Firenze

It has been over a year since I spent a wonderful Christmas with my family in Florence which meant that a visit was long overdue! So for the first part of our long Easter weekend, Luigi and I headed down to beautiful Firenze!

Friday night dinner: Paula’s pick of pizza and beer at Mostodolce, a brew pub which I have enjoyed for the majority of my visits to Florence and continue to love. It’s off the beaten path so it’s not as touristy as so many eateries around the center. Plus, they serve awesome beer, their fried polenta makes for a great french fry substitute, and for dessert we discovered birramisu!

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Lunch on Saturday was Luigi’s call: Gli Amici del Ponte Vecchio, a literal hole in the wall paninoteca tucked away behind the Uffizi. The line was quite long but completely worth the wait! Their rules: We don’t have pesto and we don’t put two meats on one sandwich. For just €15, we had two huge focaccia sandwiches – mine, a classic mozzarella, tomato, rucola, Luigi’s with finocchiona (a type of salami), pecorino and sundried tomato spread – and two excellent glasses of wine. They were quick, they were cheap and they were so kind to every single customer that I almost didn’t believe it.

With full stomachs after lunch and a quick coffee and chocolate tasting at Rivoire, a famous cafe on Piazza Vecchio, we headed to the Boboli Gardens hoping the clouds would hold back the rain for the rest of the afternoon. They didn’t, but we still enjoyed a couple of hours in the nearly empty gardens, trying not to get too wet!

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Dinner on Saturday came at the suggestion of Luigi’s friend who lives in Florence and we were floored by this place! La Pentola dell’Oro (The golden pan)  was a small, cozy osteria in Santa Croce neighborhood.

We ordered a bottle of Montalcino to go with the meal and to start, we had bruschetta with pate, tuna spread and mixed vegetables.

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For our main dishes, Luigi had cinghiale with dried fruit and cocoa and I tried the tagliatelle with asparagus and orange. The dishes were fresh, inspiring takes on ordinary Tuscan dishes and they were great! The hint of orange blended beautifully with the asparagus.

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For dessert, we had fresh cantucci with vin santo! All of it was delicious and I highly recommend La Pentola dell’Oro for anybody heading to Florence soon!

We had a blast soaking in the sights and eats in Florence! I wish we had had a few more days but Pasqua was upon us so Sunday morning we headed to La Spezia for Easter lunch with Luigi’s family – Easter details to follow!

Until next time Florence!

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