Bike Florence

Bike Tables: Creativity, Design & Functionality in Florence


In the center of Florence, getting permission for outdoor seating can be expensive and difficult. The next time you’re enjoying dinner outside on a warm summer night, be thankful that the restaurant went through the effort to get the permits for those tables!

Maybe even more admirable is seeing the creative ways that Italians figure out to get around bureaucracy. Around the corner from my house, on a little street called Via Santa Margherita, is a hole in the wall lunch spot that sells typical Florentine food, from Trippa & Lampredotto (look it up, and try it if you’re feeling brave), to Coccoli and Focaccia Sandwiches (so good!).


bicycles in florence


Maybe they aren’t able to get a permit for outdoor tables and chairs on such a little street, or maybe they wanted to avoid the costly and arduous process of getting it, but either way you have to admit that this is an amazingly creative solution. “What tables? Those are my bikes. I like my bikes with planks of wood on them, is there a law against that? I can’t help it if people decide to take a seat or put their food on them!”

Plus it looks super cool. The wood is mounted onto the bike with a metal attachment underneath. You can see a bit sticking out if you look closely..


diy bike table


Take a turn down this little street, grab a cone full of fluffy fried Coccoli and take a seat on one of these bikes. Enjoy this small act of rebellion, and support one small businesses’ technically legal and completely brilliant way of sticking it to the man.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. AlanP


    I love this! It’s so Italian. In my experience many Italians look at rules as merely suggestions. They look at a “No Parking” sign and ask themselves, “When? Can I park just to go inside for a moment?, What if I leave the car running?…”

    Thanks for the article. I’m looking forward to sharing it with others.

    1. Krista Ricchi

      Thanks Alan, glad you liked it! I once read that one of the great things about Italy is a certain “permission to be human” and seeing things like this makes you realize that its really true! When you’re oppressed by the rules, don’t follow them!

    2. AlanP

      Well said. We should all give ourselves permission to be human. Your blog helps us do that.

  2. Bianca

    Hi Krista,

    This is brilliant. Thank you so much for showing us this corner of Florence. I will share it with others on my FB!

    I love the “permission to be human”.

    I think that is a blog post in itself!
    xx Bianca

  3. hazler

    This is brilliant! I love it!
    Would you mind if I shared the image of it on my bike blog? Of course – I will link it back to here.

    1. Krista Ricchi

      Thanks! Sure, you can use the images. Send me a link to the post, I’d love to see it!

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