What an amazing week in Italy, picturesque backdrops, endless sun, all matched with the most fresh and amazing food. I hope this post can bring you to Italy for a few paragraphs, taste the juicy tomatoes with just the right balance of rustic olive oil, salt and fresh basil, make you feel the sun beaming down as you stroll along the narrow streets.
I began the week in Florence, which you can read about here, but more than that cafe, the endless vegan options are everywhere because the food is so clean, natural and the furthest thing from the poor processed ingredients we call food in the US.
The first night we wandered down Via Palazzuola and bumped into to a local trattoria, La Carabaccia. Sitting outside we watched as Florence came to life at night.
To my delight they had pasta senza glutine! With a simple sauce of olive oil, garlic and porcini mushrooms the meal was more than the word delicious can explain.
The following day was enjoyed by wandering around vegetable stands and eating gelato!
*Most gelato is made with milk, so look for the above vegan friendly sign or ask for a gelato senza latte! This one was a rich, dark chocolate and a side scoop of lemon!
Later that evening dinner in Piazza del Carmine was more pasta with olive oil, garlic and mushrooms, not just any mushrooms either, more hearty, earthy porcini gems.
We started with a complimentary chilled soup which was vegan and gluten free!
Now, I won’t overdue the pasta pictures, so in the time it took me to eat dinner, you can enjoy this time lapse video with music of an evening in the piazza. 😉
(Click the below You Tube link for the video)
The following evening brought a stroll around Piazza Santa Maria Novella and finally some olives!
I am i love with the flavors of Italy with such simplicity.
The next morning we took the train to the historic city of Siena, where orange and yellow buildings looked perfectly placed against the Tuscan blue sky. You can almost hear the city invite you into any of their piazzas, cafes and streets. Lunch was another fresh salad made with roasted vegetables with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to make your own dressing. I also learned one of my new favorite words, centrifughe for freshly pressed juice and here I had a pear one!
Later that day we explored the lovely walled medieval city of San Gimignano. If you haven’t felt it yet, this beautiful city will make you feel like it is time to pack up and move to Italy. The curvy streets lead you past cafes, stores, restaurants and the window shopping is better than 5th Avene in New York City. The street leads you up a small hill and into an open area with a lovely food market. The colors popped and my mouth watered as I marched my way up to the olive stall.
I wish this could be my local market, I would have bought so many wonderful ingredients.
Italy, I am in love,that’s all until next time, ciao!