Week by week we bring you among the excellences of our city to make your stay in Florence unforgettable. Until now, we have brought you to eat Florentine Steak – the cornerstone of Tuscan cuisine- but also pizza, pasta and even sandwiches, but we haven’t proposed yet a jewel of our tradition which is the extra virgin olive oil. That one praised also in poetry by D’Annunzio, Montale and Garcia Lorca, that food that can enrich and complete any kind of dishes, the Green Gold that brings up Made in Italy’s tag all over the world. So come with me today, I’ll bring you at OLIVIA’s.
We are in Piazza Pitti – right in the centre on the other side of Arno River – just in front of the of homonym Palace where, once the Medici and Lorena’s Family dominated in Florence, and where Serena Gonnelli, owner of OLIVIA, host me. She’s the one who had the intuition to develop the family business, and to put it into a format of first shop with fast food: ” I was born and raised in the world of olive growing and I’ve always been in love with this area. The desire to bring this world to direct contact with people comes from this passion of mine “ says Serena, and continues, “OLIVIA was born in Florence in October 2016, but our goal is to replicate it quickly in other cities”.
With its prestigious olive oil mill, Santa Tea, Gonnelli’s family from Florence since over 400 years, handed down a real art in the production of artisan oil and OLIVIA is born as a sort of its “spin-off”, a restaurant where all starts from the oil: raw , cooked or fried, the big-bang of this place is always him, Mr Oil.
And do you know which is the right way to taste it and figure out if it’s really good? On a Bruschetta ( In Italian means a slice of toasted bread, salt and new oil) that’s why you have the do-It-yourself kit designed to entertain you making your Bruschetta alone. By the way OLIVIA ‘s Menu is based on season’s food and products, so creamy soups in winter and fresh salads in summer, but “the jewel in the crown” at OLIVIA ‘s is the deep-Fried: authentic, traditional and genuine with no batter and eggs, so certainly more digestible and light. Try the Fried Tortellini with parmesan cream cheese, or the tempura of codfish, or in alternative the slow food presidium meatballs, but also Ribollita croquettes with onion mustard or – a great classic – potato chips, they are all amazing! To Complete your meal you can’t miss the artisanal “Bomboloncino with gelat’olio ” (donut with Ice cream made with olive oil) or with the chocolate cream with a base – guess? – of olive oil, born from the brilliant collaboration with Vestri, a Tuscany chocolate company.
But remember, Olivia is also take away, so thanks to its funny and practical packaging, you can bring all this goodness out if you’re on hurry, but if you have enough time to stay, you will appreciate the location that is so nice, cool and casual, and the furniture with open kitchen, convivial tables and design chandeliers obtained from the nets for harvesting olives. Then you can go shopping and bring some gifts and souvenirs to your friends: on the shelves you can choose among chocolates and cookies, but also find some very interesting books on theme, cosmetic products totally based on olive oil and the elegant bottles of Santa Tea oil from which, inevitably, comes everything.
Currently the restaurant is open until 16.30, also as Tea-room with its sweet and cakes, perfect for a snack during a walk in the center, but announces Enrico from the staff, “With the arrival of Spring we expect some changes, starting from the menu up to a broadening of the location, both internally and externally, giving customers the chance to eat outdoors and with an extension of time until late at night “, and maybe in one of those unforgettable florentine nights.
Olivia is in Piazza Pitti 14/R, opened from tuesday to sunday and it’s also on Facebook.