Bargello Museum

A wonderful museum – let the official website speak for it – opens in a new window.

Opening hours – Daily – Just in the mornings:
8.15-13.50

The ticket office closes at 13.20

It can be found very close to DeiMori – make a left out of the front door, walk to the ‘T” junction at Via Proconsolo, make a right and then almost immediately on the left you will see the impressive castle-like Bargello Museum – well worth a visit and open on a Monday when other museums are closed.

Closed on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday and  2nd and 4th Monday of each month; New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day.

Tickets:  Full Price: € 4,00 / Reduced: € 2,00 – There is no need to prebook this museum but it is well worth a visit.

The Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella (The Ancient Pharmacy)

This ancient and wonderfully atmospheric building is certainly worth a visit particularly when one remembers that there is no entrance fee.  It is situated on Via Della Scala fairly close to the railway station.

As soon as one enters one is immediately impressed by the ‘full on’ sensory sensations – smell, sight, sound (or lack of it), a very peaceful environment with opulent decorations and a view to the wonderfully peaceful cloisters of The Church of Santa Maria Novella.

The atmosphere is loaded with the smell of the ancient brews all made to the original recipes of the monks who started the place. in the 16th Century.  Soaps, perfumes and the very famous pot pouuri which can be bought as a souvenir or a gift beautifully presented and lasting for ages (€13 when I last bought one and quite a bargain)

Interestingly, the place featured in the Anthony Hopkins film of Hannibal – this was substantially filmed in Florence and the plot hinges round the fact that the villain Hannibal was tracked to the city by the  scent of a letter he wrote – the paper carried the  unique smell for this old pharmacy and a perfume expert was able to accurately locate it.

It is situated at Via Della Scala number 16.  The telephone number is +39 055216 276

Opening Hours: Daily 09:30 to 19:30 – free admission.

View the website of the ancient pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella (will open in a new window)

Duomo Museum

This interesting museum is situated in Piazza del Duomo and is directly behind the dome end of the Cathedral.

It is considered to be an excellent uncrowded exhibition and can usually be accessed without a long wait in line.

It houses many of the sculptures removed from the various niches of the Duomo to protect them from the elements.

Opening hours are generally 09:00 to 19:30 (Monday to Saturday with a 13:45 closure on a Sunday) with admission charge of €6.00 (no reductions available).  Last admission is at 40 minutes before closing time.

Telephone number +39 055230 2885

Website of Duomo which includes detail about the Museum.  This link will open in a new window.

A great place for lunch

Walk from deiMori in Via Dante Alighieri (make a right out of the front door) walk about 20 metres and take the first right into Via Cerchi and walk to the end where you face a shop called Matucci.  Turn left and immediately right into Via Santa Elisabetta and about 100 metres down on the left you will see USCIOEBOTTEGA at 9 red/rosso.

There you will find a simple yet quite splendid lunch where they really ‘know about food’ and ‘are feeders’.  Italian food is all about the quality of ingredients and here they source from all over Italy (and of course particularly Tuscany) taking only the best salumi, cheeses, salads, vegetables and wine and then prepare and cook freshly and simply.

It is the bread which fascinated me – wonderful varieties and types from all over the country.  Smiling faces behind the bar will prepare just for you and the whole thing is a memorable ‘moment’.

The place is decorated in a tasteful yet rustic way and they are open  every day for lunch, the afternoon and aperitif time.

Give it a try – I was so impressed.

Their telephone number is +39 055 267 0452 and they can also be contacted by email

everybody loves to shop

From Ponte Vecchio to Bellosguardo and back

A circular route from Ponte Vecchio and back via a beautiful walk with wonderful views and for the most part away from heavy traffic.

You walk though olive trees, spectacular villas and the most amazing views.

The walk time is about 90 minutes and the views really are spectacular – is best on a sunny day and later in the afternoon.  Take your camera.

Enjoy a beautiful walk from DeiMori Bed and Breakfast in Florence from Ponte Vecchio to Bellosguarda – click this link – will open in a new window.

DeiMori in Florence to Fiesole

This is a lovely walk and takes you out through Florence and then climbs up through relatively quiet roads to the village of Fiesole.  Once out of the city you will pass by elegant Villas and Olive Groves.

Basically, keep going mostly straight and follow the directions exactly.

You can either return on foot or alternatively take a number 7 bus back to San Marco in Florence – you can buy a ticket which is currently €1.20 at a tobacconist.  Be sure to validate your ticket on the bus.

Click the link below for a map and description:

A longish walk from DeiMori Bed and Breakfast in Firenze to the village of Fiesole – enjoy the fresh air.  For a map, click this link – it will open in a new window.

La Massa – the road to Poggio Vertelli

Look at the map – this shows the route:

A beautiful walk from DeiMori La Massa Bed and Breakfast in Tuscany – click the link to a map, it will open in a new window

Leave the house via the driveway and at the gate make a right up the hill.

