Welcome to our Meshugge City Guides. Here at Meshugge we love to live life to the fullest, and that means exploring one of our other passions, which is travel. Our guides give you in depth looks to unique and off the beaten path places focusing on food, drink and meeting amazing people. We love the inspiration and ideas that we get from travel and hopefully are guides give you some inspiration as well.
Florence holds a special place in our hearts and there is always a sense of calm and anticipation as you arrive in this gorgeous city. Read on to find our favourite spots in the city.
Looking for that authentic Italian cafe? Even though it is in the city center right at Piazza della Repubblica, Gilli somehow found the balance between being a tourist magnet and still equally appreciated by the local Italians. Otherwise, we're pretty sure the Caffè wouldn't be around after 270 years.
Treat yourself with brioche, a bombolone con crema or any of the countless handmade sweets that are beautifully arranged and showcased behind the glass on the counter. The heart of Gilli is obviously the silver shining La Cimbali coffee machine (worth as much as a Fiat Punto) and handled with love by gentlemen in navy suits.
(Pro Local Tip) We recommend not sitting down but to go inside to the cashier, make an order and drink it at “al banco”, the counter. Like this, not only do you pay EUR 1.50 instead of EUR 5 for a Cappuccino but you also enjoy the buzzing cafe atmosphere alongside the Italians. Saluti!
Vegetarian Italian cuisine at its finest. Brac is a restaurant that also includes a bookstore. Feel at home with the cosy living room atmosphere in this charming little restaurant with a maximum of 12 tables. They even have a courtyard where you can get an aperitivo, if you arrive a bit before your reservation.
We highly recommend getting the “piatto unico”, where you can choose 3 different dishes, 1 salad or carpaccio, a filled Sicilian bread and pasta or risotto, all for just 15 Euros. Whoever still has room for more can grab a slice of their delicious homemade cakes. Great small wine menu here as well! Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time, Brac is always well booked.
As the Italian fashion City besides Milan, Florence offers a wide range of stores from the common luxury labels. What is harder to find are independent clothing stores. Bjork is one of a few delights in Florence and is a treasure when it comes to buying unique pieces. They sell brands like Sunnei, Our legacy, Wood Wood, Kind of Guise and many more.
This amazing bar was founded 1 and a half years ago by six friends. Two of them are architects, who put a lot of love in the renovation of the place. Manifattura is fully dedicated to bella Italia, this means they do not have one bottle, doesn’t matter if it is Gin, Vodka or Wine, that does not come from Italy. We recommend ordering one of the Signature cocktails, each of them is dedicated to a famous Italian personality. If you feel a little bit hungry, accompany your fancy drink with a nice platter of salumi or chickpea cake with salad. The fact that friendly staff are all dressed in doctor-like lab coats just gives it all the perfect finish.
Here we have a true insider tip for you. Wild Buns is a new scandinavian pop-up microbakery. Yes you heard right, and the locals are going crazy for it. Don't get me wrong here, I love the bombolone and brioche con crema but it is great to have some variety in the city. Wild Buns is like a fresh breeze in the bakery scene of florence. They started with the classic cinnamon bun. Now their collection includes cardamom buns, vanilla cream buns, lemon poppy-seed buns and many more.
If you want to get your hands on these delicious buns you have to pre-order them and be aware that they only produce on fridays and sundays. Simply drop them a dm or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and then you pick them up at via di mezzo 40a. Buon appetito ragazzi, thank me later.
This home away from home, located in the local Oltrarno neighbourhood is just a stone's throw away from the vibrant and lively Santo Spirito. Ottantotto is a 7 room boutique in a recently renovated historic house that oozes charm and sophistication. The attention to detail is stunning. Enjoy a nightcap in the “living room” with the other guests or sit outside and read a book in the beautiful little garden.
This place keeps you coming back for more and is our number one choice for when we are in town.
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