I want to make sure my Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany guidebook includes the most characteristic, fun, and affordable places to eat — so I’ve been spending my lunch and dinner hours here blitzing restaurants. Today, I dropped in at Gianni’s Casa del Vino (“House of Wine”), a place I’ve recommended for 20 years, and it’s better than ever. Check out this video taste of my lunch — a delightful $8 board of antipasti with a fine glass of wine (for another $8).
Here’s how this place is written up in the guidebook. (Gianni said he’ll be waiting for all my readers.)
[$] Casa del Vino, Florence’s oldest operating wine shop, offers glasses of wine from 25 open bottles. Owner Gianni, whose family has owned the Casa for more than 70 years, is a class act. The sandwiches, crostini, and mixed plates of meat and cheese with fine wine by the glass are perfect. During busy times, it’s a mob scene. You’ll eat standing outside alongside workers on a quick lunch break. But come early or late, and you can actually connect with Gianni. Ask him for “uno etto misto €5,” add two glasses of fine wine, and you’ve got a memorable and very cheap lunch (Mon-Thu 9:30-15:30, Fri-Sat 9:30-20:30; closed Sun year-round, Sat in summer, and Aug; Via dell’Ariento 16 red, tel. 055-215-609).