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Food and Wine in Florence

By Viator, June 2014

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No matter where you go in Italy, you're sure to encounter fabulous meals about which you may literally write home. Florence, Tuscany’s historic capital, however, offers its own creative ways to please your taste buds that will have you talking for years to come.

The famous outdoor San Lorenzo Market (otherwise known as Mercato Centrale) may seem like an unlikely tourist attraction, but it is the perfect place to pick up either a few souvenirs or fixings for a picnic. The market is full of locals doing their own shopping, as well as vendors who are happy to help out a tourist looking for the perfect local cheese to pair with nice Chianti. This area is near the leather market and the Basilica of San Lorenzo, so it's easy an easy stop to make when you’re out exploring. If a DIY spin through a Florentine market doesn't sound appealing, then consider a guided walking tour through the market, where you’ll pick up shopping tips from a local expert.

Take your vacation to the next level with local food expertise and a cooking class, too. You can take a small-group Italian cooking class in Florence in a private home, where you'll make a four-course Tuscan meal from the ingredients you pick up – with your chef and teacher – at the San Lorenzo Market. For an even more exclusive experience, sign up for a VIP cooking class in a noble villa and a farmers’ market tour with one of the best chefs in Florence. If you only have a half-day to spare, you can still get some useful cooking tips with a cooking class to learn how to make gelato and pizza. There's nothing quite like savoring your own culinary creations in the country where they were born.

Perhaps you're more enthusiastic about the dining experience than the cooking? You can take a small-group Tuscany wine-tasting tour from Florence that includes visits to two Chianti wineries. You'll sample six wines, enjoy a three-course lunch and explore a quintessentially Tuscan town. You can also book a spot for a special dinner in the Chianti countryside, which includes stops in Siena and San Gimignano, where you'll sample some of the region's famous cuisine surrounded by its beautiful scenery.

No matter which food or wine tour you choose, you're sure to savor the meal, the wine and the entire experience.

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