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2008-05-22

Cheap places to eat in Florence and other useful info

I've received this email a couple of days ago:

Greetings!
My wife and I were married in December and have been dreaming about a honeymoon for months! We have both been to Florence in the past and have wanted to return. It looks like this might actually happen sometime toward the beginning of September. But we are a bit nervous about the dollars sinking value around the world and are wondering if we can afford a week in Florence. We recently found some great airfare possibilities and a lovely B&B outside of Firenze that might make it feasible. But we are wondering if you could be so kind as to give us some insight into the daily expensesmid-day meal with drinks, museums, bus fares, etc. Can two quiet, non-intrusive Americans enjoy your city without a lot of major expenses? Also what are the best way to buy affordable museum passes? The history, architecture, art will draw most of our attention. And we are looking forward to spending some time among the lovely people of Firenze! If you can help with any of this we would be very grateful. I have just discovered you website and am enjoying that very much too! Regards, Joe

Well, Joe, it's not easy to find cheap good places to eat in Florence but it's not impossible! I will try to help you :)

First rule: if you move away from the center you can find some places that are not so expensive. Near the B&B (I don't know where is your accommodation) probably you can find some supermarkets ("coop" or "esselunga") in those stores you can buy bread and "prosciutto" to make some panini, but you can also buy hot dishes to eat.
Some cheap areas of Florence are Rifredi and Galluzzo. In Rifredi you can have lunch in several bars for less than 10 euro for lunch. There's also a nice pizzeria with lunch special price: "Pit stop" at Via Corridoni. You can reach Piazza Dalmazia with the train from S.M Novella central station and get off at Firenze Rifredi, with your bus ticket!
- bus fares in Florence:
One ticket costs 1,20 euro. It's valid for 1 hour and 10 minutes or for one bus ride. You can also buy the "one day ticket" that costs 5 euro (for 3 days costs 12 euro). But consider that Florence is so small that probably you don't need the bus, you can walk!

- museums:
Uffizi gallery: tickets cost 6.50 euro, but you I strongly recommend you to make a reservation. If you buy tickets of museums online, it will cost more, but you will avoid the long queue (even 2 hours!).
Accademia Gallery: tickets cost 6.50 euro, and it's the same thing of the Uffizi Gallery: if you don't have a reservation you can spend hours waiting outside...
Note that when a special exhibition is held in the Museum, the price of the ticket may be increased. I dont' think it exists any museums pass.
I suggest you to visit also the Garden of Boboli (6 euro) in combination with the Bardini Garden. Lovely place, the typical italian garden. Sometimes there's a free electric bus (with the name "FB") that takes you up to hill where the Bardini Garden and Villa Bardini are.
From there you can walk to Forte Belvedere, the magnificient fortress from where you have a breathless panorama of Florence. If it's open (they close the Forte very often) the access is free!

- cheap food in Florence
You can have a very cheap "dinner" with the italian "aperitivo": florentines are used to eat a lot for the happy hour and you pay only the drink. So you can eat for less than 10 euros!
Here are some cheap places where you eat (good food):
Bar Serafini, via Gioberti. Pasta, vegetables, pizza, finger food... for 5 or 6 euros! If you love quality. It closes at 8 pm.
Kitsch, via Gramsci. Pasta, salades, ham, cheese, fruits... for 7 or 8 euros. If you love quantity. A little bit crowded and noisy.
Negroni, via de' Renai. A little selection of pasta and "crostini". Glamouros place. 7-8 euros.
Rifrullo, via San Niccolò. A good selection of ham and cheese, more some other finger food. 7 euros, if you are still hungry you can eat a normal meal there. Good wine.
At Rifrullo I really recommend you the Sunday brunch: from 12 to 3.30 pm eat as much as you can, get free wi-fi and spend only 20 euros. From breakfast (cappuccino, jam, cornflakes, orange juice) to italian lunch (pasta, beef, vegetables, rice, fish, dessert) only 20 euros! and you can eat in the garden besides the ancient walls by Michelangelo... (see the pictures here)
In front of Rifrullo there's a little place called ZEB: you can eat very cheap food (beef, soups, pappa al pomodoro, lasagne) homely cooked. Try it!
I could spend hours of suggestions... I have to say: Florence is expensive but you can spend a lot less if you pay attention to prices and avoid places in the center. If you want a restaurant go to San Frediano or San Lorenzo, avoid the streets around Piazza Repubblica, Piazza Signoria, Ponte Vecchio.
This is a good restaurant near the station: I' Toscano. Ask of Camilla and tell her that you have read the review on the blog of Nelli. She will make you a little discount, she's one of my readers!

If you have other questions, please do ask..

1 comment:

Joseph said...

Hi,

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