In Florence there are 5 different bakeries that only open up after midnight and stay open until the early hours of the morning. These bakeries produce all the pastries, croissants, cannolis and even pizza for restaurants and cafes all around Florence. It is technically illegal for the bakeries to sell individual pastries, because as a wholesaler they pocket all the money they make during the night.
The bakeries are hidden and are usually located on side streets and alleys away from the main roads. As you approach the area of where the bakery is, even if you didn’t know where it was, the smell will lead you to it. We did get a little lost trying to find one of them by Santa Croce Church, but soon smelt the aroma of baked goods, so we knew we were in the right place. As we turned the corner, we saw lights on and walked up to the door and lightly knocked. If you are too loud or even say the word, secret, they will not serve you.
We ordered two nutella croissants and waited for about 3 minutes for them to come back with our freshly filled pastries. These secret bakeries are popular among the nightlife of Florence and attract Italians along with study abroad students. We found a total of 3 during our time there, and I hope to find more soon on my journey back.
Florence’s Secret Bakeries:
Pasticceria Vinci & Bongini (Piazza Signorina)-Walk down Via dei Benci towards the river, making a right onto Pizza Peluzzi. Make the first left then first right onto Via del Canto Rivalto. You’ll know you arrived when you can sniff out the delicious smells. There is a sliding frosted glass door with a sign to be quiet. If no one else is there first, knock softly on the door until a baker appears and order away! (I’ve heard rumors this bakery makes pizza.)
Laboratoria di Pasticceria Arrighi (Pizza dell’Indipendenza/SMN Train Station)-On the corner of via delle Ruote and via San Gallo. We couldn’t find this bakery every time we tried, maybe I’ll give it another shot this time around.
Il Re della Foresta (Piazza Giorgini)-“Outside the city center, this hole in the wall supposedly serves up some of the best bombolone in Florence.” (We never made it to this one.)
The Truly Secret Bakery (Santa Croce)-Facing Santa Croce, take the street directly to the left of the church and make the first left onto Via delle Pinzochere. The bakery will be on your right but be extremely quiet and respectful or they will not serve you.
The Truly Secret Family Bakery (Santa Croce)– Facing Santa Croce, take the street directly to the left of the church and make the third left onto Via de’ Macci. The bakery will be on your left and the door is covered by caged bars. Kind of looks like a garage door opening. You can see into the back where they bake and you can also see all the pastries laid out on the counter. They had some really different treats!