Surviving Without Starbucks: Florence Edition

Is it your natural instinct to chug 24 ounces of iced coffee upon waking up in the morning? Do you find yourself enduring withdrawals without your afternoon pick me up? Are you starting to dream about Starbucks every time you book a trip outside of Italy? If you answered yes to any of the above, read on. I too consider myself a caffeine addict and long for the weekend trips to countries that welcome the holy grail that is Starbucks coffee.

I realize it is somewhat of a sin to miss American coffee houses seeing as we live in Italy – arguably home to the world’s best coffee (which is actually espresso, much stronger and served in much smaller doses); but here’s the thing, sometimes I miss a big cup of coffee I can sit back and relax with versus a portion the size of a doll’s tea set that is traditionally drank standing at a counter. This all has prompted me to go on a search around Florence for the best places that are somewhat comparable to Starbucks – cafes that encourage you to sit and relax with your beverage, offer more than just espressos, macchiatos, and Americanos and have wifi – BOOM. I present to you: Surviving without Starbucks.

1. Astor Cafe

Astor is the ideal place for an iced coffee addict – aka, me. Not only do they offer iced coffee to go, their menu is chock full of tons of both hot and iced coffee drinks. That coupled with comfy chairs and functioning wifi and this place is a hot spot for Florentine students.


2. Mama’s Bakery

I can’t really say enough about this place. Great location, great food (bagels!) and real, live American coffee – not an Americano. There’s tons of seating here and even a little glassed in patio area. Their wifi is always great and I have stayed there for several hours with not a single “you-have-way-overstayed-your-welcome” look.



3. ITIT Il Sandwich Cafe

This is the closest I’ve found to Starbucks in Italy (they even write your name on the cup!) Not only does ITIT make great iced cappuccinos, they also offer soy, skim, and almond milk – not a common phenomenon in Flo town. In addition to milk options, they have flavored syrups in case you find yourself missing your vanilla hazelnut coffees. A bit on the pricier side, but you can always feel confident that when you go here, your wifi will no doubt be reliable and you’ll be able to sit back and work uninterrupted for as long as needed.

itit cafe

4. Ditta Artiginiale

A hipster/coffee snob haven. Seriously though, I love this place. Opened in 2013 on Via dei Neri by a world famous barista, this little cafe has amazing espresso and the most refreshing iced lattes. Swing by for brunch as well because their food menu is not to be missed either. Awesome for a Saturday morning coffee with friends and to stop by for a bit to catch up on school work.


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