Florence’s Secret Night Bakeries

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A late-night snack is a great way to boost your energy, especially if it’s freshly baked. The best midnight snacks in Florence come from secret night bakeries. But to get the best treats, you have to follow the rules.

These “secret” Florence night bakeries are not secret, just to be clear. They are not open during regular working hours and are therefore not frequented by the public. These wholesale bakeries supply Florence’s cafes and restaurants with fresh-baked breads and pastries every day. They work hard in the early hours of the morning, when most people are asleep. If you’re awake between 2am and 4am, you can find food in the backstreets.

It is best to go out with an open mind to discover Florence’s hidden night bakeries. Although the bakeries are located in unassuming storefronts, they fill the streets with the aroma of rising dough and baking when the ovens turn on. When your nose picks up the location, you will often find other hungry night owls circling (often at an unmarked sidedoor). Sometimes, you might have to knock on the door. In these cases it is helpful to have a local Florence expert or to have an address.

To enjoy the delicious treats at Florence’s secret night bakeries without any problems, there are two key rules.

  • First, keep silent. Because these bakeries are located in residential areas, there is no indoor seating for customers. People are often seen wandering around outside the bakery in the middle of the evening. Locals don’t like being disturbed by people eating pastries. They have even been known to throw water on street diners. Keep your voice down and wait while you eat.
  • The second rule is that these night bakeries don’t have a menu. You can request something specific if you have a preference. You will need to pay cash as prices are usually between EUR1-2 per pastry.
  • Even if your alarm clock isn’t set at 2 am, you might still be able to enjoy freshly baked pastries from a Florence back-alley bakery.

    These are some useful phrases that you may need when visiting a Florence night bakery.

    • VOH This is the equivalent of “please”.
    • grazie – (GRAHT|zee|eh) – Being polite, part two. This is the equivalent of “thank you.”
    • NET
    • boh
    • yah
    • KOH
    • KOH This is typically a basic pastry with a chocolate custard filling, such as a cornetto.
    • KOH
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    3 Responses to “Florence’s Secret Night Bakeries”.

  • Lawrence

    In 2015, I visited several of these bakeries at night. They were delicious. However, when I tried to locate many more of the same locations in November 2017, I was disappointed to discover that most have either moved or are now closed. It is very sad to see this tradition go.

    • Jessica says:

      That’s awful! I hope that the tradition doesn’t end. I don’t think they would move out of the city centre, but I can see the rent being quite high.

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