Florence Olive Oil Festival

Olio nuovo, or “new olive oil”, is Tuscany’s end-of-year prize. Unlike wine, where longevity is associated with prestige, olio nuovo is best right off the branch, crushed and consumed immediately. Every year farmers all across Tuscany hand-pick thousands of mature olives from their fattorias, and the trees, freed of their heaviness can finally rise and sway with the expectancy of the Florence Olive Oil Festival on Sunday, November 15. Held at Piazza Santo Spirito, from 9 am to 7 pm, the festival is free, and there are countless stands offering Tuscany’s finest seasonal goods: olive oil of course, but also honey, wine, organic produce, and more. As for the olive oil itself, new oil is spicy, earth-like, and dripping with an unexpected honey lily-pad sweetness.

In this issue Florence is … Novembre - Decembre 2015

Exactly two year have passed since the first issue of Florence is You! published in its printed form on December 2013, and how much it has changed since then... Browsing the printed issues that have followed, with my dear friend and our patient graphic designer Manuela, we smile when we are surprised to use the same expression, which, referring to the newspaper, basically seems to say “it has changed so much”. And it is true, because Florence is You! was brought up lovingly by our hands, our ideas, our will, and is the result of the devotions of so many people: our writers and collaborators who do their best to accomplish all that is needed to make the newspaper more and more rich in content and new proposals; readers and friends that have contacted us to receive Florence is You! and it is thanks to their precious suggestions that we are now distributing it in more than 400 places; our partners, some of whom have been with us on this adventure since the beginning and that have immediately shown great faith sustaining what has become “our newspaper” and deciding to tell their stories through its pages.

Fratelli Cuore Il nuovo Caffè – Ristorante aperto h24 che nobilita un angolo della Stazione Santa Maria Novella all'insegna del fast-good

“Non posso che accogliere con grande piacere l’iniziativa di aprire un ristorante in un angolo fino ad ora abbandonato della stazione Santa Maria Novella” ha commentato il Sindaco Dario Nardella. “Un ristorante di qualità che resterà aperto tutte le notti – ha aggiunto - ridando vitalità e riqualificando una zona importante della nostra città. Bravi gli imprenditori che hanno avuto l'intelligenza e il coraggio di investire proprio qui”. Il concept studiato è semplice e perfetto per il target di un “non luogo” come una stazione ferroviaria: pasta, pizza, griglia e caffè; sono le materie prime a fare la differenza, di alta qualità, il tutto arricchito da una location funzionale ma “elegante” senza sconvolgere gli equilibri degli spazi originali.

Lorenzo de’ Medici Restaurant and Pizzeria

The Lorenzo de’ Medici Restaurant is the ideal place to try traditional Florentine dishes or Pizza clocked in the wood-fired oven. The perfect place for tourist groups, business dinner, meetings or private dining. Every Wednesday night cocktail party, 5 € only for students, and every thursday night free champagne and 20% discount for ladies. Free buffet. The Lorenzo de Medici restaurant has recently been awarded certifications to provide good service to those suffering from celiac disease. Lorenzo de Medici offers traditional Tuscan dishes served in rustic rooms or a nice outdoor dining area.

Tomato or the “apple of love”?

Among the edible gifts brought from Christopher Columbus’ New World, the tomato deserves a special mention for its contribution to our cultural-gourmand cuisine. Solanum Lypersicum, arrived from Mexico, with a dazzling color, full of erotic allusions, and was called the apple of love: “the apple of love changed into the tomato, also contributing to the transformation of its color between red and orange” (O. Pianigiani). Considered a decorative vegetable, very little nutritious, it’s only in the second half of ‘600, when an aristocratic Neapolitan cook book, offers the first recipe of the tomato sauce. Antonio Latini, author of the precedent delight says: “take half a dozen of ripe tomatoes, place them on the grill to brown, and mixed together with a good quality oil, you will have made a tasty sauce”.

Il BARONE – Vegan restaurant A restaurant with no sign and without business cards

In 1980, Luciano Salucci, the current owner, opens Il Barone di Porta Romana, with a goal that goes far beyond the management of a commercial activity, but rather the realization of a genuine living room, a “branch” of his own house, where he could share a gastronomic journey with his guests through local and surrounding countries specialties. This journey of culinary delights started many years ago with zuppa lombarda, transmitted to the Florentines during the Renaissance from the comacini stonecutters

“Bite into Florence”, or “Firenze a bocconi”

How many times were you suddenly surprised by a chain of pleasant memories brought by a random feeling, a smell or flavor? Just like the flavor of the madeleine for Marcel Proust, the taste of a dish or drink is capable to immerse oneself into the past, transforming it into the present. To paraphrase the famous French gastronome and philosopher Brillat-Savarin in his “Fisiologia del gusto” from 1825, we can state “tell me what you eat and I will tell you where you are”.

The Mercato Centrale A fabulous setting in the heart of Florence

Entering the Mercato Centrale in Florence is like delving into the heart of Italian and Florentine gastronomy. The complex was first built in the 1870s to house the city’s most important market after the Old Market in what is now Piazza della Repubblica had been scheduled for demolition. It was designed by famous architect Giuseppe Mengoni, who also built the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.

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