Florence: Wonderful Spots to Stop for a Wine

Florence is surrounded by Italy’s most prestigious wine country, which makes getting your hands on a deliciously fruity Brunello di Montalcino or a glass of to-die-for Chianti a remarkably easy task. Despite the easy access to quality wines, it’s worth remembering that not all of Florence’s enotecas (“wine repositories”) are equal. Some offer exceptional by-the-glass wines and settings so spectacular that they elevate the aperitivo experience to new heights. So before you settle for any old wine bar, consult our guide to some of the city’s most wonderful spots for wine pit stops.

Within the center of Florence, there are quite a number of great places to stop and sip. For unbeatable, head-on views of the red-tiled dome of Florence’s Duomo, enter the La Rinascente department store on Piazza della Repubblica and make your way up to the fifth-floor Caffé La Terrazza, first by escalator and then by climbing up a steep set of stairs on foot. The view is best at sunset, when you can enjoy a glass of your choosing, with the Duomo in the foreground and the rolling Tuscan hills in the background. Also in the city’s historic core is I Due Fratellini, a long-standing hole-in-the-wall winery that has been serving the people of Florence for more than 140 years. Choose from 30 panino and a vast list of wines by the glass starting from just a couple of euro. There are no seats  inside so customers must stand and sip, though there are shelves on the outside walls where you can rest your wine glass while you munch. 

Florence is surrounded by Italy’s most prestigious wine country, which makes getting your hands on a deliciously fruity Brunello di Montalcino or a glass of to-die-for Chianti a remarkably easy task. Despite the easy access to quality wines, it’s worth remembering that not all of Florence’s enotecas (“wine repositories”) are equal. Some offer exceptional by-the-glass wines and settings so spectacular that they elevate the aperitivo experience to new heights. So before you settle for any old wine bar, consult our guide to some of the city’s most wonderful spots for wine pit stops.

In the Oltrarno district on the far side of the Arno lies the rave-reviewed Le Volpi e L'Uva wine bar, tucked away on an unassuming piazza near the Ponte Vecchio. It’s small and cramped but undeniably charming and its wines – most of which are by lesser-known producers – are out of this world. Be warned: it’s the kind of place where “one drink” quickly morphs into three of four. If you can’t get a table, never fear: there are lots of other terrific wine bars in this neck of the woods. Try Vivanda Gastronomia, who offer a choice of 100-plus organic wines as well as their own biodynamic own-label options. And, if you happen to tire during the uphill walk to Piazza Michelangelo, pause half-way up for some sustenance at the EnotecaBar Fuori Porta where you can enjoy excellent wine, crostini and other bites on its lively terrace.

Another good option is to escape the city properly and head for the rolling Tuscan hills. You don’t have to go far either; just a 10-minute drive from the center and you’ll find yourself surrounded by vineyards in all directions. On our Florence Wine Tour, participants get to meet and chat with a winemaker during a vineyard tour, then take part in a tasting session featuring four limited-edition Tuscan wines as well as a four-course feast comprising typical Tuscan delights, from appetizer-style cured meats and cheese to regional pasta and meat-based secondi.

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