Florence Day Four

Eggs Florentine on foccacia for breakfast!

Eggs Florentine on focaccia for breakfast!

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.

But first – breakfast! Everyone knows eggs Benedict, but there are many versions of poached eggs with ham and hollandaise on an English muffin. For instance, instead of ham, Eggs Royale has smoked salmon and Eggs Blackstone uses bacon and tomato. Eggs Florentine is the vegetarian version substituting the meat with spinach. Eating anything described as Florentine really just means with spinach, not necessarily that it’s from Florence. Koen and I were curious as to why that is and did a bit of googling that morning: “In 1533, Catherine de’ Medici became queen of France; she so fancied spinach, she insisted it be served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as “Florentine”, reflecting Catherine’s birth in Florence.” So thanks to Queen Catherine de’ Medici, many Italian foods were introduced to France. Not just spinach, but also truffles and artichokes amongst others. English muffins were difficult to find, so we made our own substitution – focaccia!

Closeup of the Eggs Florentine

Closeup of the Eggs Florentine

 

Dad with his Eggs Florentine

Dad with his Eggs Florentine

 

After breakfast we had a grumpy baby. So Grayson and Tamar stayed at the apartment for a nap while my parents, Koen, and I headed to the San Lorenzo Market for some exploring and lunch. I mentioned in my first post that I was out to try traditional Tuscan dishes while in Florence, including the most famous Florentine streetfood: lampredotto! Lampredotto is the fourth stomach of a cow, the most tender of the stomachs. The lampredotto is first boiled in a broth of herbs and tomatoes. When you order your sandwich, you’ll see the soup pot filled with broth and lampredotto. For the sandwich, the bread is sliced in half and dipped in the broth. A lampredotto is removed, chopped, and then piled onto the roll and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, chili oil and fresh parsley salsa verde. My parents, Koen, and I ordered ours in the Mercato Centrale of the San Lorenzo Market. I wouldn’t say it was my favorite sandwich ever, but definitely worth trying! After lunch we of course finished with gelato!

The Basilica di San Lorenzo

The Basilica di San Lorenzo

 

San Lorenzo Market

San Lorenzo Market

 

San Lorenzo Market

San Lorenzo Market

 

San Lorenzo Market

San Lorenzo Market

 

Lampredotto!

Il Lampredotto!

 

Key ingredients: lampredotto, chili oil, parsley salsa

Key ingredients: lampredotto, chili oil, and fresh parsley salsa verde

 

My lampredotto sandwich

My lampredotto sandwich

 

Gelato for dessert

Gelato for dessert

 

Milk and Toasted Pine Nuts

Milk and Toasted Pine Nuts

 

Once we were finished lunch it was time to go the meeting place for our Chianti Afternoon Wine Tour. First stop: Poggio Amorelli in the village of Castellina in Chianti. We first received a tour of the facility followed by a tasting of wine, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cheese, and salami. Yum! After the tasting we were able to walk around a bit and take in the beautiful surroundings.

Poggio Amorelli

Poggio Amorelli

 

Edward was more interested in playing than learning about wine

Edward was more interested in playing than learning about wine

 

Dad with the wine

Dad with the wine

 

Inside Poggio Amorelli

Inside Poggio Amorelli

 

Inside Poggio Amorelli

Inside Poggio Amorelli

 

Inside Poggio Amorelli

Inside Poggio Amorelli

 

Time for the tasting!

Time for the tasting!

 

Chianti countryside

Chianti countryside

 

Sun setting over the vineyards

Sun setting over the vineyards

 

Closeup of some of the vines

Closeup of some of the vines

 

Golden Autumn colors

Golden Autumn colors

 

A family trip isn't complete without a family photo!

A family trip isn’t complete without a family photo!

 

Family photo

Family photo

 

Father and son

Father and son

 

Back on the bus and off to Siena to visit Monte Chiaro located in Monteriggioni, a medieval walled town. We were able to sample more wine, cheese, and sweets! It’s a shame it gets dark so early now, because the comune is very beautiful and I would have loved to see it in the sunlight.

Entering Monteriggioni, a medieval walled town

Entering Monteriggioni, a medieval walled town

 

Entrance to the city

Entrance to the city

 

The Piazza Roma

The Piazza Roma

 

Romanesque church of San Lorenzo a Colle Ciupi

Romanesque church of San Lorenzo a Colle Ciupi

 

Location of our wine tasting

Location of our wine tasting

 

Monte Chiaro

Monte Chiaro

 

Inside

Inside

 

So many wines to choose from!

So many wines to choose from!

 

Koen and me

Koen and me

 

Once back in Florence, we split up and Koen and I headed back to the Piazza Santo Spirito, aka Lovely Florence. Some members of the wine tour recommended we go to Osteria Santo Spirito for dinner – the best restaurant of their trip – to try the truffle gnocchi. The owner of the apartment that we were staying in also recommended this restaurant, so we called to make reservations and were lucky to get a table on short notice….but at 8:30PM. Late dinner? Time for an aperitif. On the same Piazza there are many cafes, so we settled into Cabiria for a glass of wine. If you’re in Florence looking for a place to go for an apero, this place is perfect. For 7 euros, you have access to an all you can eat buffet! We didn’t want to spoil our apetitites, so we only ordered wine.

Walking along the Via de’ Tornabuoni

Walking along the Via de’ Tornabuoni

 

Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano

Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano

 

Via de’ Tornabuoni

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum on the Via de’ Tornabuoni

 

View of the Ponte Vecchio as we cross the Arno River

View of the Ponte Vecchio as we crossed the Arno River

 

Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito

Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito

 

Cabiria

Cabiria

 

Inside Cabiria

Inside Cabiria

 

Painting of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito

Painting of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito on the bar

 

Koen with his Chianti

Koen with his Chianti

 

Time for dinner! As a starter, I ordered the Tuscan crostini – another item on my list of food to try. Tuscan crostini is thinly sliced bread topped with a chicken liver sauce made with butter, capers, and anchovy paste. Yum! Koen’s starter was also delicious – swordfish carpaccio! For our main course, we both ordered the truffle gnocchi. So rich and indulgent! There’s no way we could have finished it. Koen had to cancel his next course because he was so full. I asked to take the leftovers home for the rest of the family to try and was disappointed to see about half of our leftover gnocchi gone… I guess it’s so good that even the staff want to eat it!

Osteria Santo Spirito

Osteria Santo Spirito

 

Inside

Inside

 

My Tuscan crostini

My Tuscan crostini

 

Koen's swordfish carpaccio

Koen’s swordfish carpaccio

 

My huge plate of delicious truffle gnocchi

My huge plate of delicious truffle gnocchi

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