Best shops in Florence for food and wine

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Feb 14th, 2004, 08:01 AM
  #1
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Best shops in Florence for food and wine

With all there is to see, and little time in Florence for shopping, I was wondering if this group's expertise might help to compile a listing of the best shops for food items and wines. I have an upcoming trip with a large bag, and a very short time in Florence. Rather than rushing around to find shops, I am hoping for a list of the best - those "don't miss" locations. I am sure we would all rather find a couple of places where we can relax and take time spending euros for those great things you just can't get here in the states (or such a good deal you just can't pass them up!)

On our last trip to Florence we did most of our shopping at two sites:

1) Mercato Centrale - can't remember the specific vendor - Parmigiano Reggiano, porcini mushrooms, dried fruit - all vacuum packed for the trip home.

2) Pegna "supermarket" near the Duomo - olive oil, black truffle sauce, more cheese (gorgonzola) and wine.

So, any thoughts on the best shopping locations, enotecas that you have experienced in Florence - for foods and wines?
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Feb 14th, 2004, 08:27 AM
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rex
 
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While this is nosubstitue for personal recommendations, you can look at a lot of websit, and arm yourself with a lot of addresses, from this list of 86 places, retrieved by searching (JUST!) "enoteca enoteche" on www.paginegialle.it

http://www.paginegialle.it/pg/cgi/pg...renze&x=48&y=7

Best wishes,

Rex
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Feb 14th, 2004, 01:32 PM
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topping, for KenMi
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Feb 15th, 2004, 01:21 AM
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If traveling buy car on the Autostrada try The Autogrill's gift shop they have selections from all over Italy in one stop .
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Feb 15th, 2004, 07:33 AM
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Another posting recommended www.divinacucina.com. If you click on (restaurant?) reviews and then Florence there are a number of reviews of food shops by area.
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Feb 15th, 2004, 03:18 PM
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Thanks for the web address (http://www.paginegialle.it - with so many to sift through I am glad I have a month and a half to prepare!) and also for the "top" Rex! And RDixon, thank you for the www.divinacucina.com website - the recipes are worth a visit there alone! And Italiano - I did hit an autostrada gas stop and found Parmigiano Reggiano at reduced prices - wasn't sure if the quality was good, so I took a pass (could kick myself for not making the purchase).

Had a small oops in my message - at the Pegna "supermarket" we picked up balsamic vinegar, not olive oil - at about half the price we found it here in the states.

Did see another post on Italian Food and Wine (it referenced Rome / Atlanta connection). When we brought back our food goodies (cheese, dried mushrooms - and 8 bottles of wine) we had no problems at all coming through Boston - did we get lucky, or is this what most of us experience on our return with food and wine?
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Feb 15th, 2004, 03:36 PM
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Vera dal 1926, on the Oltrarno side of Santa Trinita Bridge. They sell cheese, truffles, and these little cheese and spinach pastries that are fantastic.
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Feb 15th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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KenMi,

I am assuming that all food and wine items were declared to customs - was there no discussion about them at all? Thanks.
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Feb 15th, 2004, 04:16 PM
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Nancy,

Yes, all items were declared on our forms (just a listing of items, nothing specific about price, size, number or weight). As a result of our declaration form which noted food items we were directed to go to the Department of Agriculture station where we were asked about the items. Figuring that we might be questioned, or inspected, I had the food items at the top of my carry-on so I could show them quickly. With a quick look we were sent on our way.

To be honest, even with our Deruta pottery we were well below our "dollar limits" regarding what you can bring back in - so we figured our "up-front" declaration might have helped us to move on through without problem.
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Feb 15th, 2004, 04:24 PM
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Hello again Ken,

Sorry I have so many questions. I want to bring home wine, of course, but I would also like to bring home vacuum packed Italian cheese. I was told that this could be a problem. Did the Agriculture people balk at all about your cheese?

Thanks again.
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Feb 15th, 2004, 04:51 PM
  #11
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Hi Again Nancy,

Hmmm... if we keep meeting like this someone may get suspicious...

No, I am glad that I can help - so many folks here have given me direction, I am only glad that I am now able to give back to others!

Regarding the cheese, it was a large chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano that we brought back - vacuum packed. Picked it up in Mercato Centrale. I must say, at the shop were we picked up the cheese, they tried to talk me into purchasing some of their fine prosciutto - I did not buy any for the trip home - as meat products are not allowed in to this country as far as I know. Last year when I brought back a few French sausages they were confiscated (yes I did declare them) and I was told that meat products were forbidden.

Regarding cheese, from what I understand from my observations and conversations, cheese which has not been "aged" or is not "firm" is also not allowed into the USA. As much as I would have loved to bring back some excellent gorgonzola cheese, I was afraid that its rather "runny" makeup would have caused it to be confiscated. If anyone else has information about cheese such as this I would love to know!

BTW, the agent that talked with me regarding our items was quite friendly, I pulled out the cheese, mushrooms and dried fruit - he took a look and said it was A-OK and sent us on our way.
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Feb 16th, 2004, 01:54 PM
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I was going to mention the one near the Duomo but I think you found it...
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Feb 16th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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The San Lorenzo market is amazing.
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Feb 20th, 2004, 05:57 AM
  #14
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Hope we didn't scare anyone off with the discussion of what food items can and can't be brought back in from abroad.

Thought there might be a number of folks who could suggest their favorite shops, markets or enoteca's in Florence. Still looking for more ideas - any suggestions?
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