“Through these old streets I wander dreamily,
around me Florence sweeps her busy tide of life.”
– William Leighton
❤ ❤ ❤
Our first meal in Florence was fantastic… well, our first late night bite was fantastic, much like the city itself! Il Magnifico, made by the lovely people at La Fettunta, is probably the best sandwich that I’ve ever had in my life ❤ It was overflowing with truffles… need I say more?
Finding what we have always been looking for…
At about 11:00 p.m., after a two hour trip on a Pullman bus, an hour ride on the Frecciarossa train and some time spent waiting for a taxi at the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station, we finally made it to our Airbnb rental in the core of Florence. Then came the fun part, lugging two 70-pound luggages, carry-ons, and backpacks up a narrow staircase all the way to the fifth floor… yikes! (FYI, there aren’t typically elevators in Italian apartments). Much huffing and puffing later, we finally made it to our humble abode.
A kitchen, a bathroom and two tiny bedrooms = Ideal for those who like to be close to each other 😉
After making ourselves comfortable in our new crib, we decided it was time to take a tour of the city under the light of the stars, and maybe grab something to eat, it was a busying day after all!
Down the long, winding cobblestone roads, Bria (my roommate), Olivia (our academic mentor), and I walked.
In my opinion, il Duomo and Piazza della Signoria are even more spectacular at night as children run circles in the streets and lovers walk hand in hand under the lights of a revolving merry-go-round. I can’t put into words how utterly magnificent the city is. I literally got goosebumps walking around!
That said, it quickly became apparent that just steps from our apartment, we were right in the middle of all the excitement, an area which also attracts students from the University.
I can’t even count how many groups of twentysomethings we saw sharing wine and laughter by the curb side of a paninoteca (sandwich shop). Bliss! Which, is exactly why we stopped to get our late night foodie fix, where the young people were 😀
For €6, La Fettunta has a wide variety of panini in addition to charcuterie and cheese boards, and other primi and secondi piatti. Their panini catalogue, however, is by far the most impressive as it draws inspiration from Dante’s La Divina Commedia. There are three different categories of sandwiches that stem from L’inferno, Il Purgatorio and Il Paradiso, each with unique spreads and ingredients to help a lost (and hungry) soul to choose the right panino. I chose Il Magnifico. From Purgatorio, the panino was sinful with its abundance of truffles but also full of repent with its cleansing greens.
I know you’re asking, what was in this life-changing panino?!?!
Well, Il Magnifico is comprised of a few simple but staple ingredients:
A thick layer of salsa di tartufo… I lost my mind as I saw her spreading unbelievable amounts of truffle spread of my panino!
Smoked Pecorino cheese
Neither Bria nor I could speak a word for at least ten minutes. We were simply enjoying every divine moment of eating this masterpiece of a sandwich. It definitely got me super hyped as to what other culinary treasures could be found within this Tuscan city.
Ending just as sweetly as our beautiful evening walk began, we found a hidden gelateria within the alleyways of Firenze. With an old-fashioned ice cream parlour vibe, we headed into Gelateria dei Neri.
From cup and cone sizes ranging from spuntino (taste) to grandissimo (huge) there is a size for everyone, not to mention the unique flavours that can be found.
Ricotta and pear, Nutella, green apple, blackberry, pistachio, lemon… Rough night in terms of decision making, eh?
After much deliberation I chose to try pompelmo rosa (pink grapefruit) and stracciatella (vanilla base with chocolate shavings). Yum!
Nursing our gelati, we took the long way home, strolling along Ponte Vecchio.
So there you have it, a giant panino and a decadent gelato… not a bad way to start off our #FirenzeFoodieFeat ! 🙂
What are your favourite spots for a late night bite in Florence?