After alot of convincing, we ditched the small stick shift car my Dad wanted to drive to Florence and opted for the train. To the credit of Il Duci AKA Mussolini, he made the trains run on time... And the ride was smooth and easy.
In 2 short and comfortable hours we were in Firenze (Florence). We got to the apartment quickly with out any problems. Its located around the corner from the Duomo in the center of town!
When we got into the apartment my jaw dropped to the floor! It was beautiful and huge. Walking inside, you are greated to a big livingroom, small breakfast area and kitchen. It comes with a view of the park and if you look up and to the left the Duomo! There are three bedrooms and three baths, so we each get our own room and bathroom. I am especially excited to get a good night's sleep.
We decided to go out to eat. In the past week I've eaten out for almost every meal. I am very disappointed by the "highly rated" restaurants in the guide books. At this point the apartment kitchen seems like the best option. I am a well learned cook, taught by: My Sicilian Grandma, a host of cooking programs, books, & magazines, many random experiments in the kitchen. My Dad says we have a reservation at a restaurant right down the street.
This is the best restaurant on our trip. There is no sign infront of the building, which is a good sign. Before this place was a restaurant, it was a storage house for the Florence's Carosel, hence the name. The head chef and his son own and run the restaurant. They take special care to treat their patrons well. We first eat with our eyes and everything in the room made me comfortable, hungry and happy. The presentation of the food on the plates gets a huge thumbs up, however the most impressive thing about the meal was the wine and it's service.
A proper somelier will show you the wine you ordered. She or he will then uncork the wine and pour a small amount into a glass, build a bouquet. The somelier will smell the glass and (if they don't reject it) will present it to the patron for their approval. After which, their job is over. The guys at this joint spent the extra time to decant the entire bottle of wine, coated the inside of each glass with a bit of wine and warmed the glass with a candle flame. Its not overkill if it adds to the meal. It was also a great bottle of wine. I'm not sure if what they did made me think the wine was great, or if the wine they gave me was great... but it didn't matter, because great is great!
I didn't do much site seeing the first night. I'm pretty tired and about to hit the hay!