Sample fine dining on a chic holiday in Florence

Tuesday, 28 February 2014 5:16 PM

Italy is always a great destination to visit for foodies seeking a luxurious, chic getaway. Make the decision to visit Florence, however, and you will be well placed to sample the very best Tuscan cuisine. With so many fantastic dishes and restaurants to choose from, you'll be spoilt for choice about where to go first!

Choosing to rent a villa in Tuscany will see you stay in high-quality accommodation that offers all the amenities you need to have a relaxing, indulgent break. This, among other things, means your villa will be decked out with modern kitchen facilities; however, it would be a crime to not spend at least a few nights experiencing Florence's fantastic dining scene.

Food for every taste can be found in the Tuscan capital, but you should definitely make the effort to try some local delicacies.

One eatery where you can certainly do this is Trattoria 4 Leoni. Situated in Piazza delle Passera, this cosy establishment focuses on Florentine and Tuscan dishes and you'll be surrounded by rustic furniture and exposed brickwork as you dine. Among the specialities served here are pepposa - a peppery kind of beef stew - and gran fritto dell'aia, which consists a mixture of deep-fried chicken, rabbit and vegetables.

Just a short distance from Trattoria 4 Leoni is the stunning Palazzo Pitti, a Renaissance-era palace that dates back to the 15th century. A walk through the manicured gardens is a great way to burn off some of the calories you've just consumed.

Head out from Tuscany villas to Pizzaiuolo on Via Dei Macci to sample authentic Naples-style pizza, which has a high border crust but thin centre, and a selection of seafood dishes, including octopus salad and spicy cuttlefish.

Combining the best of Italian and French cooking techniques, Enoteca Pinchiorri serves an authentic taste of high-end Mediterranean cuisine. The eatery is a short walk from Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's stunning town hall, with ravioli filled with polenta and squash risotto with sauteed scampi and balsamic vinegar among the dishes served.

Main courses start from around €80 (£65) and while it won't be the cheapest place to eat out in the city, it is certainly among the very best. Push the boat out by going for the monkfish filled with goose liver, served with Jerusalem artichokes and a dash of squid ink, before washing it down with a glass of red chosen from the extensive wine list.

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