Travel

Healthy Eats Travel Guide: Florence

August 20, 2017

Ah, sweet, sweet Firenze. This city is nothing short of magical. The history, the art, the smooth Italian charm. And of course, the food. My goodness, the food. So so good. But we all know most of it is far from the diet I usually consume. I arrived in Florence on day 17 of my trip, so the exhaustion of the travel was really catching up to me. I wanted to soak in all the sweetness of the “dolce vita” that’s so rich in Florence, but I also wanted to honor my body and fuel it well. These cute little spots were my saving grace amidst all the indulgence of the city.

 

Carduccio

Carduccio is tucked down a quiet alleyway just off the main piazza of the Palazzo Pitti. The space is quaint, with a modern artsy feel inside a vintage structure. It’s definitely a fun spot for health-seeking locals, not a cafe loaded with tourists.

Entirely organic and farm-to-table, the menu is actually pretty extensive for a small little place: cold pressed juices, coffee, smoothies and smoothie bowls, quiches, a few sandwiches, and a lot of salads. Both times I went was for breakfast so I never got to try any of the salads (the Power Bowl with quinoa, cauliflower, beet, carrots, cashews and ginger sounded amazing) but the smoothie bowls were great. I definitely loved the Protein Bowl with raw cacao, almonds, banana, chia seeds, hemp seeds and rice milk (but I actually subbed coconut milk).

With free wifi, it was the perfect spot to sit and work for a couple hours with a bowl and a coffee.

Location: Sdrucciolo de’ Pitti, 10/R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

 

Ciro & Sons 

Ciro & Sons was on my list long before I left. I had read that they won the “World Championship of Gluten Free Pizza” so I specifically waited to have any pizza until I got my hands on theirs.

The whole first page of their menu is dedicated to the details of their celiac-friendly kitchen, and after 3 weeks of slow accumulation of contamination, I was happy to know I was safe for a meal.

I oredered mozarella, prosciutto, Parmesan, and arugula. I can’t say it was the best I’ve ever had (I will literally dream of Il Fornillo in Positano until the day I go back to that glorious place). But it was darn good and so nice to know it was truly free of gluten.

Location: Via del Giglio, 28, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

 

Ristorante Quinoa 

Another spot I knew I had to visit, Ristorante Quinoa is a 100% gluten free restaurant. And in the heart of Pastaland, it’s an oasis for celiacs. They’ve got a super cute courtyard inside a cool old building, and it was such an enjoyable experience just so sit in the shade and enjoy a meal. They immediately brought me gluten free bread and a massive menu of “senza glutine” options. I was tempted to try all the fun Thai noodles and pasta dishes, but my body was screaming for some vegetables and healthy fats, so I went with this simple summer salad. And it was perfect.

Location: Vicolo di Santa Maria Maggiore, 1, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy


Shake Cafe

Shake Cafe is a sweet little juice bar. They offer lots of vegan and vegetarian friendly options: juices, smoothies, coffees, toasts, sandwiches, salads and a few baked treats.

I actually visited 2 different times. The first was for breakfast, and I ordered an iced almond milk matcha latte with a smoothie bowl. The second was for lunch, so I ordered this quinoa power salad. Both were great. Fresh flavors, clean ingredients, lots of nutrients.

Location: 32, Via del Corso, 26, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

 

Sweet Treats

Y’all know I don’t believe a healthy life is one of perfect clean eating- it’s one in which I nourish myself well and indulge without guilt and with joy. And when in Italy, that means never saying no to gelato!

 

Edorado

Oh man, Edorado is an absolute must! All of their gelato are free of chemicals, GMOs, or colorings. The milk comes from pastured-raised cows and the eggs come from free-range chickens. I mean, YES! I ordered the vegan Banana and the Fondente Assoluto (dark chocolate). I’ve had creamier banana flavors, but you can just TASTE how real this one is. And it was such a perfect pair to the rich and decadent chocolate. Two thumbs up for sure.

Location:Piazza del Duomo, 45/R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy


Amorino

Amorino is a gelato chain that’s popped up in big cities across Europe and North America. Typically, that would turn me off. But my gosh it’s so darn good. Similar to Edorado, they take great pride in their ingredients. Every flavor also bears the name of where they source the main ingredient from. Ex: the Limone Femminello di Sorrento is made with lemons from the Amalfi coast. The Amarena is to die for. 

