I’m not ashamed to say that our first stop on the way to the Supermercato when we arrived in Florence was the gelato shop. Mike and Thomas shared pitaschio and I shared…well, Emmaline had mint chocolate. The older Littles were at the flat reviving from jet lag. Thomas asked if his pitastchio was “mashed up broccoli”.
In the Supermercato there are plastic gloves and produce bags near the scales in the fruit/veg section that you use to pick and bag your produce. When you place your produce on the scale and put in the associated number listed with each produce product, a printed price tag populates (major sentence points for alliteration). This has become a favorite activity for Ella Sophia. In an open-air market, there are not gloves because you are not permitted to touch the produce. The produce merchant does all the handling.
The Mercato Centrale is a couple of minutes away from our flat and has become a favorite place. The closest thing I can compare it with in the states is in L.A, Grove Farmers Market on W 3rd. Think uber fresh food stands combined with small booths that serve food. This outdoor market’s structure is cast-iron dating back to the late 1800’s. It caters to local restaurants and residents. On the ground level there are dozens and dozens of stalls selling produce, meats, fresh pasta/risotto, cheeses, truffles, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, wine and chocolates. On the second level there are food booths catering to foodies.
It is a delight to go to the food booths in the evening (open everyday 10am until midnight) and eat your fresh porcini mushroom ravioli with cream sauce surrounded by an orchestra of international languages. This is a destination for locals and tourists alike. On our Friday date, Mike and I shared our bistro table with a French couple. We also shared a penchant for the Utah Jazz and the opinion that it hasn’t been the same since Stockton and Malone (saying that, I must say that the Jazz Bear antics have greatly improved). Our new French friends convinced us that we cannot miss Nice.
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat worry and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” Maya Angelou