Live Florence: In search of sourdough

If you are craving a wonderfully crusty, dense, doughy sourdough for breakfast in Florence you had better find something else to crave.

When people ask me what I have missed the most while living in Florence my answer is always ‘bread‘. I am then usually berated by comments that ‘Italy has wonderful bread!‘. No doubt, it does. They have great bread. However it is just not the bread that I am after.

In fact there are a few Italian bakeries that I frequent on a daily basis. Try Vecchio Forno, Via Guelfa 32, only a short stroll from the Duomo. Vecchio Forno became a favourite as they had vegan croissants, I am not vegan but can’t have butter so this is the only breakfast pastry treat I can have.


There is a large variety of delicious Italian bread ranging from focaccia and schiacciata to ciabatta and pane toscano and pastries galore. But no sourdough. Nothing that comes close to being so crusty on the outside whilst being so dense and doughy on the inside. I have found the Italian breads to be either oily or dry depending on the variety. Of course this is the traditional ‘style‘ of the bread and is delicious in its own right and I am not even going to begin to question that.

You can however find some compromises in and around Florence that will get you by. You can find French boulangeries in Florence, their bread can be a nice change from the oily Italian varieties. There is one upstairs at the Mercato Centrale food court:  Pank La Bulangeria.

Another great find was Eataly – Via De\’ Martelli, 22 R – They have delicious and very crunchy styles of bread that are almost dense enough to satisfy my need for a good sourdough. Additionally they have a large variety of high-end European gorceries.

Alternatively there is also La Boulangerie del Rifrullo – Via dei Rondinelli, 24/R.

But generally while in Florence you will have to get used to the rich and oily Italian breads.

On a recent trip to London I had poached eggs and avocado on sourdough everyday for brunch, and once I even had it for lunch too. Oh and brunch is another thing that doesn’t exist in Florence. With breakfast being basic pastries and lunch not being served in restaurants until 12-12.30pm there is no room for the in-between meal of brunch.

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3 Replies to “Live Florence: In search of sourdough”

  1. I’ve resorted to baking my own bread! Here in Sardinia, western bread types are even less common. And darnit, I miss my American grilled cheese and fried egg sandwiches. Grocery store-bought soffice just won’t cut it for me.


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