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Eat Florence, an app

September 1, 2011 | 12:02 pm

Florence1 A friend heading to Florence next week just asked me for some suggestions re where to eat. I could give him a couple of the usual suspects. But for more up-to-date info, I checked in with two blogs from food writers living in Italy:  Faith Willinger and Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome.  Emiko Davies in Tuscany is a good source of information, too.

It turns out Minchilli, who writes for Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Travel & Leisure, etc., has a new mobile app called Eat Florence, joining her Eat Rome app. Though Minchilli now divides her time between Rome and Umbria, she’s lived in Florence in the past and frequently visits. 

The new app is certainly not slick, but may be just the ticket for anybody visiting Florence: a selection of beloved places to eat and drink from someone who’s plugged into the food scene there. Basically, it's the same list of favorite places Minchilli's been passing out to friends forever — turned into an app. 

What makes it genius is that you can search by category (coffee, enoteche, food stores, gelato, Florence2 markets, restaurants, street food), name, neighborhood, cost and distance. Hmm, everything seems to be about 9,951 kilometers from me at the moment. Each entry is marked on a Google map for easy reference. The comments about each establishment are personal and pointed.

This is just the first version of Eat Florence. Minchilli plans to add more places and categories -- and hopefully better photos. 

Since buying the app yesterday, I've been finding myself in spare moments reading through the entries, looking for the places I already know and what's new and interesting, already planning my next trip to Florence. It’s $2.99 well spent, if only to daydream.

Eat Florence, $2.99, in the iTunes store.


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Photos: Screen shots from the Eat Florence app. Credit: Elizabeth Minchilli