This February 14th in Florence is going to be a great one. Whether you’re happily coupled or flying solo, the city has stepped it up this year with special events for everyone to love.
Valentine’s Day Dinners
<3 SE·STO on Arno – Westin Excelsior: €70/person
Piazza Ognissanti, 3 – 6th floor
+39 055 2715 2783
SESTO IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND HENCE WILL BE CLOSED THIS VALENTINE’S DAY.
<3 Ristorante Etichetta: St. Regis Hotel: €72/person
+39 055 2716 3770
A five-star hotel restaurant serving up traditional Florentine and Mediterranean culinary art by chef Michele Griglio. Menu: Oyster, green apple sorbet, brown bread, and Normandy butter/ Risotto, scampi tartare, candied lemon, and pearls of squid ink / Duck breast with rhubarb, strawberries and foie gras/ Extra dark Manjari chocolate and passion fruit / Water, coffee, service, and VAT included
<3 Alle Murate: €60/person
Via del Proconsolo, 16r – 50122 Firenze
+39 055 240618
This incredibly one-of-a-kind space is not only a restaurant but a museum featuring beautifully frescoed walls and ceilings, depicting the world’s oldest discovered portraits of Dante and Boccaccio. Southern Italian chef, Giovanna Iorio, has been whipping up regional specialties with Alle Murate for more than 30 years. Menu: Welcome aperitivo / Broccoli and codfish soup / Handmade turnip-filled tortelli in a creamy red beet and avocado sauce / Almond crusted salmon fillet with lime and turnip celery mayonnaise / Chocolate-raspberry delight with Vin Santo (dessert wine) mousse and crispy wafers / Coffee
<3 Risorante Terazza Brunelleschi – Grand Hotel Baglioni: €58/person
Piazza Unità Italiana, 6
CLOSED FOR RENOVATION 29/01/2014 – 19/02/2014
<3 L’Osteria della Pagliazza – Torre della Pagliazza – Hotel Brunelleschi: €56/person
Piazza Santa Elisabetta, 3
Sitting at your candlelit table on the first floor of this circular byzantine tower, you’d never guess that the building, one of the oldest in Florence, was at separate times both a men’s and women’s prison and, before that, supposedly housed a giant Roman bath. But then again, the romantic menu proposed by chef Simone Bertaccini and Maitre Daniele Caldera will have you thinking of little else. Menu served from 19:30: Heart of puff pastry with ham and crescenza cheese / Broccoli and anchovy flan with Castelmagno fondue / Pear and pecorino cheese ravioli with cream of artichoke / Beef fillet with Montalcino red wine sauce and gratin of fennel, potato and pancetta / Chocolate temptation with a soft center of coffee and hazelnut. Tables will be set with rose petals, hearts, and romantic placeholders.
<3 Valentine’s Day for ANT – Palazzo Borghese: €45 minimum donation/person
Via Ghibellina, 110
Have extra love to give this Vday season? Have dinner with Italy Onlus ANT foundation and help raise funds for cancer prevention and free home care for cancer patients. Your generosity gets you the royal treatment. They’ve organized a delicious dinner in a truly mouth-watering location, the hall of mirrors: a magnificent room adorned in gold, red velvet, crystal chandeliers, and frescoes, tucked away in a 13th century palace. Veronica Maffei and Stefano Baragli, will be your hosts, Lisetta Luchini will provide musical ambiance, and all female guests will receive a perfumed gift. The menu is served at 19:30.
<3 Magnificenza – Le Pavoniere: €38/person
Viale della Catena
+39 366 633 0581
For a different view of Firenze, take your date to this new, high-brow restaurant housed in what the Grand Duke of Tuscany once called his hunting villa. The windows look out onto a large pool and the infinite green of Florence’s largest park, Le Cascine, which will be lit up in shades of red and purple for the occasion. Chef Claudio Nardello has selected a seafood based menu, his specialty, to be served by candlelight. The rose on the table is yours to give or keep. Menu: Colonnata lard-wrapped shrimp on a chick pea patè, stewed octopus skewer on a bed of mashed potatoes / Prawn and slipper lobster linguini with steamed artichokes, chitarrini pasta with seafood sauce / Brill fish fillet in a cabbage leaf with fennel purè / Orange-perfumed chocolate cake / Water, house wine, and coffee included.
<3 Il Destro – Il Guelfo Bianco Hotel: €28.50/ person
Via Cavour 27-29
+39 055 288330
This restaurant provides an intimate setting and polite service. It is situated in central Florence, very close to the Duomo. Their Valentine menu should be booked in advance and includes one glass of Prosecco, one a choice of one appetizer, one first dish, one second course, and one dessert. Menu: Creamed artichokes croutons with goat cheese and quail egg OR Creamed pumpkin with robiola cheese flakes and rosemary croutons / Chestnut wrap with ricotta cheese and walnuts on saffron cream OR Potatoes gnocchi with parmesan cream and Culatello ham / Guinea fowl stuffed with sautéed artichokes OR Roasted seitan with tower of seasonal sautéed vegetables / Cheesecake with berries OR Handmade chocolate pie with chantilly cream.
