A CAPA Student's Guide to the Best Food, Markets, Activities, and Views in Florence

Dec 17, 2019 9:08:00 AM / by Sarah Graham

As Sarah's semester in Florence comes to a close, she rounds up a list of her favorite places in the city-- from pizzerias to local markets. If you're heading to Florence, you won't want to miss Sarah's inside tips in this blog!

Ciao! Welcome to my last in-country blog. I cannot believe my semester in Florence is almost over. It’s really hard to wrap my head around it. For my last blog in Florence, I thought I could give a recap of my favorite places in Florence.


Cantinetta Allegri Trattoria

This cute restaurant was not far from where I lived, and I think it was a good find. Right on Borgo Allegri, the staff here is incredibly nice. This is a quiet spot perfect for dining with a couple friends. I personally love their lasagna. Cheesy, but really great.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_CantinettaAllegriTrattoriaJPGA very cute trattoria

Ristorante Pizzeria Dante

This place has incredible pizza. My favorite is the Fiorentina, with salami on it. Their lasagna is also amazing. Be sure to ask about their student discounts!

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_DanteLasagnaJPGLasagna from Ristorante Pizzeria Dante

Salsamenteria de Ciompi

This place has delicious and authentic pasta. I’ve actually never dined-in here, because they have take-away pasta for only 5 euro. I think this is a great deal, considering it’s some of the best pasta I’ve had in Florence. I absolutely love their fresh pasta with Bolognese sauce.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_SalsamenteriadeCiompiJPGWhat’s better than authentic pasta?

Osteria Santo Spirito

I haven’t met a single person that didn’t love this place. Right in Santo Spirito, this is a really cool area of Florence. They have the best truffle gnocchi ever.


Panini Places


Pino’s is absolutely loved by CAPA students, and for good reason. The owner Pino is the best, and their paninis come at a good price. It’s also one of the few places where you can get an iced coffee. My personal favorite is the “Magic ZBD.” The spicy salami is delicious!

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_PinosJPGMagic ZBD

All’ Antico Vinaio

I would guess this place has about a million reviews on Tripadvisor. There is always a big line, so try to go at a random time, or when it’s raining. For 5 euro you can get a really good, really big panini.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_AllAnticoJPGDefinitely a panini you’ll need two hands to hold!



I think it’s a crime to come to Florence and not get Gustapizza. Right near Santo Spirito, this place offers amazing pizza for cheap. I think a margarita pizza is only 5 or 6 euro, just to give you an idea. I loved the crust of the fresh pizza.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_GustapizzaJPGGustapizza

Che Ti Garba

I love this pizza gem on Borgo la Croce. The ingredients are fresh and the pizza is seriously awesome! The staff is also really nice and welcoming. They also do take away.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_GarbaJPGI love the Diavola pizza!


Gelateria dei Neri

This is easily my favorite gelato place in Florence. If you’re looking for decadent and delicious, this is the place. The gelato is rich and just so, so good. My favorites flavors from here are pistachio and coffee.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_NeriJPGThis gelateria will not disappoint.

Gelateria Dondoli

The best gelato I had abroad actually wasn’t in Florence. On our excursion to San Gimignano, I had the best gelato of my life. They have a lot of unique flavors such as basil. I can’t even describe it, but you’ll have to trust me. It’s the best gelato ever. If you find yourself in San Gimignano, you have to get it.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_GelateriaDondoliJPGA real gelato world champion


This gelato is smooth, lighter, and delicious! I believe they have more than one location, but the one I go to is only about 2 minutes away from CAPA. My favorites here are the pistachio and stracciatella. (Can you tell I love pistachio gelato?)


Favorite Areas


Oltrarno means “beyond the Arno,” and that’s exactly where this neighborhood lies, on the north side of the river. This area of Florence is quieter and less touristy. Spend the day wandering the cobblestone streets, visiting the Santo Spirito market, and exploring the small shops and authentic osterias. 


If you hop on Bus #7, you can reach Fiesole. Hike Montececeri and you’ll see some beautiful views of Florence. I recommend coming to this charming commune of Florence. Fiesole overlooks the entire city, and is just a really beautiful area. 

Borgo La Croce

Borgo la Croce is a street near Sant’ Ambrogio that I just love. There are many cute shops and places to eat. It’s a great spot to go for aperitivo!



Sant’ Ambrogio Market

This market is a great place to get fresh produce and other foods. The indoor marketplace has been around since 1873. Cheap and authentic!

Santo Spirito Market

Piazza Santo Spirito is a really cool spot, and here you’ll also find a great market. This is a nice place to find a new cool jacket, or gift for someone else. I once found Levi jeans here for 10 euro. 


Favorite My Global City Events

Cooking Class

Included in the CAPA program is a free cooking class. This was definitely a really cool experience. We learned how to make fresh pasta, and prepared a three-course meal. The class is taught by professional chefs, so the food was also pretty amazing. 

“Journey through Italian Cuisine”

I did two my global city events with Dr. Karin Pantzer, CAPA’s Food and Culture teacher. The first was a class on balsamic vinegar and cheese, and the second was for olive oil. We got to learn about the food, and most importantly, taste it too. This made me wish I took the Food & Culture class. 


What’s better than free food with all of your friends and classmates? CAPA has three dinners included in your program: the welcome dinner, Thanksgiving dinner, and farewell dinner. I’m both looking forward to and sad that the farewell dinner is this Thursday. 



La Loggia degli Albizi

This cafe is located close to CAPA and will never let you down. I love both their espresso and cappuccinos. I definitely recommend stopping by. 

Ditta Artigianale

Ditta has really great tasting coffee. This cafe has two different locations, one on Via de Neri and the other in the Oltrarno area. The Neri location is only about 3-5 minutes away from CAPA. If you want a quieter vibe, check out the Oltrarno location. Both locations are also a great spot for studying. Here, it’s acceptable to sit down with your coffee and laptop for a while. 

La Cite

La Cite is my favorite literary cafe in Florence. Close to the Arno, this place has a really cool aesthetic. I think the bookshelves give it a charming vibe. This is another spot where you can study too. 

Bonus: The espresso machine in CAPA

This 50 cent hero got me through the longer classes.


Favorite Views

I think I’ll let these views speak for themselves.


CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_Fiesole2JPG

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_Fiesole3JPG

Piazzale Michelangelo

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_PiazzaleMichelangeloJPG (1)

The Duomo

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_Duomo1JPG

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2019_Florence_Sarah Graham_Duomo2JPG


Thanks, Sarah!

Sarah Graham


Sarah Graham is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2019, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. An English major at University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

Sarah's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: Florence, Italy, Local Culture