Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tomm and Danise in Italy: Saturday December 27

We depart Venezia today on another bright and brisk day and manage to score some outside seats on the bow of the vaporetto taking us to the train station; a poor man's gondola ride at a fraction of the cost.

We just miss the faster Eurostar, so we take the 3-hour-plus Inter City train to Firenze (Florence), giving us time to catch up on reading, blogging, etc., as we travel from lagoon thru flatlands thru snow-capped rolling hills and into the urban areas of northern Tuscany.

Our hotel in Florence, the Relais Uffizi, is well located just off (and overlooking) the Piazza d. Signoria, home of the world class museums of ancient Italian art, the Palazzo Vecchio and the Galleria degli Uffizi. But it's in a small chiasso (alley) off a smaller chiasso and practically impossible to find the first time. Even our cabbie from the train station had to call someone en route to find it.

After settling in, we head out to a walk amidst the throngs of tourists milling about in the shopping streets and walking promenades. Continuing our jag for pizza, we stop at the Pizzeria Nuti, where the thin crust pizze remind me of the "tomato pies" of my youth in the Italian section of Trenton, NJ. We wash it down with 50cl mugs of Moretti alla spina, which somehow tastes better than en bottiglia.

Pizza Washer-Downer

But our minds and tastebuds are set on one of Firenze's 2 brewpubs, the close by and new MostoDolce (sweet wort), a spinoff of thebirrificio of the same name in the nearby town of Prato, which was recommended by Lorenzo.

We have a hard time finding it until Danise spots the logo: the posterior of an elephant with the pub's name. Sadly, the place is closed, likely for the holiday period as this is a Saturday night.

All is not lost, however, when we duck into an off license store and Danise finds some decent imported bottled beers, which we buy to take back to the room: a 750 of McChouffe, La Trappe's Witbier (which I have never had!), Belgium's Bloemenbier and Augustiner Edelstoff. Cost for the 4: €30. Ouch. But we are on holiday and need good beer.

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