Locale Firenze Restaurant is an old Palace dating back to the 1200s. The Cellar rooms have some stone arches that may date back as far as 30-15BC. Situated in the historical noble quarter of the Florence, its first owners were the Bastari Rittaffè family in the 1200s. Bartolomeo Concini bought the property and made it his residence after an extensive renovation, adding extensions to the property in the 1500s.
Remnants of the 1200s
The cellar area was established in the 1200s on which the 1500s structure was built. In the 1500s, the cellar was transformed into the servants’ quarter. It contained two kitchens to ensure that the palace’s prestigious guests and residents were always well accommodated. Once the building’s main entrance in the 1200s, it was converted into the dining room during the extension in the 1500s due to the raising of the street levels.
The large room which once served as the first kitchen with a laundry facility is still visible. Here you can find the original fireplace, the stone used for washing, and cabinets that were used for storing soaps and linens. In the second kitchen, there is the symbol of the Order of the Knights of Santo Stefano on the lintel of the mouth of the oven from the 1700s. The symbol was imprinted on bread before baking.
The Cellar’s Roman Traces
The old cellar is located on the sides of the basement. Not only was it used to preserve the owners’ wine, but it also contained “wine windows” which once overlooked via Delle Seggiole. These “wine windows” were used to sell flasks of wine.
It is believed that some of the stone arches in this area may even date back to the Roman foundation of Florence (30-15BC). Recent research has found that the building is located in an area close to the ancient Roman walls.
The cellar dining rooms consist of the “wine shop,” “Pantry,” “The Tapestry Room,” and “Kitchen.”
The 16th-Century Rooms
The ground floor displays the life of the palace during the 1500s and onward. The entrance was once a spacious courtyard where wagons and carriages arrived at an extravagantly covered veranda in front of the main entrance. Some of the rooms in the residence were used as meeting rooms and storage of the Concini family’s wine and oil farm products. These rooms have been redesigned into stunning dining rooms.
An invaluable polychrome terracotta stove, made by Francesco Giuseppe de’ Medici, owner of the palace in 1732 can be found in one of the dining rooms. You will also see a cherub in the ceiling fresco holding an artichoke and a cup of wine that represents “in wine, hope.” It was created for the belief in the protection of the agricultural activities (wine and oil) that brought wealth to the Concini family.
Dining rooms on the ground floor consist of “Garden,” “Court,” “Cherub,” “Library,” “The Mirror Room.”
I love Italy and Italian food. While dining in a 13th century Palace is generally a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, learning to cook Italian food will last a lifetime. The best place to learn is in Italy, of course. Read about a Sicilian Cooking Class in Taormina here.
Reservations – Recommended
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