Sometimes you just need to take the bull by the horns and make Florence your own personal tourist destination. With the recent news of my good friend Katie’s approval from the US embassy for her and husband to move to the states, a few of my friends decided to celebrate with a Saturday funday with friends, complete with wine and of course the historical center of Florence as our backdrop.
The sun was shining and we all were in the mood for discovery after a few mimosa’s so we decided to make our very own ‘wine tour’ getting a glass of wine – read bottle at a variety of places around town. Because, why not? We all work hard during the week and this was the perfect way to enjoy a gorgeous day in the city.
A few rules to a DIY wine tour in a town like Florence?
- Have a general idea of what areas you would like to stick to. We started in Piazza della Repubblica on the rooftop of Rinascente before heading to the Santa Croce/San Niccolo area of town. We knew these areas all had an abundance of cute wine bars to choose from and they were all close to the train station or bus transfers.
- Be ok with a plan B! We wanted to head over to Note di Vino (cute little wine bar near Piazza Santa Croce but found no seats. What are a group of wine thirsty gals to go? Head across the street to Oibo (honestly not my favorite place) but at least we could sit outside. This group of gals takes an deviation of plans in stride.
- Stop for a snack. Since I am well past the age of 8 hour hangovers and fun times in front of the toilet, this rule is especially important. If you are planning on having several drinks, make sure to drink plenty of water and eat something along the way. In our case, we headed to La Prosciutteria on via dei neri, a charming place that serves awesome Tuscan cured meat and cheese boards and gorgonzola & tartufo crostini. Which we paired with a white vermentino wine. Yes please!
- Stop and smell the roses (or the Arno river). It doesn’t matter how long you have lived in Florence, sometimes you just need to stop, stare and let yourself be wowed by the pure awesomeness of the city you now reside in. Just try to avoid dog poop on the sidewalks.
- Stop for shopping along the way. Right, this is a little dangerous because if you are on a prosecco high – you might be more likely to open up your wallet and spend those hard-earned euros than if sipping … Perrier. Advice not taken, I decided that during our Saturday excursion, a stop by Clet’s studio (famous artist in Florence) to pick up some prints for my apartment was in order. Voila!
- Last but not least, know when to stop! After our stop at Enoteca Bevo Vino in the San Niccolo area of town (one of my favorites) we headed to my house for a coffee break – phone charge session before going to Piazza Santo Spirito for aperitivo at Pop Cafe. We later stopped at Volume (same piazza) to listen to live music and watch hipsters do their thing. Luckily we weren’t devoid of free entertainment due to a very animated man dance like he was undergoing an exorcism. We also had a giggle at the horror on one young student’s face when my friend said she graduated high school in 2003. Around 1am, this girl was done and I knew to call it a night and drink plenty of water before bed. Don’t drag out the night for the sake of it, but rather take it slow and know your limits.
Obviously this is a rather non-professional guide to making the most of a wine-filled Saturday, but it does make for a fun guide to a great time with friends. We are already planning our next day out and I can’t wait! The ever busy, stressed out lives of twenty-somethings (ok pushing thirty) calls for a day/night like this every once in awhile so why not make your own DIY kinda night. What places would you add to your list?
Places mentioned in this post:
- The terrace on top of La Rinascente, Piazza della Repubblica.
- Oibo, Via Borgo dei Greci 1 (near Piazza Santa Croce).
- La Prosciutteria, Via dei Neri 54R (near Piazza Santa Croce/Piazza Signoria).
- Clet (artist’s studio), via dell’olmo,8 (San Niccolo).
- Enoteca Bevo Vino, Via di San Niccolò, 59 (San Niccolo).
- Pop Cafe, Piazza di Santo Spirito, 18 (Piazza Santo Spirito).
- Volume, Via di Santo Spirito, 5 (Piazza Santo Spirito).