gentle and
Alchermes and Maraschino

Alchermes and Maraschino

sweet liqueur. Some versions of this cake is with maraschino, a liqueur obtained from the distillation of Marasca cherries.

Here is what you will need:

1 roll of puff pastry

1 disk of sponge cake

550 gr whipped cream

Icing sugar as required

Few spoons of milk

For the chocolate crust:

150 gr: dark chocolate

1 spoon of water

2 spoons of honey

Icing sugar as required

For the bagna (to soak the sponge cake):

65 g of water

35 g of sugar

50 ml of alchermes liquor

It would be better to prepare the sponge cake the day before or – don’t tell anyone we suggested you-  you can buy already-made one. First thing, you’ll need to bake the puff pastry. Before doing that make sure you poke few holes on it using a fork, gently brush it with some milk and sprinkle it with some icing sugar. Bake at 180° until golden brown.

While you wait for the puff pastry to bake, prepare the bagna, with which we will soak the sponge cake. Pour the water together with sugar in a small pot. Once it boils, you can leave it cooling a bit and then add the alchermes liqueur.

At this point, take the puff pastry out of the oven, cut it the same size of the sponge cake and lay the sponge cake on it. Pour the bagna all over the sponge cake and now our base is ready to be topped with a thick layer of whipped cream. Let now rest the cake in the fridge for at least few hours.

Cioccolato a pezzi

Let’s now prepare the chocolate topping. Cut the chocolate in pieces, put it together with 2 spoons of honey and a spoon of water in a small pot and let it melt in a bain-marie. Let it cool, sprinkle some icing sugar on a clean surface where you can pour the chocolate. Add icing sugar until it gets thick enough to make a ball out of it. Let it rest a bit until it becomes a malleable dough of chocolate.

At this point, place it on a long piece of baking paper and roll it out using a rolling pin. Now it is all up to you: decorate your Torta Fedora as you wish with the “chocolate papers” you made! You can also add some icing sugar if you want it to look nicer!

Torta Fedora

Well, if Torta Fedora doesn’t sound easy to make, we can assure it tastes good! Don’t miss our food tours in Florence next time you are around, during which you’ll have the occasion to ask more tips for this recipe to the local “artisans” of desserts!

Autumn in Tuscany: the traditional Mushroom Soup recipe

Autumn in Tuscany is marvelously colorful  and smells like mushrooms and chestnuts. Imagine how cozy could be to savor a hot, fragrant soup looking at the foliage outside the window…it really warms body and soul.

Autumn in Tuscany

Autumn in Tuscany

Mushrooms are typical in traditional cuisine and bring us back to a time when the ingredients were the seasonal ones and when people used to cook what the nature had to offer. Also that’s why the original recipe uses mixed mushrooms, since this is what you find when you go pick them! A mixture!

Still nowadays in countryside, grandparents go to find mushrooms in woods with their grandsons and they teach them how to recognize the good ones (if you’re not an expert, do what we do, go to a good shop and buy safe mushrooms ;-)).

Mixed mushrooms

Mixed mushrooms

Here there’s an easy and tasty recipe for you, to enjoy this special comfort food with your family and friends. The ingredients and the preparation are simple, like in most of the traditional Italian recipes.

What you’ll need (4 servings)

  • 800g mixed mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 ripe red tomatoes
  • chopped parsley
  • 1l vegetable broth: face the truth,the secret is in the broth, if you’ll prepare it fresh, your soup will  taste far better. It takes a little longer but at the end you’ll  say: I made it!
  • home-baked sourdough bread (I’m pretty sure that your favorite bakery sells it ;-))
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

How to prepare it

First of all, mushrooms should never been washed, but gently wiped using a damp towel.  They’re spongy and washing them under running water means spoiling them since they’ll absorb the water and will lose their aroma. After that slice them thin. Boil for few seconds the tomatoes, peel them and remove the seeds.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, sauté the garlic, then add mushrooms and pepper. After sautéing a couple of minutes , add chopped tomatoes and all the broth. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 min.

How to serve it

Toast the bread slices and settle them at the bottom of the soup-tureen, pour the hot soup on them and serve it!tuscan-mushrooms-soup

Give your soup a twist 😉

To make it extremely lavish, pour your mushroom soup into single soup-tureens and cover the surface with some grated Parmigiano, put in the oven and wait until it makes a crispy, golden crust then serve it…hot and delicious!

Like many traditional recipes, the traditional Tuscan mushroom soup is 100%  vegetarian, have you noticed it? And if you serve with gluten free bread is also enjoyable by who needs a gluten-free diet, a truly delicacy for everyone!

And least but not the last, let’s talk about the wine! As every good meal deserves, also the mushrooms soup needs to be paired with a good red wine and our option goes for a bottle of red Chianti, the king of Tuscan wines. It will soothe the palate and the soul.

If it happens to you to come to Tuscany, grant yourself a treat and join our Food Tour in Florence, a real dive into the food tradition and a chance to visit traditional places spotted by locals!

Meet your guide in Florence: Angela!

Meet your guide in Florence: Angela! Learn about Florence food and history!

This August we want to introduce Angela, she is one of the “oldest” guide at Italy Segway Tours! Be prepared to have the best fun on the tour while Angela tells you the history of her marvellous city!

 

Meet tour guide in Florence: Angela!

Name: Angela

Nationality and City of residence: 100 % italian, from Sicily originally…but Florence has stolen my heart!

Name of tour you lead and where: Food tour in Florence, but also Segway, Bike and walking tours to the top of the Duomo!

