While spending a few days in Florence (mid-July), I had the opportunity to enjoy a 4 hour food tour with Antoinette from Taste Florence. Having lived in Florence for 9 months with my family (Aug 2009 - June 2010), I have decidedly favorite food spots including: walking across the Ponte Vecchio (bridge across Arno River) for a honey-lined croissant or strolling to my favorite ‘frutta e verdure’ to buy fresh tomatoes and zucchini blossoms. I can tell you about great spots for lunch, or where to find tables tucked outside for a quick round of traditional bruschetta. I often strolled through large food markets, especially the Lorenzo Mercato (packed with meats, seafood, cheeses, fresh pasta and produce).
This food tour from Taste Florence was great: it opened my eyes to even more great food spots in Florence. We enjoyed authentic gelato made from farm fresh ingredients (Perche No), a large bakery that I never noticed, tucked near San Lorenzo (the best schiacciata I have had---reminiscent of focaccia with some fresh cheese). We met butchers, found a top-notch wine shop, and snapped photos to our heart's content.
At the mercato we tasted truffle oil and truffle honey, liver pate (for bruschetta) and Italian white wines. Antoinette gave us a tutorial on traditional balsamic as we tasted our way through 10, 15 and 25 year old vinegars.
If you only have a few days to absorb classic Tuscan flavors, dishes and signature foods---Taste Florence is a beeline to some of the best bites Florence has to offer. Thank you Antoinette!