Last time I was in Italy I only spent 2-days in Florence and 1 of those days was dedicated to an all-day wine tour to Siena and Sam Gimignano (that I highly recommend). This time, Josh and I wanted a more leisurely approach to exploring Florence so decided to eat at top-rated restaurants, shop, and explore the city. Below are the highlights of what we did during our time in Florence, Italy.

Where we ate in Florence, Italy

  • Zeb: $$ Michelin rated
    • I had the BEST pasta throughout our Italy trip at Zeb.
    • I ordered the stuffed cappellacci (filled pasta similar to ravioli) with butternut squash. It came in 3 pieces but they were huge.
    • If I had to pick 1 restaurant to recommend in Florence, it’s Zeb. They don’t have an exhaustive menu making it easier to decide what to order, and everything we ate was extremely fresh.
    • Make reservations in advance. We had our Airbnb host make reservations for us.
  • Gucci Osteria: $$$$ Michelin rated
    • We ate lunch here and the presentation of everything was immaculate.
    • Everything was packed with flavor and thoughtfully presented. The vibe was very “Gucci”.
    • I recommend Gucci Osteria if you’re into fashion and appreciate upscale dining. You can make reservations online.
    • The experience is very bougie and the waiters are 24/7 at your service. I can imagine some people feeling uncomfortable here because there’s waiters at every corner waiting to attend to your need. So if bougie dining isn’t your vibe, I’d pass on this.
  • Osteria Cinghiale Bianco: $$
    • Great selection of pasta and traditional Italian food with a casual/cozy vibe.
    • My favorite dish was the pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup). The chicken breast with pecorino cheese and truffle was also delicious, although heavy.
    • 1 thing I appreciated about this restaurant is that the staff is attentive and faster with service compared to other restaurants.
  • Borgo San Jacopo: $$$$ Michelin rated
    • Fine-dining, everything we ate was very unique.
    • Ambiance is upscale and it overlooks the river making it a perfect date night spot.
    • The portions are small but I surprisingly got very full. You get several dishes and they take a while to bring out the next dish so you have plenty of time to digest.
    • I only recommend this restaurant if you love fine dining. I’m not huge on fine dining, so I personally didn’t find the food that memorable (outside of the uniqueness) and thought the 2.5 hour dinner was way too long.
  • Regina Bistecca: $$$
    • We came here for the Florentine steak and it did not disappoint. They are known for their bistecca alla Fiorentina, which is a vast T-bone priced by weight.
    • Ambiance is more upscale and classy; great for a romantic dinner.
  • Caffe Rivoire $$
    • We had happy hour here since they had lots of outdoor seating and the location is central, inside the piazza. They updated their outdoor seating to pink chairs making it quite instagrammable.
Tortellini at Gucci Osteria Florence wearing Free People bodysuit (shop more bodysuits here)

What we did in Florence, Italy

  • Saw a Birdseye view of Florence from Piazzele Michelangelo
    • The walk here was tiring since it was all uphill, but the view was worth it. Come during sunrise or sunset, you won’t regret it.
  • Walked around Bardini & Boboli Gardens
    • We took a morning stroll through the garden and it was nice getting fresh crisp air away from the crowds.
    • Since we came during fall, none of the flowers were blooming but the time to visit is mid April-May since that’s when all the wisteria blooms.
  • Visited the Uffizi Gallery
    • One of the most famous museums in the world given the amount of unique artworks and masterpieces primarily from the Renaissance period.
  • Visited the Gucci Museo
    • We went after our Gucci Osteria lunch and bought tickets at the door. It was empty and chill, so something you can do anytime.
    • The Gucci Museo was my Italy highlight because it was fascinating to me and encompassed a lot of my interests (fashion, marketing campaigns, and Gucci). It was also a more immersive experience that you got to walk through and experience.
  • Shopped!
    • We mainly shopped at luxury stores. The few brands that are cheaper in Italy compared to the states are Bottega Veneta, Christian Dior and Celine. Other luxury brands like Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are not much cheaper in Italy (just about 10%). I also realized after purchasing my Cartier love ring that it was more expensive in Italy, so don’t buy designer jewelry in Italy!
    • We went back to our favorite leather jacket shop Massimo Leather. Last time I bought 3 leather jackets here. They have classic styles and various sizing options (you can also custom make a jacket to have it fit you perfectly) so it’s a good place for a staple leather jacket. A leather jacket is around $300 USD.
View from Piazzele Michelangelo wearing Free People bodysuit (shop more bodysuits here).
Josh and I at Piazza del Duomo in Florence. I used a tripod to get this photo of us! Wearing storets dress & Steve Madden boots (shop more knee high boots here)

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