Florence – Day 1- Breakfast and Lunch

Florence, Day 1 – It was the Best Orange Juice EVER

It was exactly like biting into a fresh, perfectly ripe, drip down your chin juicy, yum yum yummy orange without the peel or pulp.

If you’ve ever watched “Julie and Julia” (the one about Julia Childs and a foodie blogger), you may remember Julia’s husband asking what she wants to be.  And her reply?  French.

Well, that’s me and Italy.  Italians cook the best food in the history of history.

Breakfast began at lunch, after a refreshing Jet-Lag sleep-in fest until 9:30 am.  Italians don’t really do eggs as we Americans know them for breakfast.  Thankfully, Italians don’t make anything that tastes American. And Hallelujah for that – because with my lunch I had the Best Orange Juice EVER.  Caffe Scudieri, right on the Piazza del Duomo. Open since 1939, fresh, fresh salads, delicious cappuccino (although I have to admit I have yet to have a bad cappuccino in Italy as long as I stay in small, clearly locally owned shops), and the best freakin’ orange juice I have ever had.

O. M. G.

Florence - Mercato CentraleAn afternoon of strolling through the Mercato Centrale (and yes, I WILL be going back for the sunset-colored leather bag and matching wallet) left us (me and my two traveling companions) ready for a snack and a little vino, so we went upstairs where we shopped a bit in the Eataly, then hopped up on a barstool at one of the bar/restaurants.  Our waiter was a very affable fellow, who applauded our (standard) choice of  del vino de casa.

 

 

In this case it was Livio Felluga, Sharis.

Wine - Sharis

So here’s the deal in Italy – the restaurants have a competition amongst themselves for the best house wine. So always order that. It will always be fantastic and maybe 3 euros a glass.  Fan-freaking-tastic.

Am I being too obvious about my love for Italian cooking?  Not the cuisine, I swear the same recipes made in another country would still be good, but it’s the food plus the air plus the water plus the waiters.  That’s a whole other blog –   make way for Giovanni Luca.

We also shared a wonderful panzanella and salmon plate, alongside  prociutto with mozzerella – perfect for keeping us sated until dinner.

 

 

 

 

Florence - Mercato Centrale MEATMore walking, more window-shopping, and a nice afternoon nap until the restaurants (which close from about 3 until about 7) re-opened. 

 

 

 

 

Dinner down by the Duomo was so spectacular, I have to give it a post of its own. Here’s the gist: I am gluten-free, and so was my out-of-body-experience-great pasta and chocolate cake.  Another huge “Thank you, God” for Italian chefs. Check back tomorrow for that installment of Florence 2014!

(after I post it I’ll put a link to it here for your viewing enjoyment)

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