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It just happened that Il Latini restaurant in Florence located on Via dei Palchetti has become our first attraction in this beautiful city.
For some people it may seem unacceptable that I’m starting my post about this beautiful city by writing about a restaurant. Well there are several reasons for that.
- The first one is that we made two stops on our way from Capannori to Florence and the whole driving time got close to 3 hours. We were hungry and tired.
- The second reason is that there is no way your stay in Florence can be complete without trying one of the main Tuscan dishes called Bistecca Fiorentina.
Il Latini Florence Restaurant Overview
From a number of sources I heard a lot of positive feedbacks about Il Latini as one of the best places in Florence to try this incredible Florentine steak.
Here is the deal:
I really admire places with history whether it is a restaurant or an ancient city. Il Latini Florence is a family run restaurant that serves delicious Tuscan cuisine since its opening in the 1960s. The interior design is very simple because everything is focused around the food here. You will definitely remember prosciutto legs hanging right from the ceiling all over the restaurant.
The restaurant has many tables that are placed close to each other so it can seat a lot of guests. Most of the tables here are made for 4 people.
Due to a great number of guests all the tables at Il Latini are shared. It means that a party of two can be seated at the same table with two other guests that they don’t know.
On one side this seating strategy allows more people to dine here. On the other side it creates a special atmosphere where unacquainted people from different parts of the world engage in friendly chats while enjoying excellent Italian food and wine. We sat at one table with another couple from London and it was fun.
The place is packed every evening so make sure to book your reservation in advance. Il Latini opens at 19:30 and stops accepting new guests at 22:30 which is typical for Florence. During day time the working hours are from 12:30 till 14:30. On Mondays the restaurant is closed.
Italian Famhouse Hotel
Again we chose a very cozy Italian Farmhouse surrounded by nature for our stay.
It was located within a 20 minutes drive to the city of Florence. The best thing was to return to the Italian countryside for a breath of fresh air after walking around the city full of tourists during the whole day.
Outside our Italian farmhouse was surrounded by forest with an adjacent horse stable and a chicken coop.
Inside it was full of ancient furniture with really comfortable old leather armchairs in the main living room.
There was a nice swimming pool outside where you could catch some sun during the day.
We loved eating our breakfast outside in the shades of the trees in the garden.
Everyone was very helpful at the hotel and the lady at the front desk helped us arrange our table reservation at Il Latini. Advance reservation is required for most of the restaurants in Florence due to a great number of tourists.
Discover Florence On Foot
What I like about Florence is that it lacks that big city hustle of Rome. Of course Florence is one of the major tourist centers in Italy where the central squares are packed with many people from around the globe.
But if you walk just several blocks away from these central tourist attraction points in the city you’ll find yourself surrounded by tranquil atmosphere that is not typical for big cities.
Even people are different here! For example when you enter any of these small cafes or tourist shops located outside the main tourist attractions perimeter you’ll see local workers meet you with smiles on their faces. And it is still quite typical to hear the friendly “Chao” when you leave. In Rome they will greet you with “Bonjorno” but will definitely forget to tell you good buy when you walk towards the exit…. There are just way too many tourists there.
Rome is much bigger in size, its streets are wider and the tourist crowds are bigger. Florence is a museum under the open sky that just feels more cozy with it’s narrow medieval streets and more friendly locals.
I also love the landscape around Florence with Tuscan hills and incredible Cypress trees that grow there.
ZTL in Florence
As I have mentioned in my previous posts the traffic system in Florence is quite complicated. Like many other cities in Italy it has several ZTL areas (Zona a Traffico Limitato) where the car traffic has many restrictions.
Your best option is to leave the car at one of the public parking lots on the way to the historic downtown area and enter the tourist part of the city by foot. We had to learn this lesson the hard way when we tried to park our car as close as possible to Il Latini located in the center of Florence.
We couldn’t find a parking spot so we had to make 2 circles around the restaurant area. As a result, I have received two 90 Euro fines in my mail box. So, beware of these ZTL zones when you travel around Italy!