Though plenty of European cities have traditions centered around chocolate, Florence has a particular love for this kind of treat. Between the chocolate festival that takes place in February and the various shops throughout the city that beckon with the delicious scent of freshly made confections, the love for a quality recipe is more than apparent.
Throughout Europe, you’ll find shops that have been passed down from generation to generation, but Florence has a new face within the chocolatier world. Vestri is a baby in terms of some of the other traditional shops that have been around at least a hundred years; it's only been in business for 30.
A sampling of some of Vestri's decadent chocolates — Photo courtesy of Vestri
Still, like many other businesses in Italy, this family-run spot features some unique recipes, combining tradition and innovation. With Vestri, you get the best of both worlds: traditional concoctions that will make your mouth water and new, unexpected flavors unlike anything else you find in Florence.
Vestri acquires the cocoa beans for their chocolates from Santo Domingo, and they’re proud to use organic beans. Italy, in general, has really been trying to implement green alternatives for their foods, and Vestri does a great job of supplying decadence in their recipes while also keeping the environment in mind.
Commitment to the quality of the beans is the first and foremost on the chocolate makers’ minds, and their attention to detail is more than noticeable in the taste of their creations.
It hasn’t taken long for Vestri to receive recognition for their efforts. They’ve been featured by travel publications and gained a large amount of attention at festivals and events around Italy. It takes superb recipes to gain notice so quickly in a country where apprenticeships and secrets are handed down through generations.
Vestri is the perfect location for some holiday gifts or Valentine's treats for the chocolate lover in your life. Located at Piazza Gaetano Salvemini, it’s open every day except Sunday. You’ll also want to try some of their gelato flavors: you’ll find unique samplings like Earl Grey.
Whether you're looking for a classic chocolate bar (Vestri charges a very reasonable 5,40 euro for a regular bar.) or something a bit more special (The delicious Bianco Mandorle, or almonds in white chocolate, costs only 4,95 euro.), Vestri is happy to assist you in finding the chocolate of your dreams.
They'll more often than not have exactly what you need to take back to your family and friends at home.