Category Archives: FLORENCE

LA GIOSTRA

la-giostraWhile living in Florence for four months I ate at lots of different but there were a bunch I visited more then once.  La Giostra was one of them. We were instructed many times about the pear ravoli whichwere great, but we ended up having many different favorites there.

I lived less then a minute walk from this restaurant which was great.  What wasn’t so great about it was I didn’t burn any calories on the walk there or back & i really needed too since I was defintely eatting a lot of calories while there.

Upon arriving you see the owner with tons of bracelets going up his arm (probably almost half way) the myth behind it is one bracelet for every girl hes slept with but we found out this was untrue.  After sitting they give you complementary antipasti & some prosecco. Then the meal begins.

Below are some pictures of the things I have had there.

Spaghettone pomodoro e basilica

Ravioli with pear and pecorino filling

Rice milk ice cream with raspberries

Steak with balsamic vinegar reduction

AntipastiIMG_0030grilled vegetables IMG_0183          Burrata with honey and figsIMG_1341Spaghetti with tomato mozzarella & basilIMG_1351IMG_0177Ravioli with pear & pecorino filling (pear ravioli)IMG_0035rigatoni with tomato pine nuts pecorino and basiIMG_0038vegetable & cheese stuffed chicken got this many times it was amazingIMG_1348Balsamic steakIMG_0180cherry sauce & white fishIMG_1345rice ice cream with raspberry AMAZING i want it right now.IMG_1355 IMG_0188

GUSTA PIZZA

IMG_0923The heaven of all pizza would be here.  GUSTA PIZZA IS HEAVEN! Now don’t get mad when I say this but pizza isn’t my favorite thing.  I can go months without pizza & not feel deprived one bit.  But it Italy I obviously had lots of pizza.  Now for me to say heaven is a gelato place is normal but for me to say some pizza is heaven, it must be heaven.

I went with my friend during the day & we split 2 pizzas. We both had different favorites.

We had heard about this place from friends so obviously we had to try it out.  On different days they have different specials. Wednesday is my favorite because thats the day where they have MY pizza.  What is MY pizza you ask? MY pizza is ricotta cheese spinach & mozzarella. My mouth is salivating just thinking of it.  The other pizza we got which dont get me wrong is beyond amazing is the margarita pizza it just isnt MY pizza.

With this amazing pizza we got some of their wine.  By the end of the meal we were the perfect drunk (not to drunk) & we needed to be rolled out.  But, at the same time we secretly, well not so secretly wanted to order another one.  All that was left was some crust & realistically the only reason there was even that left was that our stomachs were gonna explode.IMG_0926 IMG_0927 IMG_0932 IMG_0937*On another note, the tables are really cool. You can write on your receipt & slide it under the table.  Also, if it is really crowded randoms will sit at the table with you.  If its nice out you can walk a few feet & sit in this square type area.

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CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

IMG_1261IF THERES SUCH A THING AS HEAVEN WHILE YOUR LIVING THIS IS IT.  I VISITED HEAVEN. THERE WAS A 10 DAY CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL IN FLORENCE WHILE I WAS THERE & TRUST ME I WENT AS MUCH AS I COULD.  THE ONLY DAYS I THINK I MISSED WERE WHEN I WASNT IN FLORENCE.

SO BASICALLY ITS A MILLION BOOTHS WITH ALL CHOCOLATE.  THEY GIVE YOU TESTERS OR YOU ASK FOR A TRY BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY YOU WANT TO BUY IT (YEAH RIGHT) BY THE END OF THE FESTIVAL MY BEST FRIEND & I ALEXANDRA KNEW THE BOOTHS TO GOTO FOR THE GOOD TESTERS WHICH WERE BIG.

IMG_1193 543614_10151487989681800_458182057_n IMG_1201 IMG_1223 IMG_1222734807_10151487990726800_1231298557_n IMG_1230BECAUSE OF THE TESTERS I GOT TO TRY LOTS OF CHOCOLATE.  ONE THING IN PARTICULAR THAT WAS DELICIOUS WAS IN ALL HONESTY IM NOT EVEN SURE WHAT IT REALLY WAS BUT I GOT MILLIONS OF TESTERS OF IT THROUGHOUT THE DIFFERENT DAYS & WE WERE GOING TO BUY A HUNK & DECIDED AGAINST IT BECAUSE WE WOULD OF EATTEN IT ALL RIGHT AWAY. IT WAS LIKE A FUGE TYPE SITUATION EXCEPT IT MELTED IN YOUR MOUTH & HAD A SOFTER CONSISTENCY.  BELOW IS A PICTURE OF THE TWO TONED DELICIOUSNESS.IMG_1225

