Friday, Feb. 16

Train from Soverato to Firenze

Look at the departures board (Partenze) to see from which track your train leaves (binario). Keep in mind that the train’s final destination, as listed on the departure board, and YOUR final destination don’t necessarily correspond. Look for your departure time, and train type and number, which will correspond. Finally, make sure to stamp your ticket in one of the yellow validating machines in the station before boarding each train

If in doubt, it never hurts to double-check that you are boarding the correct train:

Mi scusi, questo è il treno per Lamezia? Per Firenze?

Remember that you have 1st class reserved seats on the train from Lamezia to Firenze. Look for the car number (carozza) and seat number (posto a sedere) on your ticket. You have every right to politely tell someone that they are in your seat!

Mi scusi, ho prenotato questo posto.

There is a restaurant or bar car on your long-distance train, and usually a coffee cart that passes by. The food is usually limited to pre-packaged snack sandwiches (tramezzini or panini), so try to bring a snack along if you can. I would avoid the meal service on the train, and save your Euro for much nicer places, at much more affordable prices.

Travel tip: While you are on the train – have a look at our suggestions for dinner tonight and other nights, below, and call ahead to reserve a table, if necessary (see our notes). Many restaurants in Florence (the good ones, where locals eat) are small, and this is why reservations are usually a good idea.

Vorrei prenotare per stasera, per due persone. A nome JONES.
Alle otto / alle otto e mezzo / alle nove.

Arriving in Florence

Your train arrives at the Campo di Marte train station, which is about 5km from the center of town.
You should find a taxi easily at the taxi stand outside of the station. If there are no taxis waiting, you can call tel. 055 42 42.

Buonasera. Ho bisogno di un taxi alla stazione Campo di Marte.

Hotel Collodi
'La Locanda di Pinocchio'
Via ****** Firenze [Florence] :: Italy
Ph. +39 055 ****** :: Fax +39 055 *****
email: **************

Hotel details:
Your room has been confirmed: a spacious double with twin bed and loft, including breakfast. Euro 95,00 / night was the best rate available. Confirmed by email. Payment during or at end of stay.

Our suggestions for dinner within a short walk from your hotel:

Trattoria Marione - Via della Spada 27r - 055 214756
This is a simple place for good basic food and really good prices. It is filled with business men at lunch and families at night. They are known for their ribollita soup, a very thick and hearty vegetable soup thickened to porridge consistency, but a staple of Florence.
lunch or dinner – between Piazza Repubblica and the station
Usually no need to reserve for just 2 people

Trattoria Antellesi - Via Faenza 9/r  - 055 216990
This is a lovely little place to have lunch and dinner, right around the corner from the Medici Chapel/San Lorenzo/and the Market. They have very good food, great soups and pastas. Be adventurous and try the peposo alla fiorentina (a peppery beef stew simmered in red wine and garlic) served at lunch.
lunch or dinner – San Lorenzo
Best to reserve, even the same morning

Saturday, February 17

Visit the Accademia and Uffizi Museums. Shopping at the outdoor market in the afternoon. Walk and dinner in the area across the Arno River.

The Accademia Museum (Galleria dell’Accademia) is a short walk from your hotel (approx. 15 minutes). The Uffizi Museum (Galleria degli Uffizi) is just off Piazza della Signoria, and is about a 25 min. walk from the

Pick up your tickets at the Accademia by showing your reservation number below – Reservations Entrance/Window (Biglietti Prenotati - Prenotazioni). DO NOT WAIT IN THE MAIN LINE, GO INSIDE TO THE TICKET WINDOW.
Accademia: Res. n° 133 7283 9:00 am name: JONES
You purchase your tickets when you pick them up.

Take a well-deserved coffee break at the cafe on the top floor of the Uffizi Gallery, and enjoy the great view of Piazza della Signoria.

Pick up your tickets at the Uffizi by showing your reservation number below
Reservations Entrance (Biglietti Prenotati - Prenotazioni).
Uffizi: Res. n° 133 7285 11:30 am name: JONES
You purchase your tickets when you pick them up.

