giovedì 13 giugno 2013

A guide to (not so) secret bakeries in Florence

written by Ilaria Gelichi


If you are visiting Florence make sure you do not miss going to one of the so called “secret bakeries”. I am not talking about common bakeries, which are open during the day. Secret bakeries are usually open in the night, between 1 am and 5 am. They are wholesale producers of pastries, croissants and other delights, which are sold to Florentine restaurants and cafés. For this reason, they are quite hidden and you will need precise directions from locals to find them. A pastry costs between 0.80 and 1.50 euro. The purpose of this article is to guide you to a sweet delicious snack before going to bed, maybe after an evening spent out with friends.

You will recognize a secret bakery by the line out of the door, and you will understand that they are not so secret actually; anyway they still keep the name. One of the most famous is Pasticceria Vinci & Bongini, located in Via del Canto Rivolto 2, near Via De’ Benci – in the heart of the historic centre. Once you find it, all you have to do is standing in line, waiting for your turn. But please, be quiet while you wait, as says the sign out of the door: the owners do not appreciate loud customers, since there are apartments with people sleeping just next to the bakery. If you cannot decide what to choose when your turn comes, just ask to the owners and they will choose for you – but I have heard they have delicious cornetti filled with Nutella!

Another secret bakery is at the corner of Via S. Gallo and Via delle Ruote, near Piazza Indipendenza. Its name is Laboratorio di Pasticceria Fratelli Arrighi. It opens around 2 am and if you see nobody out do not worry: knock and someone will open the door!

If you are coming back to Florence by train in late evening and you arrive at Campo di Marte train station, you can appease your growling stomach with a pastry at Futura Pasticceria. It is located just a few steps from the train station, in Via Campo d’Arrigo 14. This bakery opens a little earlier than the others, between midnight and 3 am, but only from Monday to Friday.

Outside the historic centre, in the nice and quiet Piazza Giorgini 22 you can find Il Re della Foresta. As for the other bakeries but particularly in this case, it is important not to be loud since this is a very quiet residential area. Here you can taste a sfoglia alle mele (apple pastry) and a delicious bombolone alla Nutella (a big fried doughnut filled with Nutella, of course).

Last but not least, The (truly secret) Family Bakery in S. Croce. Looking the façade of S. Croce church, take the street on the left side of the church and then the fourth on the left , Via de’ Macci. You will find the bakery on your left, and the door is covered by caged bars. You can see them bake into the back, so go on and knock! But remember to be extremely respectful and quiet, otherwise they won’t serve you.

At this point, all I can do is wishing you good research and buon appetito!!

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