As many of you know, I spent an incredible Summer in Europe in 2013. (Can you believe that it’ll be 2 years ago soon!)… You can read about my adventures on my Contiki Tour, or see some of my travel outfits, or learn about a couple of my European Summer packing tips.
One of my most favourite cities that I was lucky enough to explore, was Florence. I had been learning about it since I was old enough to pronounce “Michelangelo”, had been oohing and aaahing over David since forever, and obviously have a very deep love affair with Italian food. Not only does FLorence offer up a plethora of art galleries and buildings – it feels alive with secrets and history. Knowing the exact streets you walk upon were once graced with the feet of those such as Dante Alighieri and Boticelli. The Arno river flows straight through the city, the Duomo sticks up above the rest of the red roofs, every hundred meters is another piazza encircled by over priced restaurants and local gelato makers who shout offers and flavours to you as you pass by, with thick, deep Italian accents. It’s simply marvelous.
It was while spending about 5 days in this magical city in Tuscany that my mother and I decided to treat ourselves one night. We were on a backpackers budget – mostly baguettes, cheese and ham. And possibly a shared pizza or pasta here or there. But we had heard of the famous Florentinian steaks, and decided to go in search of a place to try them out. We meandered lazily through the cobbled streets, passing homes once owned by the famous Medici family, stopping here and there to gaze at the incredible architecture that adorns the city. We came across a tiny, understated entrance with a sign reading, “Little David”. Starving from a day spent wandering galleries and lying under the hot Italian sun in beautiful rose gardens, we popped inside, and ended up having what can only be described as one of the most amazing meals of our lives.
Little David is a restaurant, wine bar and museum, run by an Italian man who is heavily passionate about what he does. You might notice that his website is entirely in Italian, and has absolutely no options to change the words to English! It’s lucky that we stumbled onto it while looking for somewhere to eat in person, and that we didn’t google search first – it may have possibly put us off from going here. We wouldn’t have had the time to ask a local to help us transcribe the words, and would simply have looked for something easier to understand. This is definitely where some international websites fail – really, they should accommodate their holiday making patrons and have the option to turn the site into english (or at least important aspects like menus, directions and contact details). Thank goodness for Little David’s Trip Advisor page!
But rest assured, website aside this is a brilliant place to go and experience some first hand flavoursome Italian food. We ordered a pretty large steak, and finished every single mouthful. The owner was quite surprised that we, two petite ladies, had managed to scoff down so much food. Florentinian steak is served rare as rare can be (which is just my style, but if you’re not into that, I’d suggest changing your order to something else. The Italians will change for no one – and why should they when they do everything so perfectly!). We got a short history lesson, while I sipped away on a glass of soft, velvet chianti, about the restaurant owner’s love of wine. He even gave us free samples to try. An interesting aspect to his wine making skills, is that he has successfully copied the exact recipes that would have been used in ancient Pompeii – vases unearthed still had traces of wine in them, that were analyzed. The owner of Little David then took it upon himself to, using these ingredients that were pinpointed, re-create the exact wines that would have been drunk by those who were covered in volcanic ash. It really is amazing.
I was reading Dan Brown’s Inferno while I was in Venice, and had just been in Florence, so to be able to think back on every details of his book and know what it looked like in person was just incredible. There is so much of that city that I have yet to go back and discover. The gelato is sweet, the locals helpful, and the food is simply magical.
This was our incredible view every morning from our hostel – sparrows swooped and flew over the Tuscan rooftops, and we looked at mamas hanging out the days washing to dry.
This view is from a beautiful rose garden that is situated just below the beautiful Piazza di Michelangelo. It has a wondrous view of the city, beautiful gardens to stroll through, shade to rest your weary walked-out legs and most importantly, it’s totally free.
David’s bum is something that is never given the recognition it deserves. I sneakily took a photo while no one was looking. (But seriously, those calves though!)