I left for Italy last Tuesday at 2:45 PST, had a short 3 hour layover in Paris (during which time I discovered that Charles de Gaulle airport in France is nowhere near enough close to Paris to see anything at all — sad panda), then hopped back on a (smaller) plane to head to Florence. Of course, since then I’ve been doing nothing but eating, shopping, and taking pictures. There are so many photos now (371) that I’m going to have to break these posts up into categories, and I’ve decided to start with food.
Air France Dinner (salmon shepherd’s pie, bread & butter, rice pudding, tuna & rice, chocolate cheesecake, cheese, and water)
Air France Breakfast (plain yogurt, blueberry muffin, fruit cup, and juice)
CDG Airport Food (brioche, cheese plate — which was sososo good, and bonbons)
These sandwiches are everywhere in Florence.
The first place we ate at with our AIFS food vouchers was Golden View Open Bar. I’m not sure what happened to the photos I took of the food, which was a tomato & basil salad and steak… The steak, by the way, was I think the best I’ve ever had. It’s definitely a good thing I gave up vegetarianism before I came.
AIFS took us out to lunch after orientation. It was three courses: pasta; chicken in wine sauce and cooked spinach (drool); and tiramisu, which looks and tastes nothing like in the states — it is far, far better.
This is from a place on our side of the Arno River called Ristorante Celestino. We had salad and more steak, and I tried the limoncello, which was delicious. I was glad though that I read about it a bit beforehand because it’s served in a shot glass but you DO NOT shoot it, you sip it slowly. Also, you can see from the limoncello picture that we’ve taken to drinking wine with every meal. Literally, every meal.
From a pastry shop nearby that serves delicious gelati.
We went to Siena and tried what is supposedly “The World’s Best Gelati”. I am reserving judgment until I’ve tried several more gelatterias, but this was very good. I do know what my favorite flavor is: stracciatella.
After our first grocery shopping trip, I finally had the chance to make something at our apartment. Of course, I started with bruschetta. It turned out pretty good. If you do plan on staying here any length of time and buying groceries, just know that you need to bring your own grocery bags. It’s not a given like in the states and if you buy a lot of groceries there is a chance the bags may break… Also, they are big on bottled water. Even in restaurants you don’t get water for free, you have to pay for it. So in trying to buy some at the grocery store I accidentally ended up with tonic water (haha). Luckily, I quickly figured out a solution to that problem: the juice here is very thick compared to American juice and so I’ve started cutting mine with tonic water — thins it out and adds a bit of fizz.
Okay, that’s it for a bit — we don’t have wi-fi in our apartment yet so I have to wait until I’m at school or at a restaurant that has free wi-fi, which is why it took me so long to post! Also, for my friends and family, Florence’s time change doesn’t happen until March 25, so I am now 9 hours ahead of Washington and 8 hours ahead of Idaho. Yep, you’re all sleeping and it’s a sunny 9:30 a.m. here 🙂