Breakfast: Volume
Piazza Santo Spirito, 5/red, 50125 Firenze; Tel: 055 238 1460

I have a hunch that just walking into Volume makes you instantly cooler. The busy bar is filled with students, young people, regulars that have been coming for years, and a lot of dogs. Dimly lit and bustling with people, the workers at Volume have listened to me fumble through ordering in Italian with no judgment too many times to count.

Take a seat and enjoy a cappuccino and what I consider the best croissant (or “cornetto” in Italian) in Santo Spirito.

Or drink a quick caffe (what we know as an espresso) at the bar. Whatever you choose, after coming here a few times they will see you walk through the door and start prepping your drink. You’ll be a regular in no time.

Lunch: Trattoria la Casalinga Via dei Michelozzi, 9/R, 50125 Firenze; Tel: 055 218624

Trattoria la Casalinga is so full of locals that unless you are screaming in English or wearing an American flag, they will assume you’re Italian. It is flattering, slightly intimidating, and how you know you’ve found a good restaurant.

No one at Trattoria la Casalinga seems to be in a rush and you can spot friends sipping glasses of wine even on a Wednesday at noon.

It truly feels like eating in your grandma’s kitchen among friends and family. Order the “pasta della nona” for a simple yet delicious pasta with red pomodoro sauce or try a warm soup on a chillier Florentine day.

Gelato: Caffe Ricchi
Piazza Santo Spirito, 8, 50125 Firenze; Tel: 055 215864

Caffe Ricchi always reminds me of the famous Edward Hopper painting “Nighthawks.” It has a long, seemingly endless bar, and there are usually only a few people in there at a time.

This is no indication of the quality of the gelato or the coffee though. Caffe Ricchi has low cost, delicious gelato. Try the tiramisu or the hazelnut dark chocolate and you won’t be disappointed. The wait staff is there to please and usually is willing to throw a taste of an extra flavor into your cup even if you didn’t order it, but you didn’t hear that from me.

Dinner: Osteria Santo Spirito
Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze; Tel: 055 238 2383

I first went to Osteria Santo Spirito after a friend of mine posted a photo of their cheesy truffle gnocchi and I demanded to know where I could find it. Needless to say, the gnocchi and the restaurant itself exceeded my expectations.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting with guests ranging from romantic couples to families with children. The meal starts with warm bread and a delicious olive tapenade. From there try the gnocchi or the equally delicious pasta with tomato and basil. The portions are large but the restaurant offers smaller portions for those not ready to take the challenge. Pair your pasta or entrée with a bottle of wine from their large selection and savor each bite and sip.

Aperitivo: Tamerò
Piazza Santo Spirito, 11r, 50125 Firenze; Tel: 055 282 596

My first weekend in Florence, I stumbled into Tamerò by chance. I was starving and looking for something on the piazza. Luckily it was a great find.

Drinks range from 4 to 8 euro with choices from the endless pasta bar included.

The pasta and cocktails would have been enough to make me happy but Tamerò added live music to the mix to make it a perfect evening. The restaurant is loud and busy but it makes you feel like you’re in the heart of Florence’s social scene while sitting and enjoying the music and company.

I can’t say much about Rasputin other than in order to enjoy, it you have to find it. This speakeasy style bar does not post their address anywhere so finding it is half the fun. Enjoy one of the bartender’s masterful drinks in celebration of discovering the bar and mingle with locals from all over the city.

Article written by Grace KramerI’m a student from the University of Minnesota studying in Florence for the semester. I’m a junior studying Strategic Communications and Cinema and Media Culture.


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