4 Secret Spots in Florence from a Fashion Insider

We asked Gianluca Cantaro, an independent fashion journalist, critic, and creative, for his favourite picks during his work trips to Florence. Take note, these places really rock


By Rosa Smith. Cover image: C. Mozzocchi.

Florence is one of the most captivating stops on Italy’s fashion marathon. But where do journalists, influencers, and content creators like to go when they visit the city? We asked Gianluca Cantaro, an independent fashion journalist, critic and creative with a distinguished career in media and publishing. Cantaro directed L’Officiel Italia and L’Officiel Hommes Italia until March 2019, following his tenure as deputy editor of L’Uomo Vogue from 2007 to 2014 alongside Franca Sozzani. He began his career collaborating with various Italian and international magazines before joining D – la Repubblica delle donne, the supplement of the daily newspaper La Repubblica, in 2001, where he later became deputy chief editor.
An enthusiast of Japanese culture (he even speaks Japanese!), a runner and a Juventus fan, Gianluca is always super stylish and can often be seen photographed at Fashion Week events. He is a renowned expert in fashion trends and currently contributes to many international publications.

Courtesy Gianluca Cantaro.

Here is his list of Gianluca Cantaro’s favourite secret spots in Florence, along with his own comments. Take note – these secret spots really rock.

4 secret spots in Florence to note down by a special connoisseur

Why one of his first secret spots in Florence is soo yummy: try Trattoria Mario

«This place is the purple heart of the city. As a Juventus fan, I have to admit that the passion for Fiorentina is palpable here. The food speaks for itself—everything is authentic, and the menu changes daily, except for the great classics of Tuscan tradition. It’s open only for lunch, except on Thursday and Friday evenings».

Address: Via Rosina, 2r, 50123 Florence, FI

Ciblèo, a special room for tasting exotic vibes in Florence

«Naturally, I couldn’t resist discovering a piece of Japan (and Asia) in Florence. Chef Fabio Picchi, from the famous Cibrèo restaurant nearby, drew inspiration from Asian cuisine and put his own twist on it with Florentine humour and his signature quality, starting with the restaurant’s name. This tiny spot offers dumplings as a specialty but also a must-try fusion menu that blends Tuscan and Oriental flavours».

 Address: Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 2r, 50122 Florence, FI

Todo Modo is one of the spots in Florence for hipster bookworms and more

«A haven for hipster bookworms, this bookstore, bistro, café, and wine bar is a place where you can spend the whole day, from morning to evening. You can explore books, independent publications, magazines, and cute stationery, read, work, and eat here. There’s also Todo Modo Dilà in Oltrarno, which is dedicated to children and educators».

Address: Via dei Fossi 15/r, Florence, Italy

Trattoria Sostanza: authenticy and substance in Florence

«For 155 years, this establishment has embodied Florentine tradition. Originally a butcher shop, it now serves delicious, authentic cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere, with a no-frills setting—white tiles, wooden chairs, and hearty dishes. It’s a favourite among those who appreciate good food over fancy appearances. In the city, it’s also known as “il Troia,” which reportedly comes from “troiaio,” a local term referring to the cook’s apron that used to be filthy from handling steaks over the grill with his hands and greeting customers with heavy pats on the back».

Address: Via del Porcellana, 25/r

Enjoy exploring these hidden gems in Florence, as recommended by Gianluca Cantaro, and discover the city’s authentic culinary and cultural delights. To follow Gianluca on Instagram: @cantaro_san

Fields of Study
Fashion Business

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