Last semester, I had the amazing opportunity to intern at my favorite culinary magazine, Saveur.  When I began, their issue had a feature about Florence, Italy; it was just hot off the press, and lucky for me, I had just been accepted into NYU's summer study abroad program, also in Florence.

Why was this lucky? Because I had a list of food recommendations already put together for me! And one of the recs was for this sandwich shop called All'Antico Vinaio. Saveur, as well as many others on Yelp and Trip Advisor were calling a sandwiches at this shop the "best sandwich in the world," and naturally, I was intrigued.

So on my second day in Florence, my parents and I hit up the shop – or more like the line wrapping down the street from the two shops, because it's so popular. All'Antico Vinaio has two locations directly across the street from each other.

The Sandwich

I had The Summer Sandwich: fresh prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and basil on huge slices of "schiacciata" bread.

Now, most Tuscan breads are made without salt, because the olive oil here is so good and packed with so much flavor— salt would just take away from it. I think that's flat out crazy, but luckily, the schiacciata, which is a similar yet more dense version of a focaccia bread, was salted, and absolutely delicious.

lettuce, ham, bacon, cheese, tomato, sandwich
Alexandra Tringali

If you really think about it, it's such a simple sandwich: prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, basil, what's so special?  The quality. Ingredients here aren't smothered in heavy sauces or doctored up to fit the trend for your next Instagram post. Food and ingredients are respected and cared for in a way that, unfortunately, is becoming less and less common in the United States.

Tuscany is known for its meats and cheeses, so why not layer them lightly with fresh produce like tomatoes and basil and let each ingredient shine?

This certainly was the best sandwich I have ever had. There wasn't too much of any one ingredient, it wasn't overstuffed, and it was respectful of what true Italian cuisine is: high-quality, fresh, and completely sure of itself in the simplest way possible.