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A tabernacle in Piazza Tasso.

A guide to local favorites in Piazza Tasso

A tabernacle in Piazza Tasso.
  • By Vicky Hallett
  • Photos by Simone Donati
Piazza Tasso
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If your fairy godmother created part of Florence, it would probably look like this slice of the San Frediano neighborhood. Whatever you desire just seems to magically appear here. How else do you explain the existence of a free fizzy water dispenser, a cluster of can’t-miss restaurants and your choice of offbeat hideaways? Another bonus: Although Piazza Tasso is easy to reach by foot, it’s just a bit beyond where most tourists tend to tread.

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Vicky Hallett is a freelancer and former MisFits columnist.

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Piazza Tasso

Piazza Torquato Tasso
Many piazzas are more beautiful, but it’s hard to imagine one that’s more useful. Fill up your water bottle at the free dispenser (which offers both still and sparkling), shoot some hoops, or just find a bench for people watching.
La Sorbettiera
Dessert nirvana awaits at this gelato counter that slings especially memorable flavors, like ricotta and honey and a super dark chocolate called “catrame” (that means tar). Choose among a cup, a cone or a “mattonella” wafer ice cream sandwich.
Gelateria La Sorbettiera, Piazza Torquato Tasso, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Black Spring Bookshop
“We have NO WI-FI,” announces a chalkboard welcoming folks to this shop stocked with an eclectic mix of English and Italian titles. The paper skeleton leaning on the white brick wall is silent, but he seems to agree that this is a place to grab a coffee (or an apple-carrot-ginger juice) and sink into an armchair with a graphic novel or punk rock paperback.
Black Spring Bookshop, Via di Camaldoli, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Al Solito Posto
White subway tile walls and a peppy playlist keep the mood as airy as the crusts at this Neapolitan pizzeria. The dough is left to rise for 32 hours, and then it’s cooked either with traditional ingredients or gussied up gourmet style, with toppings like purple potato chips.
Alsolitoposto, Via di Camaldoli, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Il Guscio
What started as a restaurant specializing in Tuscan tripe now offers a lot more than just cow stomach. Whether you’re a carnivore hankering for a big steak or a vegetarian who’d rather stick to the fried artichokes and burrata, you’ll find your happy place among this homey collection of rooms. Go for lunch, when most dishes are $10 or less.
Ristorante Il Guscio, Via dell’Orto, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Museum of Masonic Symbols
For 40 years, Cristiano Franceschini has been amassing every bit of Freemason memorabilia possible in honor of his late grandfather. Witness this passion for the secret society at his museum, which opened in 2012, and features aprons from around the world, plus several displays filled with plastic Smurf figurines. (Curious? He’ll explain why.)
Museum of Masonic symbols, Via dell’Orto, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
There's more to see
Vicky Hallett
Vicky moved to Florence with her family in 2015. The hot, humid summers remind her of home in Washington, D.C. — only without the air conditioning. The rest of the year, she’s grateful for the Tuscan sun.
Simone Donati
Simone is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Florence and Bari.