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Ristorante La Giostra
Borgo Pinti 10r, 50121 Florence, Italy
Tel: +39 055 241341

Opening hours
Lunch from Monday to Friday 12:30-14:30
Dinner  19:30-23:.30

For information or to reserve:

Official Website


"La Giostra" in Italian literally means merry-go-round, and stepping off the street on Borgo Pinti and through the doors here, is where a ride of a lifetime begins for your taste-buds. 

There is a long list of high quality ingredients that are purchased fresh daily and combined in highly creative ways using traditional Tuscan methods.  Combined with the enchanting almost magical atmosphere inside the doors, a night out in Florence can begin and end here. 

Because we always like to step into the kitchens of every restaurant we dine in and can see first hand and up-close the techniques and ingredients that go into every dish, we were quite literally taken aback with the skill each and every member of the staff displayed. In addition to the fine technique, we could quite literally see the quality of the meat and the studious method with which it was prepared.

Unlike some restaurants in Florence where "Cingiale" (wild boar) is served in an almost grated and stringy like fashion, in the Picci (thick spaghetti) at La Giostra, there were large, savoury pieces of the meat that we haven't had the pleasure of experiencing anywhere in Tuscany before this.

The wild boar picci, in addition to the Pear and Gorgonzola Ravioli, were two of the best first course pasta dishes either of us have ever enjoyed, due partly to the originality of the dishes, but also the presentation.  Let's just say, if our stomachs (and waistlines) could have handled it, we would have gladly ordered more first courses, like the Porcini Mushroom linguine, which our neighbouring table decreed was nothing short of heaven on earth. 

However, we also wanted to try some of the secondi piatti, considering we had heard from a local Florentine and restaurant owner himself, that the Florentine bistecca (steak) that is served here is some of the best - anywhere, hands down.  Our friend, Giullio, was right.  The steak served up here was the kind that you hardly have to chew.  It was so incredibly tender and flavourful we had to know if this was a different variety of cow or animal all completely.  It was a Tuscan cow, raised on the incredibly sweet Tuscan grass, hence the incredibly tender, mind blowing meat.

The wine list at La Giostra is longer than the menu and the staff can offer excellent suggestions of local wines to accompany the local cuisine. 
We managed a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino that evening and saw for the first time, the sommelier "curing" the wine glasses, something that is not done in many restaurants in Florence anymore.

Saldano and his twin brother, the owners of the restaurant since their father's recent passing, know every wine produced in Tuscany by the largest to the smallest producers.  We mentioned a vintage from the Montalcino area that only produces about 500 bottles of year, and right away Saldano was on the phone to his brother to find out more. 

We managed a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino that evening and saw for the first time, the sommelier "curing" the wine glasses, something that is not done in many restaurants in Florence anymore.

The sommelier took a small amount of wine after the initial tasting, swirled it over the inside of the glass, then transferred the wine to each of the other glasses and swirled it in those glasses, then he served the wine from the decanter, a ritual still alive here.

At our table that evening, many different languages surrounded our table, giving us the distinct impression that La Giostra ha rightly earned an international reputation has one of Florence's culinary landmarks.

Indeed, scattered throughout the restaurant are pictures of actors, actresses, singers, sports stars and the who's who of Italian society.  Indeed, many people have walked through these doors and will continue to do so. 

There is an unmistakeable artistry that is held to the highest standard here and it is for this reason why we love Florence and the region of Tuscany so much; people are passionate and like the many artists who have walked through Florence's streets, there legacy in many ways still abounds in the local culture.

Reviewed by Jesse Andrews and Darcy Aubin Photographer, VisitsItaly.com