Florence’s No. 1 Bakery: Pane Amore & Fantasia
Lulzim (“Lorenzo”) Vulashi, one of the best known bakers in Florence, owns a bakery called, Pane Amore e Fantasia (Bread Love & Fantasy) located at Via del Ponte alle Mosse, 154. Located less than 3 miles outside the city center (about a 12 Euro taxi drive from the Duomo), Lorenzo caters to the locals as opposed to tourists, which always makes going to his store a truly authentic Italian experience.
But added to that, Lorenzo is not just a typical baker and sommelier. In fact, he is not a typical man at all. Lorenzo is, as we say in English, a “one-in-a-million” man, and even that may be an understatement. Albanian by birth, and Florentine by adoption, Lorenzo is passionate about his job in all respects – baking, creating, teaching, interacting, and giving. Aside from being an expert in wines, champagne, cheese, and prosciutto, he has a heart of gold.
Lorenzo’s character is no stranger to Florence. As the people of Florence will be the first to tell you, Lorenzo was publicly honored by the city in 2016 (called onorificenza) mainly for his charitable acts. Lorenzo has historically done many generous things for the Florentine community, such as: i) giving free cakes to customers on their birthdays; ii) offering free bread to new mothers and free snacks to children after school; iii) providing discounts to elder customers; and iv) helping raise money for an elderly robbery victim. The list of charitable acts is endless due to one reason only – philanthropy is in his blood. If Lorenzo can make his customers smile, the pleasure derived within him is tenfold.
Between his professional expertise, his generosity, and his gift for entertainment, it is no wonder why Lorenzo is respected throughout his community. In fact, everywhere Lorenzo goes in Florence, if locals don’t come up to him and give him a big kiss of affection, they always acknowledge him. At the best nightclubs in Florence, Lorenzo has his own table. At the best restaurants in Florence, Lorenzo is VIP. At the private parties throughout fashion week or other international events, Lorenzo is always on the guest list. Good people like to surround themselves with good people, and when it comes to Lorenzo, people discover early on that he is indeed a “one-in-a-million” man.
For anyone visiting Florence and looking to have a “local” experience, stopping at Pane Amore & Fantasia is a must. Taste some of the finest cheese and prosciutto Italy has to offer, and wash it down with some of the best wine or champagne. Lorenzo enjoys talking about food, wine and travel, and most of all, he loves to entertain. He may put on some music, and if you’re lucky, he’ll start dancing. Tell Lorenzo that the Italian Enthusiast sent you, and he will treat you extra special. You can follow Lorenzo on his Facebook page by clicking HERE, or his Instagram page by clicking HERE. If you become a friend of Lorenzo, you become a friend of Florence.
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