When the heat makes one’s appetite wane, Florentines go to dinner in the hills beyond the city. You’ll need a car to get to any of these restaurants outside of the city, known for their cool evening breezes and outside dining. Bring your sweater, it’s surprisingly cold! PS – reservations recommended for all of these places.

La Bottega di Morello

Above Sesto Fiorentino (well, really, above Quinto), this pizzeria and ristorante has a large patio and garden. You can order a hearty tagliere at aperitivo time in the bar area, or sit down for a full meal. The menu isn’t very summery, with polenta and mushrooms or bistecca year round, but as you’re freezing for the first time in weeks, you might actually want to eat this stuff. Location: Via Di Gualdo 1, Sesto Fiorentino, www.labottegadimorello.it

Le Lance

In San Domenico di Fiesole, this huge restaurant and pizzeria seats hundreds of people in its terraced olive grove. While food can be pretty mediocre, it’s a good place for large groups. Pizza is the light, thin Florentine style. A tagliere or wooden board of pizza by the meter is available with the mystifying price of 9 euros per person. You get half a meter of pizza whether you’re 1, 2 or 3 people who order the pizza together, not a good deal unless one person gets the pizza, and another just gets a salad! (Here, a photo of my brother in law who took the challenge of eating the whole half meter of pizza by himself; having failed, he got a box to bring it home.) Location: Via Mantellini 2/b Fiesole, www.lelance.it

Half a meter of pizza for one.

Lo Zocchi

Above the park of Pratolino, renowned walk and picnic location, is this large restaurant with indoor and outdoor options. Typical tuscan fare or pizza is served, often with live music, in a rustic and somewhat tacky atmosphere that is lots of fun with a group of friends. Location: via Fiorentina 428, Pratolino (FI), www.ristorantezocchi.it

Ristorante Mario alla Querciola

One of my perennial favourites despite the never-changing menu, the outside space is limited so reservation is a must. The pear filled pasta with gorgonzola sauce is my fave while meat eaters say that the steak is particularly tender. Location: Via Faentina n.428, Caldine (Fiesole), www.ristorantemarioallaquerciola.it


Piccolo Trianon

In the hills above Careggi, alarge outside terrace perfect for cooling off while eating typical tuscan ravioli or pasta; the specialty of the house, though, is anything fried. Good also for a sunday lunch. Location: Via dante da castiglione 20, Sesto fiorentino (FI), T 055 402007

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