Thursday, October 27, 2016

Aperitivo Time in Florence, Italy with Urban Adventures

Many of you know that I totally loved my chicchetti and wine tour with Francesca Marucci in Venice,

Francesca in Venice

so on this recent trip to Florence I had to book another trip with Urban Adventures. This experience is called their Aperitivo Time! Florence Wine Tour. Even if you know Florence, a tour like this makes you feel like you are "a part of" the city. The history and knowledge is more interesting and real than anything you'll find in a guide book.

(QUICK NOTE: On this trip we stayed in a beautiful Airbnb but if you prefer hotels, check out the amazing Portrait Firenze and many others.)

Our host for this wine tour was Gemma Corti from Chianti Classico. Why are they all looking in different directions?
Bud, Gemma, Zak, and Emily
I'm taking the pic, sorry, it should have been a selfie. That's my friend Bud on the left, Gemma in the middle and then Zak and Emily from Virginia. Wow, this was going to be a very personalized tour with just the four of us. And the meeting point was the famous Piazza della Repubblica. Once the site of the city's forum it's now a beautiful square embraced with many restaurants and street performers. Plus it's just steps away from the the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo, the Baptistry, the Crypt and the Bell Tower.

The Cathedral and Bell Tower
The Cathedral and Dome

Just a few blocks away, Gemma's first stop was the elegant Procacci. Opened in 1885, it's located on the very fashionable Via de' Tornabuoni.

Procacci
And Procacci's specialty is the truffle - the mushrooms, not the chocolates. Keep in mind that about a pound of these beauties will fetch upwards of $600. I'm gonna find me myself a truffle hunting dog and move to Tuscany!


Fresh black truffles.
A gorgeous shop filled with satisfied customers, we were escorted directly to the glass showcase in the back and offered glasses of Prosecco (Italy's version of Champagne) and finger sandwiches filled with the most heavenly truffle cream. 

Prosecco and truffle cream sandwiches.
They offer plenty of items that you can purchase and take back home. Definitely a shop I would visit again. Next stop was a leisurely walk to...


...the vastly different but just as delicious and exciting, La Prosciutteria on Via dei Neri This is not so much a restaurant as it is a meeting place for friends to enjoy food and drink.



And there's plenty of both with a splash of colorful characters, both visiting and working there.

We had our own table in the back and were treated to glasses of delicious and full-bodied Chianti Classico wine...

Chianti Classico
...and a board (literally) filled to the edges with...

An Italian charcuterie extraordinaire! (Pardon my French.)
...prociutto, mortadella, salami, green olives, fresh pineapple, roasted eggplant and zucchini and tuscan bread smeared with sun-dried tomato and olive tapenades, along with truffle and cream and a spoonful of wild berry jam. Washed down with the extraordinary Chianti, we ate every morsel!


And if you prefer, the deli is more than happy to make you any combination of sandwich you would like, to go!

Our final stop was across the Ponte Vecchio Bridge...

Ponte Vecchio Bridge
... to the very hip Caffe Degli Artigiani...not too far from the Pitti Palace.

Caffe Degli Artigiani
The place was jumping and with this establishment, you also have a buffet of food to enjoy if you like, on the house! We we were offered aperitifs...either a Spritz (Aparol and fizzy water) or a Negroni (1 part gin, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 part Campari served with an orange peel.)

I don't usual mix wine with hard alcohol but heck, it's Florence and I'm on vacation with Urban Adventures...so Negroni it was! Now let's revisit the pic when we started the evening...


...and now let's look at the pic at the end of the fantastic tour!

Happy Campers!
Need I say more?

Cin Cin!











 


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