There’s no rule but rather an unstated etiquette in Florence that across the day you must do your fair share of “bobbing” up and down from footpath to road making way for oncoming pedestrians. Our quest to find Florence’s great Biscotti store known as Lorenzos certainly tested our bobbing ability.
Let it be said, the stone pavements in Florence are very narrow. Navigating oncoming pedestrian traffic is therefore an art – something the Italians have clearly perfected. For those of us visiting this beautiful city, it really does take a great deal of concentration to bob up and down the narrow stone gutters dodging oncoming pedestrians while taking in every artisan window and all the sights. The process requiring even more skill as we managed Google Maps on our phone to navigate around the city’s wandering streets.
“Bobbing” our way back from lunch at the Mercato di Sant’ Ambrogio in the Santa Croce district, our attention was drawn to a window stacked with gorgeous golden goodness. Biscuits in Italian are known as Biscotti. We’d come not only for Biscotti but for the Cantucci. This little shop was stacked full of all kinds of exotic varieties of these biscuits. We had found Leonardos!
Cantucci stacked high makes for a wonderful temptation at Leonardo’s
The store called Leonardo was established in 1960 and offers a range of handmade Biscotti (including Cantucci) with everything from Orange & Dark Chocolate to your more traditional pistachio and almond. Flavour names include Cantucci al Albicoca Biscotti with Apricots), Cantucci al Cioccolato (Biscotti with Chocolate) and Cantucci ai Fichi ( Biscotti with Figs). More choice and more luxurious choices of Cantucci than we’d seen in most stores.
It turns out that the business was started in 1960 by Leonardo who began in the hills above Florence. Today the family business is guided by Marco his son who we were told by the very friendly team member at the counter has brought many of the new and exciting handmade biscuits to the range. Marco it seems has so beautifully continued Leonardo’s founding principles of handmade, traditional recipes ( with a twist ) and wonderful ingredients. Marco has married that tradition and innovation.
The store is filled with other delightful cakes, tarts and breads. Standing waiting at the counter is fun filled as the working laboratory or kitchen is in good view and bakers can be seen loading ovens and pushing trolleys as they go about their daily work.
The texture of the Leonardo biscotti is softer than usual perhaps more as a result of the delicious chunks of inclusions like figs and chocolate. Making an impressive statement about the passion encapsulated in this business, the inclusions are hearty and generous and therefore every variant is easily distinguished.
The Italians enjoy biscotti with Vin Santo however these delicious morsels would do well with tea or coffee….. or just enjoyed alone.
If you are visiting Florence then do call by the Leonardo store and experience a real treat in biscotti. On this day we elected to buy the mixed bag – and we carefully made sure that we tried one of every flavour ! Standing outside the shop and dipping into our newly purchased mixed bag it was an incredible moment to realise that we were there enjoying this amazing biscotti in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. La dolce vita!
Leonardo store in Florence can be found at R Via dei Macci, 65, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If a trip to Italy is not on your horizon however you can buy handmade biscotti including cantucci as we call it at our Dello Mano, New Farm or Brisbane Tattersalls Arcade stores. You can also buy at our online store www.dellomano.com.au
Biscotti gift packs and hampers are available and can be shipped all over Australia for all occasions.
All of our Dello Mano products are handmade using traditional methods and recipes. Our Cantucci range includes almond, pistachio and chocolate hazelnut. We also offer a range of other Italian biscuits like Pasta Di Mandorla and Cornetto Di Postachio.
Our Dello Mano stores trade 7 days.