Italy in April

Wife has a conference in Florence and we’ve managed to leave kids with grandparents. Apart from 5 days in Florence our schedule is completely open.

Looking for beer and any other recommendations…good food, great places, fun people (anyone in Florence want to meet up for beer) etc.

All’Antico Vinaio for a great tuscan panino. Other places are Amici di ponte vecchio, and Panini Toscani.
For beer, Archea is probably the best.
For a great view on the city, Terrazza Rinascente.

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I am not an expert on Italy but I suggest beer should not be a priority compared to stunning natural beauty, history and art. If you are leaving Florence, Cinque Terre, Siena, and Assisi are fairly close by and worthwhile.

One fun thing we did outside florence was truffle hunting with

La Cucina di Giuseppina - Italian Cooking School

so we went out in morning with 2 “guides” whose dog ran around the forest and then we dug up a bunch of truffles which was fun, then we went back to the cooking school located in very cool old hill town and had delicious brunch prepared by the guide’s mom that features the fresh truffles in every course. great experience

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Beer will not be the focus…but while we are there if there are a couple of beer places worth the stop I am sure we can find time!

The truffle recommendation is pretty cool. Any other random fun stuff like that would be great.

I think as it stands now we are flying into Venice for a day, going to travel around for 4-5 before spending 4 days in Florence and then making our way to Rome.

So signed up for the truffle school / hunt and looking forward to it!

Its off your topic but I feel frustrated.

Italian beer and brewing scene is terrible, since 2006 I have spent a few weeks in Tuscany every summet. Buying a decent ipa,? Its next to impossible. Yes I know there are a few pubs around, but if you travel like me, you are f&$#,. The worst thing is the fake microbeer. At the local Conad or Spar you will find ok lagers but forget good beer. The microbrew is shit and so overpriced its hilarious…10 € for a bottle of microbrew that is overcarbonated and gone bad(infected?), had luck that the kitchen sink was there. And forget about contacting the brewery, I did, actually even better, I went there in person. :smiley:, guess what? They had zero interest in the shitty beer. Yes, Brewery Elba i Portoferraio, you know very well that batch was ruined.

Any comment from other Italia knowers? Am I unlucky? Im not paying 10-15€ a bottle in Italia anymore.

The question is: you go to Tuscany and expect a decent ipa? Why? Tuscany is for wine. Italy is in general for wine except some area like Rome and Milan. In Tuscany there are good to decent breweries like PBC in Livorno or Amiata in Amiata Mountain. For sure you cannot find sonething decent in a small island like Elba. Conad and Spare are not places for craft beer. It’s like judging Germany by the Lidl Pale Ale. Just try to change your destination or try to enjoy Italy for what it is and not for what you expect it to be, a Beerland. :slight_smile:

In Tuscany I went to De Cervesia Pub in Lucca briefly but I remember being impressed. And Birrificcio Cortonese in Cortona but that due to being based there and they had some ipas for sure I think middle of road but lovely old part of town and building.

I know its winecountry, come on, this has more to do with the crappy produce they get away it. And Elba is small but one year they had a case of ipa from Red Hook so its not Lidl all the time. Problem us that even in Pisa the beer is mostly crap. So, fix it, excuses in 2018 that one cant expect to find some decent beer in theoutback if Tuscany is… :grin:

So maybe it depends on where you are but we spent 9 days based in Florence and Tuscany and found some decent beer. Focus was more wine and other things, but in many of the small town we stayed there was a local bar that would have some decent to good beer at reasonable prices (only on tap - agree that bottles were too expensive). And found a couple gems that had regional tap takeovers, Belgian lambics at decent prices.

And Rome was incredible for beer…but not really what you are venting about.

No no, this is a lovely place, good food… :smiley:, but sometimes one feels like this is a bad Disney set. Take care. relax and have a homebrew.

If you asked a local before going to Pisa, you would have known before that beer there is crappy. :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s like going to an Italian Pizzeria in the middle of the forests here in Brandeburg and complaining it’s not as good as in Naples.

So yes, in 2018 there are still places (unfortunately) where it’s hard to find a decent beer. I just came back from my Italian holidays myself and drinking there reminded me why I moved to Germany :sunglasses:

Depending on where you live or go to in Germany, the situation is not better than in Tuscany. I live in a town of almost 200,000 inhabitants, and there isn’t a single bar which really has a focus on good (don’t even mind craft) beer. The only things you get in a handful of bars are stuff like Braufactum Progusta or Ratsherren IPA. Even in relatively large city like Essen (approx. 600,000 inhabitants) you have to try really hard in order to find some decent beer.

But yeah, Tuscany wasn’t a paradise either. I managed to find decent brewpubs in Siena and Lucca though, while I didn’t visit Florence. Even in a small and remote town like Montepulciano, there was a small shop by the local microbrewery. However, bottle shops are generally very rare, and in normal bars or restaurants you will only find Moretti or stuff like that. If you check the places section, it will still be possible to find solid beer spots in the bigger cities nevertheless.

At the moment Berlin. So I am pretty lucky.


If you are going to Pisa. There is a place you can get some local Italian beers right before you enter the area to see the leaning tower of Pisa from the west. The place looked mobile, so I was not sure if I could enter it due to that. They had may be a dozen beers, mostly La Gilda dei Nani Birrai as I recall. Not lambic, but if you are going it could quench your thirst.

I guess you did right, Rauchbier is good username. Take care and enjoy rest of this hot summer

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