Florence: Culinary Heaven.

My favorite part of Florence? The food!

Especially the cappuccinos!

Not since Rome, which was about six years ago, have I encountered such consistency with stunning cappuccino creations. The caffe I stopped in at the Piazza della Repubblique was called Donnini...

And I sat and enjoyed the cappuccino for a good hour while writing in my journal... That I decided to stay and order a lovely salad of a pizza for lunch.

To go with the veggie pizza (which I ate every last bite of - as it was my first meal of the day), I was tempted to order a bottle of champagne. I mean. we all know (now) that champagne and Cheetos go well together. But  this place had one of the best brands of champagne - Perrier Jouet - on their menu. YUM!

But I did not indulge. I drank a lovely bottle of water instead.

The afternoon had me walking around and exploring the city. After coming out of a cathedral, I was craving some fruit. That's when I noticed a legit juice bar just across the piazza. I walked in, but saw this right away...

Gelato! A dozen flavors! All ready to be scooped! But I was very much not in the mood for something sweet. I noticed on the menu board that they had a juice nearly identical to the one I make at home in the States. So I went with that...

It had been weeks since I'd had a juice like this! I was craving the greens, badly.

A few hours later, I was ready for dinner. I found the crowds in the streets overwhelming. So I popped back over to the Piazza della Repubblique and went to a different caffe for dinner.

They brought me a lovely salad with fresh bufala. And then my favorite thing of all... Was that spinach! Sounds silly... I mean, "spinach?" But this was a remarkable little "cake" of spinach that had been sauteed in olive oil and lemon. It was simple. And so amazing.

I intend to try to replicate soon at home!

The next morning, I slept for a long while. I eventually dragged myself out of bed, got ready, and hit the streets again. This time, I decided to indulge my sweet tooth for breakfast...

A cappuccino and a ciocolata beigne! These were from a caffe in the Piazza San Giovanni.

They tasted as gorgeous as they look! Though, I did end up scraping the chocolate off of the top of the beigne. It was filled with chocolate inside, and it was just too much! (I know... Who the hell says, "There's too much chocolate!"?)

I found myself heading over to the Basilica of Santa Croce after breakfast. There were very few tourists there - which I found INSANE given that Machiavelli, Galileo, and Michaelangelo are all buried there! Afterwards, I hit a packed cafe in a nearby piazza for some pasta...

Stunning. But, I did have to defend this beautiful plate from my natural arch nemesis...

Yes... A freaking bird!

And he was tiny, too! Yet, he was very bold... He attacked my bread - which was fine, as I wasn't eating it. But then he hopped towards my plate of pasta... And started to attack it! I had to hold up a knife to defend my plate's honor! All while people at nearby tables laughed and took pictures of my fighting this bird!

(Thanks for not helping, a-hole tourists!)

Eventually he flew off... But it took a good five minutes of me fighting him. 

The later afternoon brought a very long walk across the bridge and through the Boboli Gardens. After which, I was ready for gelato...

Confession: I don't get the big hype of gelato. I am not a huge fan of ice cream to begin with, though. And while I love to see the bright colors and massive piles of these dairy confections... I find it too rich and sweet.

But, this place had my favorite flavor of nearly all things... Coconut.

So I asked for a small scoop.. Which promptly melted because I wasn't able to eat it fast enough. But it was good. And the Boboli Gardens were quite steep. So the sugar helped me recover my energy.

I still had another few hours before my train back to Venice was due to depart. So to rest my feet, I popped into another caffe and had another cappuccino...

Even though it was 4pm, and well past the acceptable hour to have milk and espresso, I didn't care what anyone thought. It was a beautiful cup. And it allowed me to pass the remaining time while writing away.