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The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

Christmas – in Italy and in the world – is the most important holiday of the whole year. Everyone feels better, happier, and Christmas lunch is an important conviviality’s moment for every family, who are gathered together to toast all together.

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

In Florence and in Tuscany, some dishes are a must for Christmas lunch, since ancient times. Croutons with chicken livers are serve as entrées, then cappelletti in broth, arista (pork loin) and finally the typical Tuscan Christmas cakes: ricciarelli, cantuccini with Vinsanto and the ancient sienese panforte. Tuscan Feeling introduces some good tips for those who want to replicate the good Florentine cuisine in their own home.

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The croutons with chicken livers (Crostini di Fegatini) are the starter par excellence here in Florence and are easy to prepare. The livers are sautéed in a pan with oil, onion, celery, carrots, and blended with white wine; they are cut with a knife tip and they are put back in the pan for about fifteen minutes with salt, pepper, anchovy fillets and minced capers. In the meantime, take the stale bread, get wet on one side and put it in the oven to make it crunchy and serve the croutons with the spread on the livers.

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The cappelletti are easier to buy – expecially in city markets as Sant’Ambrogio or San Lorenzo – but the broth is strictly homemade by capon, boiled the day before in cold water with carrot and celery onion. After a couple of hours, you just have to remove the capon – very good to eat boiled as a second – with the skimmer remove all the fat from the broth. The next day is ready to heat up to cook the cappelletti.

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The Arista is nothing more than a pork loin tied and seasoned with rosemary, sage, garlic, salt and pepper and then cooked at 200 degrees in the oven for about an hour. Legend has it that the word “arista” was born precisely in Florence, precisely in 1439, on the occasion of the Ecumenical Council of the Church. For the occasion, distinguished personalities and senior officials filled the city. Banquets and delicacies were the order of the day, rich and delicious dishes were continually cooked to feed and conquer the various delegates, who came from all over the world. And it was during a lunch offered in honor of the prelates from Greece, who was served to the Greek cardinal Basilio Bessarione a fragrant and inviting piece of roast arista, until then indicated by the Florentines without a specific name. The cardinal, once tasted, was so delighted that he began to exclaim “aristos, aristos”, which in Greek means “excellent, the best”. The Florentines present believed that the word indicated that specific specific piece of meat and, finding it sympathetic, repeated it so much that the pork loin was from then on appealed with the term “arista”.

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

The traditional Christmas Lunch in Florence

Tuscan desserts are irreproducible, so better to buy ricciarelli or cantuccini; but to be truly faithful to tradition, panforte with dried fruit is a must for Christmas. Merry Christmas and enjoy your meal!

Tuscan Feeling recommends one of its many apartments in the historic center or the hills of Florence:

Apt. CASA ORNELLA – 140 m2 – 1 e 2 floor (without elevator) – for 6 persons

Casa Ornella Apartment

Casa Ornella Apartment

Apt. LOUISE – 110 m2 – 1+ 2 piano floor (without elevator) – for 4 persons

Apartment Louise

Apartment Louise

Apt. CANNETO – 25 m2 – 1st floor (with elevator) – for 2 persons

Apartment Canneto

Apartment Canneto

Apt. IL CORNO – 85 m2 – 3nd floor (without elevator) – for 3 persons

Roger Apartment

Roger Apartment

Apt. ALOHA – 155 m2 – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 5 persons

Aloha Apartment

Aloha Apartment

Salva

Salva

FROM PIAZZA TASSO TO VIA DEI SERRAGLI. AN ALTERNATIVE STROLL IN THE HEART OF FLORENCE.

