Europe 2012: Day 63, Florence


Mercato Centrale Market in Florence, Italy.

Wednesday, 8/7/2012 

Woke at 7:30am.   It is sunny and hot, already!

I told my DH last night, “Honey, if it is hot again tomorrow, I going to do what all the smart Italians do when it is hot, stay indoors.”   And that is exactly what I did – after a trip to the Mercato Centrale Market, that is.

The Mercato Centrale Market is Florence is a huge beautiful indoor market that is over 200 years old.  There is an unbelievable amount of beautiful meats, breads, cheeses, pastas, fish, olive oil, wine, and my favorite – Italian cookies!   This place is not to be missed – and we don’t when we are in Florence!  Here are some pictures:

The market interior.

Fruits, veggies, and garlic.

Pasta, olive oil,vinegars, and hams.

Italian cookies!

Dried fruits.

Chickens with heads – yikes!

Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Tuscan Porterhouse) — before it is grilled.

Italian salts.

Octopus!

A gourmet store.

Around 11am, we came back to our hotel room where I settled in with the laptop to pound out a blog posting or two.   My DH packs his backpack and goes off to see some churches.   My DH loves churches – he could spend all day their just looking at the paintings and stained glass.  Around 1pm, my DH returns.  He tells me he went to the Museo di San Marco – here are a couple of pictures:

Italian frescoes.

Church courtyard

More frescoes.

Bell.

We have lunch at our favorite restaurant, Zio Gigi.  This was the first restaurant we went to when we arrived in Florence five days ago – we like the 8 Euro lunch of two courses (a pasta and a meat with a side).    My DH opts for pasta with meat sauce and grilled pork with roast potatoes.   I decide to eat light and have the pasta with a beef sauce and a tomato salad with mozzarella and a side of salad (hey, I tried).   The food was good and my DH finishes all his food.   But all that food was too much for me — I finished my pasta but not my salads.   The waitress looked at me disapprovingly and told me to eat more.  Oh well, I tried my best.

Around 4pm, we head back to our room for a nap and time on the internet.  We don’t leave our room until 7pm when we hoped it would be cooler.   It is not cooler.  It is still hot.  We still sweat as we stroll through Florence to look at the streets, the shops, and bridges, and the squares for one last time.  This is a wonderful city at any time of day!   We were still stuffed from lunch so we skip dinner.   But hey, we found room for one last gelato!   Here are some pictures of Florence at night:

The Ponte Vecchio Bridge at night.

Piazza della Repubblica  (Florence, Italy)

Piazza della Repubblica (Florence, Italy)

Signoria Square (Florence, Italy)

Quote of the day:  “Eat!” — Zio Gigi waitress to Anna

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