<3 Ristorante Touch Florence: €35/ person
Via Fiesolana 18r
+39 0552466150, firstname.lastname@example.org
A modern restaurant with modern menus; select your delectable Italian fusion cuisine from the iPad menus at your table. Menu: Milanese Crab with Potato Chips and Sweet Chilli Sauce / Pink Ravioli stuffed with ricotta and Shepherd’s Cuttlefish sauce, Pistachios and Balsamic Reduction / Grilled squid on Bed of Mashed Broccoli and Brussels with Curry Spices / Yogurt Mousse with Passion Fruit and White Chocolate Shavings. Call ahead to book.
<3 Panino Tondo: €29/TWO people
Via Montebello, 56
+39 055 538 5465
What’s Panino Tondo? A hamburger, American pastry (bagel, donut and muffin), and brunch take-away that only uses high quality, fresh, Tuscan ingredients, and DELIVERS TO YOUR HOUSE!? You’re probably already dialing their number, but here’s the dish: Menu for two: Chianina beef burger with sauteed mushrooms, pecorino cheese, bacon and arugula leaves / fried spicy chicken wings / onion rings / chicken nuggets accompanied by BBQ sauce / Aioli Valdobbiadene Extra Dry Sparkling Wine / Macaroons filled with cream and fresh fruit (prepared by Dolce Lab). Email or call ahead to order.
<3 Gusta Pizza: €5-10/person
Via Maggio, 46r
+39 055 285068
Neapolitan-style, wood-oven fired, arguably-the-best-in-Florence pizza by three wonderful Italian brothers from Naples. They haven’t prepared a special Valentine’s menu, because they’re known to spread the love every day of the year. Female clients are often surprised with heart-shaped pizzas from the staff, which, besides being every bit as delicious as their normal-shaped variety, would make the perfect budget V-day lunch or dinner, am I right? To be sure you get your pizza “a forma di cuore” (ah FOR-mah dee COO-oh-reh), now you know how to ask 🙂
Valentines Day Activities
<3 A Note on Love Locking
The Ponte Vecchio used to be the Florentine spot to attach “luchetti dell’amore,” (love locks) emblazoned with “lover’s name + lover’s name,” and throw the key into the Arno River, securing your bond throughout eternity – that is, until the ornamental overload started damaging the only ancient city bridge left standing after WWII. Nowadays, there’s a €160 fine for attempted love locking, and for the rebel lovebirds who get away, a lasting toll on one’s conscience for contributing to the demise of a true piece of world history. Better to take your lock home as a souvenir, or fasten it to something that doesn’t date back to 996 A.D.
For Everyone (Lovers, Friends, and Singles)
<3 Save up to 25% off a bike tour with I Bike Italy.
I Bike Italy is the longest running single-day bike tour company out of Florence, with personalised cycling itineraries (from beginner to advanced) above the city and throughout Tuscany. From 07/02/14 to 16/02/14 you can book a tour for later this year and save 15% when you mention StudentsVille. This offer can be used in conjunction with the existing 10% student discount for an amazing 25% discount. Visit our link for more information.
<3 Valentine’s Day on the Tower del Arnolfo: €14/person
18:30-20:30, last entrance: 20:00
Visit the top of the city hall’s tower for an exclusive Valentine’s Day champagne toast, more than 300 ft. above Florence!
Reservations required: 055-2768224, 055-2768558, email@example.com
<3 Train Trips: Trenitalia 2×1 Tickets
Choose a return or round trip destination for Valentine’s Day, click “2 passengers,” pay just one ticket through midnight, February 13th.
*regional trains excluded
<3 Uffizi Art & Love Tour: €65/ couple
14:45-18:00 14/02/2014 – 15/02/2014
Take a romantic 3 hour tour of the Uffizi and learn about how love has been depicted by the most famous painters in the world. Book in advance on the website.
+39 348 8400459, firstname.lastname@example.org
<3 Festival del Cioccolato Artigianale (Artisan Chocolate Festival!)
Piazza Santa Maria Novella
<3 1 Billion Rising/ OBR Justice Flashmob.
Piazza Santa Maria Novella
A flashmob to strike and protest against violence towards women and girls.
Check out the link for more information.
For Italian-Speaking Singles
<3 Speed Date – Cafe de Paris
Piazza Dalmazia 7r
One of the best aperitivo spots in Florence, just outside the city center, hosts an event we don’t see very often in these parts. Daters are divided into two groups by age: 23-38 and 35-50. Girls are given locks to wear, guys get a combination and all the time they’d like to talk and open as many as possible – a fun way to break the ice, meet new people, and have a chance to win one of many prizes. After the speed dating, everyone receives a list of participants and is asked to check “yes” or “no” next to each name. Reciprocal “yes’s” mean each party gets the others contact info.
You might also like:
A light-hearted look at single life on Valentine’s day, our guide to drowning your sorrows, article here.
The results of our Valentine’s day “love reveal” game we played with the people of Florence, video here.