Monday, March 19, 2012


The view from one of our hotel roof terraces

View from the breakfast terrace

Ribollita, one of my favorite soups ever.  Like most Tuscan foods, the soup has a peasant history, of using hearty root vegetables and old bread - waste not, want not.  It's filling, warming and delicious.

Different stages of sunset over Florence's many bridges.

Ponte Vecchio

Another little weekend trip proved to be the only time a train strike has worked in my favor.  The strike took all the regional rail lines in Tuscany out of commission, meaning that we had to stay an extra night, which was wonderful.  Our hotel, which was an ancient tower in the city that was refurbished in 2000 into a bed and breakfast, had a rooftop terrace overlooking the Arno and a little bar set up on the "honor system" - write down what you had, relax on the terrace, and watch the sunset.  I studied abroad in Florence two years ago, and hadn't been back since, and it was like a little homecoming. I know the city well, and I love the chance to go back to old restaurants and, of course, my favorite gelateria.  If I had to live in an Italian city, this would be it.  It's incredibly small as cities go, and though that makes the mobs of tourists seem even more intense, it gives the city an intimate, romantic feel that is only intensified by moonlight bridges sweeping across the river.  It's a city where you are more challenged to avoid a museum then find one, and though the historic center is overwhelming and sometimes daunting in the amount of culture and history there is to see and experience, there are more then a few small alleyways to lose yourself in, and more then a few restaurants to sit in candlelight, sipping Chianti and eating Fiorentina.  I didn't realize how much I missed beautiful Firenze, and though New York always has it's place in my heart, a little piece of it also belongs to my city on the river.


  1. Again Christine you've brought a tear to my eye with your story on Florence. The beautiful city of Firenze is my favorite of all, as you say its size, romance and food are like no other. We always rent an apt. for the week we stay so as to have the chance to feel it as if we where locals, but I would love to know of the place you did stay at, was it the tower just south of the Ponte Vecchio? Thanks again for writing

  2. Aw, thank you! It was the tower across the ponte a santa trinita, next to the ponte vecchio. The hotel is called the Antica Torre Di Via Tornabuoni 1 and it was amazing! I'm with you on renting apartments though - also nice when you have a penchant for open air market shopping. It's nice to cook yourself dinner with local and new ingredients :)

  3. Great article and very informative. Can't wait to finally get there have so many visitors to Nice. that sounds amazing.
    Freizeit Ligurien