Salvatore Ferragamo's Guide to Florence

by  Katie Kelly Bell | Jul 22, 2019
Salvatore Ferragamo at Il Borro, Tuscany
Salvatore Ferragamo at Il Borro, Tuscany / Photo courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo

As CEO of Tuscany’s acclaimed Il Borro winery and estate, Salvatore Ferragamo, grandson of the famed footwear designer, spends his days crafting the perfect vintage and not designer shoes. Still, his personal and family legacy are deeply intertwined with the Tuscan landscape, its food, and its most famous city. We asked for his thoughts on the best places to eat, drink, and shop in his native Florence.

Where do you go for fine dining in and around Florence?

Buca Lapi is the oldest restaurant in Florence and famous for their Florentine T-bone steak, and don’t miss out on Chef Luciano Ghinassi’s chocolate cake. For great Milanese cuisine, visit La Giostra, close to the Duomo. Fuor d'Acqua is an excellent fish restaurant in Florence’s San Frediano neighborhood. Be sure to try all of the raw lemon- and extra-virgin olive oil-marinated seafood appetizers and the catch of the day. Borgo San Jacopo has one Michelin star and offers amazing food and service with beautiful views of the Ponte Vecchio.

Medieval Village at Il Boro Estate, Tuscany / Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo

What about for more casual dining?

Of course I’m partial to our own Il Borro Tuscan Bistro on Ponte Santa Trinità — it’s a lovely spot for casual dining with great products, many organically grown from the countryside. Lungarno 23 is known for their terrific Chianina burgers. For pizza, we go to Berberè Pizza, and for a great espresso visit The Savoy Hotel.

Do you have a favorite gelato?

You must try the buontalenti ice cream at Badiani Gelateria on Viale dei Mille. It’s not in the city center but it's worth the five-minute taxi ride.

What should we know about that is not on the tourist radar?

Regina Bistecca is a new restaurant behind the Duomo. It’s an old library transformed into a steak restaurant with great food and atmosphere.

Il Borro Estate / Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo

Where do you suggest for a glass of wine or a cocktail?

Bar Pitti has a great wine selection and the sommelier often offers fun, less academic wine classes. The rooftop bar La Terrazza serves great cocktails with amazing views of Florence.

What are some of your favorite shops in Florence for clothes or shoes?

For shoes and formal clothes visit the original Salvatore Ferragamo store on Via dei Tornabuoni. Try the La Rinascente department store for a wide variety of items, and for casual clothing, I like the Replay store in Piazza Goldoni.

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