Oh Italy. Where do I even start?

We just got home on Monday night from a long weekend in Florence and Perugia. The food and wine was amazing and the weather was pretty good. It has been 8 years since I have been there so it was good to go back. And with the context of living in Germany. Talk about two very different places with very different cultures.

I had done some research on restaurants, got really overwhelmed, then polled the Facebook world for recommendations (thank you!). That helped a lot. I normally don’t make reservations in advance before visiting a city and we do tend to wing it. But I was afraid of ending up in the wrong restaurant or not being able to find a place to eat due to busyness, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

We rented a cute little apartment from homeaway.com. It was a little bit off the beaten path, maybe 15 minutes to most attractions in Florence but it was nice and quiet so it was worth it. The owner gave us the keys, we changed, and then we were off to dinner.



Ristorante La Giostra was our Friday night choice. And it was an awesome one. Oh em gee. There was no English menu. Which wasn’t too much of an issue because a lot of my Italian magically came back.



They gave us a sample plate for free of various foods (some bruschetta, marinated eggplant, marinated mushrooms, etc.) and we also had prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella as the apertivo. And of course, a red wine.




Our primo piatto was pasta (do as the Romans do). I had a pasta with a Tuscan ragu and Tim had a carbonara.



For the secondi piatti, I had an osso bucco, yummm. And Tim had a rosemary steak.


The couple next to us was about our parents’ ages and hilariously American. We ended up having a really nice conversation with them but they were funny to listen to. They recommended having the tiramisu so we promptly ordered that for dessert. It was PILLOWY, I’m not even joking. It was so light and fluffy.


Sorry, the pictures aren’t so great. It was dark in the restaurant. I highly recommend La Giostra if you go to Florence!

After dinner, we enjoyed a night stroll around Florence and saw the Duomo (the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) all lit up at night.



This church is just so amazing. It’s hard to tell from the pictures how grand it really is. And beautiful.

More to come about Day 2!



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