Quick Trip to Florence

Our friends, Teri and Ray live north of Lucca, outside Bagni di Lucca in a small town.  They have an apartment that they rent out (http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/79397)  and can get real busy in the summer.  So before that happened, (and they had generously brought some things back for us from the states that I needed to pick up) she and I agreed to meet in Florence for lunch on Saturday, June 2.   



florence with teri june 2012 009


Yep, we’re in Florence, Ponte Vecchio on the left.  Arno in the middle.


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florence with teri june 2012 013


Joining us was Teri’s friend, Diana from  England.  Diana, on the left, will be moving here next year.  We had a wonderful lunch at Gusta-Osteria.  On the other side of the Arno, a few blocks from Pitti Palace.  Via de Michelozzi 13/R (Piazza San. Spirito)  Phone 055285033.  It was a walk from the train station but very well worth it.



florence with teri june 2012 011


I got the grilled vegetables with brie.  And Teri got the ‘meatloaf’ which was really a softball size meatball with roasted potatoes.  And then we split the two dishes in half and shared which is why the plate is not pretty but it was good.  The meatball was so light and tender.  And the sauce was good too.  Each entree was 10 Euros, along with giant, very cold draft beers, water and cover charge it worked out to be 18 Euros each.  I would definitely go back.  Good food and a good price for Florence.


So poor Diana, really didn’t know what to expect from a trip with Teri and I, but it was just about the normal.  Meet.  Decide on a restaurant.  Eat. Wander a bit.  Go to a grocery and do some food shopping.  Then back to the train station or car park. 


florence with teri june 2012 022


Teri had never been to VIVI Market in Florence.  It is on Via del Giglio, a few blocks from the train station.  Hmm, this was the haul this time.  Lemon Grass!!!  Very excited to get that.  Frozen edamame (which thawed on the train and made a puddle on the seat).  Dry, powdered coconut milk mix, very good for when you only need 1/2 cup or so.  Rice noodles and Chinese rice wine.  (never can have enough of those two)  A septic pack of tofu (firm which I usually can’t find in Esselunga)  and SWEET POTATOES!!!!.    All these will make the recipes that I am trying from my new Asian cookbook that much better.


It was a very fun day but hot.  Altogether it cost about 20 Euros to get there, 7,10 each way on train from Arezzo and about 6 for parking at the train station.  However, I think I will wait until September or October to go back.  It was very crowded and hot.  I was so happy to come back to the cool breezes and quiet of the farm.  Big cities are nice to visit but I don’t want to live in one any more.


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