When I chose to study abroad in Florence, Italy, the amount of good food I’d be eating didn’t even cross my mind. It wasn’t until arrived that I was able to actually try real Italian food, not just Olive Garden.
Let me tell you, the pasta is immaculate. My roommate’s professor recommended a pasta bar called Yellow Bar, so we went to dinner there one night. This pasta is probably one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. If you’re ever in Florence, I highly recommend it.
I’ve been there several times, including once with my parents. On our way there, we passed several other restaurants. They were starving and wanted to eat at the first place they saw, but I told them that we had to go to Yellow Bar. Once they took the first bite of their pasta, they understood why. The pasta is perfection.
Another amazing treat I’ve had the blessing of trying is the gelato. I was never the biggest fan of ice cream, so I didn’t think I would love gelato this much. But now, we’ve had gelato at so many different places, we have a gelato ranking list for our favorite spots. It includes Gelateria Dondoli in San Gimignano, which has won several awards for the world’s best gelato.
Our favorite gelato place in Florence, though, is definitely Riva Reno. It’s so good that we once had to get out of bed at 11 p.m. just to curb our craving. Needless to say, gelato is one of the things I’ll be missing greatly when I return home.
This wouldn’t be a review of Italian food unless I talked about the paninis. If you ask anyone that knows me, they would say I hate sandwiches, so I was really reluctant to try the paninis here. However, they’ve changed me. I’m literally craving one almost every week.
I’ve found two amazing places that I highly recommend: All’Antico Vinaio and Pino’s Sandwiches. These two restaurants are famous in Florence for their paninis. The richness of flavors melts in your mouth.
Lastly, I do have to mention the crêpes I had in Rome at Crêpes Galettes. They may be the best you’ll ever have in your life. I went there twice within 24 hours because they were so good. I also took my parents here, and it’s safe to say that their lives were changed. My dad was so reluctant to have one, but once he did, his eyes were open to Crêpes Galettes’ masterpieces. I had the dark chocolate homemade, which I highly recommend.
Overall, I think it’s safe to say that Italian food, does in fact, live to up the hype.