A Taste of Local Florentine Life
My Italian teacher created an out-of-the-classroom learning experience for us today as she invited us to meet her at Piazza della Cure instead of our usual classroom location at Villa La Pietra. Our task for the day was a market excursion, as we were told to venture into the local market and use our newly developed Italian skills to interact with the locals at the fruit and vegetable stalls to make some purchases of fresh produce.
As someone who loves fruit, especially when it’s this fresh and cheap, I loved the activity and took advantage of the opportunity to buy about 6 pounds worth of grapes, mangos, and peaches for under €6.
Our activity guidelines from our teacher also invited us to try the local gelateria – even though it was only 10am. The prices out here away from the city center were noticeably cheaper and this gelateria – Cavini – had an overwhelming variety of flavors including “buontalenti,” the origin of which our class activity directed us to find out, and it turns out it’s named after Bernardo Buontalenti who was a resident of Florence!
Before leaving the gelateria, I treated myself to a cup of their “semifreddo” gelato which is essentially “half frozen,” with the flavor options including panne cotta and other bread or pudding based rather than gelato based flavors.
As I walked back home from this class excursion, I passed the Duomo and all the tourists taking pictures in front of it made me pause for a moment and realize how I’ve been taking the Duomo for granted for the last couple of weeks since I live right next to it. I paused, took a picture to capture the moment, then proceeded about my day, remembering how I would have the opportunity to give tours of the Duomo next week!
Later in the day, I finalized my weekend plans to go to Slovenia, as a replacement for my cancelled Barcelona trip, and to Poland next weekend. My friend and I went out to get dinner at a place that’s known for amazing puffy pizza crust, but we forgot that Italians tend to eat later, so we were disappointed when we arrived at the restaurant to see that it wouldn’t be open for another hour. Instead, we got lampredotto, a typical florentine street food, actually from a cart on the street, and it was much more authentic and delicious than the food stall inside the popular Mercato Centrale.