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Posted on October 03, 2016 in Places to Eat


Another recommendation through my "local" eyes (my favorite food places that aren't necessarily on the main tourist path) is in Empoli, a lively city of about 48,000 people about 30 minutes west of Florence. Empoli can be easily reached from Florence by way of the FI-PI-LI highway (Firenze-Pisa-Livorno) and is a great stop for anyone heading out towards Pisa for a day trip. Very few tourists ever get to Empoli which makes it a perfect destination for anyone seeking out backroads itineraries. The historic center of Empoli is quaint and beautiful is well worth a visit. It could also be part of a Tuscan itinerary off the beaten track such as our exciting Unconventional Tuscany tour that takes you through some of the most amazing parts of this area such as Vinci (birthplace of Leonardo) and the undiscovered Carmignano wine region.

My absolute favorite place for pizza by the slice is not in Florence but in Empoli at Tal dei Tali, right in the center of town. But the real reason why we always make it a point to stop by when I'm in Empoli with my kids, are their FOCACCINE -- round individual sized focaccia bread, so soft, so fragrant and always piping hot out of the oven...they seem to melt in your mouth! I totally recommend trying these at least once in your lifetime.

I was just there today and noticed that they also added a new version made with whole wheat flour along with their no-salt variant. Tal dei Tali is only open in the afternoons (even on Sundays) and is always crowded with people squeezing in at the counter to get a glimpse of what's available, so it takes a bit of elbowing to get to the front to make your choice. They are constantly pulling trays out of the oven with various types of pizzas and stuffed focacce and they are all sooo delish! There are some tables both inside and outside and it is located on the main pedestrian street in the center of Empoli, making it the prime place for an excellent snack while people watching. The menu hanging over the counter states that the ingredients are all 100% Italian so you can be sure the quality is top!

Via del Giglio 23, Empoli - ITALY
Tel: +39-0571-78552

See our other recommendations for what and where to eat in Tuscany!