Florence Mini Food Tour

Everyone loves Tuscany, especially Florence. My love affair with Italy began in 1989 when I first saw Florence. The imposing Duomo with its green and pink marble walls and distinctive terracotta-tiled dome won my heart at first sight.

Close up of the striped marble of Florence Duomo - Florence Food Tour

To this day I love the way you catch glimpses of it from everywhere within the old city. Considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is home to Michelangelo’s David and his unfinished prigioni, as well as the Medieval Ponte Vecchio packed with gorgeous shops down both sides. It’s also home to some of my favourite Italian food and wine. Here are my top tips for a mini food and wine tour of Florence plus a suggestion for how to enjoy more delicious Italian food and wine without the hoards of Tuscan-loving tourist.

Four Seasons Hotel Interior with marble and pink flowers - Florence Food Tour

Stay in Florence Four Seasons
When in Florence, make like a Medici and stay in this luxuriously-restored 16th century Medici palazzo, surrounded by 5-acres of private garden and just 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre. Request a room on the first floor (piano noble) with frescoes and original painted terracotta flooring.

Waiter carving bistecca Fiorentina at Buca Mario - Florence Food Tour

Eat in Florence Buca Mario
Locals and tourist alike love this wonderfully atmospheric cellar restaurant with waiters who know how to turn on the Italian charm. This is the place for classic Tuscan cooking, from ribollita (bread and bean soup) and bistecca Fiorentina carved tableside, to luscious fresh egg pasta and a memorable dessert trolley.

View from Piazzale Michelangelo café - Florence Food Tour

Drink in Florence Piazzale Michelangelo
Sometimes a little perspective is a good thing – it’s hard to really see the city, especially the Duomo, when you’re right on top of it. So take the 30-minute walk across the River Arno and up the hill to Piazzale Michelangelo and sip a caffè or aperitivo while looking over the panoramic postcard view.

Schiacciata (Tuscan flatbreads) at Pany da Lory Mercato Centrale Florence - Walking Tour of Italian Food Markets

Shop in Florence Mercato Centrale
Florence’s historic glass-ceilinged Mercato Centrale is a wonderful market to wander around in any weather. In 2014 it underwent a major refurbishment that created a huge artisanal food court on the first floor while leaving the traditional vendors on ground level. There’s lots to love here, but I can’t resist Pany da Lory’s schiacciata (Tuscan flatbread).

Scenic view of hills and trees from Murglione Pass - Florence Food Tour

Drive Muraglione Pass & Il Laghetto Ristorante
Florence is beautiful, but it can be packed with tourists. Once you’ve had taste of its food and wine offerings, hire a car and drive across the Apennines, over the 900-metre Muraglione Pass, and into the lesser-visited, but just as delicious, region of Emilia-Romagna. The views are stunning, especially with a stop just after the summit for a plate of pasta at Il Laghetto Ristorante in San Benedetto in Alpe.

Updated 22 Dec 2023

Like Florence & Tuscany?
You’ll Love my Food & Wine Tour of Emilia-Romagna
– All of the Flavour – None of the Crowds!

Italy Food & Wine Tour Highlights

What Other Travellers Say

Janet (Tamworth, NSW, Australia)
Janet (Tamworth, NSW, Australia)
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Just back from the most amazing trip to Emilia-Romagna with Roberta. Not only the home of Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano & Balsamic Vinegar, but scenery to die for and more quaint and exciting restaurants and cafés than you ever imagined. And Roberta is just the person to help you discover and enjoy them! Her knowledge of the history of the region and its wonderful cuisine know no bounds and all added to the excitement of the trip. It was faultless - well organized and lots of fun!
Deb (Belconnen, ACT, Australia)
Deb (Belconnen, ACT, Australia)
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Wow, what a tour – I learned so much! Awesome fun traveling through Emilia-Romagna experiencing first hand some of the produce I've worked with over the last couple of years cooking with Roberta's recipe kits – the family are reaping the benefits now. If you're thinking of joining Roberta in future years get ready for an amazing experience.
Mark (Elizabeth Bay, NSW, Australia)
Mark (Elizabeth Bay, NSW, Australia)
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My wife and I recently joined Roberta's Emilia-Romagna tour. We enjoyed all the temptations offered and learned a lot about that part of Italy, especially its food and wine culture. What was most impressive was Roberta's local knowledge of people and places. The planning and effort she put into making the whole experience seem effortless was remarkable.
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