We had the opportunity to visit Florence last weekend. Unfortunately Michael was ill part of the time we were there, so luckily we had a nice hotel room at the Hotel Calzaiouli located right in the heart of Florence near the Duomo, where he spent part of each day in bed.
We did get to see Michaelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery, and I snapped a photo, which is verboten to do! We also visited the Uffuzi Galleries and viewed a few too many interpretations of Mary and the baby Jesus. Florence is lovely, and it was much quieter than Rome, but packed wall to wall during the day with tourists.
Naturally, we shopped, and of course ate. We had dinner at Il Latini, which had been recommended by a coworker of Michael’s in the States. They have 2 seatings, 7:30 and 9:30 pm. We arrived shortly before our 9:30 reservation and found ourselves stuck in a mob of people crowding the front door to get in. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to who got picked next to come in and be seated, so I naturally pushed my way to the front of the crowd to at least get the attention of the host. We finally got a table in the outdoor courtyard, and once it was cleared of the previous diners leftovers, things started to improve. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the wines, and offered suggestions for dinner. The food was great and we were offered complimentary after dinner drinks, desert and sent home with a bag of their homemade biscotti. We also took a photo of ourselves with the owner, Terrello, who walked around with a receipt book and after your waiter told him what you ordered, he would present you with your unitemized bill. Seemed somehow to work!
The next night I found a place near the hotel, GustaVino, that turned out to be a great surprise. It is a small restaurant affiliated with their own vineyard, Lanciola, outside of Florence. The food was again scrumptious, and the wine delicious enough to bring home a bottle.
We do love Italy!