One of the best things about Italy is the food! To make eating out simple and convenient for students, UNH in Tuscany runs a prepaid meal voucher system that operates in both Prato and Florence. At Orientation in Prato you will be provided with a set of meal vouchers which can be exchanged for meals at several city center cafés and restaurants for the duration of the semester. Please read through our Meal Plan FAQs below for more information as well as the current listing of our participating eateries.
Meal Plan FAQs
Q. How do I use the Meal Plan vouchers?
A. All you have to do is to go into the place where you want to eat and hand over a signed voucher for the meal that you want (either breakfast, lunch or dinner – there are 3 kinds of voucher) and… buon appetito!
Q. Will I need to bring any money for meals?
A. When you’re using your vouchers at our participating establishments, you don’t have to hand over ANY money (unless you want something extra). However, if you plan to eat at non-participating restaurants or travel outside of Prato and Florence, you will need extra money for meals.
Q. Can I use the vouchers at any time of day or night? Are there any 24-hour options?
A. Please note that all meals are guaranteed only at the appropriate moments – lunch vouchers can be enjoyed during lunchtime, dinner vouchers at dinner time, etc. Times may vary at each establishment. Restaurants do not tend to be open 24 hours, but there are two eateries that serve food and snacks until late – see the list below.
Q. Can the participating restaurants accommodate special diets?
A. Not all restaurants will be able to accommodate all special diets. For example, you will usually be able to find vegetarian options, but vegan dishes are much rarer in Italy. Your Student Affairs Coordinator in Prato has experience with accommodating specific diets and will be happy to assist you. If you have special concerns about your diet, whether out of personal choice or for medical reasons, please contact us. We will do our best to inform you about your options.
Q. Can I buy groceries with the Meal Plan vouchers?
A. Yes. There is one participating supermarket which will accept your vouchers in exchange for food. The supermarket is small by US standards but is very centrally located and carries all the essentials. See our list of participating establishments below for details.
Q. Can I use my vouchers for alcoholic beverages?
A. No. Meal vouchers cannot be traded for alcoholic beverages.
Q. What if I want something that’s not on the menu?
A. If there’s something not on the menu that you’d like, or you’d like something swapped out for something else, feel free to ask the people who work in the restaurant/bar, but it might not be possible for them to oblige.
Q. What happens if I forget my vouchers at home?
A. You must hand over your voucher in the bar/restaurant to get your free meal. No voucher, no free meal.
Q. What if I lose my vouchers?
A. You must NOT lose your vouchers! It is your only way to get your meals. We do not distribute all of your vouchers at one time, so if you do lose some you will have to wait until the next batch is distributed before you get any fresh vouchers.
Q. Can I use another student’s voucher, or give vouchers to a friend or guest?
A. No. Your meal vouchers are for your personal use only. They are not transferable under any circumstances to anyone else, and that includes other students and parents.
Q. Can I use my vouchers in more than one place, or do I have to choose one and stick to it?
A. You don’t have to stick to one place – you’re free to try out all of the establishments who have signed up to the scheme. In fact, we encourage it!
Q. What can I get for my vouchers?
A. Here’s a rough guide to what the vouchers will get you (although establishments vary):
- Breakfast typically means: pastry or sandwich + cappuccino/tea + water or fruit juice
- Lunch typically means: main course + water + coffee
- Dinner typically means: appetizer + main course + water + coffee
main course + fruit or dessert + water + coffee
Q. Where are the participating restaurants? What are they like?
A. The cafes and restaurants that will accept your meal vouchers are all located in the city center within quick walking distance from the school and housing. You’ll also be able to use some of your meal vouchers to buy food at a small local supermarket. Here below are a few of the establishments where your vouchers are accepted. But remember that you can use your vouchers at any of these spots – in fact, we encourage students to try them all for variety and fun.
Click through to see the eatery's website or Facebook page (some sites have menus, but not all eateries have websites).
|Ali Hamza Kebab||This small and super friendly place on via Santa Trinita serves great falafel and kebabs. Ali is a firm favorite of many students!|
|Antica Pasticerria Betti||Betti, located in the heart of the city center, is famous for its traditional food, pastries and sweets. Family-run, very informal, this is where local Italian students all come for their breakfast and lunch.|
|Bigonge||The cafe Bigonge is located in the picturesque piazza Buonamici just steps from piazza Comune. Lots of seating also available outside in the square.|
|Bon Per Te||This original place offers a range of scrumptious dishes and snacks, and is located right by Porta al Serraglio train station.|
|Buca dei Niccolini (FLORENCE)||This cozy restaurant is conveniently located near Florence’s cathedral and offers a variety of traditional dishes as well as pizzas and big salads. Very convenient for when you want to spend a day in Florence.|
|Caffe’ al Teatro||Something of a landmark in Prato, this restaurant is located directly opposite the famous Metastasio Theatre. Sascha and his staff will win you over with their food and their friendliness. Weather permitting, you can eat in their large garden.|
|Chocolat||This cafe is conveniently located in front of Porta al Serraglio train station on via Magnolfi. Perfect for breakfast and lunch (and they do great chocolate too!).|
|Cibino||Pizza, soup, wraps, simply fantastic! Dishes made with wholesome ingredients, a focus on local, environmentally friendly sources, and presented with Cristina’s creative flair.
|Crazy Pizza||This very popular pizza restaurant on via Serraglio near the station also offers takeout pizza.|
|Francescaioli||A family-run restaurant in Piazza San Francesco serving traditional trattoria-style dishes and pizza. Many tables available outside in the attractive piazza San Francesco.|
|Hop Store||Open ‘till late, this is the perfect place for tasty snacks that hit the spot. Great for fans of live music.|
|Keller Platz||Famous for live music and karaoke, Keller’s menu ranges from traditional Italian food to American staples like burgers and hot dogs.|
|La Bottega Supermarket||This small neighborhood supermarket offers all the essentials for home cooking, snacks and fruit. Located in the picturesque piazza Sant'Agostino in the city center.|
|Mokha||Mediterranean cuisine and pizza in a chic, sophisticated atmosphere.|
|Pieragnoli||Located inside the 19th-century Palazzo Benini-Massai, this is an inviting café where you can stop for tasty breakfasts, quick lunches or appetizing aperitifs.|