Wednesday 6 March 2013

Fact finding visit to Italy in February and again in March

How wonderful to get the chance to experience Italy outside of the tourist season. Makes me feel more of a local. Last month it was the wonderful town of Orbetello, away from the usual tourist haunts and a place that inspires anyone who has the good fortune to discover this unique spot on the Tuscan coast...
... and this month is a more recognisable tourist destination - Florence. I am fortunate to be attending the school to study Italian. This is the associate school from the one I attended in Elba last year... and yes I intend to return to Elba for more tuition in September. I am looking forward to attending both schools, however in Florence I will be attending a class in the morning and then enjoying one to one tuition in the afternoon. I expect that Il Duomo and the Uffizi will feature in the afternoons along with a "gelato" or three, an "espresso" or perhaps "tante caffe" and of course the odd glass of wine... only as a fact finding experience understandably.

Each time I travel to Italy I consider it to be a fact finding experience. No-one can deny this, as every time I go I discover so much more about the history, the culture and the people.   
Examples are just two of the places visited while fact finding food and drink on a leisurely stroll along the Via Torre Clementina, Fiumicino. The first is an Enoteca (wine bar with food) that served the most delicious wine with an enthusiasm that was infectious! My glass is the one on the right, full bodied and aromatic ... and as you can see in the background, there are lots and lots of bottles to choose from.

Full marks for presentation and ambience go to the owner, Paola.
She served oysters and various hams and cheeses and my mouth is watering just thinking about the whole evening's gastronomic entertainment.      Grazie Enoteca Ostriche, e grazie mille Paola...
The second is an amazing bar that was also a bakery. Yes folks these cakes were being served in a bar! Its' full name is Supermario Bar di Mario Balletta e Danilo Codini SNC! Now how is that for a name and what a great idea. I took photos of both these amazing places, after asking permission of course, and at the bakery/bar which is open 24 hours, the barman insisted that I wait until he put out his best cakes and then proceeded to pour me only the strongest gin and tonic ever! I think this was a bribe but I really can't be sure. ... However you can be sure that the next time I am in Fiumicino I will be visiting these two very different bars... on a fact finding mission of course.

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