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“Some of the most real Italian food in Florence--in such a quaint setting!”

Il Vecchio e il Mare
Ranked #677 of 2,977 Restaurants in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 28 September 2015

Hello Travelers!

We visited Italy in June and July 2015 because we are buying property there and will be moving there in 2016. We were very excited to eat the local cuisine, but to our dismay, we have found that many food establishments in the big cities are not serving Italian food. Instead they serve other country cuisine, namely some serve american cuisine! If I wanted to eat american food, I would have brought a lot with me! I wanted to eat Italian food, and all the time! It would have been a welcome resort from eating Italian food in america! OK. My rant is done.

We arrived in Florence late on June 28. In fact it was so late, when we arrived at our hotel, the original staff had long gone, and another guy had to give us the key and open the door. Needless to say we were very tired--but we still needed to eat. The guy who gave us our key suggested we walk down the street, turn the corner to the right and some restaurants would be in the vicinity of the next block and they would open at 1230 pm in the morning. We had no idea the Italians stay up so and they were still eating! It was the beginning of the weekend, and the Italians were in no shape to go to bed.

We happened on the directions like the guy told us. We came upon this restaurant as we walk down the corridor. We saw people were still eating, though they looked like they were wrapping up. We were two cautious americans--we didn't speak the language, had no idea if we could sit down, and basically stood until someone addressed us.

A waitress came by. I asked her in broken Spanish if we could eat. She asked the boss who was having dinner himself. He waived, she waived us over to a nice table and cleaned it for us.

She took our order and she was not mad or anything. We ended up ordering a very good salad and nearly the best pizza I had eaten in ages. The dinner was nice and quaint and it just astounded us that they extended such kindness when they were probably wrapping up their evening to go bed.


After serving us, I have to admit, we didn't know whether to wait of the check or to go address someone so we could pay it. We winded up going indoors to pay and they were very nice.

The food was great---but what I really liked was the experience. For our first real day in Italy, we couldn't have been treated kinder. I have lived overseas before in England and in Germany, and I have only the best things to say about my living abroad. I was told that some Italians could not take to liking people with brown skin, or they were not that friendly to outsiders and foreigners. Form this experience, nothing could have been further from the truth.

Bottom line: when we return to florence, we will definitely visit this restaurant again. It was the best atmosphere and the fact that they showed us complete kindness that we will never forget. We winded up walking around Florence that night and experiencing so much of the Florence that many foreigners don't get to see. We saw a tango dance in action--saw many locals going about their business--almost felt like locals ourselves--wasn't shooed away when I needed to use the restroom in on of the local bars--the list of friendly things go on an on.

This establishment means a lot to us for what it represented. It was the taste of Europe that I know exists and can't wait to call home! Thanks Florence!

Happy travels!

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Thank Nashemir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 - 27 of 671 reviews

Reviewed 27 August 2015 via mobile

We went there for lunch.
On the downside, the menu was only available in Italian but the restaurant seemed very popular with the local crowd which is an encouraging first impression.

It was very busy but the 2 waiters did a great job and so did the kitchen staff as we got our food very quickly.
Both our dishes (pasta and risotto) were really good and probably the one of the best value for money meals we've had during our whole Italian trip; €7.50 for a main, a bottle of water and a coffee.

Would highly recommend.

Thank Lucas P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2015

Good pesce spada and risotto pescatore. The service was not very fast though. The terrace is very nice and quite.

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Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2014

i was curious about this place as i live in this street. i ordered a hamburger which came out grey and soggy, no taste no texture
I sent it back and then ordered chicken which was dry and tasteless.

Dont go there unless you want fish or pasta, i saw that looked good
bad service too

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1  Thank sharon668
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We were in Florence for a few days and stayed in a local hotel. We wanted to eat near by and saw this on our walk. The restaurant is in the corner of a shopping area (not what you expect) We ate at 7pm and the shops were closing so we sat outside in the open air court yard.

The food is very fresh with a good selection of seafood - we had lobster and a fish platter, both of which we very tasty. A good wine selection and good waiting staff made for an enjoyable dinner out.

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Thank LincolnC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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