Cafe Gilli is located on the corner of the famous Piazza Della Repubblica and across from the Savoy hotel. It is just a short walk from Ponte Vecchio and is situated in a great spot to take a break in between sight seeing.
Cafe Gilli is one of the oldest cafes in Florence. In my opinion it is definitely the most beautiful historic café in the city. The building is amazing in the inside. When you walk in you are embraced with the charming atmosphere of the place with its elegant decoration. The beautiful marble countertops, frescoed ceiling and arches will convince you that you are in a special place. There is also a bar area where people can stand to enjoy their coffee and a quick bite. If you don’t wish to sit inside you can enjoy the outdoor seating. The lovely terrace offers sunshade and a view for people watching. We stopped here to have lunch. My family and I chose to sit outside and enjoy watching tourists interacting with the vendors selling their merchandise.
The menu selections are extensive. Our waiter was friendly and polite. He spoke beautiful English and made wonderful suggestions. We enjoyed the club sandwiches and salads. Both were fresh and tasty. But honestly we came here for the sweets. So after lunch we had some of their delicious desserts. We enjoyed watching their preparation of the cappuccino and macchiato as much as drinking them. The pastries are delicious and you must indulge in a few different kinds. The cannoli Siciliani had creamy ricotta, chocolate and candied fruit filling. We had some amazing tasty chocolate pastry puffs. My son’s favorite was the torta del nonno (cake of grandma). It had a silky pastry cream in the center of a delicate pastry crust. It had a wonderful flavor and texture. My favorite was the tiramisu. It was remarkable. The rich and creamy flavor mixed with the coffee-soaked ladyfingers left me wanting more.
There is also a restaurant in the back. They serve fine dining with the staff performing admirably.
I recommend trying Cafe Gilli. It is a little bit on the pricey side, due to its history and touristy location. But everything is delicious, well worth the money in my mind. If I ever make it back to Florence I will definitely stop here again.