Continue for about 30 minutes until you reach the top and the hamlet of Poggio Vertelli.

Continue to follow the single track road as it winds up and down, round and round and you come to a small T junction.  Make a left here and continue to the next T junction where you make a right signed for Rifiglio.

Continue downhill for about 4 km – there will be occasional traffic here so take care.

At the village of Rifiglio continue to the main road ( I use the term reservedly, there is traffic but not a great deal.  Turn right and continue for about 3Km following signs for Montemignaio.

Carry on up the hill and you will come to the right turn for Vertelli (there is a sign).

Follow the single track road down to the river bed and back up to the house.

The whole walk is on a good surface – there are about 2km of white road.

Much of the walk is on roads with little traffic, but do take care particularly on blind bends.

The phone number at La Massa is 0575 57 27 42 – some of the walk may be out of cell phone coverage.

La Massa Recommended Restaurants

These are the restaurants we regularly use and we recommend them because we feel that they offer good value for money.  They are not in any particular order:

Have a look at the restaurants on the map – using this link:

La Massa accommodation in Tuscany recommends the following restaurants – click the link and a map will open in a new window,

La Torricella:

This is in Ponte Poppi, about 10 minutes away.  Drive towards Bibbiena and as you proceed through Ponte Poppi you will see a sign to the left for this restaurant.  It is on the hill to the left of the town as you drive through.  Follow the road up and you will see the driveway.  There is a large car park and a wonderful view of the old town.  You can eat inside or out on the terraces.  Excellent food at good prices – they have a wide menu and pizza.  Very reasonable prices but i always think you could have a more exciting experience.  The advantage is that they are open on a Monday where other places are closed.  Quite large so probably no need to book.  Superb Views of the Old Town.  Lovely outside terrace for summer.

Osteria Il Porto in Ponte Poppi:

A great  restaurant with a good welcome.  To reach it drive towards Bibbiena and as you drive through the small town of Ponte Poppi with the old town on the hill to the right.  You will come to a roundabout go straight over and then take a right turn into a large car park.  You will see Il Porto on the right.  Walter will be your host.  They specialise in typical Tuscan cuisine and are proud of their locally sourced and high quality ingredients.  The restaurant has been fitted and decorated to a good standard and interestingly, they use  their own beautifully and distinctively coloured pottery – designed and made at the family ceramic factory at Strada in Casentino – Ceramiche Tapinassi.  Both the restaurant and the ceramic factory are well worth a visit.   The restaurant is closed  Wednesday.  Telephone – 0575 529233.

L’Antica Cantina:

This is in Poppi old town up on the hill.  Follow the signs for Centro Storico and wind your way up.  As you approach the walls of the town, you will see parking to the left.  Park as close as you can and walk up, through the gate and turn left.  You will see a domed church facing you, keep to the right of the church and walk along.  On the right going down, you will see Via Lapucci with the restaurant on the right.  An excellent dining experience, beautiful presentation, well balanced menu, good wine list, good value.  Closed on a Monday.  The downside is that while the food and surroundings are lovely, the service can be a little ‘unwelcoming’ but then I suppose you go for the food and not the people.

La Buona Cucina di Nonna Rosi at Pagliericcio:

Go down from the, come to the main road, turn left and you will soon reach the village of Pagliericcio.  Turn right here and drive for about 50 metres before parking on the right.

You will see a bar in front of you – walk in and through to the back where there is a small dining room.  Limited choice and a spoken menu but excellent authentic Tuscan food at a very good price.  Better at lunch – in the evening by arrangement.  There are tables in the garden at the back.  Closed Tuesdays. An excellent local choice, particularly on a Sunday lunchtime.

Il Convivio dei Corsi:

About 20 to 25 minutes away – wonderful eating experience in the old town of Raggiolo.  Drive towards Bibbiena, turn right near Coop for Raggiolo and follow signs.  As you approach the village, park where you can and walk on up the hill.  The restaurant is on the left.  Beautiful restoration, beautiful service, beautiful food.  Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Saloon la Lelle:

In our opinion, the best Pizza anywhere in Italy.  Drive to Strada, as you follow road round towards Bibbiena, you will see it on left.  Strange little place but very good food and prices.  Try Tuscan antipasta – just excellent.  Closed on a Tuesday (and can be spasmodic on a Monday).  Great food, service can be slowish – but take it as it is – very worthwhile.

I Tre Baroni:

Moggiona di Poppi (this review was supplied by Elizabeth and Peter Ransom who stayed at La Massa in July 2006)  “Try this one if you are celebrating a special day: this small family-run hotel and restaurant sits on the upper edge of the pretty village of Moggiona, its terrace looking down over the stunning valley and the forests of the Casentino National Park. It’s definitely upmarket and quite elegant, complete with antique furniture and classy table linen. You are greeted with a complimentary glass of Prosecco and the full wine list is a connoisseur’s delight. The staff speak English and the menu features some interesting adventures into regional specialities – including a risotto comprising Peter’s much-favoured strawberries and balsamic vinegar! A bit more expensive, but worth it for a memorable dining experience.”

