|This is where folks come for clothing bargains|
|Advertise, advertise, advertise|
|Checking the India (guinea) pigs|
After we finished shopping, we realized that we could walk a short-cut along the river in the same time it would take us to hope the tram and bus. "Short-cut" in Florence is really an oxymoron. The distance between cathedral towers is either longer than you thought or mined with wonderful little side streets that you just have to check out.
The upshot is that it was a nice walk, but we returned home pooped. But we had time to rest up for our anniversary dinner out. Our reservations were for 8 p.m., but that was still early by Italian standards. The restaurants here go in high gear from about 9 p.m. to midnight.
|After 42 years, we are at the garden gate|
Our landlady, Dafi, told us about a great restaurant within walking distance -- but on the condition we would not tell others of our find. So you don't know about Beppe Ristorante down the hill from Piazza Michelangelo
Oh, but if you did... Traditionally in Italy, you have three courses plus desert. The antipasto is what the British call "starters," and can range from salami and cheese to soup to the chef's latest creation. The primo is the course best loved in Italy -- the pasta, polenta, soup or rice. Then there is the secundo, or main course. A favorite here is Florentine steak -- a T-bone that looks like it comes from an elephant. But you can also choose seafood (frutos do mar) or culinary creations of veal, rabbit, beef or vegetables. You can also get a vegetable course (contormo) if you don't care about leaving room for a sweet ending (dolce).
And this is at 10 or 11 at night.
We made it through the antipasto -- a 2-foot cutting board piled with cheeses, salami, proscuitto, and a large bowl of pâté. I could (should) have stopped there. But Cecile had a risotto while I had a rabbit pasta. And wine -- the size of bottle of which was as deceptive as a Florentine short-cut.
But no steak. I simply couldn't make it to a secundo. But dolce? Si! I had a ball of lemon gelato wrapped around a frozen ball of limoncello. A cannolli for Cecile. A very big and very rich cannolli.
And then, about 11 p.m., we waddled home. And at 2 a.m., I was looking at the ceiling wondering if my belly would go down before dawn. I don't know how the Italians do it.
But ... I'm game to do it again.