Lavish Eating in Florence

Ciao! It’s been about a month since we first landed in Florence, and it has been nothing short of amazing so far. From the moment we landed, I just knew that being in Italy was going to be an experience I’d remember for the rest of my life. In the first couple of days, I was able to make a ton of new friends, deepen my relationships with others, and explore the city of Florence to get a better understanding of Florentine and Italian daily life. 

One of the aspects of Italian Culture that I was most excited to immerse myself in was definitely the food, and it has not disappointed me in the slightest. Every restaurant I visit feels like the best food I’ve ever had, and the bar keeps getting progressively higher with every meal! Food in general is extremely affordable here as well, I’m typically able to get a personal pizza with the freshest tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil from as little as 5 euro and for no more than 9 euro. Back home I’d find myself paying upwards of $13 for pizza when the quality can’t even hold a candle to the amazing stuff that I’ve had in Florence. 

There are definitely a lot of cultural food-related tips that I’ve learned from some of the Italian locals I’ve had the opportunity to talk with, so I’ll share some of them below in case you find yourself in Italy!

pizza from Italy

Contrary to Popular Belief, Parmesan Does Not Belong on Pizza!

If you’re like me, you probably love garnishing your pizza with all kinds of spices and cheeses to “enhance the flavor”, but if you come to Italy, you won’t find parmesan on anyone’s pizza. Here, parmesan is only meant to be put on pasta, and it’s frowned upon to add to pizza and some restaurants will outright deny you from getting parmesan topping. I actually learned this lesson the hard way when ordering pizza when I first got here, so to save any embarrassment, try to enjoy the dishes as prepared. 

Sitting Down for Food Can Cost You

In the US, it typically doesn’t cost anything to sit down at a table in a restaurant, but in Italy there exists the coperto, which acts as a cover charge for the restaurant that’s around 1 to 3 euro per person. The trend of the coperto began back during the Middle Ages as a way for innkeepers to stop customers from bringing their own food into the restaurant and since then, it’s been used as a way to charge customers for the place they occupy while eating. 

One of the nice things about sitting down at most cafes and restaurants though is that you can typically stay as long as you’d like, even after finishing your meal. Whether you want to sit down and type up a paper in your free time or sit and talk with friends, the restaurant staff is happy to have you and will never make you feel like you’re bothering them.

I’ve got some exciting travel plans for the next couple of weeks, so next time I’ll dive into some of my favorite travel destinations so far and also some travel tips to show how easy it is to get around Europe!

Ciao!

Jared Dowling
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