dispatches from florence: food in firenze {2}

First off, we need to talk about La Carraria, the most exquisite gelato known to mankind. We need to talk about the silk texture, the creaminess of the whipped cream and the litany of exotic flavors. Then we need to talk about how a 20-minute line wait is worth the first taste of this magnificent dessert.

To say that I’m deep in the gelato game would be a grand understatement. My feeding is problematic, and I’m actually thrilled to leave Italy because I need to fit into my clothes for the duration of my holiday. It’s become such that I need to take alternate streets to avoid this fine gelateria, because it’s truly stellar. Many of my friends have recommended this spot, and it’s worth a visit should your travels take you to Florence.


While the service may be lacking (the insouciance reminds me of the French stereotype, where customers are treated with a certain brusqueness), Trattoria 4Leoni redeems itself in flavor. To be candid, I don’t really need my waiters to engage me in dialogue — I very much prefer my own company — so as long as they take my order, bring me my dishes and said dishes are fine, a woman is GTG (good to go). I dined here twice during my time in Firenze, and on both occasions the dishes were quite good. I ordered the very verdant arugula pesto and devoured the pear ravioli. Within the same piazza — away from the bustle of the main squares — I also sampled the gelato (simply ok) and the cappuccino (quite good) from the other Leoni establishments.


Finally, I believe I may have found the finest pizza in Firenze, and it is at Gusto Pizza. You will marvel at the in-house brick-oven and the charred, bubbling hot creations that are unearthed in minutes. While the joint is understated, reminiscent of mediocre New York pizzerias, the creations are ANYTHING BUT. For $7, you’ll savor buffalo mozzarella, homemade sauce, fresh basil — all draped on a chewy, tender crust with bits of burnt edges. I LOVED THIS PLACE SO MUCH I WENT BACK FOR DINNER.

If it’s pizza you crave, look no further than Gusto. Snaps to Daniel for the tip-off.


florence italian eats