I felt unnaturally English last night as craved a cup of tea just before bed and thankfully a mini kettle and tea/coffee are provided. So I had one. Considering I am in the land of coffee – I’m hardly drinking any at all. To think I have all that Starbucks at home, here I can get the real McCoy but it’s not really what I’m after. I remain, odd.
Anyway, another enjoyable day in Florence. The weather held out and was sunny (though quite hazy) all day. It had threatened to rain at one point, but it didn’t.
We visited the Capella Brancacci which houses some of the most important 15th century renaissance frescoes, depicting St Peter. I got some good pictures of these which I’ll eventually post.
We crossed the River Arno on to the lower side of Florence to visit the royal palace (Palazzo Pitti) where we took in the Palatine gallery and royal apartments. More renaissance art than you can shake a stick at – Botticelli, Rubens, Titian, Caravaggio, Tintoretto – they’re all here.
Lunch wasn’t bad – I had carbonara for 1st course and a salad for 2nd (the Italians always seem to have pasta first then a regular main course after that). And of course a glass of wine. And would you believe, though we’re in chianti country, I’m really enjoying drinking white. I think it’s because it’s so hot (well, today was high 20s low 30s I think).
The afternoon was spent walking up the hill to the Michelangelo Piazza which gives great views over the city. From here we headed down to San Croce which is a magnificent Gothic church. It dates from 1294 and many famous artists are entombed here – Michelangelo, Galileo, among others. It has a really pretty cloister that was peaceful to take a break in, too.
Oh, went to another gelateria today and it was really, really good. The two flavours I had this time were cherry and pistachio and it was sooo good. So creamy, really really delicious. I am hooked on gelato now.
Back to the hotel where we crashed out. Sheridan (who is a culture vulture) is something of a slave driver and I deferred all organisation/planning to him. He likes to pack a lot in, put it that way.
For dinner we went back to the osteria we went to two nights ago. Seriously good meal this evening. I had the entrecôte steak (medium-rare) and it was perfection. It came with a sauce of what I guess were slow roasted red onions. We also had white beans (in oil) on the side, caponata (mixed seasonal vegetables) and the (small) roast potatoes in thyme and garlic. Very, very good. Shared 1/2 a bottle of wine (I know! He doesn’t drink much at the best of times so my own drinking has really been reduced out here, ironically; who’d have thought it).
Dessert was quite something. We ordered the 12 euro ‘fantasia – a medley of freshly made desserts prepared by the chef’ and boy was it good. But it was much bigger than we’d thought it would be. It actually consisted of FIVE desserts on one plate – crème brulee (unctuous and warm with a brittle sweet dark caramel top), a sublime heavy dark chocolate mousse, an Italian apple cake, a cherry flan, and a panacotta. I don’t even want to begin to think of what the calorie content was on that plate; off the scale. I do have a photo of it so will post when I can. Was really delicious.