The wonderful Giardino Torrigiani in Via dei Serragli

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You want to discover one of the most genuine place of Florence? Come in Piazza Tasso, in the heart of San Frediano, where people still loves Calcio in Costume and shops are still as they once were!
Piazza Tasso is the deepest heart of the district of San Frediano. The square is one of the main centers of the entertainment in the district. You find here a nice garden, which includes a small football field, and many cool restaurants. During the summe nights, the square is a place for concerts and dj set, managed by the Aurora Social Club. You can have drink there (we suggest you a mojito) and a enjoy the show. San Frediano was and it still is, a popular district, with artisan shops and genuine Florentines. Here is the complex of buildings that includes the former Leopoldine Schools (founded by Grand Duke Leopold II of Lorraine) and the deconsecrated church of San Salvatore. The Leopoldine Schools, long remained in a state of neglect, have been restored recently, while the church of San Salvatore, belonging to the municipality, was used as a gymnasium and for many cultural events. In the square, on the corner of Via del Leone and Via della Chiesa, you can see a tabernacle with a fourteenth century fresco, attributed to Giottino or Nardo di Cione, who in 1958 was restored and replaced with a copy.
If you are looking for an ice cream you are right place! In Piazza Tasso 11, there is La Sorbettiera. It is not a place that can easily seen. The projection on the road is a few square meters, but is worth a visit and a careful tasting. The ingredients are chosen and the natural tastes are excellent, the ice cream is stored in traditional cylindrical containers. Even the cones have an high waffle quality. Special mention for the icicles of real fruit: absolutly tasty! That remains between us: It ‘one of the favorite ice cream, also from Tuscan Feeling’s staff!
A short distance from Piazza Tasso, you will find the beautiful garden Torrigiani A large green space between Via de ‘Serragli, via del Campuccio and the stretch of the ancient wall that runs along the avenue Francesco Petrarca. It is a large park with a building called Casino Torrigiani at Campuccio. It is one of the few large green areas, still surviving inside the walls, in excellent condition and is a prime example of the romantic style that marked the beginning of the nineteenth century gardens. The garden can be visited only by appointment and only for groups of 15 or more, the price of the ticket is Euro 20. For reservations you must visit the official website. The long Via dei Serragli, starts from Piazza Nazario Sauro (Ponte alla Carraia) and goes up to Piazza della Calza (Porta Romana). It has a plant straight denoting accommodation sixteenth of the area, when a part of the Oltrarno was rebuilt following the arrangement of the grand ducal court of the Medicis in the Palazzo Pitti. At that time the richest families were in competition to build the most beautiful buildings along via Maggio, Via dei Serragli and other adjoining streets. The area was considered healthier (and most prestigious) than the north bank of the Arno. The street is named after the Serragli family, who had had some important members who held several public positions between the fourteenth and the seventeenth century.
In Via dei Serragli 104, you find one of the most important european jewellery school. Established in Florence in 1985 by Giò Carbone, Le Arti Orafe was the first Italian school dedicated to contemporary jewellery, conceived along original lines that combine technical training, contemporary design, artistic research. It is a place for studying, learning and experimenting without limits or boundaries. The innovatory teaching methods is continuosly updated. The school organizes exhibitions, conferences, meetings related with contemporary research jewellery Since 2005 the school organizes an international exhibition devoted to Contemporary Jewellery, along with the contest/exhibition. Nowadays, Le Arti Orafe is the most important private school in Europe, credited by the educational Authority.
In via dei Serragli you also find Cuculia, a cozy library-restaurant. It is a place where the manicured and tasty dishes’ mix, the unusual atmosphere and friendliness of the staff leads to a feeling of rare relaxation. Fair prices and the quality of the dishes proposed is excellent, with many vegetarian dishes. An oasis of peace in the crowded city center.
If you are looking for a typical and traditional place, you do not have to move much from Serragli Street! Here you will find the restaurant Carlino Diladdarno, in Via dei Serragli 108r, (phone 055 225 001). In the menu you will find noodles lamprey (authentic specialties of the restaurant), ribollita and pasta with zucchini flowers’ pesto. The tagliata with rocket and parmesan is simple and delicious, while the Florentine steak is simply excellent. We recommend the house wine. It is really a quality wine. The environment is quite simple, cozy and refined, in line with the district tradition.
Among jewelry to wear and enjoy, the walk to Piazza Tasso in Via Dei Serragli, offers a glimpse of Florence alternative, with many places of excellence and curiosity to discover.

