Holiday eats day 5: Uffizi Gallery & Farmacia Santa Maria Novella

3 May

Can I tell you about the Farmicia Santa Maria Novella? I think it’s one of the most beautiful shops in the world. The shop, which also seems to be a museum, has high ceilings, frescoes and a lovely array of perfumes, soaps, fragrances, oils and candles in equally beautiful packaging. It was started in the 1200s by Dominican monks, and was originally a proper pharmacy making medicinal balms and pomades. Ah, such history! I couldn’t walk out without buying something, and eventually settled on rose water and a rose-scented soap.

The Uffizi Gallery didn’t disappoint either. The Botticelli paintings are of course utterly gorgeous, but there were plenty other equally gorgeous and jaw-dropping pieces of art to admire.


– Florentine pastries: plain brioche, Nutella and marmellato brioche, sesame
– Half a kiwi
– Espresso

I love Casa di Dante, the B&B we stayed at. Sure, it was a huff & a puff to climb all those stairs to reach the apartment, but the stunning view of the Duomo on the terrace, clean rooms and charming hosts more than made up for it. And when you get a breakfast spread like this, baby I’m yours.

Casa di Dante
Via Dante Alighieri 14
Firenze, Italy 


We were in the Uffizi Gallery for about 3 hours, and by the time we got out, most of the places we wanted to lunch at were shut. With very few choices, we randomly picked Cafe Alighieri, a few steps away from the B&B. K got her soup and I got a tortilla-type thing with aubergine and tomato. Not the best lunch I’ve had, but at least it kept hunger at bay.


We climbed to the top of the Duomo, visited Farmacia Santa Maria Novella, and decided to head to Piazzale Michelangelo to see a bird’s eye view of Florence at sunset. But first, a stop at Caffe’ delle Carrozze next to Ponte Vecchio for some gelato. At last, I had a very satisfying nocciola (hazelnut) gelato. Belief in gelato once again restored.


– Petti di pollo al burro (chicken in butter sauce)
– Insalata verde (salad)

Chicken is boring? Not if it’s done this way – crusty exterior, tender flesh and a to-die-for brown butter sauce. It looked deceptively simple, but I suspect this is something I can’t replicate in my kitchen*. K’s artichoke pie (more like a Spanish omelette) was also total deliciousness. My only regret of this meal? Not ordering the wild strawberries for dessert. What was I thinking?

Trattoria Sostanza
Via Porcellana 25r
Firenze, Italy

* In case you want to try, there’s a recipe for pollo al burro.


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