After leaving Germany, John and I made our way to Italy on an airplane. By the way, they know how to fly in Europe. We got free beer and snacks on a 1-hour flight.
Florence is pretty much how you’d think it be: old buildings close together, cobblestone streets, tile roofs, Vespas everywhere, old men drinking wine in the street. Like this:
See? Exactly like in the movies. Or my dreams.
But on to the food!
We found a restaurant around the corner from our apartment, called Alle Murate. It was once a 16th century storage room, but it’s now a restaurant. They kept the frescoes on the ceiling from the original building.
Reason 1 I loved this place: free prosecco. Reason 2: tasting menu. We did the 5-course tasting menu, because I love tasting menus. This was John’s meat course of lamb dishes.
One day, John and I went to Siena, a town about an hour and a half south of Florence. Food and Wine recommended a place in Siena, Osteria Le Logge, where the owner raises his own pigs. I’m not sure if that’s true, but the food was delicious. We shared a table with another American couple traveling in Tuscany. They suggested a great place for us to eat in Florence (which I have no photos of) where you eat everything family style. This was the stuffed gnocchi from the restaurant in Siena.
Sometimes I don’t know if I loved the food in Italy so much because I had wine with every meal. Because I pretty much did.
Ah, pasta! This is from the tasting menu at Alle Murate. It wasn’t really anything all that extraordinary, except it was excellently made pasta and sauce. Sometimes that’s the best thing: food done well. Plus, I’d just had a bunch of free prosecco.
Our first meal in Florence! We arrived in the morning and went to our rented apartment. The lady who owns the apartment, Tita, showed us around the place and left us a list of restaurants in the area to eat. She said Trattoria La Mossace served authentic Florentine food, which was what we were looking for. We wanted a taste of local food.
This place was definitely local. The schools had just let out, and it was filled with teenagers and businessmen eating lunch. We ordered the tripe and the veal, and white beans. Oh, and a half liter of wine. When in Rome/Florence…
After lunch, I was tired and took a nap. This happened a lot in Italy – wine, then nap.
Italy is famous for gelato. There were tons of places to eat gelato, but I believe we found the best one: Vivoli. Supposedly they make their gelato from eggs hatched the same morning. I have no idea if that’s true. I got that from Foursquare. I just know that it was the richest, creamiest gelato I’ve ever had. The coffee gelato was so strong I got a buzz off of it. This was also the only place that had an actual line outside, so you know it’s good.
Polenta and cheese at Gusta Vino, our first dinner in Florence. We went a little gung ho on that meal. Every menu in Italy has first courses, second courses, pastas, meats, salads, and desserts. We went a little crazy ordering something from every section of the menu. This was one of my courses, blocks of polenta in a creamy cheese sauce.
It really is a miracle I didn’t gain any weight in Italy.
Remember the lady who owned the apartment, Tita? Not only was she in her 70s and freakishly strong (she carried my luggage up two flights of stairs!), she’s super sweet. She left us a bottle of welcome wine! We drank it happily. We drank lots of wine in Italy, but this one holds a place in my heart as the first bottle we drank in Italy.