If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there?
I came here the first time when I was 16 during a school trip. I really fell in love with Florence and with all its beauty so I decided to come here to study Art History: I moved here when I turned 19 and never left since!

Your favorite part of the tour: I love when I’m asked a lot of questions because it means that I managed to arouse interest in my customer about what we see and taste on the tour, and perhaps that I was also able to lit up some more curiosity!

After wine tasting, everyone’s happier!

Also, the best moment of the food tour is right after we start tasting wine…everybody suddendly turns happier and more sincere!
Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: This is a tough one! There are so many good restaurants in Florence…But if I have to pick one I would say the one where It feels like home: “Sabatino”, in the Oltrarno district. It’s not a fancy place and the menu it’s almost always the same but everything is genuine and it’s like going to dinner at my grandma’s house! If you’re looking for a place where only locals go, that’s the one!
One thing visitors to my city can’t miss: The view of Florence at sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo and the San Miniato church on the top of the same hill: it’s the most romantic place in the city! Be aware you are at risk to falling in love!
Travel Mantra? “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind”, words by Seneca, a Latin philosopher and writer, that really knew what traveling means!

 What’s next on your travel bucket list? I’d love to visit Turkey or to take a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights!

What is your favorite Italian city to travel to? Not just a city, an entire region: Sicily, my birthplace!

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Try new things, don’t be scared by our, sometimes strange, habits and always ask when you need help: you will be surprised by the kindness of (most) Italians! 😉

Bistecca alla Fiorentina - thick and raw!

Bistecca alla Fiorentina – thick and raw!

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? The Fiorentina steak, the best beef I’ve ever tried! But remember it has to be rare, so don’t ask the chef to have it more cooked, otherwise you will offend him!

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? Once I had on a tour a man with my same last name; he was American and his grandparents emigrated to the States from Sicily. It was like having a new uncle…he even started talking Sicilian dialect with me!

What do you like most about leading tours? I believe that tourguides are the ambassadors of our culture so what I like most is to introduce to people from all over the world with very different backgrounds to our history and food, and almost always with the same result: they fall in love with it!

 

Angela the Cook!

Angela the Cook!

What makes your tour unique? The fact that the places where we go are mostly just for locals…it would be very difficult to find them on your own!

And personally I should also say that I really love to cook so I always spend time to explain what are the ingredients of the things we taste and how they could be made at home to continue the food tour experience!

 

Won over by Angela already? So, what are you waiting for? Conclude your booking and ask for her!

 

Till next time!

MEET YOUR GUIDE IN FLORENCE: VERONICA

Meet your guide in Florence!

This week, we’ll meet a new entry in our Segway Tours in Florence. She’s nice and kind and she do love her job very much! After reading her words, I bet you’ll book a tour immediately!

bria3

Hi there, what’s your name?

Hello!!! My name is Veronica!

What are your nationality and hometown?

I was born in Florence and I live in the so called Oltrarno, “the other side of the river”, but I left my heart in the Santa Croce district where I grew up.

Name of tour you lead and where: 

I lead food tours, bike, segway and walking tours in Florence and surroundings areas.

Why did you choose to become a touristic guide? 

I chose to become a tourist guide because it’s the only job that gives me the chance to do everything I really love: meet people from different countries, share ideas and knowledge, make people fall in love with my city, just as much as I am.

bria2

Your favorite part of the tour: 

What I enjoy the most in my job is seeing a dazzling smile or a sparkle in the eyes of our customers tasting something they never tried before and they really like!

Your favourite recipe:

It’s hard to say, but one of my favourite recipy is the “Gnudi”, a tasty typical dish easy to prepare that fully represent our cuisine. “Gnudi” are little dumplings made of poor ingredients: spinach and ricotta cheese. Actually the Gnudi are the filling of the ravioli and Gnudi in the fiorentine dialect means “naked”. Therefore, we could say that ‘Gnudi’ are similar to ravioli, but without clothes/dough!

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: 

One of my favourite restaurants is Il Ghianda in the Santa Croce district. The menu changes quite often and they offer a great selection of typical dishes cooked like the tradition says. If you want to immerse yourself in a local atmosphere, I suggest to going there during the lunch time when the restaurant is crowded by many florentines.

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: 

When visiting Florence you can’t miss the stunning view of the city visible from the Michelangelo terrace, a wonderful hill-top panorama which I recommend at sunset.

Favorite Travel Quote? 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” (M. Proust) Sometimes our customers are my “new eyes” pointing out something that I had not noticed yet.

What’s next on your travel bucket list?

It’s still a dream but I want to do the Trans-Siberian, the famous route from Moscow to Vladivostok. I’m really fascinated by the amazing nature and the fact that you have to change 12 different time zones.

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy?

Italy is well known all over the world especially for its good food, so I definitely suggest enjoying it as much as possible. Also, keep in mind that the dishes are different from one city to the other!

bria1

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving?

I use to say: “If you haven’t tried the Lampredotto with green sauce and a glass of red wine… even two, you haven’t been to Florence!” It’s the most famous sandwich in town. Only for strong people!

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? 

One day, on our first stop at ChiaroScuro, after the coffee tasting, the typical elderly florentine customers of the cafeteria stopped us and started to talk to the beautiful women I was leading. It has been an hard and fun work to take them away and reach the next stop!

What do you like most about leading tours?

The thing that I prefer the most is to share thoughts, ideas and good time with all our customers. I feel so lucky to know a lot of people coming from so many different places and distant spots on the earth.