Florence & An Amazing Dinner

Today we got on the bus again around 9 to head to Florence.

The bus ride was more fun and interesting today because it started out with Greg finding out there was a microphone in the front of the bus.

“How did I not know this was here? Welcome to your hell.”

On the way to Florence Don and I were trying to help Greg finalize the menu for our dinner tonight in Montecatini Alto. We were helping him translate emails from the restaurant owner because google translate was not doing the best job. When the menu was finalized google translated two of the dishes to “Sweet Ass” and “Poodle Wallet”.  So needless to say there were a lot of jokes pertaining to this.

Once we got to Florence the bus stopped at Piazzale Michelangelo so we could take some photos. The Piazzale Michelangelo has panoramic views of Florence; it also has a replica of Michelangelo’s David. The views were pretty amazing.

After everyone got their photos we got back on the bus and the bus dropped us off near the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. It was very beautiful.

We took a lot of pictures of the church and then decided it was time to find some lunch before meeting for our walking tour. On our search for food we found the house of the poet Dante Alighieri. Don thought this was very cool because he likes his works. We also found there was a museum for Dante. Before checking out the museum we found a really cute little restaurant that was ran by two sisters, called Antica Bottega Wine Tasting. It was probably one of my favorite meals we had at a restaurant in Italy and it was so simple. Don had the lasagna and I had a prosciutto and mozzarella panini. It was so good!!!  I want to go back! We also each had glasses of the Dante wine, because apparently we were hanging out in his hood. The panini was so good. We had a good time here chatting with the sisters a bit, they told us they had been to Chicago and really liked it. After lunch we made our way to Museo Casa di Dante.

The Dante Museum was pretty cool, really informative. It was 4 Euros each and it only took about 40 minutes for us to go through it. We probably could have spent a little more time here but we had to meet our tour guide at 2 pm.

Our walking tour guide was named Laura and she was very good. One highlight of the tour was seeing the Mercato del Porcellino, which is basically a market. Don was excited to see it because it is in the game Assassin’s Creed.

We also saw all of the statues at the Piazza della Signoria. I enjoyed watching an old man feed pigeons here. The pigeons knew him! He must have come there every day to feed them because they were climbing all over him.

By the end of the tour we were all really tired but we got a boost of energy with some gelato. Then we all got back on the bus and made our way to Montecatini Alto for dinner.

Montecatini Alto is a really cool town because it is up on a mountain and you take a rail car up to the town.

The views at the top were really amazing.

We had some time before dinner to walk around a bit and explore the town. It seemed pretty small but beautiful. We took a lot of pictures of the city below us.

I also found a cat here…

We had dinner reservations at Casa Gala. It was a super cute place and it was probably one of the best meals we have ever had.

Since we had a big group the restaurant just picked out a menu for us. We were able to try all of their appetizers I think, and they were all delicious. We had an awesome meat and cheese board and something with eggplant that was good too. There were delicious sardine bruschetta and fried pasta for appetizers also.  I wish I could find a copy of their menu. We thought the best dish here was the carbonara. It was the first place we had ever had carbonara and it was awesome!! It’s a pasta dish with egg, cheese, and crispy bacon pieces. The dishes kept coming out and everything was amazing. There was a gnocchi but it had bleu cheese in it and also a pork tenderloin that was good. Our dessert was cheesecake. I wish I had taken more pictures but I was enjoying this meal too much. It was a perfect night.

After dinner we walked down a bit to the bus because the rail car was no longer running. It was a very pretty walk with all of the city lights below us.

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