May 5 - Our first full day in Firenze!
In the morning we walked about 15 minutes to Mercado Centrale. Along the way we spotted the San Lorenzo market too that we would come back to. Mercado Centrale was HUGE but they were renovating part of it. They have all kinds of meats, cheeses, fish, produce, spices, etc. We wanted to buy some lunch food for the next couple days.
We tasted various cheeses and finally picked out 3. Most of them were very good so it was hard to decide.
|picking cheese is a very intense decision|
We picked up olive oil, bread, tomatoes, apples, grapes, and oranges and this spice packet thing to mix in the olive oil. We later realized it was seasoning for soup... whoops.
Right near the market we saw Zaza's. This restaurant had been recommended to me by a few different people and a couple of guidebooks. We determined we were destined to return there that night!
On our way back we strolled along the San Lorenzo leather market to get an idea of prices.
Our yummy lunch from the market. Seriously some of the produce there tastes much better than produce here... so fresh! The tomatoes were some of the best I've ever had.
Then we went to our 1:30 Uffizi gallery reservation time.. only 10 min walk from the Flora (everything is very walkable there). I am so glad I made reservations because the line was at least an hour long and we just picked up our tickets at the building across the street and walked right in... well worth the small extra fee.
We used the Rick Steves free audio tour... it was good and a little humorous in certain parts to keep it interesting. We spent about 2 hours there looking at the Renaissance Art etc. They did not allow photos (flash or no flash) so that was a slight bummer. It was a mix of paintings and sculptures, heavy on the painting side. Many were of the Virgin Mary or Venus.
Right out a few of the gallery windows you could see the Arno river.
After we finished at the Uffizi, we walked across the Ponte Vecchio (bridge over the Arno) for lots of picture taking... and this isn't even a fraction of them.
On the other side and down the river a bit, in the process of looking for a gelato shop from the guidebook we found another tiny shop, Cantina Del Gelato, that looked good plus our uffizi's were tired haha.
We sat along the river wall and ate gelato. Eric and I split pistachio and yogurt. Megan got cheesecake and Keith got cookies. Everyone really loved their gelato!
We walked back to the apt and split up near the Duomo so Keith and Megan could find a place to print our Tuscany tour vouchers and Eric and I went back up to the apt to relax.
Side story: While at the internet point, the man told Keith it was 50 cents use the printer and K got into a little language barrier problem with the man by first saying he did not have American cents and could he just give him 1 Euro... not realizing in Italy they call it cents too. The man kept saying "no, just 50 cents" which K replied to with "no American cents!" Megan said she was dying laughing over by the computers but finally K figured it out. I'm glad we weren't there or this funny Keith moment might not have happened. I'm sure that guy is thinking yep no American sense whatsoever!
Then that evening after much anticipation we went to dinner at Zazas. It definitely lived up to our expectations! They have delicious truffle sauce... not that any of us had truffle sauce before to compare it to but it sure was amazing! Megan later said it was her favorite meal of the whole trip.
Day 3 coming up soon....