Gusta Pizza: Cheap and Cheerful Pizzas in FlorenceMonday, December 12, 2016
Gusta Pizza is probably one of the most popular pizzerias in Florence, especially amongst students. It is both family run and cosy and is close to the Palazzo Pitti and the Ponte Vecchio - the perfect stop for some post-sight seeing food. Expect to find cheap and cheerful pizzas accompanied by a long queue outside, especially in the busier summer months.
As you walk in the smell of freshly made pizzas fills the air and you are greeted by a friendly face asking for your order. You have the choice of either eating in, which I have never done simply because it's always so busy, or having your pizza to go (da portare via). I have always ordered it to take away and sat in the Piazza Santo Spirito, right next to the pizzeria, with a bottle of... (Italians cover your eyes) wine or prosecco. You can also, of course, go the Italian way and have some beer instead. I know that Gusta Pizza sells wine but traditionally many Italians would cringe at the thought of wine and pizza together.
The first time I went here last summer it was actually awful: the cheese wasn't melted, there was a weird liquid on the pizza and the dough was not fully cooked. We felt defeated, but we kept seeing so many people enjoying their pizzas so this year I decided that I just had to give it another shot as clearly so many people, locals as well as tourists, loved it. I'm not sure what happened the first time as every time I have been back the pizzas have been top notch, and I have been many times.
They have a simple but tasty menu, with some specials which change every now and then. I have tried their Margherita, Gustapizza (cherry tomatoes, rocket salad, parmesan & mozzarella) and one of their specials which had pesto and mozzarella, all of which were yum yum yummy & deliciously soft. Friends have also tried the Napoli and the Caprese and they all had smiles on their faces as they ate. Apparently they make heart shaped pizzas which they offer to "all of the ladies" but I have been at least 5 times and have only ever been made normal ones... awkward for me. Perhaps one day I will be presented with the honour of receiving a heart shaped one.
I love taking the pizza and eating it in the square with friends or loved ones. Santo Spirito is an interesting area of Florence which is very lively at night and has a beautiful ambience about it. Just watch out for some dodgy characters who come by and offer you drugs - you will be fine, just politely decline if you are not interested and they will be on their way. It really is nothing to worry about and shouldn't deter you from going there because it's one of the best squares in Florence to hang out in at night!
North of Naples it is hard to find Neopolitan pizzas - they are generally thinner, however Gusta Pizza makes the yummiest doughy carb-y ones. They taste so good and the fluffy dough is baked by angels, however you do end up having a little bit of a pizza baby, or twins/triplets in my case. After living here for almost 5 months I have to say that my absolute favourite pizza place has to be somewhere called Da Gherhardo which is also in Oltrarno (I will do a "where to eat in Florence" post with all of my favourites next month). They let the dough rise for a good amount of time so that the yeast doesn't make the pizza keep growing in your belly. That being said, before I found Da Gherhardo, Gusta Pizza was my #1 favourite in Florence and it still is up there (it's cheap and more casual) so definitely check it out - Via Maggio 46R!
The opening times are 11.30-15.30 and 19.00-23.30 but they are closed on Mondays and generally closed for the whole of August (as is half of Florence).