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Even though most travellers come to Florence for art and history, they have to eat, right? Why not do this in style, selecting the best Florence food tours? In Italy, food is something we seriously care about. We like to cook and prepare our meals by hand, especially during the weekends. We love our traditions so much that there is an official Italian Cuisine Academy, which takes care to record the official traditional recipes. With Italy being split in different countries for centuries, the Italian cuisine has plenty of regional recipes: Tuscany, in particular, has different typical dishes in each city, like Florence, Siena, Pisa and so on, because we like to cook the ingredients which are available in our area. The most important book on the Italian cuisine was written by a Florentine, Pellegrino Artusi, in the late 19th century. His best-seller: “The Science of Cooking and the Art of Fine dining” is for Italian food what Vasari’s Lives is for art history. Recipes evolved, that’s for sure, but if I look at all the recipe books I have (and I have many), that is the book in worse conditions, which means it is the most used, by me but also by most Italian families. Joining one of the many Florence food tours is an experience you cannot miss, just like going to see Michelangelo’s David. Let’s list the best ones, to ensure you have a great experience.
Florence gourmet tour
I think this is your best choice if you’re looking for Florence food tours: it is a 2.5-hours small group (up to 12 people) tour which starts in Piazza Della Repubblica at 3 pm (be there at 2:45) and gives you a good insight on the history of the Tuscan cuisine, being led by a local professional guide. The first stage of the tour will lead you to via Tornabuoni, where one of the most typical food shops in Florence still endures among the luxury fashion boutiques. The specialty here is the panino tartufato, a sandwich made with truffles. This shop alone, with all his delicatessen jars and the atmosphere, is worth the price of the tour (€ 60/person). Here you will taste the panino tartufato along with a glass of Prosecco. The next shop is an artisanal chocolate shop, where you will appreciate how this sweet treat is different from the industrial products. It’s not over, you will get to an olive oil shop specialized in high-quality Tuscan olive oils and balsamic vinegar to taste the products and discover how many different flavors an olive oil can have. Now, reach a renowned Gelateria for a taste of artisanal gelato, and finally get into a wine shop to taste a glass of Chianti with warm focaccia. What can I say… writing this description got me hungry!
Florence food tour
This tour is very similar to the previous one, but begins at 9:30 am near Piazza Della Signoria. It has a duration of 3 hours instead of 2.5, the group is even smaller (8 people) and it costs slightly more (€ 65/person). It’s very hard to choose between these two Florence food tours, I would join the one that best fits your plans for the day. This tour starts with coffee: it’s the way Italians start their day, so why not? What follows is a visit to the same shop in via Tornabuoni, specialized in panini tartufati. Something unique about this tour is the visit of the Central Market, something that you should always do when being in Florence: here is where you will be told how to choose your ingredients. Your olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting with crostini (slices of bread with various toppings) will take place here in the market. The next stop is a wine shop to taste two local wines with cheese and our delicious cold cuts. Finally, you will be offered an artisanal gelato.
This is a totally different thing, but I like the tour because it highlights a local tradition: the aperitivo. Italians love to have a soft drink with some appetizers before dinner, but in recent years some wine bars turned this tradition into something different, which basically replaces dinner. You pay a higher price (from € 7 to € 15 depending on the places) for the drink, but in exchange you have a buffet “all you can eat” dinner which is not just made of appetizers, but also of main courses like pasta, fish or meat. It was just a matter of time before some smart tour operator provided Florence food tours based on this tradition: having aperitivo you will really behave like a local. Meet your small group (up to 12 people) in Piazza Della Repubblica, where the tour, led by a local guide, starts at 5:30 pm to cross Ponte Vecchio and reach the district of Oltrarno. Here, at an artisanal gelato shop, you will taste a mojito sorbet. You will then head to a wine shop, to taste a glass of Brunello di Montalcino or Chianti Reserve, while eating Tuscan ham, salami, cheese. The local guide will give you tips on how to match wine and food and will illustrate the history of wine. The tour ends in a second Italian bar close to Piazza Pitti, where you will be served another drink with appetizers which may vary (usually bruschetta: a slice of bread with olive oil, garlic and often tomatoes). The tour has a duration of 2.5 hours and the price is € 70/person.
What other suggestions can you find in this section?
- The best Florence tours and activities reviewed by a tour guide
- Walking tours
- Uffizi tours
- Florence in one day
- Duomo tours
- Vasari Corridor tours
- Inferno tours
- Skip-the-line David tours
- What to do on Mondays
- Tours of Florence from Rome or Venice
- Florence outdoor activities
- Florence food tours
- Wine tours in Tuscany
- Cooking classes
- Wine tours in Florence
- Day trips from Florence to Tuscany countryside
- Day trips from Florence to Pisa
- Day trips from Florence to Siena
- Day trips from Florence to Cinque Terre
- Day trips from Florence to Rome
- Day trips from Florence to Venice