If you are looking for an apartment to rent or buy in the nearby of San Frediano and Via dei Serragli, Tuscan Feeling suggests you the following accomodations for rent:

Apt. LA PACE – 75 sqm – 2nd floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

La Pace apartment

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Apt. SCANZONATO – 55 m2 – 3rd floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Scanzonato apartment

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Discover the Mercato Centrale! Fruit, vegetables, meat, delicacies, culture and new trends.

Mercato Centrale Apartments

The Main Hall of the Mercato Centrale in Florence.

If you have the chance to live near Piazza Duomo or the wonderful Central Market, you’re really lucky.
You do not have to worry about where you buy your meal, spending hours to find exclusive and special foods and what to do in the evening. The new Mercato Centrale will be, for you, the perfect place to shop, eat a snack, drink a glass of wine and listen to live music, deciding which shows or museum to choose for the next day. Tuscan Feeling offers many apartments in that area, in the heart of the historic center of Florence, for long and short rentals (www.tuscanfeeling.com). Living in this area, with your own apartment, is truly an unforgettable experience, because you will have all the freedom to live exactly as the Florentines themselves.

The multi colored Mercato Centrale (http://www.mercatocentrale.it/) is located between Florence via dell’Ariento, via Sant’Antonino and via Panicale. It was one of the major buildings of the reconstruction’s period; when Florence was the capital of Italy, in the late nineteenth century. To build the covered market was necessary to destroy an entire city block, which stood in a maze of narrow streets, ancient but rather unhealthy. The area came out haggard, but beautified and ennobled. Florence, in fact, needed a covered market of new concept, as well as those that already had risen in many European capitals, such as London, Paris, Budapest or Vienna.

The architect was Giuseppe Mengoni (1870-1874), who designed the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. He took inspiration by the market of Les Halles in Paris. The result was remarkable, especially for the time, with the use of modern materials, such as iron, glass and cast iron. All around the market, Mengoni designed a loggia, composed of 10 arches in classic style on each side, with slender columns of stone. The inauguration took place in 1874 with the International Exhibition of Agriculture.

It was a success from the start! The city felt projected into modernity. The spaces inside were occupied by the best shops in Florence. Fresh meat, quality fruits and vegetables, bakeries, delicacies shops and small places for drinking a glass of good wine, were the goods that people can find there, once upon a time. There was no family, who lived in the old town, which did not do their own costs there. Over time, two world wars, the reconstruction and the arrival of supermarkets and big malls, the Central Market became obsolete and poorly attended. Inside, the shops lost their function of serving the common people and became progressively a showcase for tourists, with excellent products, but not crowded. The top floor of the market, with the closure of a number of shops, was closed in the late nineties. In 2014, however, it was re-opened on the first floor of the complex, with a number of restaurants and activities, which re-launched the Mercato Centrale as the center of attraction for the Florentines, foodies and tourists. Exclusive restaurants, local appetizers, great places for snacks, live music and cultural events, are the ingredients for the rebirth of a truly innovative space.

The market now is crowded again, but service times of shops and eateries are really very fast. It is a very special stage for those who visit Florence, which combines speed and good food: from tasty hamburger of ‘Chianina’ meat, delicious vegetarian menus, excellent fish dishes and a lot of pasta, that you can choose. At the time of the ‘apertivo’, it is the best place in Florence to spend some time with friends, choosing a glass of fine wine, tasty Italian craft beers or a glass of Spritz. Perhaps with even a bit ‘of live music: jazz, blues, classical or some local indie band. A place to love and to live at any time of day!

If you want to live in the nearby of the Mercato Centrale, www.tuscanfeeling.com suggests you the following accomodations for rent:

Apt. CAROLINA – 65 m2 – 1st floor – for 4 persons

Apartment Carolina

Apartment Carolina

Apt. LORENZO – 80 m2 – 2nd floor – for 3 persons

Lorenzo Apartment

Lorenzo Apartment

If you love the area, and you are looking for a great apartment to buy in the nearby, Tuscan Feeling suggests:

Apt. STUFA – 60 m2 – 3rd floor – for 3 persons

Stufa Apartment

Stufa Apartment