Archive for category Discovering Florence
Uscire a Firenze è un piacere. Se riuscite a trovare parcheggio e se i tacchi che avete scelto non sono troppo alti. Soddisfatte le due primarie condizioni, mi è capitato di volere fare un aperitivo in centro che non sia solo un’accozzaglia di chips, noccioline, patatine rodeo (esistono ancora) e olive verdi che ci salutano tristi dal bicchierino della loro ultima ora, con l’aria da dead man walking. Ho scoperto recentemente il Soul Kitchen e finalmente un aperitivo-cena degno di questo nome. Mi ha colpito non solo la quantità -in molti locali i numerosi primi piatti serviti sono irrimediabilmente scotti- la qualità elevata e la varietà dei cibi offerti. E’ una vera e propria cena completa, con antipasti, primi e secondi in un continuo susseguirsi di nuove e calde pietanze. Il tutto a 7 euro compreso il vostro cocktail.
E pensare che ieri, per un euro in più, venivano servite anche delle crepes dolci.
Se penso alle frittatine (per esser gentili) proposte da un altro locale in centro, spacciate per cibo degli dei e non comprese nel tripudio di salatini (seppur ben presentati) di cui sopra, mi prende male.
O bene, pensando al prossimo Soul Aperitivo.
Final Destination Tuscany. The five most striking things about Tuscany and Italian people, from a tourist’s perspective.
Over the past year I’ve known almost fifty different people coming from all over the world. This means I’ve embraced different cultures, traditions, languages and customs. But what they have in common is they’ve been longing about Florence, Tuscany, Chiantishire, Tuscan and Italian food and wine, for a long time and now, finally, after an exhausing trip, their dream came true.
I’ve been lucky enough, running a vacation house near Florence, to be part of the dream, as privileged witness.
During the months I’ve collected so many impressions about our beloved region.
Here you’ll find the five most striking ones, after the first days spent under the Tuscan sun.
1. Wild traffic. Florentine drivers are always in rush and the consequence is traffic is intense, caotic and it looks like a jungle. Moving the arms in a convulsive way, it’s all part of the package because they’re like an extension of the car, so we need to use them. A lot. I’ve heard stories about tourists lost among roundabouts and give-way signs. I can feel the terror in their eyes as they tell me their experience and live again those unforgettable moments. My advice is always the same. If you can’t compete, take the bus.
2. Phone calls. Aside from loud voice, they’re always surprised about the weird way we answer the phone: “Pronto”. I’ve been asked so many times what’s the point of clarifying every time that we’re.. “Ready”! The same doubt about the final, repeated “Ciao, ciao, ciao”, at the end of the phone call.
Well, actually, I’m not able to explain the syntax of an italian phone call.
The short version is we’re very much ready to hear what you have to say, and, a simple “Bye” is not enough to communicate how lucky we were to talk to you, at the phone. At least we don’t hang up the phone without saying ‘goodbye’, like in american movies! All I know is that we might be weird but, without a doubt, dedicated!
3. Coffee/Tea. An unbalanced war. Our stores are full of every possible kind of coffee: decaffeinated, Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, Excelsa and plenty of coffee machines. But there’s no chance to find a simple teapot with a proper filter. I know this sounds incredible but it’s true. Word of English perfect gentleman. All I can do is smile, and tell we don’t have this strong passion for tea. Just in case you haven’t noticed. So sorry.
4. Train ticket. Countryside is amazing: hills, fantastic views, vineyards, fruit gardens. But if you need to take the train to move from a little village to another, things might be a little bit more complicated. Small stations have poor turnout so, when I have to explain that the ticket office is open just for few hours in the morning and the best thing to do is to buy tickets at the bar near the station , their face tell everything I already know. Why would I have to buy tickets at the pastry shop? The keyword for the stay is ‘cappuccino & ticket’. Don’t ask.
5. Tuscan landscapes. Looking a tourist’s eyes the exact second he or she finally arrives in Tuscany, is almost a mystic moment. They drop the bags, lift the head up and a sudden flash illuminate their face. Eyes and mouth wide open. Literally. We’re used to admire our Tuscan landscapes almost everyday, and whenever we want but, for a tourist, coming from the other side of the world, a simple country run or a olive field can be as poetic as a Divina Commedia line. This is my favorite moment.
Beyond bizarre things and different customs, all the people I’ve met are overwhelmed by the beauty of our country, and the uniqueness of our region. It’s somehow istructive because it refreshes our mind about how lucky we are, living our life surrounded by the magic and the elegance of Florence.
Too bad for those who live in Florence but unfortunately, are not sensitive enough to enjoy every little single part of this incredible blessing.
Si è appena concluso il mio S. Valentino, trascorso qui. Uno dei migliori ristoranti di Firenze. Magari la prossima volta evitiamo di finire di cenare a mezzanotte e tornare a casa con lo stinco di maiale sullo stomaco.
Good night and good luck.
Se siete a Firenze e volete un take away biologico, Vivanda è il vostro posto. Vini e materie prime biologiche, verdure a km 0, formaggi e salumi di qualità eccelsa allevati a pascolo libero. Un concept attuale. Mette a disposizione di tutti la qualità a prezzi contenuti, il tutto rispettando l’ambiente e la salute. Abbiamo preso un primo alle zucchine e noci, una lasagna al pesto, delle deliziose polpettine di melanzane e la mitica torta del Pistocchi. Tutto veramente ottimo. Se avete tempo o preferite consumare il pasto direttamente nella gastronomia, meglio ancora. Potrete decidere estemporaneamente cosa vi stuzzica di più.
