August 3, 2011, 10:39 AM
How to celebrate a birthday in Florence?
Hi. We are a group of 10 and will stay in a villa for a week in Sept. One of us is having her birthday on Sunday 11th and we'd like to do something special. Tours seem not to run much on Sunday and 10 seems too many for some. What should we do?. Lunch or dinner in a cheap and cheerful cafe somewhere beautiful? boat cruise with a meal? It seems rather difficult to find what we are looking for and suggestions would be most welcome....
August 3, 2011, 01:02 PM
A Special Holiday in Florence and Tuscany
Welcome to the forum Tommo!
We’re happy to give some suggestions
Here are some ideas to pass a special birthday day:
- You might spend a full day visiting the wonderful Chianti region near Florence, and dine in a fantastic place with spectacular views over the Tuscan countryside.
Chianti is one of the most beautiful areas of Tuscany, renowned worldwide for its exquisite Chianti Classico wine and great food!
The Osteria di Badia Passignano can be the ideal place for a birthday! Its location is extraordinary, next to an ancient convent and all surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills. You may also take an interesting tour of the wine cellars under the church, and taste the delicious wine.
I also recommend Sira e Remino, another good and typical restaurant in Chianti serving exquisite Tuscan dishes. I suggest you contact them ahead of time to book a table.
And here you can find useful information about wine tasting in Chianti, with suggested wineries and cellars.
- always in Chianti, you can take advantage of this Chianti guided tour that is great as it gives the opportunity to discover the charming hill top towns of the area as well as make wine tastings.
You can also have a look at many other interesting Tuscany tours on this list.
- spend the day in Florence’s historical center strolling through its charming medieval streets while admiring its marvellous attractions, and, at the end of the day, reach Piazzale Michelangelo to enjoy a delicious dinner at la Loggia, with the best view over Florence.
- you could also spend the day in the wonderful city of Siena, so famous for its Palio.
Siena is incredibly beautiful and has a unique medieval atmosphere. You can dine in one of the many nice restaurants or osterias in the historical center, such as Osteria Nonna Gina, or Antica Osteria da Divo.
- finally you may reach Pienza, in the wonderful Val d’Orcia region, south of Siena, and join the extraordinary Fiera del Cacio, a festival all dedicated to the famous Pecorino cheese and many other local products, that you can taste freely!
I suggest this option only in case you have your own means of transport, or if you plan to hire a van, as it’s not convenient to reach Pienza using public transport from Florence.
Of course Tuscany offers so many possibilities, that can be hard to decide on what to do
these are just some suggestions
Feel free to come back for any further request,
Enjoy your trip to Tuscany!
August 3, 2011, 01:15 PM
It's me again
I missed to say that Florence is a very lively city, especially at night, so you may also enjoy a great dinner in its beautiful historical center.
Here you can find a list of good restaurants and osterias in Florence,
Enjoy the meal!
August 4, 2011, 12:18 AM
Wow, that's great advice Elena and I shall get the Organisation Team to work on it!
Also, in every city there are places where the students,working men and moms and pops go to eat. There is obviously a strong push in Italy to guide the tourist towards the 50 euro gourmet meal and that is fine. but I can't eat like that all the time - the stomach and the wallet both go into meltdown! In most places there are the markets,universities and fishing ports where one can eat heartily for very little and enjoy the company of the ordinary locals and I'm also looking for this in Florence and Tuscany/Umbria.
I'm sure one can also grab some bread and cheeses and olives in a deli or supermarket too along the way.
So...any tips about good places for these kind of meals would be most welcome too.
Of course we can also cook at our villa and plan a few nights of doing this too ( after all one knows they can get home safely that way, after a few drinks)
Hope you can help.
August 4, 2011, 05:15 AM
I have come up with something that looked perfect but it's not open on Sunday (or Mon.) - but it looks so good we're going to go anyway!
