Because my mom was celebrating her birthday in Antwerp, of course we wanted to go out for dinner. I feel like over the years my parents have really gotten to know Antwerp the city, but not really Antwerp the province, which comprises of many smaller cities. For the birthday dinner we decided on Orso Pizzeria in Berchem. Berchem is most famous for its art nouveau style architecture. On our way to dinner we were able to look at all of the beautiful houses!
One tradition that started a few years back, is that when my mom is in town we go out for a class of champagne at Café Impérial. It doesn’t matter what time of year, we always go to celebrate. Café Impérial is a beautiful café located in the Paleis op de Meir, the former Antwerp residence of Napoleon Bonaparte. So fabulously French! And this time we were lucky enough to celebrate on my mom’s actual birthday!
We wanted to plan something special for our last day in Florence – an Italian cooking class! We learned how to make two types of pasta (tagliatelle and ravioli), ragu, and tiramisu. The lesson started first at the San Lorenzo Market, where we received a lesson about the origins of Italian cooking a regional dishes. Waste not, want not! That’s the only way to explain the abundance of cow stomach sandwiches in Florence. The class was so much fun and of course we were able to enjoy the dishes we prepared with a red Chianti!
Day Four was our first day spent together with everyone. One of the big things everyone wanted to do while in Tuscany was to see the countryside, visit vineyards, and sample Chianti wines. After a bit of searching we decided on the Chianti Afternoon Wine Tour.
Day Three was a Sunday – the first Sunday of November, sooo all the museums were free! After a bit of discussing, Koen, Tamar, my mom and I decided on Galleria dell’Accademia, most famous for housing Michelangelo’s David. We left early in the morning and luckily the line wasn’t too bad!
Starting the day off great! Fresh ciabatta with grilled tomatoes, eggs sunny side up, and pancetta!
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!