Italian pastry: 4 Tips to Make Sure You Always Find the Best

Try the sfoglia alla crema and/or budino di riso at Pasticceria Sieni.

Try the sfoglia alla crema and/or budino di riso at Pasticceria Sieni.


While starting her own business in Florence, Toni Mazzaglia was broke and living off chickpeas. One luxury she could afford: Italian pastries.


“That was my way of treating myself like a lady, going to breakfast as often as I could,” says the owner of the food tour company Taste Florence.”


Italians usually rush at breakfast, dowing espresso at the counter and eating cornetti, which Toni says, “Looks like a croissant but delivers disappointment...It’s like a croissant and a brioche had a bad one-night-stand.”


Here are her tips to make sure the pastry you buy in Italy is always fresh and delicious:

  • A good pastry shop is called a pasticceria, which is the Italian version of a French patisserie.

  • Outside the pasticceria, you should see the words ‘produzione propria,’ which means proper in-house production, otherwise known as made in-house.

  • When you walk inside, what vibe do you get? Is there a huge, beautiful pastry case with lots of pastries that couldn't have all been brought in by truck? Or do you see a handful of sad little pastries that look like they've been there for five days?

  • Go in the morning. You're not going to find a lot of good pastries at 6 p.m., though most pastry shops, at least in Florence, will make one batch of bomboloni, which are cream-filled donuts, around 4 p.m.

Listen to the Florence food episode of the Postcard Academy podcast to hear all of Toni’s best recommendations on where to eat and what foods to try in Tuscany’s capital city. (Subscribe on Apple podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher)





If you found this article useful, please share it, and subscribe to the Postcard Academy podcast. Each week, expats and adventurers share their insider travel tips on the best food, nightlife, and cultural experiences in the most interesting places around the globe. I’m your host, Sarah Mikutel, an American who's spent the last 7 years living in, and traveling around, Europe.