It’s a beautiful day here in Firenze. It is sunny and about 70 degrees, which is nice since it’s been chilly and rainy for the past couple of days. I wanted to fill you in on what we’ve been up to.
The first day here was sort of a blur since we had been up for almost a full 24 hours. After we arrived in Firenze at 11 a.m., we set out to walk around the city a little bit and headed to the market to grab food!
The Sant’Ambrogio market is probably one of my favorite things in the entire world. It is where all of the local farmers come to sell fruits, veggies, meat, cheese and all kinds of other things from 9 a.m. to about 1 p.m. every day in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio. The vegetables and fruit are so fresh that they’re still covered in soil! We asked one of the farmers how old the vegetables were so that we knew how long we could keep them, and he said they had just been picked that morning. Amazing! My favorites are the red peppers and tomatoes. They’re so juicy and rich that they taste creamy! But seriously, everything is so good. One of the farmers is nice and knows us well because we come to his stand every day, so he always gives us free rosemary, spinach, carrots, basil and a bunch of other herbs just because he likes us! After we stocked up on all kinds of colorful things, we made some delicious salads for lunch.
That evening, we headed to our favorite restaurant for dinner (I just realized this post has been all about food so far! …When in Italia, right?)
It’s a restaurant called Il Gato e il Volpe, which means: The Cat and the Fox. It’s by far the best restaurant in Firenze, in my little opinion, and it’s really local and authentic too. The owner is this guy named Fabio, and he has known Vince for almost ten years. He calls him Chuck Norris because of his beard and the fact that he does martial arts. But because of his accent, he says “Chuck Norrees” …so funny! Because he and Vince are such good friends, he gives “the Vince discount” to us and everyone who knows us. He usually takes 15% off of every meal and just gives us pizza and all kinds of things for free. Anyway, they have the most amazing food, and if you’re ever there, ask for Fabio and tell him that you know Chuck Norrees.
The next day, we hung out with our friend Jason for a little bit! Jason is an amazing sculptor from Michigan and the first person my roommates and I met in Florence when we studied abroad a couple of years ago. More importantly, he has THE cutest kitten in the entire world! She is the most playful, lovable thing on this earth, and I don’t even like cats. Her name is Ombretta, which translates to: little shadow.
After that, we had aperitivo with our goodfriend Emanuele, his girlfriend Lindsay, and Vince’s student Margeaux. I met Emanuele at the same time that I met Vince, and he is such a great friend! He even came to visit us in Boston over the summer, and it was so fun! His girlfriend, Lindsay, is from Rhode Island, but she lives in Florence and teaches English as a second language at a preschool here.
Aperitivo means appetizers, and it’s an italian tradition that you usually have before dinner. Most bars, cafes and restaurants will have aperitivo from around 7-9 p.m., and you can buy one drink for 5-10 euro depending on where you go. Then, there is a whole buffet full of appetizers and finger food, and you can eat as much as you want! It’s pretty amazing. We used to just do that for dinner because it was so cheap and such a good deal! Anyway, it was so great to catch up with old friends, laugh about inside jokes and have so much fun for a couple of hours. I didn’t realize how much I missed everyone!
On Sunday, we headed to St. Mark’s for church, which is where Vince and I met! It was so amazing being back at church there. The people are just so incredible, and I feel so connected to that church. I wish I could pick it up and take it with me wherever I go, because I can’t imagine going to church anywhere else.
Tonight, it is Notte Bianca in Firenze, which means “white night.” This is a big festival throughout all of Florence where everything is white and everyone is supposed to dress in all white. There are also concerts, tons of things to do and all of the museums and nightclubs are free. It goes all night until 6 a.m. They also have all kinds of light displays and fog machines throughout the whole city…it’s pretty crazy. Emanuele, Lindsay, Margeaux, Vince and I are going to go later tonight, and I’m really excited. I love how there is so much going on here every single day. There’s always something fun to do! And I swear italians just make up their own holidays and shut everything down whenever they want. We’ve been here for exactly a week and there have already been TWO holidays where everything is closed.
Everyone is like, “Oh, everything is closed today. It is a holiday.”
But….it was a holiday yesterday….and the day before! Basically, Italy just does whatever it wants. And I love it.
Anyway, there is so much more to tell you, but it is beautiful outside and I need to go explore. There will be more posts coming soon. Thanks for reading! For now, arrivederci!
xoxo Lizzie xoxo