Monday, August 4, 2014

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!

Where does one begin when sharing the wonders of Florence?  The history abounds, the art work astounds, and the food, well, that's where I must start!  We had three memorable meals in Florence, but they were punctuated by daily doses of gelato and, in one case, two doses a day!  Since I am an ice cream lover wherever I am in the world, it is a real treat to be enjoying the special kind they make in Italy, creamier, tastier, and deceptively lighter than American ice cream. We were out to find the best gelato in Florence and tried three places in three days: the renowned Vivoli, near the Piazza della Croce, Gelateria La Carraia, which has multiple shops with one conveniently around the corner from our hotel, and Gelateria della Passera, in the quiet Piazza della Passera near the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens.

While time has not taken its toll on Florence, it has taken its toll on Vivoli.  Should you find yourself in Florence, skip it.  Uninspired flavors, small portions, and unfriendly service make it an exception to most other gelaterias, so why bother? La Carraia provided generous portions, interesting flavors with a creamy texture to match -- it was no surprise that there was always a line outside.  Even better, though, was Gelateria della Passera that offered the most inspiring flavors, including cioccolato all'arancia (Chocolate with orange) and pompelmo rosa (pink grapefruit) which I combined with limone.  We have a winnner. Perfection!

The flavors at Gelateria della Passera. 'A little out of the way, but well worth it!

There were stellar meals in Florence, too, of course.  We ate modern Italian cuisine at Il Santo Bevitore, shared a huge Florentine bistecca at the popular Trattoria Pandemonio, and enjoyed memorable homemade pasta and grilled pork chop at a locals' favorite, I'Brindellone.

Each was so different from the rest that one could not choose a favorite, but if I had only one more night to eat in Florence and had to choose from these three, I would choose I'Brindellone with Il Santo Bevitore a close second, both of which I have reviewed on TripAdvisor.  So that's my foodie's report from heaven in Florence.  Never fear, we did not just eat -- we saw a great deal of art, architecture, and historic sites, and hopefully a post on those will follow.  There is one breathtaking site after another in Florence, and I appreciated that more on this visit than ever before.  Sightseeing, though, is needs's my best evidence of our time well spent.


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