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Florence, Italy: Uscio & Bottega-Wine Bar
If you LOVE the Italian Renaissance, Florence, the Medici, romance, intrigue and drama, then this book is for YOU!!!
Nathalie Selects a Vintage...
Ah, bella Italia...
I’ve been back in Florence less than a week and have already found a great new place to write about. Located in the historical city center, steps away from the city’s oldest standing tower, is a very tiny (but very special) shop that sells vini e spuntini (wine and snacks). It is run by Nathalie, who is what the Florentines refer to as an oste . The word oste comes from ospitalità (hospitality) and refers to someone who offers hospitality and food, much like a medieval innkeeper.
This mini bottega is the perfect place for anyone who does not have time for a sit-down lunch and needs to grab something on the go because they make great deli sandwiches to order. There is a good selection of wine if you are in the mood to discover new vintages and have a private wine tasting alone or with friends. It’s also a wonderful place to have an aperitivo cocktail before dinner. Of course, along with the wine, you simply must try a few delectable treats- especially since it is customary to nibble while drinking here in Italy.
What really impressed me during my visit here is the fact that Nathalie is an artist. She simply doesn’t slap a slice of cheese or salami on a chunk of bread and hand it to you. Much to the contrary! She takes into consideration flavors and textures in order to pair them perfectly. For example, I tried a piece of Sicilian flat bread, which she toasted, added scamorza cheese, and topped with honey and walnuts. Yum! The artisan raisin-nut bread was also delicious, and she informed me that next week she would have apricot bread for sale.
The day I went in to photograph the shop, a woman was sampling some fine white wine and set before her was a plate of carefully prepared crostini that made my mouth water. Each snack is especially created to compliment the wine chosen. Brilliant!
For groups, please call beforehand and keep in mind that the place is small. There may not be enough seats, but standing outside the shop with friends is also fun. Nothing like enjoying a glass of wine on a charming cobbled street in lovely Florence…It’s nice to be back. Thank you for reading!
Uscio & Bottega- Vini e Spuntini
Via Santa Elisabetta, 7/Rosso – 50122 Firenze
Tel. 055 2670452
C. De Melo
Author & Artist