Fresh food and old furniture
The chic café might be hidden to regular tourist but once you find it, there’s a charming world full of vintage furniture waiting for you. And you can buy your tea cup as a souvenir!
We continue on our mission to bring you chic, unique and friendly places from the most stylish cities around the globe – and this time it’s a tasty offering from Florence! Fresh, colourful and inviting, Amblé is a lovely coffee & brunch spot in Piazzetta dei Del Bene, serving a delicious selection of fresh sandwiches, great lemonade and, especially, wonderful deserts. Simple yet gourmet. But it’s the concept of shopping while you sip from a cup of coffee that’s perhaps the most enticing thing about this place. Barbara, the lovely co-owner of Amblé, was kind enough to give us an insight into the story of her café and share some creative places to know if you plan to visit Florence.
Your clients can leave with the cup in which they drink their coffee from – is everything for sale? And where do you find these unique pieces?
All objects indoors and outdoors of Amblé are for sale, any object which is furnished and that is used to serve customers. This comes from a need to encourage people to recycle and reuse because ours is an ecological philosophy! Each object is the result of an ongoing search, sometimes from the houses of grandmothers and aunts of friends, sometimes from markets across Europe.
You’ve recently hosted a launch party for a sunglasses collection and a photoshoot for Luisaviaroma. What was the most unique event that took place in your showroom?
We are very lucky because Amblé is very photogenic so it is used for photoshootings and interviews. There were many events, different in type and intensity .
The best event is for sure the interview with DJ Alex Neri, for a well-known television program directed by D’Onofrio. Alex is one of my best friends and to host him for that project was a great pleasure to Amblé!
But the most beautiful and important event was our inauguration which was attended by nearly a thousand people. We were open only for one month and still not known, it was an unexpected success. It was a good omen for sure!
The Amblé Rule is kindness, smile and hospitality. Compulsory regulation!
What dish from your menu we absolutely have to try?
Certainly the dish to try is our sandwich! It’s our specialty, made with fresh and quality ingredients. My favorite Amblè sandwich is: egg, Robiola, salad with mayonnaise (nade by us, of course) and capers from Pantelleria.
But if you want, you can make it in a thousand ways, because our menu is basically an ingredients list that you can mix in infinite combinations! Every Saturday and Sunday the brunch is different and tasty and there are a lot of choices for vegetarians and vegans.
But to choose between our desserts is very hard… The pie? The mousse? The cheesecakes? All sweets that we make are very good, made by Fabrizio and Lorenzo. They are two excellent and enthusiast chefs who have chosen to make sandwiches because even a simple dish can become gourmet and refined.
Best drink for a hot summer day? What about the best coffee on your menu?
Certainly the lemonade is the most refreshing (we prepare it fresh on the spot). The lemonade is served in beautiful vintage glasses because “the eye wants its part too”. Coffee should be coffee! Espresso served in porcelain cups or cold Shekerato.
Once we step out of your cafe, what should we visit in the area?
Once you get to Amblé, in Piazzetta dei Del Bene, you are in the heart of Florence, in a super hidden and unknown place even to the Florentines. Getting here is not easy, it is the medieval heart of the city where nearby there is the “Church of Apostoli” in Limbo Square – the oldest church in the city, the first cathedral, and you must-visit all the historical streets around it.
You can also find Amblè in Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo and I suggest to see it because it shows the beautiful and historical architecture of Florence.
What’s unusual about Florence?
We are also the creators of the project UnusualFlorence with boutique Nadine. Unusualflorence is cool paper map that includes a network of unusual shops which works on self-promotion and mutual promotion, as a way to support each other. We organize exhibitions, events and parties. The best party was the closing festival “ Fabbrica Europa”. More than 10,000 people gathered into Stazione Leopolda, the old railway station of the city!
What is the city’s best kept secret? Is there a place where we can experience Florence without the crowds and the noise?
In Florence I suggest to visit the Museo della Specola, the Museum of San Marco with frescoes by Ghirlandaio and Beato Angelico, a walk on Lungarno at sunset towards Cascine, visit the Torrigiani Garden (in which we participate as bar and dining), walk along the Porta Romana wall, climb throughout Costa San Giorgio up to the Forte Belvedere and then down through the Bardini garden, visit the Rose Garden and the San Niccolò area.
The shops that I would recommend are on the map of UnusualFlorence, (which we update every year and incorporate new elements to give visibility to local hotspots). The other interesting places not found on the UnusualFlorence map are included in this guide of Florence.
I hope you enjoyed this virtual walk through Florence and I also hope we’ve tempted you to find Amblé and get a taster of their gourmet sandwiches. Don’t forget to download Barbara’s guide to Florence before your trip and feel free to drop by for some more insider tips straight from the lovely people at the café. And with that, I wish you lovely time in Florence – and if you discover some more charming places, share them with us and your fellow fashionistas in love with travel. It’s easy, just create your own guide!