Pizzeria o'Vesuvio

Via dei Cimatori, 21r, Florence, 50122, Italy

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This unprepossessing place is in central Florence, in between the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo. You can make reservations and that is a wise idea, as it was packed at the lunch time that we visited. The room is very basic, with a few closely packed tables arranged around the open kitchen with its large 700F pizza oven, above which there was some washing hung out to dry. There were a few further tables at the back. The pizza dough is made with Caputo OO flour and natural yeast, and allowed to rise for two days before being used. The toppings show some care too, with handmade fresh buffalo mozzarella and ham that is carved off the leg to order. The sole wine was €40 for a mystery bottle.

The Neapolitan style pizzas (€7.5 to €9) were very good. We tried two, both with a good base. The artichokes on one of the pizzas were much better than one might expect, and there is clearly more than lip service paid to the toppings here (13/20 pizzas). It is a pity that the same could not be said for the solitary unisex toilet, which had no seat, no hand towels when I used it and was in a generally poor state. I once saw a Lonely Planet documentary where the presenter, Ian Wright, was on a long train journey in Ethiopia. He says to the camera “I haven’t been to the toilet for ten hours”, opens the door of the train toilet, looks aghast, closes it again and says “I reckon I can wait another ten hours”. It was a bit like that.

The service was basic but efficient enough, and the bill came to just €15 per person with soft drinks, pizza and coffee. This is not a place for a lingering romantic evening but you could do a great deal worse if you are looking for a pizza.   

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