Day Two was my first day waking up in Florence. Koen and I woke up to an empty apartment (my parents left to meet Grayson, Tamar, and Edward at the airport), so we decided to spoil ourselves with brunch. Luckily right across the street is a supermarket, so we bought a few Italian staples like ciabatta and pancetta and other breakfast essentials. I don’t think I mentioned it in my last post, but the weather was in the high 60s, low 70s the whole time so we ate every meal outside on the terrace!
After breakfast, Koen and I began setting up the welcome table, filled with Italian wines, cheeses, meats, olives, and bread. Everyone arrived, we toasted to being together, broke bread, and enjoyed our first meal together.
My brother and his wife were tired after the long flight, so they decided to stay and sleep a bit. After such a big lunch, my dad was also ready for a nap so my mom joined Koen and me for some more exploring again in the center.
First stop – coffee! Already in Italy more than a day and had yet to drink any espressos, cappuccinos, or latte macchiatos! On the way we couldn’t resist buying a few pieces of nougat from . I can’t help it – one of my favorite sweets!
We were really lucky stumbling upon Ditta Artigianale on the Via dei Neri. Via dei Neri actually turnout to be one of my favorite streets in Florence (you’ll read more about the sandwiches and gelato located on this street in upcoming posts). Koen and I drank delicious espressos while my mom drank tea. We were able to do a bit of people watching. Koen had read beforehand about Italian coffee drinking rituals. Italians take their coffee standing not sitting. It was fun to watch people come in, order an espresso at the bar, drink it really quickly, and then leave.
Filled with energy, we were ready to go out and see more. After walking along the Arno River we chose to visit the Uffizi Gallery, which turned out to be my favorite museum in Florence. The museum is beautiful and houses an breathtaking collection of paintings and sculptures, most famously Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
By the time we were finished at the Uffizi Gallery, it was time to go home and prepare dinner! Koen and I were the resident chefs the whole week. It wasn’t difficult deciding what to prepare – when in Italy, why not make Italian food with the best ingredients at your disposal? So for the first evening I prepared my dad’s favorite dish – spaghetti alla carbonara. Mmm! And of course a day in Italy wouldn’t be complete without gelato. So after dinner, Koen, my mom, Tamar, and I headed to Gelateria Pasticceria Badiani for dessert!