There are tap houses in Florence that provided, not beer, but wine. The concept of wine “alla spina” or on tap, is common in Italy. Bring your own bottle or box, choose a wine and fill up. Wine is cheaper this way and affords the average traveler the chance to taste some local favorites.
In tourist-choked Florence, it can be difficult to find wine alla spina. A great place to try is Enoteca alla sosta dei Papi or in English, the park of the Pope’s wine. Located near the Sant Ambrogio market, this local haunt offers great Florentine table wines. The space is cramped and minimally decorated and the walls are lined, floor to ceiling, with bottles of wine. In the center are three white, row tables, perfect for sitting and sipping wine. In the evening, when the weather is nice, patrons spill out into the paved street, sitting at tables or standing with wine glasses in hand. There are plates of tapas including breads, cheeses and cured meats–all local and all great for sobering up after one-too many wine samples.
Break out your best Italian when you visit. Enoteca is in an area of Florence with few English speakers. The wine on tap is kept in large, metal containers with attached faucets. You have to stoop a little to reach the taps and read the signs indicating what delicious wine is in each container.
Italian wine types can be intimidating to anyone unfamiliar with them. If you’re not sure what to go with, Chianti is always a good region-specific wine. Enoteca’s wine by the glass is well priced, starting at around 3 euros. Try a few glasses or ask the owner for his favorite. Enoteca also offers Grappa, an Italian spirit made by distilling the skins, pulp, seeds and stems leftover from winemaking and Limoncello, an Italian lemon liqueur. Grab an empty bottle and try some great regional wine.