The Other Sides of Florence
Day two we woke up and took advantage of our Hotel Casci included breakfast of eggs, pastries, and cappuccino machine to fill up before heading out for the day. My sister had stayed at the same location and had so much fun with their egg cooker, and we made use of it as well making some soft boiled eggs to eat with our toast.
We had a morning reservation for the Uffizi Gallery where the Birth of Venus painting lives. The room where the painting lives was sort of dark so i decided not to even try getting a picture of the painting. The museum had a history of paintings of Mary aka the Venus which went from very 2D paintings to more realistic paintings, but overall were really just creepy looking.
After an hour in the museum we walked around the various leather vendors which Florence is famous for. All the shops basically sold the same stuff and eventually just had to choose one and start negotiations on some coin purses we bought for friends and family back home.
For lunch we headed back up towards the train station to visit the Central Market which reminded me of Downtown LA’s Grand Central Market where you can buy your fish, fruits, and oils, along with getting a really good cheap meal. I found Da Nerbone on TripAdvisor and thought it was something very authentic that i had to try.
We ordered a roast beef sandwich, a plate of lasagna, a porchetta sandwich, and another half liter of red wine. One thing i learned about florence is that they like their beef medium rare, but on the closer side of rare. The second thing i learned about Italy in general is that their bread isn’t made with salt which makes them on their own tasteless, but they always expect to eat their breads with salty meats which then adds the salt needed.
The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the outer parts of the city getting a closer look at some of the statues, buying a water painting from one of the many artists around the city and stumbling upon a world’s fair type of flea market with food and drinks from all over Europe.
For a midday break we headed across the river to Piazza Santo Spirito to get a drink at Volume. We learned there that Italy doesn’t have the same health codes as they do here in LA as a few people came with their dogs for a glass of beer or wine. It was a cool place to rest our feet and it was pleasant to hear some English being spoken between some other bar patrons and the bartenders.
For dinner we ventured out on our own without a plan or a guidebook. We passed by dozens of restaurants before choosing La Burrasca. The biggest reason that i chose this place was that as we were standing outside looking at the menu i saw a waitress head to the door and instead of greeting us to get us to eat there, she shut the door close. It seems like every restaurant serves the same dishes and all have some rick steves or tripadvisor sticker on the window so sometimes its the little things that make places stand out.
My assumptions were correct as the place wasn’t full but by the end of the meal we were sharing tables with another couple from the east coast. We ordered a Caprese Salad, Carbonara, Pasta Pomodoro, and a Steak (not a Florentine Steak). We ate it all and washed it down with another half liter of house wine and had a nice conversation with the couple next to us comparing travel stories.