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Sagre and gastronomic events near Florence

What's on this weekend near Florence?
The little town of Ronta, next to Borgo San Lorenzo - in the Florence countryside - will host the Porcino Mushroom Festival (Sagra del fungo porcino) on August 30th and 31st, 2008. The most appreciated italian mushroom will be the centre of the festival: an entire menu based on the porcino with courses like the tortelli with mushrooms, the fiorentina steak with porcini, and so on... Opening hours: Saturdays only dinner (7.30 p.m.) - Sundays lunch (1 p.m.) and dinner (7.30 p.m.)
For further informations: Ph.: +39 055 8403386

Tortello festival in Scarperia
Within the Diotto Festival in Scarperia - in the Florence Province - on August 30th, 31st and on September 6th, 7th, 2008 will run the traditional Tortello Festival (Sagra del Tortello).
The Tortello Mugellano is a popular hand made type of pasta, comprised of a filling of ricotta cheese and various herbs, sealed between two layers of pasta dough. The Tortelli are commonly rectangular in shape and they are usually dressed with ragù (meat gravy), mushroom or butter and sage.
For further information: Ph.: +39 055 8468165
Email: info@prolocoscarperia.com


PD fair in Florence

Do you remember InFortezza? The July/August summer kermesse at Fortezza da Basso? Well, practically speaking, is the same thing with a different name. Until last year was the Festa dell'Unità, a fair that takes place in Florence at this time of the year to "celebrate" the left italian party. Now that they have changed name is PD fair (democratic party).

Gastronomic stands, especially etnic food. I came back to ethnic restaurant Paladar to taste a fish with peanuts sauce.
After dinner I strolled around to see what has to offer. They changed place to the disco which is not behind the Fortress, they moved also the large bookshop in the Cavaniglia pavillion and removed the cinema to open the space to a unknown afro-portuguese artist...but I found a very interesting exbition made by the students of the comics school about reciclying. Folkloristic people, american girls all over. The festival is open until September 7th and there is also a series of concerts. Yestraday I saw L'Aura, a very talented italian singer.

Entrance is free. For some concerts you have to pay.


Holiday in Sicily

I have come back from Sicily, the biggest island in Italy and I am very enthusiast of this travel: cristalline sea, excellent food, ancient greek ruins and lower prices in comparison to Florence.
Everybody is wellcoming and kind. We had nice weather every day.
I visited the greek temples of Selinunte, just above a golden sandy beach, where I lied for hours sunbathing and swimming. This ancient Greek archaelogical site is well conserved, and you can admire the temple of Hera with the original columns and capitels (built in the 600 BC).
I was amazed by the baroque architecture of Noto, a little city at the south-east of Sicily, which is Human Heritage.
I liked the contrasts of Palermo: rich and elegant quarters close to poor and disrupted quarters where you can get lost in some typical old markets such as Ballaro' and Vucciria.
I liked the narrow streets of Siracusa, a city rich of history and culture (I slept in a bed and breakfast just above the temple of Apollo for 60 euros!)
I appreciated the local cuisine: the arancini (small rice balls with meat inside), the cannoli alla siciliana (sweets with ricotta cheese) and the fuata (a tiny pizza with onions).

I strongly recommend you to visit Sicily at least once in your life, but you have to be very patient: roads are quite a disaster, and the concept of time (and puntuality) is relative.


Barberino outlet and cheap eats close to Florence

Today I went back to Mugello. I wanted to go and swim in the Bilancino Lake, but the weather was not fine even for sunbathing! I decided to have a cheap lunch at Casa del prosciutto at Ponte a Vicchio, where you can have tasteful panini(bread) with prosciutto (ham), or youcan seat and order delightful and oily tortelli di patate (I had some with mushrooms) and other tuscan food for less than 10 euros per person.
After lunch the sun has come back, so we hade some time swimming and sailing in the lake, near the Bagno Maria beach.
Last but not least we went to McArthurGlen Barberino Outlet: the big mall with outlet stores only 20 minutes from Florence, where you can buy clothes by Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Pollini, Guess, Max Mara...
I bought just few things since there were already the winter collections and for me it was quite strange to try coats and wool stuff...


Da Burde, a historical trattoria

On Monday evening I had the pleasure to meet the guy from BURDE, a historical trattoria, a real one in the Florence outskirt. So, I decided to go and try their cuisine for lunch the following day.
This restaurant, as said, it is not in the centre of Florence and you don’t find many tourists but locals, people who go there to spend their lunch and relax with colleagues, but the atmosphere it is like it was years ago when it first opened.
It is perfect if you have a car because it is in via Pistoiese, in the north of Florence, not far from the Florence airport, it is just in front of the CONAD supermarket. The big sign cannot be missed!
As soon as you enter you are in the grocery store in the back there is the real trattoria with tables and chairs. It is decorated like the old Florentine trattorias: furniture’s found in and there, paintings hang on the wall and so on...
The menu is only Tuscan: soup, panzanella, ribollita , pappa con pomodoro and meat. Peposo, bollito, stracotto, and the mythical Florentine T-bone steak! Andrea the owner of the shop is not only a very nice person but he can help you to choose the right wine even because he is vice European sommelier champion. Nice food in a very simple environment, pleasant, not a tourist place at all.
This is the website: http://www.burde.it/

Apartments for rent in Florence

apartments for rent florenceToday I would like to introduce you to a very useful website I found few days ago.
Firenzelodging.it is a service oriented rental agency in Florence: they offer apartments for rent in Florence. As a licensed real estate agency in Florence they offer lodging services for tourists looking for quality short term rentals solutions in apartments, villas, residences as well as for those looking for more traditional mid to long term stays when relocating, living or studying in Florence. Their listings of properties are reviewed and certified by their staff to help you find what better suits your needs at the more suitable price for your budget. They target clients needing a solid and reliable service mixing the help of technology with more traditional service oriented efforts to make you feel safe and comfortable while searching, booking and then enjoying your time and your life in Florence.


