The first time I stood before the Duomo di Firenze I was consumed with the vast amount of detail on its exterior façade of green, creamy-white and soft, aging burgundy marble. Each personality depicted within the arched and pointed crevasses (and there are many) appear as real as you or I. Standing far below on the cobblestone streets you half expect them to direct their condescending gaze towards you.
|Image from Il Latini’s website|
Not only is Florence a heaven for any art enthusiast, with the famed Uffizi gallery, it also provides a luxurious shopping experience with gorgeous scarves, brand names that every fashion connoisseur dreams of and, of course, quality Italian leather accessories.
As for my obsession, the food was also an experience to be had and my restaurant of choice, Il Latini, provided a unique story to accompany my meal.
At Il Latini one must expect to be sitting with other travelers on busy nights, such as mine. My party of two was seated at a table that contained a newlywed couple from Australia. They told us of their travels in France and we told them what to expect during the rest of the trip throughout Italy. Not only do you share tables but you also sit beneath aging ham that offers a delicious smoky smell of cured prosciutto.
|Image by my friend at Ciao Christy!|
For my meal I selected the silky ravioli with sage for my primo piatto and was relived to taste my first bite of handmade fresh Italian pasta. Secondo piatto, my Bistecca alla Fiorentina appeared to be half of a cow and covered my entire plate. This dish would put fear into any vegetarian as it is served practically bloody rare with a simple flame licked crust sealing in the juices. I suggest you half one steak between at least one other person.
|This is half! Or the waiter just said it was…|
For every table of four there is a bottle of Tuscan Chianti that you can help yourself to. After the Chianti bottle was polished clean I ordered uno vino bianco and to my shock I was given a full bottle of wine for myself to finish alone. Our waiter who spoke little English (at least seemingly) was a rascal who delivered drink after drink despite our groans for him to stop due to our full bellies. The mystery drinks were served one after another in hues of gold, brown and even syrupy translucent. By the end of the meal one could hardly muster another spoonful of Tiramisu down the throat.
|Ravioli image from Il Latini’s website|
In celebration of our new Australian friends we paid for their meal and to my surprise our bill was the most reasonable of the entire trip (150€ for a 3 course meal for 4 and countless drinks). My boyfriend and I stumbled back to our hotel taking in the night view of the black Arno river and the late night glow of the Medieval Ponte Vecchio.
via dei Palchetti 6/r (Palazzo Rucellai)
50123 – Firenze
tel. (+39) 055 210916