Location: Via del Corso, 44/46r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

 

Starbene Gold Senza Glutine 

Just a little ways up from the Ponte Vecchio, Starbene is an entirely gluten-free bakery! They have some savory items, a whole shelf full of gluten free products, but mostly a couple cases of baked goods- cookies, cheesecakes, eclaires, and donuts. I tried this cute little cookie. I’d take gelato over this any day, but it was still a fun option. 

Location: Via dei Neri, 13/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy

 

And a few other Florence tips:

  • Stay at Hotel Europa – It’s an affordable option for a killer location. Mariam and Robert are two of the kindest people you’ll find in Florence, and they’ll help you in any way they can to enjoy your stay.
  • Soak up all the art – The Uffizi, the Palazzo Pitti, Santa Croce. Just do it all.
  • Enjoy an afternoon in the Boboli Gardens
  • Climb the Duomo – It’s worth the wait
  • Grab some gelato after dinner and enjoy it in Piazza della Signoria – If you’re lucky, an amazing old guitar player will serenade you and you might cry tears of joy at the beauty of the moment

 

Firenze really is such a special place and its food never disappoints. I’m usually a “grind hard, walk fast, see it all” kind of traveler, but Florence is a place that always reminds me to enjoy it slowly. If you’re heading to the Home of the David, get ready for some magic.

xoxo, Mollie Mason

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20 Comments

  • Reply Jessica August 20, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    This list looks awesome! I’ve saved it to pinterest for my next trip to Italy

    • Reply Mollie Mason August 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Glad you like it, Jessica! Keep me posted on your experiences when you visit.

  • Reply Monica August 20, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Ok this post just reminds me of us dreaming of your gluten free travel blog when we were roommates in college. ITS HAPPENING!!! its so cool watching you chase your dreams Mollie!

    • Reply Mollie Mason August 21, 2017 at 6:52 am

      Haha right?? So cool! Love chasing after them with encouragement from friends like you. Love ya, Mon!

  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner August 21, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I just love Florence! The food, the culture and the shopping oh my. You captured it well

  • Reply dixya @food, pleasure, and health August 21, 2017 at 7:51 am

    sounds like a wonderful time. i will definitely have to revisit when im planning my trip next year (hopefully).

    • Reply Mollie Mason August 21, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Oh yes, definitely keep these spots in mind if you head to Firenze! They’re all so lovely.

  • Reply Abbey Sharp August 21, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I’m SO jealous of all of these tasty eats! Looks like it was a lovely time and that you made time for gelato! Priorities 🙂

    • Reply Mollie Mason August 21, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Hahah oh you better believe gelato was a priority!

  • Reply Mikki August 21, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Oh wow! Florence is on my bucket list for sure and these places look amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing. Totally pinning this for when I do get the chance to go over there.

    • Reply Mollie Mason August 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Glad to share it, Mikki! I hope you get to Florence soon; it’s such a special city!

  • Reply Kelly @ TastingPage August 21, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I love that there’s so many more healthy options now when traveling where you can still indulge but stick to your diet!

  • Reply Rachel August 21, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Florence looks like such a beautiful place to visit! And from all your descriptions, a delicious place to eat!

  • Reply Jessica @Small Bites by Jessica August 21, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Looks like an amazing trip! This is such a great resource too!

  • Reply Emily August 21, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Wow all this food looks so beautiful and fresh! And the scenery ain’t bad either ;). So jealous of your trip!

  • Reply Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers August 22, 2017 at 6:14 am

    Oh my goodness, I went to Florence about 15 years ago and it was just SO amazing. Your photos are giving me travel envy; I totally want to go back soon.

  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt August 22, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I loved Florence too! Looks like you found some amazing eats while you were there. You can’t be in Italy without having gelato!

    • Reply Mollie Mason August 23, 2017 at 8:18 am

      No gelato in Italy would be a disgrace! Glad I was able to find these organic gems.

  • Reply GiGi Eats September 6, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Now I really want to make a shrimp and avocado salad!!!

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