ONE BOOTH THAT WAS AMAZING & I ACTUALLY BOUGHT STUFF FROM WAS A MAKE YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE TYPE THING.  THERE WERE 3 DIFFERENT CHOCOLATE CUPS TO CHOOSE FROM MILK.DARK. WHITE & THEN A FEW DIFFERENT CHOCOLATE SAUCES I GUESS YOUD CALL IT TO PUT IN.  THERE WAS A CARMEL FLAVOR, MILK, WHITE, DARK 1 OR 2 OTHERS.  WOW THIS WAS AMAZING.  IT WAS 1 EURO & 1 BITE.  IT WAS SOOO GOOD. I BOUGHT AT LEAST 4 OVER THE TIME OF THE FESTIVAL.

IMG_1215 251527_10151487991831800_88964722_nANOTHER BOOTH I HAD TO BUY SOMETHING AT WAS THE WAFFLE STICK THAT GOT COVERED IN CHOCOLATE & SPRINKLED WITH SPRINKLES.  SOME BACK STORY, I HAVE A SICK OBSESSION WITH WAFFLES & ICE CREAM FROM THIS ONE ICE CREAM PARLOR BY MY GRANDMA.  I ALSO TEND TO GET WAFFLES & ICE CREAM FROM THE DINER A BUNCH SO WHEN I SPOTTED THIS BOOTH, I MADE A STRAIGHT RUN FOR IT.IMG_1251CAN YOU SAY YUM. BELOW IS A PICTURE OF ME CHOWING DOWN ON IT WITH MY FRIEND WHO PARTICIPATED IN THIS WAFFLE & CHOCOLATE EATING AS WELL.561506_10151487996166800_2081444985_n 556355_10151487996981800_963560677_nNOW THS IS WHERE IT GETS EMBARASSING.  I DO THIS THING WHERE WHEN I LIKE SOMETHING A LOT I GET KINDAAA OBSESSIVE.  LIKE I NEED IT EVERYDAY.  NOW AT HOME I AM NOT A BIG CANOLI PERSON ID OPT TO CHOOSE SOMETHING BEFORE THAT.  NOW IN FLORENCE, DIFFERENT STORY.  THANKFULLY WHEN WE GOT TO THE BOOTH WITH THE CANOLIS THEY GAVE OUT TESTERS OF A LITTLE PIECE OF CANOLI SHELL DIPPED IN SOME CREAM.  OMG YUM.  CAN I SAY YUM AGAIN, YUM.  I WAS HOOKED AT FIRST BITE.  IF YOU TOOK MY WHOLE LIFE & ADDED UP HOW MANY CANOLIS IVE EVER EATTEN IT WOULD BE LESS THEN HOW MANY I ATE IN DURING THE LENGTH OF THE FESTIVAL.  THE GUY KNEW ME (THATS THE EMBARASSING PART) ITS EVEN MORE EMBARASSING BECAUSE ITS NOT LIKE IT WAS OVER A MONTH OR SO HE GOT FAMILIAR WITH ME, LIKE NO I WENT THAT MUCH IN 10 DAYS.

IMG_1234 THE LITTLE TESTER CHIP IS BEING EATTEN ABOVE BY ALEXANDRAIMG_1238 THE FRESHEST CANOLI EVER. OMG-AMAZINGIMG_1240& WHEN MY BEST FRIEND FROM HOME WHO WAS STUYDING ABROAD IN BARCELONA CAME TO VISIT I WAS MORE THEN ESTAIC TO BRING HER HERE BECAUSE HER ALL TIME FAVORITE DESSERT IS A CANOLI BELOW IS HER IN HER GLORY. & FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS EATTEN HER SHARE OF CANOLIS SHE GAVE IT HER STAMP OF APPROVAL & AWARD OF BEST CANOLI EVER.IMG_1336THEN WHEN HER FAMILY CAME TO FLORENCE (THATS WHERE THEY WERE MEETING HER) WE OBVIOUSLY TOOK THEM TO THE FESTIVAL & HAD TO GET 1 OF EACH. THE ORIGINAL WHICH IS SEEN ABOVE IN ALL THE PICTURES, THE PISTACHO ONE & THE ALMOND ONE.

