Wednesday, 6 August 2008

How to feel very Italian

A day in Florence today...just Ralph and I. Pure bliss. We skipped the Duomo and markets and spent most of the day wandering around the Santa Croce area - bookshops, delicatessens and beautiful restaurants.

We went armed with a shortlist of restaurants for lunch, only to find that our top choices were closed for the month of August. You may or may not know that Italy closes down in Agosto. To get anything done, be it plumbing fixed, the car repaired, or a restaurant to visit, one has to wait until September. This apparently is a well-known fact, but not well enough known by us!

So, we lunched at Restaurant No.4 on our short list - Osteria de' Benci. And I can't wait to eat at No's 1, 2 and 3 if No.4 is anything to go by. Starters were white bean & garlic bruschetta (for me) and spaghetti dell'ubriacone or drunken spaghetti (for him). This aptly named dish is in fact spaghetti cooked in red wine - an incredible sight on the plate, an unbelievable aroma and an even better taste. Nearly as good as my bruschetta. Secondi was carpaccio of beef with rocket and parmigiano (for me) and bollito (for him). However, the appreciation for our secondi was not as it should have been given the wonderful dishes as we were already stuffed to the brim by our starters. A truly wonderful meal.

We spent an hour or two in two English bookshops - to escape the excruciating humidity as much as to peruse the excellent selection of books. And then we just strolled around Florence - as far away from the madding crowds of tourists around the Duomo and markets as we could go.

And Florence is certainly a city that brings out the romance - I was kissed at every landmark or street that was considered famous (by him who did the kissing) so I've ended the day feeling very Italian indeed!

And we arrived home to find all the kids alive and happy (thank you Mindy!), the house cleaned and lasagna cooked for dinner. In our meanderings, we found a wonderful shop in Florence (Bortolucci) that sells handcrafted wooden toys so 2 slingshots were purchased and hugely appreciated by Mathew and Alex when we got home.

The day ended with a long awaited half-hour downpour and loud thunderstorm. Rain at last. A perfect end to another wonderful day here in the land of luurrv.

1 comment:

Treehouse Dwellers said...

Oh - how I would love to feel that Italian!!!