You can combine it with a stroll round Moggiona, perhaps on your way back from visiting the hermitage and monastery at Camaldoli 10 minutes further along the road. Moggiona is an attractive mix of old and new housing with quaint streets, masses of flowers, fabulous views and a plaque noting a visit by Pope John Paul when he came to the Hermitage a few years ago. Both restaurant and village are well signposted in Ponte a Poppi and it takes about half an hour to reach them from La Massa.

Francioni:

We recommend this for lunch rather than dinner – is in the village of Porena about  10 minutes away.  Very reasonable ‘local lunch for local people’ with really good food.

Follow the road through Strada and towards Poppi.

Soon, you go over the bridge across the Arno and then take the next turn on the left signed for Stia etc.  Proceed to the ‘T’ junction and the bar of ‘ Atlantic Oil’ should be facing you. Go to the left of this and park.  You will see the bar.  Go in and order and pay at the bar.

Atlantic Oil:

Micro brewery and Local Food  in  Porrena -Tel  0575.550513.  This can get busy and it is a good idea to book.

This unusually named restaurant is in the village of Porrena, about 10 minutes away.

Follow the road through Strada and towards Poppi.

Soon, you go over the bridge across the Arno and then take the next turn on the left signed for Stia etc.  Proceed to the ‘T’ junction and the bar should be facing you.  There is plenty of opportunity for car parking.

The bar got its name from a previous life – it used to be a car service garage.

Now, they make and serve their own beer – you can see the vats and brewing process on the floor above.  The love their beers here and they are excellent quality.  Being ‘real ales’ they tend to be cloudy – do not let this put you off, they are very good.

In addition to beer they also serve very good wines with ‘house’ at a  fair price.

The bar is also a restaurant with a good menu.  They have the usual fixed menu with ‘specials’ on the blackboard.  Currently, one of the staff speaks excellent English.

Last time we went, we particularly enjoyed ‘Atlantic Oil’ from the Antipasti section.  This was a large selection of Tuscan  Appetisers – one serving is plenty for two people – ask for an extra plate.  We also had the unattractively named yet delicious ‘Stinco di Maiale al Forno’.  This is a ham shank roasted in herbs – truly delicious.  The vegetarians will particularly like the vegetarian plate.  They also make good pizzas.

Il Filetto at Stia:

Great lunchtime choice in the old square in Stia – superb pasta – everyone who goes loves it.
Follow the signs for Stia and you will enter the town in typical Italian style through the new part.  There is a nice square with fountains to the right.  Follow the road through and drop down to cross the river.  Over the river turn right and you will soon see a sign to the left which points to Centro Storico.  This will take you into the old square – you can usually park and the restaurant is just there.  Closed in the evenings.

Il Tirabuscio:

In Via Borghi in Bibbiena.  Phone 0575 595 474 – best to reserve.  Good choice for evenings – quite chic with reasonable prices.  Not a huge menu but good things on it – limited for vegetarians.  They have some English.  Exquisite presentation, but as often follows not huge portions.  However, well worthwhile.

La Tavernetta:

In Via 28 Agosto in Bibienna.   Reasonably priced and  exquisite food in simple style but done with flair and a ‘feeling for food’.  Good welcome and the panna cotta is the best pud I have ever had.  They have quite good English there.  In the summer is a good outside sitting area. Telephone 0575 593627.  As I review this previous entry, I have just returned from a very simple yet beautiful meal.   There were three of us in the party and we had a couple of portions of excellent mixed crostini followed by the most divine past dish – cheese filled ravioli with a sauce of radicchio and speck (a cured ham from North Italy) – held together with cream – wonderful.  Follow this with the inevitable panna cotta and you go home happy

Toscana Twist:

In Pratovecchio.  Superb lunchtime food – only open on a Friday evening when it is essential to book.  They really ‘know their food’.  Telephone 0575 582120.  In Via Della Liberta.  Completely closed Sunday and Monday.

There are of course many many restaurants in the area and if you find a good one, please tell us.

The ‘Famous View Walk’ from DeiMori to Piazzale Michelangelo

This wonderful walk will give you a great perspective and introduction to Florence – an overview of the city.  It is the sort of walk which takes ‘as long as you want to give it’.

It is  great walk to do soon after you arrive as it gives a great overview to the city and a chance for some orientation.

Do it in the late afternoon as the city looks spectacular in the sunshine at that time.

For the routing, copy this link into your browser bar – it will take you to Google Maps where we have laid out the route for you:

The famous ‘view walk’ from DeiMori Bed and Breakfast in Florence to Piazzale Michelangelo – click the link to open a map in a new window.

You may need to zoom out a little and adjust the map to see the start and finishing point.