Away from the dizzying horde of tourists marching the historic centre of Florence lives a clean, tranquil neighbourhood with an eatery like no other.
Offering a lesser spotted take on the traditional pizza we all know and love, Melloo is a culinary treasure trove where you’ll eat, drink and relax your soul with the sound of music. Equipped with a record player, punchy speakers and an extensive, nostalgia-teasing collection of classics from the 60′ to the 90’s, you’re encouraged to take the reigns and set the mood you lust for.
To get there, take a relaxing wander north-east of Mercato Centrale which will bring you to Novoli, a peaceful residential district with a simplistic feel. Novoli is a world apart from the relentless intensity of Florence’s beating heart. Here you’ll find a detox for the gas-infested soul. Simple architectural variation, neatly planted balconies and solar-fuelled overgrowth contrast the derelict iron framework of construction long abandoned. Children play, adults work and the elderly resume their daily discourse. Novoli serves as a pleasant reminder that Florence is not just another Italian epicenter of overpriced espresso’s and stagnant renaissance selfies.
Argon-era signage holds no home here.
Melloo’s forte is without doubt it’s mouth-watering menu of freshly-baked Pinsas. In Italian, “Pinsa” means ‘stretched out’ – it describes the technique with which the dough is produced and also the appearance. Pinsa dough is fluffier and more porous than pizza. With a light and airy base that soaks up all the flavours from the melted cheese and fresh ingredients used for the toppings, it left me going back for more without hesitation.
Inside Melloo, subtle use of the region’s signature “bio-industrial” décor creates a warm, comfortable space that encourages you to stay a little while longer. Combining great music with a well-stocked bar, the most welcoming staff you’ll find anywhere and hot food coming out all the time, the word is getting out.
Musical delights held in vintage sleeves; ranging from soul, motown and jazz, to classic rock, reggae and old-school hip-hop, are the owner’s personal collection, acquired on his many travels around the world. It brought a smile to my face to see so many records that I myself would own if I had my own record player. As we spent a whole afternoon in his company, the owner was more than happy to converse with us, talking about life, travel and finding happiness between frothy sips of craft beer.
When the evening approaches, Melloo steps into a higher gear, with more customers arriving to feast their senses and curate their own musical journey.
No visit to Tuscany’s gorgeous capital is complete without a visit to this one-of-a-kind location. Accessible by tram or foot, there’s no excuse not to pop your head in and loosen your hips to the groove of Melloo. To find out more, visit their website below.