Anne Hanley
Ora d’Aria remains Florence’s hottest gourmet dining ticket, and is now in chic new grey-and-white premises no distance at all from the Uffizi. Even stars of the football pitch and small screen wait patiently for tables, so get your booking in early if you want to experience the culinary mastery of chef Marco Stabile.

Despite its cachet, there’s nothing remotely stuffy about this tiny place, with its friendly, relaxed staff and busy kitchen visible behind a glass wall. The atmosphere is particularly chatty at lunchtime when Stabile allows his inventive way with Tuscan specialities to run wild in a selection of tapas and light dishes which change regularly.

There’s also a very reasonably priced taster menu for lunch, but if you prefer to go à la carte you might be offered broad-bean soup with roast squid and savoy cabbage, or pigeon cooked three different ways with fois gras and radish sauce.

An extensive wine menu (downstairs tables are set among racks of wine) is supplemented by a huge range of beers.

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