One of the first things I did when I arrived in Florence was to find a few cafes which were good places to write. So it had to be a nice environment, handy to get to, air conditioned, not too noisy, good coffee and potentially good for lunch too. Well I checked out quite a few places before I found my two favourites, which I can highly recommend to anyone coming for Florence who wants to spend a few hours relaxing, reading or writing. Both cafes are actually in bookshops which have both English and Italian books.
The first is TODO MODO, Via dei Fossi 15, which is two minutes walk from Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. This is a really quirky bookshop which looks very small from the front but twists all the way back to a much larger restaurant / bookshop / theatre. It really feels like being in someone’s home - friendly service by the chatty staff, delicious coffee and free wifi, and a even a bookcase of books in the toilet - but all Italian) - Last time I was there I had a shaken iced coffee with crunchy bread and selection of cheese - It’s cool too (so necessary when it’s 35c outside) and very conducive to writing.
The second one is RED, Piazza della Republic. This is a really spacious bookshop, so well laid out, with a cafe in the centre which serves coffee and also has quite a good menu for lunch - I was in there today and I had a very large greek salad and a coffee for €11 and spent about three hours writing and later browsing their English books upstairs. Highly recommended (I could go there every day).