Our Italian Year – April

By May 11, 2012 123 comments Permalink
One of the most enjoyable, and frequent, day trips during our year in Italy was a simple trip down from the hills of Bagno a Ripoli into the city of Florence. On average, we made this trip twice a week, and it never felt routine, at any time of year. April was a particularly nice time to visit since tourism was still at a minimum and gentle light graced the ancient city.
We’d often park in Piazza Michelangelo, high above the sunken proper circled by hills. Within the compact confines, beyond the river and its beautiful bridges, were terracotta rooftops, a majestic skyline of domes and towers, open piazzas, and serpentine streets covered in shadow. After descending the steep path into town, we’d cross the Arno and enter the Piazza Santa Croce, a magnificent square with statues of historic Renaissance figures outside the namesake church that holds the tombs of Florentine luminaries. Water stains high on the storefront facades mark the dates of historic floods. There’s room to play in the open square, so Sophia would usually find some Italian kids to kick a soccer ball with or pigeons to chase. Around the corner from the piazza was a Belgian chocolate shop with a thick hot chocolate that made a great mid-morning snack.
Angling on narrow streets towards the city center, we’d hug the sidewalks and poke into boutiques, fingering fabrics and leather and shoes. Some stores were the width of a phone booth, with room for only one customer at a time. In the city center was the Piazza della Repubblica, a large square rimmed with crowded cafes and eateries. There was an antique carousel in one corner, and Sophia took many turns with each visit, her face full of glee with each looping round.
From there, we’d usually wander to the Mercato Centrale, an imposing edifice surrounded by open-air clothing shops of mostly leather products. Inside is a massive grocery mall of two floors: meat and fish on the bottom, fruit and vegetables and dry goods up top. On the ground level, there are endless rows of butchers offering standard cuts along with the organs and offal of animals that help define the culture of poverty that inspired much of what is true Tuscan cooking. Pig face anyone? How about a chicken neck? Lamb brain (I ate this once; it was awful)? Testicles? Tongues? Vertebrae? You name it. It could be pretty harrowing, so we usually took a glass of wine at one of the prepared food stalls, though we never ate in the Mercato Centrale because Mario’s Trattoria was nearby.
Mario’s is not a secret. Tourists and students and locals routinely wait outside it’s modest location caddy-corner to the Mercato. The seating is communal, and there’s hardly room to move. The kitchen is exposed and noisy. The daily menu is posted on the wall below the low ceiling. Mario’s has all the Tuscan treasures, from thick soups to hearty pastas to fruity wines in label-less bottles. Their specialty is the king of Italian steaks: Bistecca Fiorentina. The steak of the Florentines is a massive Porterhouse (from grass-fed white cows of the Tuscan countryside), seared on the outside and rare on the inside. It is hacked into hunks that are adorned with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of coarse salt, a pinch of rosemary, and a swirl of extra virgin olive oil. There is nothing more to say, except that white beans in a light tomato sauce make the perfect accompaniment, along with bottles of that unlabeled red.
Sophia, who preferred Mario’s cheese ravioli to bistecca, would doze off in her stroller after lunch, leaving Pam and I to slowly walk the streets, taking turns ducking into museums or churches or other Florentine treasures not high on the list of a 2-year old Americana. An afternoon espresso would always help us through the rest of the day. When Sophia awoke, it would be gelato time, and we’d lick our way back over the Arno and up the hill to our car parked in the Piazza Michelangelo.
We had a dozen variations on this day trip to Florence, each as magical as the one described here. Ask me, and I’ll tell you about them, but it will cost you a glass of wine…
View of Florence from Piazza Michangelo

123 responses to “Our Italian Year – April”

  1. Pat Mangini says:

    Andrew….You are a writer!!!

  2. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks , I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  3. Regards for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting info .

  4. Blair Jarred says:

    [url=http://kitchendeals.us/]http://kitchendeals.us/[/url] Loramumnbomsmomounax , MEDION MD 16945 Mikrowelle

  5. read more says:

    Your reasoning should be seen as the benchmark when it comes to this topic.

