When we said goodbye to our French friend Olivia before heading to Turin and Florence, she warned that the beauty of Florence was so great it could be stupefying. She claimed that on her visits there, she couldn’t resist walking compulsively from one exquisite site to another, forgetting even to take breaks for food and drink.
This did not happen to Steve and me. We got hungry at regular intervals, and we paused to eat wild boar, osso buco, gelato, roast suckling pig, pizza, deep-fried rabbit and eggplant, sea bass, more gelato, buffalo-milk mozzarella, flavorful tomatoes, poached codfish, gnocchi with crab, risotto with fresh truffles, more gelato, and other tasty dishes (in only three and a half days!) Every meal was extraordinary. Almost everything cost about half what comparable fare would cost back at home. I don’t know if we gained weight eating it. (I’ll find out soon, when we get home). But it’s possible we didn’t. Like Olivia, we walked obsessively — at least 8 or 9 miles every day. Thursday we also climbed the 38 floors to the top of Florence’s magnificent basilica.
If the beauty of the city didn’t stop us from enjoying its food, we nonetheless found it pretty much as wonderful as Olivia promised. It made us yearn to someday do a house trade here to savor it all at a slower pace.
In the meantime, we’ll have to console ourselves with memories such as these: