Fili & Apatoff: Cognoscenti’s Guide to Florence

Duomo of Florence

Forget about snow!

Forget the cold!

Think about wandering the lovely streets of Florence, indulging in a late morning granita di café on the off-season when you will be with Florentines. If you are going to act the part, then you need a guide that will help you blend in.

Cognoscenti's Guide to Florence by Louise Fili and Lise ApatoffSuper Chef recommends that you pick up the diminutive The Cognoscenti’s Guide to Florence: Shop and Eat like a Florentine (Princeton Architecture Press 2015) put together by Louise Fili & Lise Apatoff. It is divided into eight walks that will take you through different areas of Florence. Each section comes with a culinary guide and map of cafes, restaurants, and bakeries so that there you are never far from a wonderful foodie experience.

Follow the first walk, Centro Storico and you can discover Bizzarri, a “quirky shop of vaguely mysterious glass-fronted dark wooden cabinets…” where you can get any kind of spices, extracts, essences and herbal elixirs. Or you could stop by Pegna, founded in 1860, near the Duomo, to explore the isles of imported pates and fine chocolates, or, the authors suggest, gather your picnic from the salumeria for your plane ride home.

And to drink?

Stop by Enotecca Alessi for one of 2,500 different wines, or a can of foil-wrapped chocolate sardines.

Super Chef copy of The Cognoscenti’s Guide to Florence arrived with a box of Tutti Frutti pencils – 12 pencils of six bright colors (red, orange, green, blue, and purple) set in black designed by Louise Fili. Draw a Valentine, and give the book for a special Valentine’s Day gift … along with a couple of airplane tickets.

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