The Oil Shoppe. I heard of this place years before I ever arrived in Florence. My friends from college who were studying abroad in Florence would e-mail me videos of themselves eating the seemingly enormous and delectable sandwiches on porch stoops in what looked like a hidden alleyway. I thought how could a sandwich be that good? A sandwich is a sandwich. Once in the beautiful Italian city myself, I was finally able to go see and taste for myself what my friends had raved about for years.
The Oil Shoppe is a tiny store within walking distance of the Duomo. It is a long and narrow walk from the entrance to the counter and bar stools line the walls to your left and right. Bread is fresh every morning and may run out by the afternoon so you should try to get there before one or two p.m. The meats, cheeses and veggies are of the best quality and you are free to create any combination you like or select from their enticing and varied menu. The turkey, meatballs, parma ham, tomatoes, onions, and provolone attract a hungry crowd. The place is always bustling, especially with American students studying abroad which may not prove to be the most authentic Italian experience but as you can watch from the video link below the owner is happy to offer this fairly inexpensive American comfort food with an Italian twist.
To hear American voices while I devoured an overflowing sandwich made me feel like I was back home at the sub shop just up the street from my house. When you’re traveling, once in a while its kind of nice to stumble upon anything or anyone that reminds you of home. However, you are always ready to dive back into Florence or whichever town you are in and enjoy its uniqueness.
I was only in Florence for three or four days and managed to visit the place twice and I left both times feeling full and satisfied. If you are ever in this town and you need a break from the amazing pizzas, pastas, and gelato, then the Oil Shoppe is definitely a worthy option.