It's called Teatro del Sale and sounds like fun. You pay a set price for food which comes dish by dish or rather you go to a hatch and load up each course, wine is included from a tap, and later there's a theatrical performance.
And it looks like we can walk home from there too!
August 4, 2011, 11:40 AM
Eating in Florence
The Teatro del Sale looks amazing! perfect to have lots of fun :-)
I would also suggest a walk in the San Lorenzo district of Florence; so full of markets, wine bars, trattorias, and pizzerias, where to enjoy great food at very convenient prices!
While in San Lorenzo, I suggest you enter the indoor food Central Market, where you can taste some local specialties at Nerbone, or buy a lot of delicious fresh products to make a fantastic dinner at home.
For a quick lunch or to buy some tasty local products, head to the Cantinetta da Verrazzano in Via dei Tavolini, a very good bakery near the Duomo, selling bread, wines, cakes, and tarts. You can also eat there and choose among many specialties like focaccias, sandwiches, cheese and salami.
Once in Florence, you’ll realize there are so many nice places to eat, you’ll really be spoilt for choices!
Have a great stay!
August 6, 2011, 05:01 AM
Well, just had the news that two people have to drop out of our trip (starting from Brisbane Sept.8) so now we are eight and eight will fit into a tour bus with Mauricio out into Chianti for the day so there you are.....
Teatro del Sale hasn't replied to my email about booking in for an evening, but I find so many emails go unanswered from Italy - language or internet issues I don't know?
Maybe the nice owner of the villa we have rented will book for us?
So ...we arrive Florence around midday on Sat 10th Sept. and I think we will make a dash for the Mercado San Lorenzo and buy cheese,meats etc. and take them back to the villa for a meal that night, do the Mauricio tour (called Hills and Roads or similar) for the Sunday birthday and maybe work out something with the ladies of the villa who are offering to cater us a meal that night. The rest of the week should be fine and then we pick up a rented car and head off on the roads of Tuscany and Umbria for another week before Rome and the flight to Rhodes and then Turkey ...
Any advice would be most welcome...
August 8, 2011, 03:41 PM
A Week Itinerary in Tuscany
As for Teatro del Sole, I agree with you to ask the owners of the villa to book for you
It's great you will have a rented car for a whole week!
that will allow you to feel the real essence of Tuscany and appreciate all its beauty!
In a week you'll be able to see a lot of the region, starting from the Chianti area, that you can also explore on your own, driving through its scenic winding roads; the landscape is fantastic!
Chianti is in fact one of the most beautiful parts of Tuscany and has a lot to offer, from ancient medieval villages atop hills, to castles and fortresses, to the world renowned wine and much more.
You can find a useful guide on Chianti and suggested itineraries at this link.
Other top sights and attractions of Tuscany I suggest you visit are the beautiful art cities of Pisa and Lucca, both small and charming towns, not to be missed!
I also recommend a visit to the famous San Gimignano and its characteristic towers and the Etruscan city of Volterra and its Roman amphitheater.
They are among the most beautiful and best preserved medieval hill top towns of all Tuscany.
If you move south of Florence, to the wonderful province of Siena, you'll find in another amazing area of Tuscany: the Val d'Orcia, a region of rare beauty, with rolling hills, cypress trees, isolated farmhouses atop hills, ancient villages, churches, abbeys, and again great food and wine! Pienza, Montalcino, and Montepulciano are simply wonderful!
Finally, in Umbria I suggest a visit to Perugia and to Orvieto; the last is a beautiful hill top town with a fantastic Duomo, and famous for the exquisite white wine!
Here you can find useful suggestions for moving around Tuscany by car, while on this link some tips and ideas for a 7 days itineraries in Tuscany!
Do come back on the forum for any further help!
Enjoy your vacation!
August 13, 2011, 10:15 AM
I am just visiting here and I don't know much about this, but Happy birthday to the birthday girl and best of luck to you guys in making arrangements for her birthday.