I have turned Canberra’s Green Spaces into Italy’s Green Spaces for a month or so to show some of the wonderful green spaces we found in Italy.
(I mentioned Villa Giulia in my last post, and I do intend writing about this park in Palermo later)
Parks are always a welcome sight for me in new city, and Paul and I also share a love of markets….the food that people eat and grow and the produce for sale is so much part of the flavour of a country.
Here we are in Florence, even on a dull day, who could resist such a beautiful city?
We have organised to join a food tour of the markets in Florence. We did this tour, and many others through The Walking Tours of Italy, and they were all good.
Anna, our vivacious guide told us that tripe is a special, much loved, dish in Florence, and indeed when we arrived at this stall Italians were stopping off for a dish of Lampredotto (spiced tripe), in the same way we would stop off for a coffee.
Anna said in her charming Italian way that, usually, men were much more prepared to try this dish because it was the manly thing to do to try dishes that may not appeal immediately. That was me off the hook, I have to confess, I love food, but I’m not very adventurous. All the guys on the tour tried it…how could they not try??
I don’t think Paul was that thrilled, but he finished most of it. This was a great start to the tour because everyone began to talk about their favourite dishes back home.
Here we are at our next stop, an Enoteca (wine shop). The shopkeeper had some Bruschetta with tomato and basil, bread with olive paste, some with fish paste, and some with extra virgin olive oil.
Anna explained that Italians traditionally have a drink at this time of day (about 11.00 am)
We had noticed this tradition in Venice, in fact I had seen a woman strongly resembling my Mum with a shopping bag stopping off for a Prosecco one morning.
I wondered about the wisdom of having something like this to drink at the beginning of tour, but Tuscan Chianti and the Sicilian wine were very light, and most enjoyable.
Zucchini flowers are very popular and stuffed with vegetables and/or meat mixtures, often seen in restaurants.
There were plastic tops on these plants, and I have no idea what their purpose is.
Many of the butchers, fishmongers, cheese sellers in Italy belonged to families who had been doing this for three or more generations. There is real pride in their product.
We ended the tour at a gelato shop. The gelato was wonderful, but I was too busy eating and talking to even think of taking a photo at that point.
However, we did visit another fantastic gelato shop before we left Florence,and I was attracted to it because it appeared to have chocolate streaming down the walls.. …what can you say….
reader…I ate more gelato!
Have a happy week of gardening, growing and eating!