Ciao! The Italian adventure has officially begun! After a long day of travel yesterday, we finally moved into our totally authentic Italian apartamento, which has a big rustic kitchen, brick walls, (neon yellow corduroy couches, which we quickly covered with other more appealing blankets), and overlooks the Mercato Centrale - AKA the biggest and best daily farmer's market I've ever been to!
I could do a whole post just on the Mercado Centrale. So happy we are mere steps from this fresh food heaven, since we plan to go all the time to pick up fruits, breads, cheeses, veggies, meats, and pastries. This is my ideal spot for recipe inspiration! Seeing the bright and plump heirloom tomatoes made me daydream about caprese salad with fancy Italian olive oil & balsamic drizzled on top. Then I got to the homemade pastas that had just been rolled and shaped by the little pasta man into penne, bowties, and gnocchi . . . drool! We tried to blend in with the exotic, gourmet Italians, picking up their special market ingredients, but the rusty Italian and blatant American accents gave us right away . . . gotta work on that!
Our first stop/beeline last night was to Spera for pizza, a little hole in the wall restaurant that only serves pizza and came highly recommended. It did not disappoint in the slightest, and Lauren and I were amazed as each slim and trim Italian customer ordered and ate an entire pizza themselves! Must be all the walking they do here. . . so we followed the locals and totally loved our first pizza of the trip, followed by banana & nutella gelato! Hey, when in Rome! OR Florence, or let's just say Italy in general!
Today we completely lost ourselves in Florence, on purpose - what better way to learn the ins and outs of our new home for the next 3 weeks! Turns out we live just steps from the Duomo and the Santa Maria Novella church, and we meandered past the Ponte Vecchio all the way to the gorgeous Boboli Gardens and back.
The true trouble came when trying to find a supermarket to buy laundry detergent and random household goods . . . ayyy yi yi. When each bottle has a happy picture of fresh clothes hanging to dry, it's hard to tell what's fabric softener, what's detergent, what's bleach? Is this conditioner or lotion? Does pelle mean hair or skin? Thank goodness we are starting Italian class on Tuesday! Doing the best we could in a whole new land, we had an amazing day! According to my Fitbit, we walked nearly 8 miles today without even noticing (bring on the gelato! . . . just kidding)! All I wanted when I got home from our day of adventuring was to take a nice shower, and with no hot water in the bathroom, it was interesting trying to improvise with a big pot of hot water from the kitchen. I pretended to be an ancient Roman in the old bathhouses, and then came back to my room to write my blog post on my WiFi. :)
Love sharing little bits and pieces of my Eataly adventure with you all. Once I can film a recipe episode in my kitchen, I'll try post it, but until then, look out for a new recipe coming on Tuesday straight from my LA home!
I'm a Southern California foodie who lives for a great meal, has a serious weakness for sweets, and loves to spread happiness by cooking for friends and family. I welcome you to WeekNight Bite - where you'll find cooking tips, tricks, and videos of healthy and delicious recipes that are quick and effortless - perfect for any night of the week!