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All'Antico Vinaio is just minutes away from Florence's Piazza della Signoria, the famous piazza where this guy, Michelangelo's "David," used to stand fiercely until it was replaced by a replica. Unlike its neighboring statue though, Antico Vinaio hasn't been moved to a museum... yet. I managed to know this place from a Dutch classmate. It is the best panini I ever had.

"Antico Vinaio was born at the beginning of the '60s because it's a very historical shop," owner Tommaso Mazzanti . "It was founded by the Posani family, then the parents bought it at the end of the '80s, in 1989 to be exact. All'Antico Vinaio was born as a single shop. But it has then expanded and opened three more shops on the same street and employs more than 50 people. On a busy day, they can serve up to 700 customers. Sandwiches are done with a local bread called schiacciata, which is heated up in the kitchen and brought promptly to the counters, ready to be sliced.

"Schiacciata is, first of all, a very typical product from Florence. It's totally different from focaccia. It's a type of bread that is salted. It's different from our table bread, which is not salted, so that's also why schiacciata is typical. It's made with ground salt, oil, yeast, and water.

The shop has endless selection of cold cuts, cheese, and homemade creams like the truffle cream and the artichoke cream. Customers can choose from the schiacciate on the menu, or they can get creative and fill theirs with anything they want. For a great combo of flavors and Tuscan products, order the Favolosa, the all-time favorite and best seller.

It's the most typical schiacciata because it has sbriciolona, the typical Florentine salami, pecorino cheese cream, artichoke cream, and slightly spicy eggplants. This schiacciata has given so many satisfactions over the years. It was even quoted in Saveur Magazine among the best sandwiches in the world. "

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