Going: Roma to Firenze!

Travel day!  Our first day traveling to a new city after three days in roma. But first gelato!  That’s right you didn’t think I would go this whole trip without a post about gelato did you?We delayed our leaving of Roma to stop in at one of the well reputed gelaterias which happened to be located near our B&B.

Fassi Gelato! So yummy, so delicious! I continued to eat gelato the rest of the trip pretty often but I think this was my favorite place. I will happily go back there and strongly recommend it to anyone. I had a cup with pistachio, zabione and chocolate. These three flavors ended up being my ‘tests’ to compare throughout the trip. Their pistachio tasted like the sweet nutty flavors it was supposed to and the zabione and chocolate were also delicious!!!

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Here’s all the flavors! I found out later they are also known for their cream that goes on top and I think that’s what that giant mound off to the left is.

We left Roma and took the train to Fireze. It was a pretty fast train ride and we got into town mid- afternoon. After taking a taxi to our apartment right near the Ponte Vecchio we spent the rest of the evening getting settled in and chilling out for a bit. The next day was saturday! Market day! Yes, this whole post might be about food.

We got up early, stopped for coffee at what would become my favorite coffee place in Firenze “Gilli” on the Palazzo Republica. It is this really sweet cafe in the Viennese style with dark gleaming wood everywhere and sparkling liquor bottles on all the shelf’s. They had tasty breakfast brioche and great caffe. Then we went onto the Mercato Centrale our true destination!

What a market it turned out to be.  So many amazing things to eat, buy and just drool over.
I swear I could go back to Florence and plan on not eating out at all but just getting fresh supplies from here every day and it would be delicious. They had amazing meat counters, cured meats, wrapped meats, aged meats….oh…it was a sight to see! A whole fish area and upstairs all the beautiful fruits and veggies you could possibly want.

We got thing started off right by putting ourselves in the hands of one of the counter guys at the Perini stall. Basically they hand you something to taste and your taste buds and brain explode in happiness and you nod your head dreamily as they fill a bottomless (expensive!!) bag with the most amazing meats, cheeses, cured meats, mostarda’s, pickled things, sauces and basically anything else that tempts you. They know what should go with what and they send you off with a delicious combination of snacks that you will dream about every night you are away from Italy.

After that we wandered upstairs for the rest of the delicious things we wanted to round out our shopping with some fresh lettuces, some vegg, and some fresh herbs. We also picked up some fresh meats for dinner. Next time I’m going to prowl through the seafood section more aggressively but alas our mini apartment fridge would only hold so much.

2009-32-miriamdemafruits and vegg upstairs at the market.
2009-33-miriamdemaand Nerbone…what can a girl possibly say about Nerbone that hasn’t already been said? The most amazing sandwich in the world! would that be to far to go? I almost think not. It’s so simple- a medium sized bun of slightly crunchy bread sliced in half and filled with boiled meat and topped with a combination of red and green mystery salsas. Sightly spicy to cut the heavenly boiled beef. oohhhhh. I want one right now. The best part (other that eating the sandwich or that free glass of wine we each got) is watching the guy make the sandwich just for you. The fragrant meat steam that rises up into the air as he slices the meat for your sandwich is in fact another thing I’ll dream about. After all that we walked home where I commenced to take pictures of all our amazing market spoils! but more on that in a moment.After the market I set out on a walk about by myself. It was grand to simply walk around with only a loose guide of where to go. I ended up at a fantastic small artisan market in the Palazzo Santa Croce. There were vendors of all sorts! Weavers, jewelers, woodsmiths…it was sort of like a craft fair back in the states! I bought a really sweet little pendant by an artist from Pisa. It a small sterling silver Tuscan countryside scene with a gold sun. It was really fun to talk to the vendors about what they made and to try to explain that I’m a maker myself. My limited Italian got me through it just fine.

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Heres a view from right near the Uffizi back towards the bridge nearest us, the Ponte Vecchio. It worked out really well to be staying near it as there are signs all over town directing you back to it and once you get to the Arno from anywheres in town you just have to look up and down the river to see which direction to walk to get home. Also it meant we were near things on both sides of the Arno and just across the Ponte Vecchio are lots of tiny artisan shops selling beautiful things.

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Didn’t I say something about pics of the food we bought? Yep, here ya’ go- food porn!

2009-36-miriamdemacured meats! lardo! coppa! salumi!2009-37-miriamdemafresh pears, apples and wild strawberries!
2009-38-miriamdematomatoes, balsamic, fresh onions and yummy pasta!2009-39-miriamdemafresh vegg! broccoli rabe, raddicio, fresh salad greens and giant frisse lettuce2009040-miriamdemasquash blossoms, fresh eggs and sage!2009-41-miriamdemafreshly ground coffee!
I navigated getting coffee, having it ground and what sort of maker we we’re using all in my limited italian!2009-42-miriamdemapickled capers and pickled tiny artichokes!2009-43-miriamdemacheese glorious cheese! not the last cheese we bought in italy but some of the best!2009-44-miriamdemaa giant mound of parma ham!!! we ate parma ham with everything!2009-45-miriamdemaand this was dinner that night. a dinner filled with glorious snacks!
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