We just boarded the train from Florence, and we are off to Rome (because we want to). Ive got my new hat on my head, my Italian leather bag in my lap and a few extra lbs riding in my mid section (MAN, that lasagna was good).

Florence started with clam linguini and gnocchi to die for. Forgive me but if you haven’t eaten yet, you may not want to read this if you are hungry. 

When we arrived at our hotel we both got starry eyed when we saw the king sized bed and full sized shower. I don’t know what it is about Europeans and tiny showers and the toilets here remind me of camping in the motorhome. But thats all besides the point. 

When we woke up from our first food coma we hit the town, promising ourselves we wouldn’t do the entire city at once like we did in Paris. The San Lorenzo Leather market was our first venture. Essentially the farmers market of purses and bags, but all real italian leather. Taking the advice we got from Karen, we walked the whole market, decided what we needed (a purse for me, obvi) and then walked away. Not until today did I go back and haggle. ($45 purse and I got him down to 35). 

The first day we walked and window shopped, I complained about it being hot and Sean pretended not to be annoyed. Lunch was at a cute little bistro (with misters on the patio). My mushroom ravioli was all time and Sean’s carbonara was good too! Once id been fed (every 3 hours like clock work) we walked some more and ended the night with a slice from the corner Pizzeria and dessert and wine on our hotel terrace. 

Speaking of our hotel terrace, we actually spent a lot of time here. Breakfast every morning and dessert after our long days. The food was wonderful and the view of the Duomo Cathedral was incredible. 

Duomo, a building I cant even describe to you (seriously, Google it). Like every other incredibly amazing thing we have seen on this trip, the photos do no justice. Again, we did the headphone guided tour thing, and were able to see things we otherwise wouldn’t have. After the tour we climbed the 450 steps (through the worlds smallest dark hallways) to the top of the (actually) worlds largest self sustaining Copula (or Dome) in the world. I wont say it was easy or fun to get up there, but the views were worth it. 

When sean asked me, when planning this trip where I wanted to go, my only reply was “wine tasting”. BOY, did my man deliver. At 9:30am we were picked up by our guide and wine expert. By 10:15 we were getting a private tour of the barrel room and rubbing elbows with the winemaker himself. After our tour he took us to the tasting room where we sat at a beautiful table set for a tasting of 4 of his finest. Let me tell you, the Rosé was like nothing either of us could have imagined and the tastings kept getting better. Score one for Italy for having a heavy hand with their “tasting pours” too, id compare it to a small glass at home. 6 bottles being shipped home later, it was off to our next stop. Stop 2 not only came with another hefty helping of fine wine but a 4 course homemade meal from the winemakers wife. Trust me, home made bruschetta, lasagna, wild boar and potatoes, and gelato are definitely the way to clear ones palette between sips. After being rolled to the car we were off to our third stop where we sipped on the patio of another family owned and operated winery. We watched the lightening dance and the thunder and rain roll in and out just as quickly as it came. I can’t put it into words how incredibly special this experience was. When a simple tasting is what you’re expecting and a grand day of tours and special treatment is what you get, you cant help but wonder what you did to deserve it. 

Tipsy and tired we walked to a little place near our hotel where they served only home grown, organic, environmentally friendly products and raised all the beef on the family farm. The platter of steak, potatoes, grilled veggies and fresh bread we got was quite a sight, and yummy to boot. 

This morning we woke up, had our cappuccino and then headed to the laundry mat. Don’t forget, we only brought one suitcase and we’ve been gone for like, ever. 3 loads later, we’re off to check out! A quick swing back to the leather market to get my bag, and we were off to the station. Here we are and there we were. Ill see you soon somewhere else. Caio’ 

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