Foodies in Firenze

Update on the negroni:

After our dinner last night, we walked over to Atrium Bar. They are reviewed to make the best negroni in Florence. For those who don’t know, the negroni cocktail originated in Florence. Legend says that Count Camillo Negroni asked his bartender friend to strengthen his favourite drink, the Americano, which had equal parts red vermouth, Campari, and soda water. His friend replaced the soda water with gin, and thus the negroni was created!

Atrium Bar is a stunning, high end venue with gorgeous velvet couches, a high stocked bar, and servers in suits. We sat down and were instantly greeted with sweet flavored nuts, a man playing the piano, and of course our negroni. I would have to say it was definitely the best negroni I’ve ever had!

Longing for a Florence sleep in, we took it upon ourselves to be alarm free this morning, and a glorious sleep we had! Waking up much past the breakfast hour, we headed straight to the central market to check out the lower level where all the locals buy their groceries. It’s open everyday until 2pm, and literally has everything you could imagine: fruit and veggies, cheese and meats, pasta, fish, olive oil, wine, and much more.

After wandering in awe of all the delicious looking foods, and feeling quite hungry ourselves, we ordered an insane charcuterie board with two glasses of red.

Strolling the streets around the market, we couldn’t help but see and smell all the amazing leather goods. They have everything: purses, shoes, belts, jackets. And they are just gorgeous in their quality. We decided to do a little shopping and I bought Daniel a beautiful leather belt, and he bought me some pretty great leather sandals.

Wandering to the main hub of Florence, we wanted to use our museum ticket purchased yesterday to get in a few more attractions. Our first stop was the Museo della Misericordia, which is dedicated to the worlds oldest voluntary associations. They have been active since 1244 and continuously and anonymously offer charitable help to the poor. The museum showcases their work, the ways in which they would help the less fortunate, and the many gifts and donations to the museum itself. The museum is quite small (but has A/C!), and we were given a free, private tour. The older man described all the details and artefacts in each room.

Leaving the museum, we wandered over to the baptistery to see if there was a line, and luckily we managed to see inside. The ceiling decor, marble columns, and tiled floors were beautiful pieces of work.

We completed our afternoon with a tasty gelato before refreshing prior to dinner.

Prior to dinner, we scoped out a little brew pub which only serves craft beers. Surprisingly, it has been hard to find craft beers anywhere we’ve been. This place even does flights, so we order two flights to try their entire list, except one.

Our dinner reservation for tonight was at a restaurant called Brandolino. We ordered a bottle of Chianti wine, the mushroom fettuccine, and the florence renowned meal, the Florentine Bistecca. It was incredible: so tender, so tasty, and just perfectly seasoned goodness. To end with, our server brought us a complimentary glass of dessert wine. It was the perfect way to end our Firenze trip!

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The Beauty of Firenze

Awaking bright eyed and bushy tailed, we quickly walked down to the Galleria dell’Accademia in hopes of seeing the real David. As we turned the corner, a steady line was already being formed. We hopped in and waited just a little over an hour before entering the gallery.

As we walked in, we were completely surrounded by beautiful pieces of art work and statues galore.

Of course, the most anticipated feature was that of David. I can’t even describe the massiveness of the statue and the immense amount of detail that it contains. It’s something else.

We continued further throughout the gallery and I was quite in awe of the sculptures in general. The amount of time and patience to create these beautiful pieces of artwork is impressive. I also learned that through the Middle Ages, art was dedicated solely to representing God.

Once through the majority of the gallery, we continued further to explore the music museum. It has beautiful pieces of instruments dating back to the 1600s.

When our tour was complete, we headed to our local breakfast spot for another tasty morning treat.

We spent the next few hours walking around Florence and seeing all the major sites. We went to the cathedral and duomo and were blown away by the grandeur of the plaza. It’s massive and absolutely stunning. The pictures don’t even do it justice.

Venturing on, we headed to the Ponte Vecchio for a view of the Arno River, passing the Uffizi Gallery on the way. The line was way too crazy to wait.

We crossed the river to the less touristy side and explored the beautiful streets. We also stopped for a little gelato snack!

By 2:30pm we were quite hungry so headed back over to find a place for lunch. We had scoped out a few but all were closed by the time we arrived. Instead, we stopped at a place purely by its name: Da Pinocchio.

To start with, we had the bruschetta.

Next, we shared the scampi linguini and the seafood risotto.

It was recommended to us to check out the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, which was back in the Duomo square. It’s a museum dedicated to describing the steps and process that went on to actually build the Duomo and Cathedral. It also contains several statues by Donatello and Michelangelo, and bronze gilded baptistery panels. It was quite education and we enjoyed our time there.

Deciding on what to do or where to go next, as we were walking around the Duomo plaza, we noticed there was a very short line up for the Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto). We stood in line for no more than 20 minutes before being able to ascend the 414 steps and get our nice leg workout! When we arrived at the top in record speed and real sweaty, we were surrounded by gorgeous views of Florence and especially the Duomo itself.

Shortly after, we headed back to our B&B to get ready and cleaned up for our dinner tonight. Plus we needed to break open our brunello that we bought yesterday!

We ventured back to the market for dinner. Tonight we tried out the pizza. We ordered the margherita and the magnifico, with a glass of red and a beer.

After dinner, we decided to check out a local negroni bar. I’ll report on that tomorrow!