Eating & Drinking in Italy: Our Anniversary in Florence

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Adam & I celebrated our third wedding anniversary on August 5.  We were excited to have the opportunity to spend it in Italy this year, and knew for sure that we wanted to use the day as an excuse to break from the group.  Florence seemed like a good choice.  We’d been before, on our first trip to Italy 7 years ago, but it was the closest major city and one we were happy to return to.

Unfortunately, just as our train from Certaldo set off to Florence, it started raining.  Then it started pouring.  By the time we arrived, it was torrential.  We were both in shorts and t-shirts and had one little umbrella between us.  We had to go to the bathroom.  We were hungry.  It didn’t look good.

Thankfully, we found a little osteria (essentially a tavern) to have lunch.  It proved a great opportunity to try a Florentine speciality – a pappa al pomodoro soup (tomato and bread soup), as well as get a truffle risotto. The warm food and cozy atmosphere helped motivate us and by the time we finished eating we were grateful that the rain had actually stopped.  We even saw peaks of blue sky by the end of the day.

We had decided on the restaurant where we would have dinner early on.  Trattoria dei 13 Gobbi was a restaurant my sister-in-law and her husband ate at on their honeymoon and enthusiastically returned to on this trip.  When we found the place, we were surprised by just off the beaten path it was. “How did they even find this place?”, we wondered. We sat down just as the rain started once again.

It was an adorable little place, decorated in an odd mix of old Hollywood memorabilia. The food was inventive – adding some interesting dishes alongside typical Italian fare.

For appetizers, Adam got a Florentine specialty – a panzanella (bread and tomato salad). I got what I thought would be a cheese plate for one, but it was enormous. Huge chunks of cheese served alongside a scented honey. It was fantastic, but far too much for me to finish (even when giving Adam a few pieces!). Adam had a ravioli filled with potato, a dish that seemed to be breaking the rules but tasted very good. I got a simple pasta dish that Laura had recommended. Rigatoni with a very cheesy tomato sauce, served in a big glass bowl. I’m never quite sure how Italians manage to surprise me with a simple tomato sauce, but this was yet another. Unfortunately our experience was slightly marred by the rain, because the entire back room of the restaurant was soaked. As a result, they were short on tables and were anxious to move us out as quickly as possible. Quite the difference from the typical Italian dining experience, which is a long and relaxed evening.

Ultimately, we would return to 13 Gobbi, but hope for a bit more of a relaxed experience next time. Thanks to Laura & Ellis for the recommendation!

And so that concludes our series on Italy. Look for a return at Life at No. 71’s typical at-home content soon!

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