If you stay in Tuscany at some point you will most certainly make your way to Florence. The city is brimming with history, museums and churches but what did our day focus on-food! We boarded an early train from Lucca and met Tina, our amazing guide from Taste Florence, on a small street not far from the train station. We had been forewarned to bring our appetite and boy was that good advice.
Our meeting spot was La Norcineria, a traditional shop selling meat, sausages and salumi. Our first “taste” was two different types of prosciutto-Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto Toscano. They were both just melt in your mouth tender and left us wanting more, but there was a big day ahead of us so off we went.
Next up was possibly our favorite-Il Forno-a bakery run for years by a brother and sister team. The sister came out to greet us and how adorable is she standing next to our guide?
We sampled a few things from this forno but the hands down favorite were the cocoli-fried pizza dough that had been halved and stuffed with tomato and mozzarella. The dough was still warm and the mozzarella melting-I am definitely making these once I get home-want to come over?
We moved on to the famous Mercato Centrale, Florence’s indoor food market. The bottom floor is filled with butchers, fishmongers, pasta makers, fruit and vegetable vendors and more. We stopped for a bite at Nerbone and then had time to explore the second floor of the market which has been transformed into an upscale “food court”- will have to dine here next time.
I almost forgot that we also visited a pasticceria where we had puff pastry with pastry cream warm from the oven.
Off we went to one of the city’s premier enotecas where we were treated to a wine tasting paired with cheese and salumi and ended with a comparison of balsamics.
At this point you’re probably thinking “what’s left”? The final stop of the day took us to Vestri. This family run company located just outside of Arezzo’s centro has been making chocolate since 1960. We ended our foodie day with a variety of chocolates and finally gelato-caramel and pistachio for me. We said good bye to our guide and after some shopping headed back to Lucca, which seemed like a sleepy little town after the hustle and bustle of Florence.
A big grazie to Tina and the team at Taste Florence for making this a day to remember!