Our suggestions for lunch in the area of the Uffizi Gallery:

Caffe Italiano - Via Condotta  56/r - 055 291082
Small, old-style caffe'. Downstairs you can have espresso "Italian Style" standing, and good small pastries and sandwiches. Upstairs, you sit down and get wine by the glass (rare in Florence) and a selection of two pasta dishes and/or a dish of three different samples of vegetable casseroles. Good selection of homemade desserts. Magazines, books and newspapers available. One dish and a glass of wine are about 12 - 15 Euro
Lunch – centro storico – Piazza della Signoria

Osteria del Caffè Italiano - 055 289368
Via Isola delle Stinche, 11 R
Open 11:30 – 19:00 Closed Mondays
Good authentic Tuscan cuisine in the restaurant, or stop in for a glass of wine and a snack before the lunch rush.
Lunch or aperitivo – centro storico – between the Bargello Museum and Piazza Santa Croce
Reservations recommended – the day before.

Vivoli, one of the best gelaterie in town:
Via Isola delle Stinche, 7 R (closed Mondays)
Try some (all?) of their specialty gelato flavors: rice (think rice pudding), limone, crema di arancio (orange cream), cioccolato, or any of the creamy flavors.

Alla gelateria:
Vorrei un cono a due gusti. Vorrei una coppa a due gusti, per favore.
(I would like a cone with 2 flavors. I would like a cup with 2 flavors, please.)
some delicious gelato vocabulary to try (and try again!)
cioccolato (chocolate) fragola (strawberry)
nocciola (hazelnut) pesca (peach)
bacio (chocolate hazelnut) frutti di bosco (wild berries)
crema (cream/vanilla) ananas (pineapple)
stracciatella (choc. chip) amarena (wild cherry)

Spend some time this afternoon exploring the open-air markets of San Lorenzo. You can find great deals on leather goods. Here, don’t be afraid to negotiate on prices for good leather products. The best tactic is to shop around, there are many many stands, and simply walk away if the price isn’t right. A good place for silk ties and scarves, too. Busy area – be wary of pickpockets!

Other good shopping areas are the Via Calzaiuoli (don’t miss the Rinascente department store here), which is between the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio, and the area surrounding Piazza della Repubblica. For excellent chocolate, stop at the famous Caffè Rivoli in Piazza della Signoria, for beautiful and delicious souvenirs.

This evening, if you have some energy to spare, well worth the effort is a short hike up to the church of San Miniato, on the other side of the Arno river, above Piazza Michelangelo (southwestern part of the city). You’ll have an amazing view of the city from above. If you can time it to arrive near sunset, even better.

This evening, why not explore the much less touristy area of town, just across the Arno, in this area called the Oltrarno.

Our suggestions for dinner in the Oltrarno:

Trattoria 4 Leone – Piazza della Passera - 055 218562
between via dello Sprone, via de’ Vellutini, via de’ Sapiti e via Toscanella    
This restaurant can be a little hard to find, since Piazza della Passera is very tiny, so make sure to bring your map! (closed Wed. Lunch)
The eclectic staff at this trattoria in a small piazza is an appropriate match for the diverse menu. In winter, you can eat in one of two rooms with high ceilings, and in summer you can sit outside and admire the scenery. Traditional Tuscan favorites, such as taglierini con porcini (long, thin, flat pasta with porcini mushrooms), comprise the menu, but so, too, are less typical things like the earthy cabbage salad with avocado, pine nuts, and drops of olio di tartufo (truffle oil).
Reservations are strongly recommended, a day in advance.

Cinghiale Bianco (closed Wed) Borgo San Jacobo, 43r. - 055 215706
between the Ponte Vecchio and Ponte Trinità
This is a cozy little restaurant, very hospitable and English-speaking. The Tagliata (steak) over arugula and tomatoes is just incredible. Highly recommended: an order of Strozzipretti, which literally means Priest stranglers. These are delicate spheres of spinach and ricotta in a sage butter sauce with Parmesan. Easy and tourist friendly, but has a loyal local Italian clientele.
Reservations are strongly recommended, even the same morning.

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