as well as its many demanding international clients who have already heard about “Sabatini”...
Sabatini is nearly a century old. The restaurant, run by the family Sabatini, first opened in Via Valfonda in 1914, near today’s main station, which was built during the Fascist Regime.
The restaurant moved to its present address in Via Panzani, the street that links the station of S. Maria Novella with the Cathedral, after the opening of the huge new station.
The radical transformation of the interiors, which are identical to those of today, was carried out in 1955; the garden at the rear was roofed over and the entire restaurant given a new interior design in classical style by the architect Stigler, who reutilised the furnishings from a un-consecrated church of the 16th century for the occasion; in fact, the Pulpit, all the benches, now readapted as comfortable seats, and the supporting columns with their relative beams that once formed the nave of the church, were beautifully arranged inside the restaurant and this is why it is the only restaurant in Italy to have been, for years now, under the protection of the Fine Arts council. This takes us to the present day, for the legacy of this institution of catering is now in the hands of Claudio Schiavi and Carlo Lazzerini, who have maintained the refined and elegant character of this world famous international restaurant, which has won numerous gastronomic awards and inspired the opening of other “Sabatini” restaurants, including the one at Tokyo in Japan. When you enter the Sabatini restaurant, you are really passing through a century of history, for its boards have been trodden by countless artists and Italian and foreign politicians.
Other guests have included Fred Astaire, President Nixon (before Watergate), Juliette Greco, Paul Newman and Alain Delon… plus modern conductors like Muti and Zubin Metha, as well as Madonna, Denzel Washington, Sting and many others… The list is very long and leafing through the visitor’s book is rather like travelling in time.
All Italy’s recent history has passed through this restaurant, which is the pride of Florentine gastronomy. Its elegant furnishings, the excellent choice of food on the menu and the wines, offer a cultural and gourmet experience that should not be missed.
Whole generations of Florentines have come to eat, drink, discuss, toast and celebrate within these walls. Sabatini has in fact become proverbial in the city because quite often, when there is some discussion between friends, they will say, “I’ll bet you a dinner at Sabatini’s!” (This has in a way given the restaurant the reputation of being very expensive; in actual fact the prices are really affordable, especially if we take into account the charm of the place and the quality of the food). A restaurant that bears its age with class, as only the great restaurants know how. Carlo Lazzerini and Claudio Schiavi were born many years after 1914, but their modern day management is carried out with commitment, courtesy and an impeccable professionalism. You only have to go inside and look around to be able to tell at a glance how much work, dedication and passion lies behind the running of a historic restaurant of this importance.