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Italian Travel and Random Thoughts

Italian Travel and Random Thoughts
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Some Florence, Italy secrets

Before I went to Florence the first time I booked everything I possibly could while I was still home.
I guess if you don't know much about the city you're visiting it's a good way to go. Since I have been there for the last four July's I have found out a few secrets.

First, just because a restaurant doesn't look like a fancy schmancy place doesn't mean it's not good food.
I found a little restaurant right across from the Teatro Verde called the Teatro Pizzeria. It had amazing fresh raveoli with spinach and of course Bistecca Florentina. If you've never had Steak Florentine it is a must.

Second, you can order any house wine in any restaurant and it is always delicious. Period. Is there even such a thing as bad wine in Italy?
If you want to go to the Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia and you don't have tickets before you go don't worry. Across from the Accademia on the left hand side of the street is a quiet little store front next to a book store. You can get whatever tickets you like for just about any time. That will save you tons of time. The lines are usually horrible to get into these places. Go when you first get to Florence so you know how to plan what to see.

Third, the Centro Market is huge but it's hard to find and you MUST go there. You will find all of Italy's favorite foods that you can bring home or ship. Also, it's right next to the outdoor leather market.
If you're at the S.M.N train station walk toward the Duomo and turn left on Corso St. You'll find it. Ask anyone in the leather market where it is. It's not open on Sundays though. Don't buy the pretty pasta in clear plastic bags. They are made especially for tourists. Italians don't ever eat that pasta.

I get hungry just thinking about all the delicious things to eat!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I love Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy. It is rich with history, culture, and the most amazing wine and food.  I have managed to spend the month of July for the last four years soaking in the Italian lifestyle. It is like New York City but in two feet of water. There is as much to see as in Manhattan yet the pace is much slower and leisurely. It's as if the people of Florence want you to slow down and enjoy life. So I do.
When I am home I jump in my car to go three blocks to run an errand. In Florence, I walk three miles just to walk and take in the sites. The rise and fall of foreign voices chatting or arguing in Italian is musical. Their passion for live overflowing in their morning cappacino conversation. I am drawn to this culture like a high powered magnet. I must return. I must. I have no idea why I have such a strong yearning to be there. The customs? The people? The food?
I have been on every tour there is. The David, the Arno river cruise, cooking classes, concerts, the Pitti Palace, the Boboli Gardens, and the annual trip to the leather market. I breath the leather in like it's a perfume.  Michel Angelo's David is not to be missed. You can wait on line the day you want to go for hours on end, or you can go to the ticket office that is hiding across the street and by tickets there for a specific time. Everytime I go back  to Florence I try to figure out this attraction. So far I have nothing. So I think I have to go back and give it another try.