If you are in Florence and want a bio take away, Vivanda is your place. Wines and bio ingredients, km 0 vegetables, really high quality cheese and ham reared in free pasture. A current concept. It brings the high quality and short price to everyone, with respect for environment and health. We chose pasta with courgettes and nut, lasagna with pesto, delicious aubergine balls and the awesome Pistocchi cake. Everything really fantastic. If you have time or prefer eating in the delicatessen, it would be great. You’ll decide right there which dishes tickle you the most.
Gustarsi un muffin al cioccolato all’Hemingway procura sempre un sacco di soddisfazioni. Se ti senti triste e la vita invece che sorriderti, ti fa una smorfia, prova ad assaggiare una qualcunque di queste prelibatezze di pasticceria. Non so voi, ma io mi sento meglio. E pensare che non vado neanche pazza per i dolci.
Insomma, abbiamo eletto questo delizioso bar-cioccolateria come nostro preferito nei secoli e secoli. E’ un punto d’incontro, un modo per godersi un caffè, tè, frullati in santa pace. E c’è anche il wi-fi per quelli che hanno la sindrome del “sempre connessi”. Apprezzi la vita e i suoi piaceri? Allora sei il benvenuto.
Eating a chocolate muffin at Hemingway Florence is always a pleasure. If life doesn’t smile, but makes faces, try any of these patisserie delicacies. I always fell better, and I don’t even like sweets that much.
We have voted this bar-patisserie as our favourite for ever and ever. It’s a meeting point, a place where you can enjoy your coffee, tea, milkshake. It’s also a wi-fi area for those with “always connect” syndrome. Do you enjoy life and all the pleasures? So, you’re welcome.
Sunday afternoon in Florence, in one of the most enchanting garden ever seen. Maybe the Luxemburg garden in Paris could have some chances. A maze made of silent trees, aware statues and fantastic views of Florence. If you are a tourist or a lazy tuscan, get up and come to see this mastepiece.
Boboli garden was built between XV-XIX c., and was born as Palazzo Pitti’s garden. After the first Renaissance startup, the space evolved with various grottos, fountains, statues and small lakes. The garden allows the entrance in Bardini garden too, which is, if possible, more bewitching than Boboli.
What are you waiting for?
Domenica pomeriggio a Firenze, in uno dei più incantevoli giardini mai visti. Forse i giardini di Lussemburgo a Parigi hanno qualche possibilità di competere. Un labirinto di sentieri fatto di silenti alberi, statue consapevoli e fantastiche viste di Firenze. Se sei un turista o un toscano un pò pigro, alzati e vieni a vedere questo capolavoro.
Il Giardino di Boboli è stato costruito tra il XV e il XIX secolo ed è nato come giardino attiguo a Palazzo Pitti. Dopo la prima impostazione rinascimentale si è evoluto con varie grotte, fontane, statue e laghetti. Il giardino permette l’accesso anche a Giardino Bardini che, se possibile, è anche più incantevole di Boboli.
Cosa state aspettando?
Yesterday I went out for dinner, and Ste took me to this vegetarian & vegan restaurant in Florence, saying “You’ll love it”. And he wasn’t wrong. I felt in love as soon as I saw the place and the menu: all biological, vegetarian and vegan dishes built with fantasy. Only vegetable lovers can cook them with passion and make them irresistible. We took the complete meal which was composed by three taste: one salad, one rice and an appetizer. All accompanied by Carasau bread: a typical crispy disc bread from Sardinia, which I love seeing my sardinian origin.
A taste triumph, all I have to say.
For those in Florence or tourists looking for something different from Fiorentina steak:
This fantastic place is a restaurant and also a contemporary art library and bookshop.
All the best.
Saturday I’ve spent a beautiful day in Florence at the Handicraft Exhibition (http://www.mostraartigianato.it/). A lot of amazing stands of Italian manifacture, so many colours, people, expert artisans who really love their work as you can see from the passion in their eyes. That’s the reason why of their tremendous pieces of art. My boyfriend and I stopped in many exhibitions as you can see from the pics.
In particular, I’ve talked to a very nice mosaic artisan named Lucia, who explain to us how she works, the method used. She was so kind to let me take some pictures of her and her works. Here below some photos. (www.luciamosaici.it)
After, a clay bust exhibition outside, plexiglas lamps, crazy pendants, glass manifactures, all the kind of jewelry, ceramics and many many more. Finally we get to the famous italian and florentine painter Piero Morandi, who had a very wise stand, in wich Ste and I saw two marvellous paintings dedicated to two women seen from behind. Gorgeous. Ste bought them, so they are already in our bedroom.. Beautiful!
Here I am at home this night, with a terrible headache. Maybe it’s the different weather and the rain that makes me fell not well. I can’t wait for the sun to came again. Tomorrow I’d like to go in the centre of Florence, to go for a walk and breath the air of my magic city. For now I’ll publish some pics of Florence in winter, I guess in the Christmas time. These photos are so particular, the colours are strange and strong. There’s poetry suggested by the opaque light . Or at least it’s what I see in them.