The ceramic fair in Florence

October 4th and 5th in Piazza SS Annunziata it will take place the IX edition of the ceramic fair, the exhibition of contemporary artistic ceramics.

In these two days 60 artists coming from Italy and other European countries will displayed their creations. It can be found ceramics from everyday use objects to interior decorations: from Raku, ancient Japanese technique used for the tea ceremony to the solid Gres especially used in northern European countries, to the majolica, a symbol of Mediterranean regions to finish with the fine Lustro, a difficult technique produced with the third fire and porcelain. In these two days there will be children labs as well as demonstration of the Raku technique.
Info: Associarte arte della ceramica (Art ceramic association)
Tel. 055 8301075 cell 347 7416184

Flo, the coolest place in Florence of Summer 2008

If you wish to avoid the heat of the Florence centre and you want enjoy something nice you have to take bus number 12 or 13 from the main station of Santa Maria Novella and you go up until Piazzale Michelangelo, the terrace overlooking one of the most beautiful view of the world. Then you might need some refreshment and the right place is called FLO’. The place is nice but the interior decoration is like all the others lounge places. Squared-little tables, large sofas coloured in black and white with a small red touch. There is also a little dance floor surrounded by law white tables, a bar area with high metal tables and in the middle of the plants some tables for privé.

The location is perfect as said and the place, when we arrived, was already packed. We found a little corner with big pillows put on the floor in the Arab manner and we started to look up at our menu. Cocktails (alcoholic or alcohol free) were € 8, 00, a glass of wine was € 6, 00. I had a Gewürztraminer and the girl asked me ten Euros. She said the first glass is always 10 Euros, ok it was written in small corner of the menu.

Among our circle of friends we met also Andrea, the owner of Da Burde restaurant, one of the historical trattorias of Florence that started to chat with Supersimo about organizing a big party this coming fall…
This is another chance to spend sometime in a cool place, even if on Monday night it was not cool at all.
See you next…



This is the festival of the wandering cultures, musical mixes and traditions in movement. For the fourth consecutive year the Valdarno valley and the province of Arezzo organize this festival. This year is dedicated to Latin American and India so Brasil, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba and Caraibi
Complete program:

August 6th Bucine
At Piazza di Capannole
TOPAZIO (Brasil) Capoeira and Maculelé

August 7th Montevarchi in Piazza Varchi
Araukania Kuintet (Chile)

August 29th Terranuova Bracciolini in PIazza Liberazione
Helena Ruegg (Germany)
Javier Girotto&Aires Tango (Argentina-Italy)

Sunday, August 31st Castelfranco di Sopra, Piazza V. Emanuele
RUBEN Chaviano y Cuba
Reunion an orginal production West-East

Orienteoccidente 2008
Province of Arezzo
City council of Montevarchi, San Giovanni Valdarno,
Teraranuova Bracciolini,cavriglia, Bucine, Castelfdi Sopra, Figline
Valdarno and Arezzo
Concerts starts at 9,30pm - Free entrance


Le Murate, more than a restaurant...

Do you remember about Sabino’s review of the Murate restaurant some weeks ago? Well, I tried myself just two nights ago and Sabino was just right. That place is amazing and not only because of the food but because it is really killing two birds with one stone in the sense that it is not only a restaurant but also a museum; a very unique place in Florence.

This ancient building was, once, the palace of the art of the lawyers and the notaries, a very powerful corporation in Florence but when three years ago the owners of the restaurant bought the space, they removed the shelves of the previous shop and they discovered splendid ‘300 hundreds frescos among those Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio figures. And in fact they can proudly say that they have the “real” Dantes’s face.

In the restaurant basement there is also an archaeological area with an excavation of the Roman and pre-roman times with a mysterious group of wooden poles (pile-dwelling, old laundry?). They also provide clients with an audio guide in 7 different spoken languages just liken a museum. Then after having filling your spirit and mind with culture, you precede the journey into the culinary world.

The dinner is at the highest level: a delicate tasting of a revised and original Tuscan tradition. The caprese in carrozza, a juicy buffalo mozzarella, simple, good, delicate followed by a vegetable soup with ricotta cheese. I also tasted tortelli filled with robiola and arugula. The restaurant propose a very simple Tuscan and Italian tradition food but with a particular attention to the ingredients and presentation of the dishes. Then they brought crusted veal with oregano and tuna sauce. The veal was so delicate and soft that it was not necessary to add the sauce.
And last but not least the dessert: a tarte tatin with peaches and mint leaves with an English sauce. Devine!
Just few words about the wine: a Pinot Blanc Zuc di Volpe of the Friuli, a delicate and perfumed white wine.

Another excellent quality of the restaurant is the service. I admired the girl at the entrance of the restaurant who welcomed clients and let them seat in comfortable sofas while thy wait to be seated. Her smile and elegance and her perfect English accent gave the environment a very chic atmosphere.

here is the website: http://www.allemurate.it/home-eng.html

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