Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Last day in Florence :(

We left at 9:00 this morning for one last trek up to our favorite spot (via the not-so-secret stairway shortcut), San Miniato al Monte. Naturally, it's just as cool a place to be in the morning as it is in the late afternoon.

After that, we trekked across town to the train station to get tickets for our ride to Vernazza/Cinque Terre tomorrow. In typically Italian fashion, none of the ticket machines were accepting peoples' cards (and these things don't take cash), so we had to go stand in line and buy tickets from a human being. "Bella Vernazza!" exclaimed the human being when we bought the tickets from him.

After another porcini flatbread from Pugi, we strolled lazily home, trying to keep the day as low key as possible. We had dinner on the cheap with two mouthwatering lampredotto sandwiches (piccante, of course) from the tripe stand, eaten on a bench alongside the Palazzo Vecchio, followed by more gelato.

Tonight, we met up with my Italian pen pal Serena and her fiancé. I met Serena through work a few years ago (UC Press did exchange advertising with her publishing outfit), and she and I have been writing each other ever since. We had drinks at a place called Zoe that was a block away from our apartment. Serena was in person pretty much the way I imagined she'd be - warm, friendly, hyper, energetic. I felt bad for her fiancé, because he couldn't speak much english. But I really dug hanging out with them, and it was really cool of her to take time out of her schedule to meet us in the flesh!

Oh, and we discovered a super tasty new Kinder Chocolate treat called Choco Fresh. It consists of a layer of incredibly creamy cream, and a layer of hazelnut goop, all coated in chocolate, in a mold that kind of resembles a rhino. No pictures (that damn camera/living life balance again), but if we find more we'll be sure to document them more thoroughly.

We're definitely going to miss the apartment. Sure, it has its quirks, but it's cute, we love the location, and it's just the right size for us. Plus, I finally got into the habit of ducking when exiting the bathroom to avoid bashing my head against the low-hanging doorjamb. This neighborhood, called San Niccolo, is one of my favorite areas in Florence. It has more of a mellow vibe and more of a neighborhood feel. It's quieter, and a lot less touristy, yet it's still close enough to cross the river and walk right into the thick of things in a matter of minutes. We would definitely stay here again, and I hope we get the chance to sooner rather than later.

San Niccolo neighborhood
San Niccolo neighborhood
San Niccolo Neighborhood


  1. Jeff, I am so happy the apartment worked out - it really is perfect, isn't it? And I am even happier to read that you love I Tarocchi as much as we do. Sono molto gelosa!!!!

  2. Yes, the apartment is great! It could really use a better bed, though. Also, two weeks into the trip, and I Tarocchi remains in the top 3 best restaurants of the entire trip so far.