Celebrated by best sellers and blockbuster movies, Procacci is a true Florentine institution, famous since 1885 for its gourmet specialities, refined gastronomy and, above all, its legendary truffle sandwiches.
In Via de’ Tornabuoni, Olympus of the most exclusive boutiques and home to some of the most important historic buildings in the city, from Palazzo Strozzi to the Ferruccio Ferragamo Museum, Procacci is one of the places where you cannot fail to stop, even if only for an aperitif “on the go”.
Celebrated by best sellers, such as Dan Brown‘s Inferno, and cinematic masterpieces, such as Zeffirelli‘s Tea with Mussolini or James Ivory‘s Room with a View, Procacci embodies the most authentic Florentine spirit, with a story that begins in 1885 when Leopoldo Procacci inaugurated his grocery store.
In the 1920s it was transformed into a refined gastronomy, a “luxury food store”, as described on the historical sign hung inside the restaurant, increasingly becoming a point of reference for a both local and international clientele.
The truffle sandwiches by Procacci are a Florentine institution.(Advertising poster, 1921)
Today managed by the Marchesi Antinori family, Procacci, within whose walls have passed celebs of the caliber of Maria José of Belgium, François Mitterrand and the actress Audrey Hepburn, has always kept alive its identity as a “bottega” over time. Here, it is possible to purchase refined food and wine products as well as taste its renowned truffle-based specialties, accompanied, of course, by a remarkable wine list which also includes all of Antinori’s production.
But why, among so many delicacies, is Procacci’s fame linked precisely to truffle sandwiches? The story goes that, in 1925, during a visit, the Prince of Piedmont Umberto di Savoia asked for a ham sandwich and Leopoldo Procacci, to amaze the royal, decided to prepare him a special sandwich with grated fresh truffle. The “recipe” was so successful that it became the distinctive sign of Procacci which, in the same year, was even awarded the Royal Coat of Arms with the coveted Patent of Supplier of the Royal House.
The shop retains all of its historic allure, thanks to the antique walnut shelves, the beautiful Art Nouveau green marble counter and the original boiserie from 1910. Inside, it is still possible to admire an advertising illustration dated 1921 and celebrating its renowned truffle sandwiches.
Very soft, delicate and always fresh, Procacci’s sandwiches made of milk bread, the duchesses, are offered with different fillings, ranging from foie gras with anchovies and Normandy butter, from raw ham and truffled artichoke cream to smoked salmon and chives. The cuisine offers also various truffle-based specialties, from egg tagliolini pasta to carpaccio, and a selection of first and second courses including the famous Procacci chicken “in galantina”, a secret recipe handed down over the years to the present day.
Among the gourmet proposals, the Special Oyster Daniele Sorlut is a must. In fact, since 1930, the French maison Sorlut has refined its technique to obtain the perfect oyster that goes well with the exceptional labels included in the Procacci wine list, from the most refined French bubbles to the best local wines.
In the summer, Procacci, which in 2014 also opened a branch in Milan in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, also offers a delightful outdoor area to enjoy a lunch or an aperitif in the heart of the most chic Florence.
On the occasion of its centenary, Procacci, which has always been linked to fashion and art, has created a limited edition of 300 bottles of extra virgin olive oil with a label designed by the artist Mimmo Paladino.