Insiders

An Insider's Guide to Florence: Ori Kafri, Co-Founder of J.K. Place Hotels

Ori Kafri is the CEO of J.K. Place Hotels, a stylish, boutique brand he co-founded with his father Jonathan and Eduardo Safdie in Florence in 2003. They currently manage Indagare-adored properties in Capri, Rome and Paris, with a new opening coming to Milan in 2025. Himself a Florence native, Ori shares his favorite places in the city on the Arno—including where to eat the most authentic bistecca Fiorentina, the museum he loves to visit with his kids and a Medici villa that has yet to be discovered by the tourists.

ORI'S FLORENCE FAVORITES

Where to Eat

Four Seasons Florence garden
  • For Breakfast & Coffee: "A very special place is called Pasticceria Giorgio. It's not in the city center but is definitely worth the short ride (15 minutes from Piazza della Repubblica, on the Oltrarno) if you want the most delicious croissants in Florence. They also have a few tables that are open for a special lunch, only with fresh fish!"

  • For Lunch with Friends: "Trattoria 13 Gobbi, because I don’t need a reservation, and they cook for me spaghetti Carrettiera, which is my favorite (it's similar to Arrabbiata)."

  • For Lunch with Friends from Out of Town: "Cantinetta Antinori is great for the food, the location, the wine selection and the attentive service."

  • For a Romantic Lunch: "I would invite my wife for lunch at the Four Seasons, so we can feel we have a little getaway in the city, within their amazing garden (pictured left)."

Buca Lapi Interior
  • For Lunch with Family: "Le Lune is a special place that is also a garden and nursery, with a farm just outside of the city. They mainly serve products from their farm, the location is perfect for our kids to be free and independent, and the food is very good."

  • For Dinner with Friends: "Buca Lapi (pictured left) is a great option for a real Florentine steak to share with friends!"

  • For Dinner with Friends from Out of Town: "Trattoria Cammillo to experience the most local Florentine trattoria at its best."

  • For a Romantic Dinner: "Atelier de' Nerli: the food is delicious, the service is friendly and the décor is cozy."

  • For Dinner with Family: "Pizzeria Antica Porta is a casual place for great pizza, that everyone in the family can enjoy."

Florentine Glossary: Know Your Restaurants

An enoteca is a wine shop and tasting room; today, it often serves snacks and small plates.

An osteria is a traditional wine bar serving simple, small plates.

Buca directly translates to "hole" and signifies a cozy, "hole-in-the-wall" type of restaurant, in a subterranean location.

Cantina means "cellar" and can denote a tavern-style restaurant. A cantinetta is the diminutive form of the word—meaning "a little cellar" (this can also convey a sense of endearment).

A trattoria is a restaurant serving traditional, rustic, local cuisine; it's usually family-owned. It is more formal than an osteria, but less formal than a ristorante.

A ristorante is a more formal, full-service restaurant.

A fattoria is a farmstead and/or winery.

A podere is a country estate, usually with a farm house or winery; it is similar to fattoria, but represents a more institutional concept.

Explore More: The Indagare Guide to Florence

I love to make an Italian coffee for myself with the Moka machine; it gives a unique flavor and perfume that make the real difference.

Ori Kafri

ORI'S FLORENCE FAVORITES

Where to Explore & Shop

Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
  • For First-Time Visitors: "Take a tour guide for half a day to get a first introduction to the city—and then decide what is most interesting for you to explore and discover."
  • Favorite Museum to Revisit: "Palazzo Strozzi always has special contemporary art exhibitions that are very nice. My kids love to visit Museo Stibbert, which also has a unique collection."
  • For a Dose of Nature: "I love the countryside where the Medici family used to reside (500 years ago). Artimino and Carmignano are beautiful hills a few minutes’ drive from Florence that are still yet to be discovered by most of the tourists. Villa Medicea di Poggio a Caiano is a magnificent example of Renaissance architecture, commissioned by Lorenzo il Magnifico."
  • Favorite Shop for a Special Gift: "The old pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella (pictured right) is a very unique place, and no other store in the world has the heritage and legacy to a city that this one does. I also do love Loretta Caponi."
  • Favorite Shop for Men: "I am difficult with shopping—I like very specific things—in Florence, it would be Eredi Chiarini, Gerard and Playground."
  • Favorite Shop for Women: "My wife enjoys Luisa Via Roma, because they have everything."
  • Favorite Shop for Children: "Little Gerard and then Baroni."

READY TO GO?

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare, if you are not yet a member, to start planning a trip to Florence, Italy. Our team can provide expert travel advice and assist with custom itinerary planning, hotel, restaurant and guide recommendations and more.

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Published onFebruary 6, 2024

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