So, dear reader, as you know, I have been on a quest for the best cappuccino in Florence, Italy. I have a candidate in the Caffe’ Maioli with their baristas Maurizio and Iris. First, the Caffe’ Maioli has the perfect location. It is just across the Ponte Vecchio Bridge on the Oltrarno side, straight across and directly in front of you as you leave the pedestrian walk. When I first got to Florence, I was a bit startled by the Italian tradition of slamming a quick espresso while standing at a coffee bar. I soon learned that doing so it fast and the cost of the coffee or any food eaten standing at the counter is a fraction, sometimes a third, or half the cost of what it would be if I sat down. I have started to really enjoy this tradition. It allows me to chat briefly with the barista, enjoy my cappuccino and crescent, and then go on about my day.
I have to admit, I have a bit of a crush on the Maurizio, Andreus, and Iris. All three are friendly, welcoming and incredibly efficient. Maurizio and Andreus are an amazing tag team behind the coffee counter. While Maurizio whips up the perfect blend of bitter coffee with milky, frothy deliciousness, Andreus heats your pastry to the perfect temperature. Both coming together in front of you within seconds of your order. I have never seen someone move as quickly, efficiently, and seemingly effortless making coffees, cappuccinos, espressos, lattes, Americano coffees, or fresh squeezed orange juice as Maurizio.
My friend Mary and I highly recommend the crescents. They are large, flaky and the hint of honey on the top adds a delightful touch of sweetness. I am also a fan of the chocolate crescents and the apple pockets. The chocolate crescents are large, flaky, filled with chocolate, and topped with a hard shell of chocolate across the top. Really, the words chocolate crescent speak for themselves. The apple pockets are a bit crunchy, a bit soft, and full of tasty apple deliciousness, perfect with cappuccino. Caffe’ Maioli has much more to offer with gelato, sandwiches, salads, and liquors, wines and candies.
Iris often runs the upstairs part of the restaurant which overlooks the Ponte Vecchio pedestrian walk and, from some tables, offers either an open air dining experience, or a view of the Duomo. Food comes from below through a dumbwaiter. There are evening specials at a very reasonable price, wine, bread and salad for 9 Euro in a lovely setting. On Tuesday, and Thursday through Sunday, you will be serenaded by live music from the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, a perfect Florence experience.
For service, food quality, coffee deliciousness, convenience, and ambiance, I recommend the Caffe’ Maioli. A cappuccino and crescent are 2.80 Euro if you stand at the coffee counter. Expect to pay at least twice as much if you choose to sit. This is standard in Florentine restaurants. Ciao!