The food in Tuscany for us was unsurpassed anywhere so far on the entire globe. We are wondering if any of our future sojourns will prove us wrong, but we are very willing to continue the hard work and research such that it is.
Of course we cannot forget to mention our dinner with the Florentines where we were treated to the experience that is bistecca alla fiorentina, Florentine steak. This lovely group of locals, one of which is related to my dear friend Heidi, met us at our hotel and walked us through Florence to their favorite restaurant. Mind you this was a place that locals eat and one we never would have pulled out of our hats if left to our own devices. The language barrier was a small challenge I had very little Italian and Paola Romanini and Monica Matteini were much more successful with their English thank goodness. Regardless of the small barrier, there was amazing food, fabulous wine and huge belly laughs throughout the night.
The Tuscan porterhouse steak was better than any beef I have ever experienced, served pre-cut on a wooden platter, a delicious juicy piece of meat. Our Italian friends were brilliant in their wine choices, saving us stumbling through the wine list, and Brian and I had the chance to taste our first grappa, a sweet warm liquorish tasting grape based brandy you dip biscotti into. I cannot say enough about the warm and embracing welcome we felt from this lovely group of locals, after dinner they walked us all the way back to our hotel so that we would not get lost. Along the way while passing through the Piazza della Repubblica we were given the chance to ensure our return to Florence. Near the Loggia del Marcato Nuovo, know by locals as loggia del Porcellino we met il porcellino himself. A bronze fountain of a boar dating 1634 sits adjacent to the market, it is said that by rubbing il porcellino's snout you will once again in your life time visit Florence. By the appearance of the pigs nose Florence will be a very busy place for some time to come. We happily gave the snout a hardy rub, and put a coin in his mouth to drop through the grate below for good luck. Thanks Paola and Monica for a wonderful evening, you were both kind beyond words and Florence would not have been as memorable without our "dinner with Florentines."
Grazie ai nostri amici fiorentini, inviamo il nostro amore a tutti voi.