IMG_1370 IMG_1371WHEN THE FESTIVAL WAS OVER I WAS SAD TO SEE MY CANOLI GUY GO.  I DID GET 1 FREE CANOLI OUT OF HIM, I MEAN I WAS THE BEST CUSTOMER (HE ACTUALLY TOLD ME THAT)

ANOTHER GREAT BOOTH WAS A CHOCOLATE BARK BOOTH.  MY FAVORITE WAS THE CHOCOLATE COCONUT BARK.  THERE WERE PLENTY TO CHOOSE FROM & THEY LOVED GIVING TESTERS OUT.  THEY BASICALLY FORCED THEM ON YOU WHICH I AM NOT OPPOSED TO BY ANY MEANS.

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SOME OTHER BOOTHS THAT COULD BE FOUND WERE A CHOCOLATE LIQUOR BOOTH, FRESH DOUGHNUTS & OTHER PASTRIES, FRESH STRAWBERRIES CUPS WITH CHOCOLATE & HOT CHOCOLATE.

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& ONCE, OF THE MANY TIMES WE WERE AT THE FESTIVAL THERE WAS A MINI PARADE TYPE THING.

IMG_1272NOW IF THAT ISNT HEAVEN I DONT KNOW WHAT IS.

SOFT CHEESE GNOCCHI GRATIN

OSTERIA SANTO SPIRITO. A NAME YOU WILL WANT TO REMEMBER IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN FLORENCE. I HAD NOT TRIED THIS RESTAURANT UNTIL THE VERY LAST WEEKS I WAS THERE & THANK YOU FOR THAT BECAUSE WELL, THE DISH I WAS IN LOVE WITH, IM NOT SURE, BUT IT MIGHT ADD A POUND ON YOUR BODY SIMPLY FROM THE ONE DISH.  I DREAMED ABOUT “MY” GNOCCHI EVERYDAY AFTER THE FIRST BITE ENTERED MY MOUTH. I ONLY GOT THE CHANCE TO EAT THAT MEAL TWO MORE TIMES AFTER THAT (ONLY) BUT I WILL ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS KEEP THAT ON MY “I NEED TO HAVE THAT AGAIN” LIST.

GNOCCHINOW THE FUNNY THING ABOUT THIS DISH IS, I HATE GNOCCHI ITS JUST NOT MY THING.  I HEARD IT WAS THE NUMBER 1 DISH TO ORDER AT THIS RESTAURANT & ID SEEN PICTURES OF IT & IT LOOKS PRETTY DAMN TASTY SO I DID “SPLITZYS” WITH MY FRIEND.  UGH WAS I MAD ABOUT THAT DECISION WHEN IT CAME TO THE TABLE.  I DIDNT WANT TO SPLIT IT, I WANTED IT TO MYSELF & I WANTED THE BIGGER SIZE.  (THATS WHAT NEXT TIME WAS FOR)

GNOCCHI GRATINATI AI FORMAGGI MORBDIDI AL PROFUMO DI TARTUFO OR IN ENGLISH GNOCCHI WITH SOFT CHEESE GRATINEE & TRUFFLE OIL OR TRANSLATED AGAIN “HEAVEN”

THIS DISH, OMG I REALLY DONT EVEN WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT TO MUCH OR ITS UPSETTING, LITERALLY (& YES THIS WORD TENDS TO BE OVERUSED BY I 110% MEAN IT) LITERALLY, MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH.  THE GNOCCHI IS SO SOFT, LIGHT & AIRY ITS UNBELIEVABLE.  ALL THE COMPONENTS OF THE DISH WORK AMAZING WITH EACH OTHER.  I WISH I HAD EATTEN IT MORE RECENTLY SO 1. I COUD HAVE EATEN RECENTLY & 2. I COULD GIVE YOU A BETTER DESCRIPTION.  SADLY, IT WAS ABOUT 7 MONTHS AGO & I DONT REMEMBER THE EXACT DETAILS TO A T. ALL I KNOW IT IS ON MY TOP 10 LIST OF BEST THINGS IVE EVER EATEN IN MY LIFE. IF I REALLY SAT DOWN & FIGURED THE 10 OUT & THE ORDER I WOULD SAY ITD BE ON THE TOP HALF OF THE LIST. YEAH THAT GOOD.

