chocolate fair florence italy

Florence Photo Diary, a weekend in February

fiera cioccolata firenze This weekend flew by faster than any I can remember. Suddenly Monday morning arrived before you know it, an array of snow flurries arrived in the center as twitter and Italian news blew up at the rare sight of neve in the city. That along with explosive news of the Pope’s resignation at the end of this month, made for a very news-crazy day in Italy.

Yesterday morning I had the pleasure traipsed back to the Italian purgatory – the questura di firenze for my permesso renewal which was actually pretty easy [two-hour wait instead of the usual four + wait], though it was renewed for only one year instead of two. I ama bit bummed about it because that means I get to return next year instead of getting a momentary break but hey, whats a girl to do. They must like me that much.

Despite my red-tape reality slap in the face start to the week, I actually had a fantastic weekend motivated by the chocolate fair, a baby and a good friend coming back in town to visit. It was go go go from Friday onwards, a nice change from the lazy weekends I have been getting used to utilizing the ‘it’s cold outside’ excuse.

Friday meant that I got to see my great friend Adeline who used to live in Italy before she abandoned us for a new life in Barcelona. Yes there was a stop at the chocolate fair to pick up some goodies for her, lunch at a little prosciutteria on via dei neri for a panino stuffed with gorganzola with nuts, prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes with a glass of red wine and a walk around the city – to ‘digest’. Also a few accidental pics with my new camera phone {perils of a sensitive touch screen}.

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Saturday morning a group of my girlfriends hopped on a train to Pistoia to visit our friend with a new baby. We made an awesome lunch [I brought sun-dried tomato hummus - score!] and of course stopped by for an obligatory visit to my friend Carlo, the donkey. Pistoia is a charming city that I have written about before,  a  short 38 minute train ride and I happen to be a huge fan of their outdoor central market on the weekends. The highlight of the day was taking turns holding my friend’s new baby girl and cooing over her sweet, sleepy face as she happily slept and uttered the most adorable baby sounds. Heart.is.melting

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The day continued with me meeting up with some other friends  for dinner and drinks. I had my favorite spaghetti alle vongole veraci (clams) which is such a simple dish but they make it so beautifully here. The restaurant was pretty cool too, really modern (as was the price) on via gioberti.

Later, we were supposed to go to a carnival-themed villa party in the hills but it was cancelled so we somehow ended up at a dance club called Blue Velvet near via dei neri. Bit of a joke really but we made the most of the weak drinks and strange music. There also were about 15 million pink balloons that kept popping at random intervals. Getting home at 5am is not normally something I do but this just happened to be one of those nights and you better believe we stopped by the secret bakery so a friend could enjoy a freshly-made ciambella (large sugar doughnut).

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 Sunday I went into the center to say goodbye to my friend and we had lunch at Birreria Mostrodolce on via nazionale, great burgers – only 6 euros for both my truffle burger & fries, plus they have great beer if that’s your thing. I also took my two friends who had never been to the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy on via della scala to see this majestic pharmacy that I absolutely adore. I can’t live without their rose tonic water and plus its free to browse and gawk at the beauty and aura of the place.  The center was full of people which is why I normally avoid going there on a Sunday. Political slogans/posters/stands were everywhere – even Berlusconi’s Popoli della Liberta had a stand near Piazza della Repubblica. The guy working there looked pretty bored and preferred playing with his phone instead. Smart move.

Cheers to another week and hopefully another awesome weekend, for now I am all about a  “New Girl” episode marathon. :)

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  1. D

    I loooooooove La Prosciutteria. I’ve been taking advantage of the thinned crowds this time of year and others should , too! Otherwise the place is usually teeming with people in the high season and it’s tough to even get inside. Such great quality products, i taglieri are all amazing!

    • ggnitaly84

      It was my first time there if you can believe it! I loved it and it looks like the kind of place you need to arrive early, like 1230ish for a spot. Yeah I was staring at the taglieri and drooling though, I can make a great one at home! ;-)

  2. kat

    Mmm that picture of spaghetti alle vongole has made me really hungry! :) And I also love the Acqua di Rosa, I can get it here too but unfortunately at more than double the price. I always stock up in Italy because I think it makes a nice unique gift :)


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