  6. Juan Raupach says:

    [url=http://lampdeals.us/]http://lampdeals.us/[/url] brumbFes , Fatboy Lampe Transloetje Braun

  7. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  8. Fastidious response in return of this matter with firm arguments and explainingall regarding that.

  9. Terrific post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.Thanks!

  10. Air Max 2019 says:

    fotavtnfzl,Very informative useful, infect very precise and to the point. I’m a student a Business Education and surfing things on Google and found your website and found it very informative.

  11. Yeezy says:

    tvzgucq Yeezy Boost,Quality blog, keep up the good work. You may check our website also!

  12. Pandora says:

    soyhganf,Very helpful and best artical information Thanks For sharing.

  13. oipcop,If you are going for best contents like I do, just go to see this web page daily because it offers quality contents, thanks!

  14. Yeezys says:

    isdemb Yeezy Boost,Waw! Its really great and wonderful ever i found. Thank you for sharing this info.

  15. kopwirusga,Are you searching for top class Escort service in Noida and want to enjoy with them, hire sexy girls from top Greater Noida escort service and enjoy full night.

  16. “There are signs that it has been 10 years. The stock market bull market is about to peak, because (now) US stocks are definitely not cheap and very sensitive to any bad news.” The number of weekly claims for unemployment benefits in the United States has fallen to its lowest level since 1969,

  17. Dalio said that capitalism has developed into a system that promotes the widening gap between the rich and the poor, thus leaving the United States at risk of survival. Dalio published a two-part series on the professional social networking site, pointing out that capitalism is now in urgent need of reform and proposed a reform approach.

  18. Nike Shox says:

    The local villagers said that at the time of the renovation of dangerous buildings, there were two kinds of schemes. One was the so-called “private room”. Instead of spending money, the village organized construction workers to wrap the village’s earthen houses with bricks and covered with color steel plates.

  19. I’m not out here to prove to these dudes that I’m the hardest mother—— in the league because they cussed at me on the court. But they know where I’m from and what I’m about. This Oakland. But I don’t take s— personal. My goal is to get the win.

  20. gamefly says:

    Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very
    techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my
    own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
    Thank you

  21. gamefly says:

    Hi my loved one! I wish to say that this article
    is awesome, nice written and include almost all
    significant infos. I would like to look extra posts like this .

  22. Gosh This was an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this info. www – https://v.gd/LLUhLP

  23. For several minutes, the Portland Trail Blazers’ star guard sat quietly on his sofa, chowing down on fried catfish, red beans and rice, and broccoli. And then suddenly, he spoke: I’m getting rid of these mother——- tomorrow.

  24. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend
    your web site, how can i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account
    aided me a applicable deal. I had been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast offered vivid transparent
    idea

  25. For hottest information you have to visit world wide web and on the web I found this site as a finest web page for latest
    updates.

  26. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you
    few interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this
    article. I desire to read more things about it!

  27. g says:

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate
    your content. Please let me know. Thank you

  28. g says:

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and extremely broad for
    me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  29. NFL Jerseys says:

    In the middle of the whirwind relationship that’s threatening both his finances and his heart, Nick found his way to a LA Koreatown bar to express his emotions. A short clip shows the actor putting his own spin on Prince’s “Purple Rain”… to say the least.

  30. g says:

    Hi there, I would like to subscribe for this web site to take hottest updates, thus
    where can i do it please help.

  31. wtdgbttbry,Hi there, just wanted to say, I liked this article. It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  32. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to
    this blog before but after checking through some of the post
    I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back
    often!

  33. evyqmow,Wonderful one thank you so much !

  34. Very good post! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website. Keep up the great writing. http://tinyurl.com/y3oylhta

  35. Guqinz says:

    I cherished up to you will obtain performed right here. The cartoon is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be handing over the following. in poor health indisputably come further formerly again since exactly the similar nearly a lot regularly within case you protect this hike.

