Florence and the Best Meal of My Life

I was unusually excited for this adventure. I have heard for years about all of the great sights, tastes and experiences that Italy has to offer. I had had enough of hearing about it and wanted to jump in head first. Luckily, the fight from Barcelona to Florence was only $88.00. It was go time!

I arrived in the late afternoon and started my usual landing routine.

Get off the airplane, skip the baggage line (checked bags are for pansies!), find a ride to my hotel/rental/hostel, put the ‘do not disturb’ sign on my door (cleaners are for pansies!), test the bed, test the Internet and then leave to go get some food (food is for… wait nevermind) and walk around lost for a while.

As soon as I got to the point were I knew I was officially lost, I could immediately tell there was something different about this place. The design of the buildings, even when literally rotting, seemed a little bit more thought out. The food really was more flavorful (seriously Italians, I don’t know what you do to your cheese but I am sure it involves magic and law breaking) and the people were certainly louder and more opinionated. I ate at every place that I walked into. First it was pizza, then it was pastries and then I decided I liked the first two options and proceeded to eat pizza and pastries at two other places. This was my kind of town :-)

That night I met up with a friend who I had originally met in Buenos Aires. Mattea is also a blogger and is currently in Florence studying jewelry design with a focus on Latin America. She knew the city well and took me to the famous city center to go to her favorite restaurant. It turned out that in all of my walking, I hadn’t even entered the main area :-) (That happens sometimes). I’ll let the photos speak for me:

Gracious host

Pasta and Vino

Lunch

Florence Bikes

Waterfall

If you want to read about the amazing museums and art in Florence, I recommend reading another blog. The art that I paid the most attention to was the ice cream. Good god!

Ice Cream in Florence

Between the ice cream and the cheeses, I consumed the entire dairy contents of a full-sized farm. I actually ate so much ice cream that after leaving Florence, I stopped eating ice cream for a week (although that is likely to change after I finished writing this post).

The next day, I found myself a fun cafe and got some work done. I am really enjoying my current work/explore lifestyle. Instead of having work days and vacation days, I have work hours and vacation hours all within the same day. As of yet, I have not had a single complaint about my working style from a client or co-worker. In fact, I think my heightened inspiration and low amount of stress is making me more valuable than normal. It is slowly becoming my normal schedule and I am really enjoying the benefits of working when inspired and playing when needing inspiration. I spent the rest of the day finding new cafes and walking around.

The next day I woke up and met my friend to do some work together and explore more of the city. She had been living in Florence for a few months now so she proved to be a really helpful guide. Together we went to Duomo and got the best view possible of the city.

Duomo Party

Big Duomo Painting

Duomo Painting Details

Duomo Statue

Florence From Duomo

The Best Meal of My Life

After visiting the city center, we went to what is now my favorite restaurant in the world. My brother had gone to school in Florence and instead of talking about The David or the Duomo, he always talked about Pizzeria Spera. I was extremely hungry so when we got there, I was ready to be impressed.

Spera served hands-down the best pizza I have ever had.

Spera Pizza

Spera Pizza Pesto

It was simple flavorful and damn near perfect. The crust was fantastic (crunchy and flakey but not charcoally), the sauce was delicious (not overwhelming but instead complementary) and the cheese was as expected, fantastic.

I ate the entire pizza along with drinking a local beer. Perfect.

That night, my host and I stayed in and discussed life and food over a bottle of wine. It was a good ending to a great trip. The next day I woke up slightly hung over and ventured off to the rail station. I had a train to Rome to catch.


The original title for this post was “Exploring Florence With My Mouth”. lol. I think I made the right call by changing it.

I wrote this while sitting in my new co-working office in Barcelona. Typically I work from a random cafe but I am experimenting with this just to try something new. So far I like it better than a cafe as it is more social and the atmosphere/white noise keeps me energized. Also, this location is sponsored by the local brewery so there is that :-p

6 comments… add one

  • rick chinn Apr 25, 2012

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187895-d1432067-r113965677-Trattoria_Enzo_e_Piero-Florence_Tuscany.html

    when J and I visited Florence, we ate at the restaurant that was just down the street from our hotel. Trattoria Enzo e Piero. via Faenza 105. It was always busy, and for good reason. Seriously though, I think you’d have to work to find a bad meal in Florence.

    • Danny Dover Apr 26, 2012

      Hey Rick! Good to hear from you as always! :-)

      That place looks great! I’ll have to hit it up when I return to Florence. (not if, when).

      “Seriously though, I think you’d have to work to find a bad meal in Florence.”

      :-) I think you are absolutely right. Cheers and I hope all is well!

  • Simon Oram Apr 26, 2012

    Danny,

    I discovered your blog via Stumbledupon and absolutely love it! I work in travel, so they are always really inspiring, keep up the good work. I’ve been to Florence several times, and you are right, the most fantastic food, mixed with wonderful architecture and stunning art around every corner make it my favourite European city.

    • Danny Dover Apr 26, 2012

      Sounds like you know the game :-) I am still in the middle of my European adventure but Florence is certainly near the top of my list (Barcelona is great too!)

      I hope all is well and let me know if I can help you with anything.

      Cheers!

  • Mattea Apr 26, 2012

    The pasta and gelato of Florence misses you! I went to Birreria Centrale (favorite restaurant) twice with my parents over the past couple of days. Taste bud heaven! Glad to hear all is well in Barcelona!

  • Kristen Jul 4, 2012

    I stumbled across your blog while trying to plan a trip to Europe for our honeymoon. We will be flying into Barcelona, and our plan was to rent a car, drive to Florence, do some days in Tuscany and then drive back stopping in France for a night or two, then spend four nights in Barcelona. We have 13 nights. Would you recommend driving? What airline did you fly for $88 to Florence? Any suggestions for itinerary in Barcelona? thank you!

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