In the picturesque district of Sant’Ambrogio in Florence, Cibrèo is one of those rare and wonderful cafés that accompanies us through every moment of the day, from breakfast to the aperitif, with a charm made of timeless decor, the scent of good things, and a theatrical allure.
In Florence the name Cibréo does not identify a place, not just one at least, yet the essence of the Florentine spirit itself and of a lifestyle, which Fabio Picchi together with his family has been able to renew year after year, whilst maintaining the same solid values, based on good food, healthy conviviality, and so much beauty.
Fabio Picchi, histrionic chef, writer and literate, was a pioneer of many things that are “in fashion” today – from the fifth quarter, to the trattoria opened next to the fine dining restaurant up to the farm-to-table recipes. For his first venture, the restaurant opened in 1979, he chose the name “cibrèo” in homage to an ancient Florentine dish based on chicken offal that reminded him of his childhood, and at the same time a symbol of a cuisine rooted in the great Tuscan history.
To me, life is like a pantry, as big as a market square, full with many foods and attended by beautiful people.(Fabio Picchi, founder)
The café, which opened in 1989 right in front of the restaurant, is located in one of the liveliest and most authentic districts of Florence, that of Sant’Ambrogio, next to its historic street market, which is very busy in the morning. Sitting outside at one of the small tables, reading the newspaper and observing the spectacle of life that passes by in front of us, is truly an experience that deserves to be turned into a habit.
For his premises, Fabio wanted to recreate timeless places full of “real” life. Thus the atmosphere of the Cibrèo Caffè is that of the late 19th-century avant-spectacle bistro, furnished with objects found in various years of “cultural” explorations around the city. The beautiful red velvet armchairs are, in fact, the ones rescued from the Teatro della Pergola when it renovated its seats, the boiserie on the walls is vintage and the coffered ceilings are the original ones.
On the walls, many works and posters, in particular those created for the nearby Teatro del Sale, designed by Fabio’s son Giulio, illustrator and artist, infuse the Cibrèo with the wonderful atmosphere of a literary café.
Today, the direction of the Cibrèo “world” is carried out in particular by Giulio himself together with chef Oscar Severini and his brigade who are responsible for all the group’s eateries, primarily those located in the Sant’Ambrogio area: from the Cibrèo Restaurant to the Cibrèo Trattoria (called Cibrèino) which opened in 1979 right next to it, from the Caffè to the Teatro del Sale, born in 2003 under the artistic direction of Maria Cassi, wife of Fabio Picchi, which offers the opportunity to dine while enjoying various kinds of entertainment, up to the latest one opened in 2017, the Cibléo, an ingenious name to indicate the small bistro located in front of the Café that offers Tuscan-Oriental cuisine.
Cibrèo Caffè has its doors always open, from morning to evening, a refuge in which to enter to be embraced, at different times of the day, by the scent of coffee and warm croissants, to be amazed by the small appetizers of the gastronomy or by the first and second courses based on excellent meat and sauces prepared according to tradition.
The Cibrèo is one of the few places in Florence, but perhaps it should be said in Italy, where you can still order an artfully prepared “Bread with Butter with Cibrèo Homemade Jams” and you can feel free to read the newspaper regardless of the passing hours, even after having paid the bill, feeling just like at home.
Fabio’s love for markets, farmers, fishermen and all the “artisans” of taste led him, again in Sant’Ambrogio, to also buy a butcher’s shop which today has become C.Bio, a large shop-market where you can buy the very special products that Cibrèo uses in its eateries.
Breakfast menu and eggs from 7 euro
Salads and first courses from 12 euro
Main courses from 18 euro.