Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Uffizi & shopping

It was another early start as we had reservations for a 0815 entry into the Uffizi Gallery today. We had several family members lagging behind but fortunately the Italians were also running late! After passing through security, we commenced our Rick Steves self guided tour. Once again, we saw one great painting after another. I have learnt so much about art on this trip and have never been more inspired to do more reading upon my return to Australia. Malcolm and I were also pleased that Elliot and Lara have taken an interest. Elliot followed through on the tour from the beginning to the end and Lara made it through 60% of it. Jonah, bless his little soul, was content pointing out the ones he thought were "boodiful". As parents, we couldn't ask for much more.

My two dads both wearing the same Land's End jackets!

View of the Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi

We moved on to the Mercato Centrale for some food shopping starting with tea and coffee. The whole family had fun browsing through the stalls of alcohol, fruit, baked goods, meat and much more. We tried the famous tripe sandwich despite it being just before lunch. The shopkeepers were very friendly and were happy for us to try their products. We left with a bundle of goodies...

Happily waiting while grandparents shop

Grandpa bought one of these

Oma busy trying out all the food

Shopkeepers all very friendly

Cannolis and other goodies!

Couldn't resist anymore, tripe sandwich it is

We bought the coloured pastas as the children desperately wanted them, each colour made from a different vegetable to give it the colouring, eg red from beetroot

Lunch was at the nearby Trattoria Mario. The menu, which changed daily, was handwritten and the place was full of charm. The staff were warm and friendly, taking the time to explain the items on the menu and made recommendations. The food was good, hearty Italian food. Simple, delicious and cheap! We were warned to come early and we were glad we did. Our group of 12 were seated right on opening at 12 noon and took up half the small trattoria. By 12:30, the place was packed and there were people queuing for tables.

First to be seated in the small restaurant
Very yummy pappardelle. Lara finished the whole plate...

Ryuji still hungry after the tripe sandwich...

The children allowed some "device" time after their stellar effort at the Uffizi

The rest of the day was allocated for rest, and shopping. The family split up with some visiting the Basilica di Santa Croce, the resting place for Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli, and others shopping to their heart's delight. My most special purchase was one made at the Leather School attached to the Basilica di Santa Croce. A one of kind bag hand made from bull leather and lined on the inside with lamb leather. Once purchased, a photo is taken and the buyer's name taken down. The artist then would not make another one that was the same again. The leather was so soft and light.

My precious Italian leather bag. It looks jade green because of the light but its closer to a duck egg blue.

A little closer so you can see the fine stitching

My newly acquired Benetton skirt

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