A short distance from the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, we reached Hard Rock Cafe & its Rock Shop. As in most of the Rock Shops elsewhere, the merchandise are similar in design except for the name of the city you’re in. Florence’s Rock Shop offers a little bit of more of a choice for T-shirts as there are a couple of designs we’ve not seen elsewhere. The floor area for the Rock Shop isn’t so cramped as some other cities.
Hard Rock, Florence
Located not far from Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral.
Merchandise inside Rock Shop.
That classic white Hard Rock T-shirt.
That T-shirt with guitars is something new we’ve seen.
Our choice of staying at Hotel Montreal was partly due to the availability of halal food close-by. One eatery that is only a few doors away is, ‘I Re D’egitto’, literally translated “The king of Egypt”. It serves tasty food and priced reasonably. They open in the morning and close quite late at night. Apart from kebab, they serve rice, vegetable and curry among others.
The street at the back of Hotel Montreal, you can find another kebab eatery, Panini Kebab. We also found 2 more eateries around the San Lorenzo street market area namely Pak Halal Kebab and Asian Halal Fast Food.
In Italy, it would be wise to seek on the authenticity of the halal status of an eatery, as we found another close-by to our hotel but local muslims says otherwise despite the presence of halal sign.
A little further away from Hotel Montreal, near Ponte Vecchio you’ll find another halal eatery called Maddina Tandoori Restaurant. It’s about 30 minutes stroll but we visited it for lunch on our way back from visiting Piazzale Michelangelo. Scroll below for its write-up.
Location of Halal eateries, Florence. Click map to enlarge.
I Re D’egitto halal eatery on the same row as Hotel Montreal just a few doors away.
Meal selection available at I Re D’egitto
Dining area of I Re D’egitto.
Another section of the dining area.
Chicken curry and eggplant for me.
Kebab and veggies for my wife.
Panini Kebab at the back of Hotel Montreal.
Pak Halal Kebab around San Lorenzo street market area. Refer map above for location.
Asian Halal Fast Food just a few doors from Pak Halal Kebab. Refer map above for location.
If you intend to experience a full-fledged restaurant dining, head for Maddina Tandoori Restaurant near-by Ponte Vecchio. They are more towards Indian cuisine but you’ll also be able to order local food as well. I had seafood spaghetti while my wife ordered chicken briyani rice. They were delicious.
As soon as the manager confirmed our nationality, he brought pictures for me and my wife to view. Its one of their repeat customers the manager informed. That being said, it’s Sultan Abdul Halim the current King of Malaysia and one of his daughters. Wow, if our King frequents this restaurant, its got to be good. Price wise, do expect to pay a little more but still affordable.
Maddina Tandoori Restaurant near Ponte Vecchio.
Map to Maddina Tandoori restaurant from Hotel Montreal. Click map to enlarge.
Dining area of Maddina Tandoori Restaurant.
Another section of the dining area.
Chicken briyani for the wife and seafood spaghetti for me.
Whats left of the food. Delicious.
sampaisudah.com & the previous King of Malaysia, Sultan Abdul Halim had dined at Maddina Tandoori Restaurant, Florence.
Returning from Piazzale Michelangelo by bus no. 13, we decided to drop-off at stop no. 15 (Sant’Onofrio) and walked over to Ponte Vecchio. It’s a 15 minutes casual walk from the stop.
Ponte Vecchio – “Old Bridge” in Italian is a famous bridge in Florence and undoubtedly one of the notable landmarks. It links the 2 sides of Florence at the narrowest point of the Arno River. For the numerous shops selling a wide assortment of jewelry ranging from affordable modern jewels to pricey antiques on the bridge, it doesn’t really look like a bridge.
Ponte Vecchio is often full of tourists and whilst we enjoyed getting some nice picture of the bridge in the background, which is an incredibly sight when seen from afar, crossing the bridge itself is an uncomfortable experience during the peak tourist hours. Very busy, packed and lots of street sellers. If you have little time in Florence, seeing it from afar would suffice.
Ponte Vecchio from afar. That’s about the best thing about it!
Bus no. 13 from Piazzale Michelangelo back to town. Drop-off at stop no. 15 and walk over to Ponte Vecchio.
The calm river Arno and buildings on its bank.
Buildings on the banks of river Arno on the way to Ponte Vecchio.
Having a mid-day break by the side of river Arno. Otherwise, tourist horde street vendors above it.
Closer view of Ponte Vecchio.
Entrance to Ponte Vecchio from one side of the river.
Mostly tourist on Ponte Vecchio.
This was during lunch time. Prior to this, the bridge was a havoc.