Away from the dizzying circles made of travellers, find your own trail within neighbourhoods almost unrecognisable. A relaxing wander North East from Mercato Centrale and Novoli appears under your nose; a charming, quiet residential district home to a variety of small modern eateries, several dated restaurants and some much sought after nature areas.
What you can find here is a detox for the gas infested soul. Architectural variation, planted balconies, and solar-fuelled overgrowth contrast against derelict iron framework. Children play, adults work, the elderly resume their daily discourse. A pleasant reminder that this city is not just a tour machine of overpriced espresso’s and stagnant renaissance selfies. Argon-filled Trattoria signage holds no residency here.
A personal favourite discovery of mine was born here all but four months ago. Nestled beside a grassy shrunken waterway where residents exercise their dogs and a modern tramway, familiar to observant travellers that have arrived from the nearby Peretola airport, among a sleepy array of businesses that were ‘closed for lunch’, MELLOO sets itself apart.
Offering an exciting menu of Pinsa’s – meaning ‘stretched out’, it speaks for both the technique married to the dough and the appearance itself as a longer, more rectangular pizza than most are used to. Boasting a light, crispy base and a perfectly aerated crust around the perimeter it left me going back for more without hesitation.
Inside, a subtle yet effective bio-industrial décor provides a welcoming space to eat and the chance to choose from a hefty selection of records, truly makes Melloo an original place to be in Florence.
Yes, here you can peruse the owner’s personal collection of musical delights encased in vintage sleeves collected from his own world travels. We share stories of life, travelling and happiness between frothy sips of craft beer as the afternoon gradually transitions to twilight and trams continue to occasionally pass.
Visiting in the afternoon of a weekday you will experience a calm, relaxing ambience with more locals and some intrepid travellers arriving towards sundown for the enchanting social atmosphere. Eyebrow-raisingly good pinsa, combined with either a cold craft beer, some special Rum or Gin picked from the highest shelf and an endless playlist of classics from the 60s to the 90s really creates a nostalgic ambience.