Sunday, 1 November 2009

Florence wrapped

Two months, 8 weeks, 59 days. My time in Florence.

On the last day of October I got a one-way ticket to Parma, bringing to a close my time in Florence, concluding the internship period and this bubble of a year.

For two months I cycled the uneven, cobbled roads of Florence, mastered the Florentine accent (“una hoha hola”), sampled local pastries (Budino di riso, scacciata con l'uva), and made new friends, including the Barrista that always remembered how I like my coffee (in vetro).

It was a pleasant surprise to find that Florence was more then an over -exposed, crowded, expensive, tourist trap minefield.

This is a rundown of my favorite Florence

Budino di riso- its rice pudding in shortcut pastry. Once it is baked, a caramelized crust forms on top. Only found locally.

Gelato- with a large variety of gelato mounds sculpted, decorated and generally violated, it is also possible to have fine gelato. The Peanut flavour will be remembered as a highlight.

Oven detox- not having an oven is not the end of the world (temporarily speaking). I haven’t baked in two months and counting. Must. Bake. Soon.

Mercato San Ambrogio- the market ritual of getting up in the morning, jumping on the bike and heading to the market. On the way passing by the tripe man, always busy making the breakfast Lampredotto panini for hungry Florentine men. Nothing like boiled stomach lining to kick start the day…

Café- the reason that coffee is good here is because it is made with love and respect for the bean. Having your own particular preference is met with a respectful nod, as if to say “ I see where you’re going with this”… On the days that coffee alone was not enough, a sticky brioche wrapped in a napkin would be handed to me, from hand to hand. A shared intimacy over pastry. Dipped in the coffee, one brioche perfectly absorbs a cup of macchiato. No more, no less.

My pet- I shared my room with a mosquito. At first there were lots, but then it cooled down, leaving one stubborn insect. Unable to take its life directly, I took a more passive approach, trying to starve it to death. I was bitten. It refused to perish.

Holes in walls- for 3.50 euros I would often buy a focaccia from various panini makers that occupy urban nooks and crannies, filled with anything and everything. In general, Florentines like small, cozy, ‘good old days’ type places. And prices. And veggies. And I for one, agree.

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