NOW AFTER ALL THAT ABOUT THE ONE DISH THE OTHER DISHES ARE GOING TO SEEM HORRIBLE.  DONT GET ME WRONG THEY WERE GOOD, THEY JUST DONT COMPARE.  I LOVED THAT THEY GAVE THIS OLIVE DIP WITH THE BREAD IN THE BEGINNING, IT WAS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD, WE ASKED FOR ANOTHER. (THE PICTURE OF THE OLIVE DIP IS NOT MINE)olive dip

SOME OTHER DISHES WE HAD WHILE DINING HERE WERE RIGATONI WITH TOMATO SAUCE & DRY RICOTTA, PAN FRIED CHICKEN WITH VEGETABLES, SOME FISH THAT WE FOUND ON THE SPECIALS MENU, MUSSELS SOUPE WITH GARLIC BREAD, FRESH SPAGHETTI WITH FRESH TOMATOES & BASIL, TAGLIATELLE WITH FRESH MUSSELS & YELLOW MARINATED PEPPERS & SPAGHETTI WITH FRESH CLAMS.IMG_0796 IMG_0817 IMG_0802IMG_1413 IMG_1414 IMG_1420 IMG_1421

THE FACES & THOUGHTS OF GELATO

THE FACES & THOUGHTS OF GELATO. WELL SOME OF THEM, MAYBE.

UNFORTUNATELY WE LEFT FLORENCE THE WEEKEND THEY WERE HAVING A GELATO FESTIVAL AND WE DID NOT GET TO EXPERIENCE THE MAIN AREA OF THE FESTIVAL. OTHERWISE IM SURE THERE WOULD BE A MONTAGE OF PICTURES OF US IN GELATO BLISS. I DID GET SOME PICTURES OF THE SETUP THOUGH THAT YOU CAN SEE AT THE VERY END.

PURE HAPPINESS. GELATO & A WARM CHOCOLATE ECLAIR. THATS A TRUE DOUBLE FISTINGIMG_0804 HOW MANY LICKS DOES IT TAKE TO FINISH A GELATO?IMG_1288 “DONT PHOTOGRAPH ME WHILE IM BEING A FATTY”IMG_1564 SAME IDEA AS ME. DOUBLE FISTING. GELATO & A CANNOLI.IMG_2668 CANT WALK & EAT AT THE SAME TIME. I GOT TO FOCUS.IMG_0705 TASTE TESTING. DO WE DO IT BECAUSE WE DONT WANT TO END UP WITH A FLAVOR WE DONT LIKE OR BECAUSE WE WANT EVERY EXTRA BITE WE CAN GET?IMG_0701 SOMEONE MUST OF BEEN EYEING MY GELATO. DONT MESS.60746_10151495777666800_690566064_n UGH FINALLY. HAVENT HAD GELATO ALL DAY YET.IMG_0699

BELOW ARE SOME PICTURES TO GIVE YOU A GLIMPSE OF THE GELATO FESTIVAL.  THE FESTIVAL WAS IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE CITY.IMG_1390

THERE WERE DIFFERENT THEMES.  CLEARLY BELOW IS THE JAPAN VILLAGE WHERE YOU CAN FIND THINGS SUCH AS GREEN TEA.IMG_1427

WE QUICKLY GOT TO WALK BY THIS ON OUR WAY TO THE LAST DINNER EVER IN FLORENCE THAT WE WERE RUNNING LATE TOO.  I WISH I GOT TO SEE & TASTE THIS AREA  BECAUSE IT LOOKED AMAZING.  THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS YOU COULD FIND THERE. YOU COULD WATCH THEM ACTUALLY MAKING THE GELATO FROM THE OUTSIDE.IMG_1442

GELATO in florence

 

gelato

GELATO. an italian style ice cream. THE HOlY GRAIL.

EVERYWHERE YOU TURN THERE IS GELATO & FOR GOOD REASON, ITS AMAZING DUHH.  I STILL QUESTION HOW EVERYONE IS SKINNY I MEAN YEAH YOU WALK EVERYWHERE BUT HELLO I WALKED EVERYWHERE & NO I WAS NOT SKINNY. I MEAN MAYBE IT WAS THAT I ATE IT ALMOST EVERY DAY I WAS IN FLORENCE NO EXAGGERATION BUT I MEAN I HAD TO ENJOY IT AS MUCH AS I COULD WHILE I WAS THERE.