  36. Moscow,Jordan despite heavy sanctions and an economy that has certainly seen better days,Jordan keeps pumping out new combat systems one after another–items like new tanks,Jordan submarines,Jordan nuclear weapons platforms and more.

  37. This site definitely has all of the information I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask. http://www.employment-newspaper.com/psu-jobs/page/6/

  38. StepNib says:

    Finasteride Costi Propecia [url=http://buyoxys.com]levitra vs cialis[/url] Parkizol Online Star Pharmacy Nogales Mexico Amoxicillin Get High

  39. Free Stuff says:

    Simply wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is just cool and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  40. tinyurl.com says:

    Can you tell us more about this? I’d care to find out some additional information.

  41. link says:

    This is a topic which is near to my heart… Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?

  42. StepNib says:

    Clobetasol Can I Purchase Website Shop Newark [url=http://leviprices.com]vardenafil vs viagra[/url] Tomar Cialis 20 Mg Viagra Confezioni

  43. tinyurl.com says:

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this article
    is awesome, great written and come with almost all vital infos.
    I would like to see more posts like this .

  44. When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added
    I get four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there
    is a way you can remove me from that service?
    Kudos!

  45. more says:

    I love looking through an article that can make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment! http://jacksonmurphy972.shutterfly.com/jacksonmurphy972

  46. This paragraph is genuinely a good one it assists new web people, who are wishing for blogging.

  47. StepNib says:

    Stendra Over Night [url=http://buycial.com]cialis generic[/url] Viagra Commander Ligne Dosis Maxima De Kamagra Can I Purchase Discount Bentyl In Internet Tab

  48. Freebies says:

    of course like your web site but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the reality then again I will definitely come back again.

  49. Source says:

    I used to be able to find good advice from your blog articles. http://bit.ly/2Loi6uQ

  50. seo company says:

    Great post. I will be going through some of these issues as well.. http://tinyurl.com/y4zcacxy

  51. StepNib says:

    60 Mg Xenical Weightcheaphonk Kong [url=http://uscagsa.com]cialis generic[/url] Canadian Pharms Isotretinoin 20mg acne in internet with doctor consult

  52. Great post. I am going through some of these issues as well.. http://bit.ly/2LEO0nd

  53. Good post. I will be going through some of these issues as well.. http://tinyurl.com/y2rbcys8

  54. StepNib says:

    Can You Take Clindamycin And Amoxicillin [url=http://crdrugs.com]cialis price[/url] Zithromax Is Used For What Std Levitra Food

  55. This website definitely has all of the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask. news https://www.diigo.com/user/ndiarydens

  56. This web site truly has all of the information I needed concerning this subject
    and didn’t know who to ask.

  57. Asking questions are really pleasant thing if you are not understanding anything completely,
    but this post provides pleasant understanding even.

  58. StepNib says:

    Baclofene Bordeaux Order Prednisone Canada Is Periactin Available In Canada [url=http://cial20mgprice.com]where to buy cialis online safely[/url] Joint Aches From Amoxicillin Levitra Vorkasse Hydrochlorothiazide Want To Buy Mastercard On Line

  59. Its such as you learn my mind! You appear to grasp a lot approximately
    this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something.

    I feel that you simply could do with some p.c. to drive the message home a bit, however instead of that, that
    is wonderful blog. An excellent read. I will
    definitely be back.

  60. Thanks for sharing such a good thinking, post is nice, thats why i have read it completely

  61. Google says:

    Google

    Here are some hyperlinks to web-sites that we link to mainly because we assume they are worth visiting.

  62. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post.
    Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  63. smore.com says:

    Howdy! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a
    community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a extraordinary
    job! pof natalielise

  64. داستان سکسی

    […]check below, are some absolutely unrelated internet sites to ours, on the other hand, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  65. dildo says:

    dildo

    […]usually posts some pretty exciting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

  66. how do you put a cock ring on gay

    […]the time to study or check out the content or web sites we have linked to beneath the[…]

  67. how to guitar solo

    […]we came across a cool web site that you may love. Take a appear when you want[…]

  68. dating site says:

    Its not my first time to pay a quick visit this web page, i am browsing this web site dailly and
    get nice facts from here every day.

