I had been planning all throughout last week to visit Orvieto for the day on Sunday. But by the time Saturday night rolled around, my still slightly bothersome jet-lag and lingering cold had the best of me. I was pooped. So I decided to turn off my alarm and play the day by ear.
And you know what? Turning off my alarm was the best choice that I had made all week. I had my best night’s sleep since being in Italy, and made it all the way until 9 a.m. (which is pretty late for me). I literally woke up to the sun shinning through my windows, the church bells clanging, and me feeling like a brand new woman.
I lazily (and happily) enjoyed a cup of tea in my apartment before getting dressed and walking the few blocks to Basilica di Santo Spirito for mass.
After mass I was delightfully surprised to find a flea market going on in Piazza Santo Spirito, which really had quite the assortment of items – furniture, paintings, clothing, food goods, odds and ends, old coins, antiques. You name it, they definitely had it.
i’m still trying to figure out what this is
After being tempted by way too many things that I definitely don’t need and also have no means to transport home, I happily walked away with a pasta rolling pin.
I swung by my apartment to drop off the rolling pin and grab a better pair of walking shoes, and then I ventured out for a few errands – basically groceries and lunch.
Even though I have eaten here more times since being in Florence than I would like to admit, I was craving a panino from All’Antico Vinaio; but sadly by the time I got there the line was really crazy (like 80 people deep). So, I decided to try and wander for a bit and find a different spot.
But unfortunately my wandering left me wanting, and being Sunday in Florence, not everywhere was open. So I crazily turned back to All’Antico Vinaio, and figured that the line would move quicker than it looked. I took my place and loaded up the newest Paula Hawkins book on my phone, and happily used the time to do a little reading.
Partially because the book was so gripping, before I knew it, 40 minutes had passed. But the bad part was that the line had barely moved. The problem? They couldn’t make the bread quick enough. Although tempting to get a panino on warm focaccia, I made the quick decision to forgo a panino for one seriously delicious gelato from Venchi.
nougatine gelato in a freshly made nougatine cone – now that is what dreams are made of
Quite satisfied (and grateful to not be standing in line anymore), I swung by the grocery store on my way home to pick up a few essentials. (Basically as many waters as I can manage to carry home.)
Once I got home, I didn’t really have any plans. I think I let out a huge sigh. It felt great to have the time off. But instead of just lounging around, which is apparently a little hard for me, I decided to unpack my running shoes and go for my first run since arriving.
the beautiful vine-lined streets in the Oltrarno neighborhood
After getting home from my run, it started to hit me that I had only eaten an ice cream cone all day and that I should probably be making a dinner plan. I easily decided on a return visit to an old favorite, Buca Mario, for their beloved lasagne.
I tried calling the restaurant to make a reservation, but unfortunately no one was answering their phone (and reservations are definitely required here). So I got dressed and walked over in hopes that someone would be there for me to talk to. My prayers were answered, and even better, I was able to get in right away at 7 p.m.
Since I had a little bit of time to kill before the restaurant officially opened, I headed back towards the Duomo and found myself at Eataly. We have absolutely loved every Eataly that we have visited in the States, and so I was really excited to explore the Florence branch.
To be honest, I was a little surprised at how small it was; but it really had a wonderful selection, and the prices were shockingly cheap compared to the ones in the States. (I think that I cried a little bit on the inside because of the prices.) Oh how I dream to have this as my local food shop…
After oohing and aahing over basically everything and anything, I headed outside and ordered myself a glass of prosecco – the perfect way to kick off the evening. And thanks to their free Wi-fi, I was able to call my Mom to wish her a “buona giornata della Mamma!”
After the last of my prosecco was finished, I walked back over to Buca Mario with great anticipation. I had a plan – order the lasagne. But then I got there and looked over the menu and I started to feel so tempted by so many different things…so I compromised. A half order of lasagne, and a half order of pappardelle with a wild boar ragu.
The wild boar came first. Well…here is what I told my husband: had I never had Fiorella’s wild boar, I probably would have loved this. But unfortunately this meat was a little tough and the ragu itself under-seasoned. Oddly enough, even the olives lacked in flavor.
at least it looks delicious!
But then the lasagne came, and I knew that I couldn’t be disappointed. Or could I? Sadly this too had changed, or possibly an off batch…or maybe my tastes have changed. Either way, I would easily take my 7 hour lasagne over this one any day.
Although my dinner didn’t exactly leave me ending on a high note, my whole day had been filled with twists and turns, and that is truly part of the experience in Italy. In the end, my day was relaxing and filled with sunshine, good wine and gelato. What more could I ask for?
the beautiful sunset on my walk home