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The report sounds great, Steve. Eggplant flan with shrimp also sounds like it could be a winner


How was the bread?

The bread gets better when you learn to douse it with olive oil and then salt and pepper it. Hard to get one that makes good toast though. :)

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  • 1 month later...

Nice short piece in the NY Times about the Oltrarno area (south of the Arno). Largely residential and tourist-free, it houses many traditional artisans. And, places to buy men's shoes for 1500 Euro




This tiny wine bar and food shop gives no hint of its take-home gastronomic treasures. Choose from 150 mostly Tuscan wines produced by hard-to-find boutique growers, more than 30 kinds of cheeses made in the nearby hills, including a semisoft vinacce infused with the skin of merlot grapes, and a dozen kinds of cured meats like wild boar and deer salami. Prices from 4 to 80 euros.


Via Santo Spirito, 60r; (39-055) 230-2820



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  • 2 years later...

Tommy:eats reports on a recent meal at 4 Leoni in Florence. Near Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.


Trippa alla Fiorentina, with a mouth watering picture




This is a great dish, and done quite well at 4 Leoni. The tripe pretends it's pasta, but pasta that tastes like meat. It's like having a pasta with meat sauce but without having pasta or meat. It's pretty incredible stuff. I forget if I did, but I sure hope I ordered this dish again. It would have been a sin to not.



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  • 10 months later...

Wall Street Journal reports on two artisan shops, a few steps away from, and a few hundred Euro less than, the shops on Ponte Vecchio.


Two Vicolo Marzio, on the north bank of the river, houses more than 20 crafts people in the gold, silver, and engraving trades



On the ground floor is Nerdi Orafi, a family-owned outfit whose modest atelier turns out custom jewels—artfully mismatched emerald earrings, engraved signet rings—for connoisseurs and Italian aristocrats. Hammered gold, florin reproductions, etc



And, a Japanese jeweler has a small shop,


where Japanese jeweler Aika Fushimi opened her Quarant’otto boutique two years ago. Ms. Fushimi’s signature piece, the Una Storia ring (about $2,050)


Lovely stuff: https://www.quarantotto.co.jp/



Article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-the-best-souvenirs-in-florence-skip-the-ponte-vecchio-1504191595

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  • 5 years later...

We stayed in an airbnb on the south side of the Arno on our recent trip...Oltrarno, if you will. I'd found this place for our last trip here a few years ago; this is the view from the apartment...


It literally hovers over the Arno. Inside...


Used the elevator (5 floors up) but they scare me, so occasionally walk up - good exercise!

As mentioned, a living museum.



But a pretty fabulous one...


With better food than most museums. Got to see and video one of our favorite things...

They roost on this wall, which was diagonally across the street from the apartment.


And they make a ton of noise!

We had one indifferent meal at the renovated (and ruined, in my opinion) Mercato Centrale. 

No, we didn't eat here...


But we should've run for the hills when we saw it. The rest of the food - right in our wheelhouse.  And even Italians often eschew the whole business of apps, primi, secondi. etc. etc. these days.  I saw locals eating pasta as their main, or starting with a pasta and sharing a secondi...you name it, they were doing it.

So after a few days of a fair amount of rain, I woke up early on the day we were leaving for Paris, and the Arno was flowing - scarily.


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Inside Santa Croce is this:



The heights the water reached inside the church from various floods over the past six or so centuries, with 1966 being the worst of the worst.  Some of the works of art have been hung on pulleys, so that they may be raised up in case of another flood.

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Extraordinary report, photos and, moreover, observations.    Thank you!     I've never been in Florence in winter.    Seeing it without debilitating heat, tourists and mosquitoes and by winter light would be a lovely experience.

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5 minutes ago, voyager said:

Extraordinary report, photos and, moreover, observations.    Thank you!     I've never been in Florence in winter.    Seeing it without debilitating heat, tourists and mosquitoes and by winter light would be a lovely experience.

Thank you. We've only been to Florence in December or February...there are always other tourists, we just try to avoid and were quite good at it this trip. Being before Christmas meant busier than February for sure.  As long as one can deal with the less that ideal weather, I think January or February are fine for travel...though I'll say it was freakin' cold on a few days.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I suppose I ought mention the places we ate (mostly dinners), not including the aforementioned garbage at Mercato Centrale.

Trattoria Cammillo

La Cucina del Ghianda


Trattoria Sabatino

Osteria Antica Mescita San Nicolò

Trattoria La Casalinga

Ditta Artiginale - Via dello Sprone 5R (daily coffee, breakfast or light lunch)

Other than the coffee place (always chock full of exchange students using the free wi-fi), we were pretty much the only non-locals dining at some of those restaurants, as they're mostly off the beaten path.  Nary a clunker in the bunch.


Always with the snacks with your aperitivo.


Always with the beans, too.



This was a really great dish - Tortello di patate al ragù di cervo.


Tartare di manzo con carciofi , frutto del cappero sottolio e scaglie di Gran Mugello stagionato in grotta.



I believe this was local Sienese pork neck.



Wild boar ragu.







We eventually became part of this group's Christmas party. They loved the two New Yorkers.


My current salad obsession, as posted elsewhere.


Maybe my fave dish of all - lamb chops "scottadito."

What's not to love about this kind of food?

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