Piazza della Repubblica 36-39r
’s oldest and
perhaps most prestigious cafés. The business was
originally started in 1733 by the Gilli family of Florence as “ Switzerland La Bottega Dei Pani
Dolci” on Via Calzaiuoli; they changed location in 1860, moving to Via degli
Speziali, and in 1890 they sold the café to another Swiss family, the
Frizzonis. In the 1920s Gilli moved to its current premises and became a literary café that attracted
the most famous artists of the time: the Futurists (Marinetti, Sofﬁci,
Boccioni, Carrà, Palazzeschi...). The perfectly conserved rooms and
furnishings from that period make Gilli
the only surviving Belle-Epoque café in .
And even today, one can’t help but feel transported back in time upon entering
this beautiful café, symbol of la dolce vita. Florence
Caffé Concerto Paszkowski
Piazza della Repubblica 31-35r
Originally called Caffè Centrale, this landmark first opened its doors in 1846.
It was purchased in 1904 by the Paszkowski family from
who turned it into a beer
During the early part of the 20th century, it served as a meeting place for artists, writers and journalists. After World War II the location was renovated and once again became the haunt of intellectuals from that period, like the poets of the Hermetic movement.
Today Paszkowski remains one of the most elegant and classic cafés in
and it is
internationally renowned for its musical events. The
beautiful Art Nouveau rooms are still used for meetings and fashion shows. The
café was designated a National Monument in 1991. Florence
Piazza della Signoria 5r
Enrico Rivoire of
was the chocolate maker to the Royal
Family. He came to Turin Florence in 1872 and opened
his chocolate factory, where Florentines soon learned to savor the fine chocolates
and delicious hot chocolate typical of the tradition. The shop quickly became
thanks also to its splendid location directly across from Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria.
In 1977, the Bardelli brothers took over the business and have maintained the traditional methods of toasting cocoa beans and preparing and packaging their products. Rivoire boasts many specialties, all made according to the original recipes using a high percentage of cocoa.
The beautiful original interiors, from the early 1900s are alone worth a visit, but the experience of a sunset illuminating the façade of Palazzo Vecchio while sipping a hot chocolate makes it a must!
Founded in 1897 as the “Birreria F.lli Reininghaus”, the café soon became a meeting point for the city’s large German community, while Florentines dubbed it “le giubbe rosse” – the red jackets – for the waiters’ unusual uniforms. Young Florentine intellectuals were attracted by the international clientele and the fact that there was always an abundance of periodicals and the venue soon became the birthplace and home of literary journals and artistic movements. The habitués included Papini, Sofﬁci, Palazzeschi, Gadda, Gatto, Pratolini, Vittorini, and Montale.
After the Second World War, the café reopened in 1947 but, like the city, it suffered a gradual decline. Since 1991, under the management of the Smalzi brothers, a major effort is being made to restore the café’s image and role as a place of cultural exchange and events.
Pasticceria Bar Ruggini
Via dei Neri 76r
Giuseppe Ruggini began baking pastries and biscuits in 1914 on Via de’ Neri, one of the city’s most picturesque streets – and his business soon ﬂourished. The founder’s wisdom and skill have been handed down through the years so that today, Riccardo, the third Ruggini pastry chef offers his clients freshly baked goods daily, along with ﬁne pralines and chocolates also made on the premises.
The shop, which was expanded in 1989, is located in an historic building with a characteristic single-arched brick ceiling. The oven, which dates back to the 1960s, still works like a dream, turning out exquisite delicacies every day.