It’s a perfect spring day and I’m drinking morning tea looking down Via del Corno from my Florentine palazzo. It’s Earth Day, April 22nd, 2018 and I am reflecting on my time here on earth. I’m writing from where I am at this moment, appreciating every twist and turn.
I live half the year in a 16th-century palazzo built by wealthy Florentine families during the Renaissance. It must have seemed like a palace in those days, one block from Piazza Signoria, the center of town and of historical significance to the Medici’s. [Read more…]
M O D E N A. (Mòdna in Modenese dialect).
An elegant city boasting the no.1 restaurant in the world, Osteria Francescana, the oldest Salumeria in Europe, Salumeria Guisti, and the oldest Balsamic vinegar, well over a hundred years old and used as medicine.( La Vecchia Dispensa being my favorite.)
Bloom will offer drops of “Aceto Balsamico” on your gelato and Bar Guisti will give you a Negroni made with local bitters.
Don’t miss the gnoccho fritto, Tortellini in Brodo and the Lambrusco “metodo classico”. They have dressed it up to match the Bella Figura of this stylish town.
We visit Modena as part of our Culinary Adventure in Tuscany.
Re-Post from Instagram.
Fabio Picchi of Cibreo fame, has realized yet another dream ~ a small organic supermarcato + vivaio (nursery) on the terrazza next to mercato di Sant’Ambrogio. Love at first sight to see an unbelievable variety of fruits all named and spread artfully on the table. I wanted to pull up a chaise and lounge, paint or just study. Plants and seeds are available.
This was all before I descended into the store which had a nice array of fresh veg, fish and delicacies. I bought a small loaf of pane sano with turmeric and blueberries and that, my friends, is not something you find everyday a Firenze.
Cappelletti in Brodo Toscano
The word cappelletto means “little hat,” which is what this pasta should resemble. They are traditionally served in broth, as are the more infamous “tortellini”.
Prepare the filling by making a fine paste from: [Read more…]
There are a lot of memories swirling around about this day, 50 years ago, better known as the Flood of 1966. There’s a small rectangular plack under the green shutter to the right of the Madonna that shows how high the water came up to.
This is my street in Florence, and my door. I live on the top 4th floor. If I didn’t have anywhere to go, would I have felt safe? There would be nowhere to escape.
Last week I felt the tremors and wondered if my building fell, would I survive? Doubtfully. My heart goes out to the ones who survived the flood and all the mud angels that came to help and all the people caught in the earthquakes over the last month.
Italy for all its charm and beauty, can really take a beating sometimes.
All of these people and more are lined up on Via dei Neri on both sides of the street for a panino of prosciutto e pane, because Trip Advisor said to go.
Is it worth the wait? I used to go occasionally because it’s near my house. It was simple and good, like so many other places in Florence. Now my fruttivendolo and dry cleaner have left. It’s become the street of the prosciutterie.
Pretty, frilly jewel like trebbiano grapes on cane mats left to shrivel in extremes of hot and cold. When pressed, their liquid is raisin like and ages in small oak barrels for 6-8 years. I’ve spoken about it before, but this is the season to get an eye and ear full. Unfortified, Vin Santo is other worldly. Deep, honey and caramel notes “like a kiss on the lips”. I first tasted Vin Santo here at Capezzana in 1992. Count Hugo Contini Bonacossi gave a few young friends and I a look at the cellar then invited us to lunch inside the old Medici villa at a long table surrounded by family portraits. 5 glasses sat above the plate and the last was for Vin Santo. Those first sips left an indelible impression, as did the Count with his humble generosity. Genuine sweetness, whether in the glass or from the heart, is worth going back for. If nothing else but to see.