MY FAVORITE GELATO WAS FROM Festival del Gelato & Gelateria dei Neri. Now dont get me wrong those were my favorite places, but I definitely ate some from manyyyy other places. My favorite flavors were nocciola (hazelnut) mint (not all mints though) and nutella.  Towards the end of my trip I did start to really enjoy coconut & lemon because it was refreshing.

WE WOULD GET GELATO WHEN: WE WERE WALKING AROUND & EXPLORING, WHEN WE WERE HUNGRY, WHEN WE WERE BORED,  WHEN WE WERE ABOUT TO PREGAME, WHEN WE WERE DRUNK, YEAH JUST ABOUT WHENEVER.

OH AND DID I MENTION YOU CAN GET IT ON A WAFFLE?IMG_3037

GELATOABOVE IS MY BEST FRIEND JENNA GETTING GELATO.  THIS WAS PRETTY EXCITING FOR US BECAUSE I HAD JUST FOUND OUT THEY HAD VEGAN GELATO FOR HER! WHAT IS ALSO PRETTY EXCITING, THIS HAPPENS TO BE 1 OF MY FAVORITE GELATO PLACES .  Gelateria dei Neri.  IM NOT ASHAMED TO SAY OK I AM, THE GUY KNEW US THERE. BUT I MEAN, MAYBE WE JUST STUCK OUT & ARE NOTICABLE PEOPLE. A GIRL CAN DREAM RIGHT?

gelato cakeAND WHEN JENNA TURNED 21 IN FLORENCE THE ONLY CAKE IMAGINABLE TO GET HER WOULD BE WHAT ELSE OTHER THEN A GELATO CAKE.

1ST DAYTHIS HAPPENS TO BE THE FIRST TIME WE ATE GELATO IN FLORENCE.  ONCE WE BEGAN WE NEVER STOPPED.
boboli gardens

SITTING AT BOBOLI GARDENS EATING OUR GELATO.  AND AFTER THE HIKE TO SIT THERE ID SAY WE BURNED SOME CALORIES & HAD TO GIVE OURSELVES A PAT ON THE BACK THAT 1. WE DIDNT FINISH IT BEFORE WE GOT TO THE TOP 2. IT DIDNT ALL MELT & 3. WE DIDNT DROP IT (WE DONT ALWAYS HAVE THE BEST LUCK)

night gelato

IS IT EMBARRASING THAT I ALREADY HAD GELATO THAT DAY, HAD JUST FINISHED DINNER & WAS ON THE BACK TO THE APARTMENT TO PREGAME & WE WENT OUT OF THE WAY IN THE RAIN TO GET SOME MORE? OOPS.

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I ALWAYS TAKE PICTURES OF FOOD BUT GELATO BECAME SO EVERYDAY & REGULAR TO ME THAT I STOPPED TAKING PICTURES OF IT EVENTUALLY. IN MY MIND WHEN I STOP TAKING PICTURES BECAUSE ITS SO NORMAL IS BAD.

EMPTYAND YES WE ALWAYS FINISHED IT. OUR RULE: NO LEFTOVERS NO MATTER WHAT. NO MATTER HOW FULL YOU ARE, YOU MUST FINISH EVERYTHING. (im not sure if im kidding or not?)

FLORENCE introduction

FIRENZE. ONLY THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH. I DONT HAVE ENOUGH GOOD WORDS TO SAY ABOUT THIS PLACE.  I LIVED HERE FOR FOUR MONTHS & ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS: WHY AM I BACK IN THE US?

I COULD POST MILLIONS ON MILLIONS OF POSTS ABOUT THIS PLACE SO LET ME GET STARTED. I HOPE YOU ALL GET EVEN THE TINEST GLIMPSE OF WHY FLORENCE IS SO AMAZING.

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AS I WAS WRITING THIS FIRST POST I WAS REALLY QUESTIONING IF FLORENCE SHOULD HAVE ITS OWN TAB.  AFTER GETTING 3/4 OF THE WAY DONE I DELETED WHAT I WROTE AND DECIDED YES.  SO BASICALLY THIS FIRST POST ABOUT FLORENCE IS JUST FOR A HEADS UP.  GO POUR A BIG GLASS OF WINE & GET READY TO BE JEALOUS. IM JEALOUS OF MY OWN PICTURES I WISH I WAS STILL THERE.