Our second stop on our tour of Italy was the beautiful City of Florence.
This felt like a whirlwind because we were only there 2 nights, the shortest stay of our trip. But between the food and the history, I think it needs a few posts.
First, we checked into our hotel, the gorgeous Hotel Principe:
Which faces the Arno River:
And has a beautiful back yard garden:
AND had a balcony on our room (the only one all trip!) with a view of the famous Duomo:
Next, we boarded a bus to Chianti for a tour of the wine region, where we stopped in a few different towns which I'll explain in another post.
The next morning we woke up and headed to meet our tour guide, Eliza, for our Taste Florence tour... one of our favorite parts of our trip!
Our meeting point was in front of the Basilica San Lorenzo:
Which was steps away from the Central Market, San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale, where our wonderful food journey began. We saw yummy things like fresh made pasta:
And not so yummy things like tripe and testicles:
But then Eliza led us through a wonderful wine, bruschetta, cheese and balsamic tasting at Conti in the market. We bought lots of great things to take home from this store!:
After educating our palettes we headed off to learn more about gelato... mmmm. We learned that the bigger, fluffier and more vibrant the gelato in the window the more artificial it probably is! Bright coloring agents and chemicals are what make it glow and make it stand a foot tall in the 90 degree weather. Instead, natural color gelato that looks even, possibly a bit melty and scoopable is what you want to go for. We got our fill at a cute little gelateria called "Perche no!...", meaning "Why not!" which I think is just a perfect name and sentiment:
Here, we tried EIGHT flavor combinations:
If you thought the food tour would be done by now, your are wrong! Our last top was Enoteca Alessi where we learned all about Tuscan wines in a cool, cellar atmosphere and paired our wine with different salume and bruschetta:
Phew! Hungry yet? Well now that I've worked up your appetite I'll follow up my post with another post full of gorgeous photos of the Duomo and other Florence (non-food related) sites.