  69. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, let alone the
    content!

  70. mastercard credit card buy

    […]although websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they may be in fact really worth a go by way of, so possess a look[…]

  71. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and
    I to find It truly helpful & it helped me out much.

    I hope to present one thing back and aid others like you aided me.
    natalielise pof

  72. judi online terpercaya

    […]always a massive fan of linking to bloggers that I like but do not get quite a bit of link adore from[…]

  73. software download for windows 10

    […]Every once in a although we decide on blogs that we read. Listed below would be the most recent web pages that we choose […]

  74. app pc download for windows

    […]one of our visitors a short while ago advised the following website[…]

  75. free download for laptop pc

    […]the time to study or stop by the material or sites we have linked to below the[…]

  76. free download for windows 8

    […]Here is an excellent Blog You may Find Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]

  77. virtual visa and Mastercard provider

    […]The information and facts talked about within the post are a few of the best available […]

  78. usa number for facebook verification

    […]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

  79. Jess Roadcap says:

    This piece of writing is genuinely a good one it helps new internet people, who are wishing in favor of blogging.|

  80. apps download for windows 8

    […]please pay a visit to the internet sites we adhere to, including this one, because it represents our picks in the web[…]

  81. pc games download for windows 7

    […]just beneath, are many totally not connected websites to ours, however, they are certainly worth going over[…]

  82. minyak kelapa murni

    […]that would be the finish of this post. Right here you’ll come across some web pages that we feel you will value, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  83. loan forgiveness

    […]just beneath, are many totally not associated sites to ours, having said that, they’re certainly really worth going over[…]

  84. paypal verify for card buy

    […]below you will come across the link to some web-sites that we consider you’ll want to visit[…]

  85. walmartone says:

    walmartone

    […]below you’ll find the link to some internet sites that we feel you ought to visit[…]

  86. Dank Vapes Official

    […]one of our visitors a short while ago proposed the following website[…]

  87. Dank Vapes Cartridges

    […]the time to read or check out the subject material or web-sites we’ve linked to below the[…]

  88. THC vape juice discreet shipping

    […]Here is a great Blog You might Discover Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]

  89. Lose Weight Sleeping

    […]The information mentioned within the report are several of the very best available […]

  90. Order cannabis online

    […]check beneath, are some completely unrelated internet websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  91. Google says:

    Google

    One of our guests lately proposed the following website.

  92. reputation management

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]

  93. runelite says:

    runelite

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]

  94. MEYD 529 says:

    MEYD 529

    […]the time to read or go to the content or web-sites we have linked to below the[…]

  95. Women clothing

    […]the time to read or check out the material or web-sites we’ve linked to below the[…]

  96. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal website now 😉

  97. 618media.com says:

    618media.com

    […]below you will come across the link to some websites that we consider you should visit[…]

  98. Hygiene and Sanitary Services

    […]usually posts some quite intriguing stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

  99. adam and eve shop

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a search, whoa did 1 learn about Mid East has got much more problerms as well […]

  100. Business says:

    Business

    […]very few internet sites that transpire to become detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[…]

  101. buy ambien online

    […]one of our visitors a short while ago recommended the following website[…]

  102. Dank Vapes Cartridges

    […]we came across a cool site that you simply could love. Take a look in the event you want[…]

  103. MyLowesLife login

    […]just beneath, are numerous completely not related internet sites to ours, even so, they may be surely really worth going over[…]

  104. supreme wax cartridge

    […]Every when in a even though we opt for blogs that we study. Listed below are the most up-to-date web sites that we pick out […]

  105. gay male underwear

    […]Here are a number of the web-sites we suggest for our visitors[…]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *