Ranked: 5 bars you can't miss in Florence
With an impressive bar-per-square-mile ratio, putting this list together wasn't easy.
Geographically, Florence is a lot smaller than it feels because even though, like many other major cities in Europe, you can drive away from it for miles and still be in the metropolitan city of Florence, the town centre per se is pedestrian friendly and any point A to any point B is walking distance.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Furthermore, Florence is one of the few cities in Italy that successfully managed to combine tradition with modernity, transitioning from analog to digital with ease, and this means that, despite its relatively minute size, there are so many different things you can do and, in this instance, drinks you can try, so what I thought I'd do is put together five different places I'd personally suggest for your next visit to the Capital of Italian Renaissance.
Colle Bereto is one of the most symbolic and revered lounge bars in Florence. It's been around forever and the place has seen it all. All kinds of people from all kinds of generations have routinely used this as both a drinking spot and a meeting place for ages.
This is partly because this place can do anything and it's good at everything. From gourmet dinner to happy hour and aperitif to late-night drinks. The place is basically open around the clock meaning you can have coffee for breakfast, wine for lunch, 5 o'clock tea, happy hour cocktails, beer for dinner and after dinner shots, all in one place.
Eby's is the sort of place you won't find unless somebody told you or showed you where it is because it's far from all the tourist locations. It is a small, low-key bar that specializes in shots. Locals love it, which means they've accidentally been spreading the word, which means tourists and travellers are beginning to show up. This, however, has made no difference (yet) and you'll still find the same owner and vibe and "purity" you'd have found ten years ago.
The owner, rumour has it he's a former chemist, looks a lot like Albert Einstein and is a master at what he does. He's got recipes for all kinds of shots, using all sorts of alcohol beverages and fruits and edible decorations. It's a festival of creativity and originality. You'll like it.
Rasputin is a hidden secret bar, or speakeasy if you like, and it has become very popular very fast over the last few years. At one point, no one knew it existed and then it suddenly became the crème de la crème cocktail bar overnight. In spite of this newfound popularity, very few people would be able to find it unless they've already been there because it is very difficult to find.
It is also unique. Everything from the decor to the cocktail selection to the vibe and atmosphere cannot be replicated and can't be explained. This is the perfect spot if you're looking to enjoy superb cocktails while feeling completely detached from the outside world.
Manifattura, Italian for manufacturing or factory, specializes in signature cocktails and drinks made exclusively with Italian spirits, coupled with rotating gourmet tastings raging from classic Italian food to oysters.
The vibe is somewhere between classy and light-hearted and both the ambiance and the furniture have "vintage 30s" written all over it. It's a bit pricey, but worth it.
Signorvino (literally 'Mister Wine' but it actually means 'helluva wine') is located a few steps from Ponte Vecchio and, let's not beat around the bush, it's a bit touristy. The good news is that's the end of the bad news as things get better and better from here on out.
The view is phenomenal and so is the wine selection. Signorvino has a rich and well-stocked wine cellar with red, white and rose wines from anywhere in Italy. You want it? The probably got it.