Since it’s Easter week, your thoughts are probably turning to chocolate, right? If you happen to be in Florence, then there is a place I want to tell you about. Chocolate heaven, wrapped in blue paper. That’s what Vestri is. The Vestri family started making chocolate in Arezzo and now have their Florentine outpost in Borgo degli Albizi. While there may be newer, fancier and more sophisticated chocolate shops in Florence these days, this old-fashioned place holds a special spot in my chocolate-loving heart.
Their small shop is stuffed to the gills with hand made chocolates. Pralines, bars, packs of hot chocolate and my favorite: their house brand of chocolate spread (like nutella, but a hundred times better). Sold in a gift box with its own little spoon, they obviously know how we all like to gobble this stuff up.
But this time of year the entire store is taken up by paper- and foil-wrapped Easter eggs. Neon-colored foils and papers engulf orbs of dark, milk and white chocolate. Each one contains a prize, but that’s not the point. The chocolate is what counts.
While you’re busy choosing what size egg to indulge in, you may need sustenance. Vestri also happens to be one of the best gelaterie in town, with about a half dozen flavors at any one time. The tubs are sunk beneath the counter, so just look at the blackboard to choose your flavors. Do I even have to suggest chocolate? But the nut and cream are just as delicious, as are the seasonal fruit flavors like strawberry.
And all those beautifully wrapped bars? They travel very well. Just saying.
Borgo degli Albizi 11r
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