Our first full day here we spent getting reacquainted with the city and doing our fair share of strolling. We walked by all the major sites like Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, Mercato Centrale, and Palazzo Vecchio. We even got to experience the Florence Marathon. We were amazed at how many people were running and watching! There also happened to be a large number of fast runners. I can't imagine running 26.2 miles on these roads! We also successfully navigated the grocery store to stock up on breakfast and lunch goodies for our stay. Our goal is to "live life" here. That means eating in a lot and doing everyday things like going to the grocery and working out. We can check laundry and grocery shopping off of our list of "normal life" activities. We will definitely keep at those things and add to our list as we go.
After wandering a bit, we decided to return to one of our favorite quick dinner stops from this summer, La Prosciutteria. Adam and Dakota found this over the summer and I was skeptical when we first arrived. It looked more like an appetizer than a meal, but in the end La Prosciutteria got me. It is a unique experience and the platters or "tasting boards" are full of cured meats and cheeses, as well as spreads and bread. Throw in decent and cheap house wine and you have a winner. We enjoyed our first official meal out in Florence and will definitely return in the weeks to come. A few tips if you decide to venture to La Prosciutteria:
- Order at the counter and then find your table. You set the table and grab your own tableware. Apparently they aren't officially a restaurant, so you do some of the leg work.
- Order a tasting board and some house wine. For two of us, the small tasting board was plenty and only 10 euros. For four of us this summer, we went through a large tasting board with a little leftover. Both are reasonably priced and full of options.
- I am no wine connoisseur. So take what I am about to say with a grain of salt. The house wine is decent and cheap. Right up the Hawk's alley. We got two glasses of house red for 5 euros and enjoyed it with our meal. Easy.
- When you are done eating, clean up your mess. Throw trash away and set your tasting board up on the counter. It helps them and is a part of the deal.
- When finished, you pay the person at the counter. Just show them your slip given when you order and pay anyone at the counter. They are all super friendly and speak english making the whole deal pretty easy to navigate.
If you find yourself in Florence and looking for an inexpensive meal, try out La Prosciutteria! It's as easy as Chipotle, but a completely different level. If you are craving a picnic, grab a tasting board to go and hike up to Piazzale Michelangelo for a sunset view. Not a bad way to end your evening! That may just need to be on our list of things to do before we leave Florence.
**La Prosciutteria has a handful locations across the country including a couple in Rome. Worth checking out if you are in the country.
After dinner, we strolled a bit more through the city and came upon one of the main shopping streets. Sunday night after a huge marathon and the area was packed. I'm talking Black Friday-esque in the streets of Florence. We went searching for black socks in HM and I had to get out of there. A little taste of home! One of my favorite things I have noticed in our wanderings is the outdoor seating at restaurants. It's chilly, it's December, but that doesn't matter. Restaurants just stick some heaters out and a few barricades to block the wind and keep serving customers outside. The same was true for Paris and I love it. Outdoor seating is the majority of seating for most restaurants and they can't just eliminate it in the winter. Fresh air all year round!
Our second day, today, was a bit weird. We both ended up waking up at 7:30 and then promptly taking a nap through most of the morning. Totally out of the ordinary for Adam (not so much for me). After finally waking up, we went for a run down along the Arno River and enjoyed a midday jog. Adam dropped me off at our place before going out for another 6 miles. My legs aren't there yet, but need to get going soon as we have a half marathon in New Orleans in February. Yikes!
Our afternoon included a bit of recovery, another grocery run, and then another stroll around the city. I finally pulled the trigger on the purchase of an O bag that I have wanted since this summer. They are bags made in Italy with an interesting concept. I will share a few pictures in a new post soon. Until then, enjoy a few pictures of our time in Florence the last couple days.