Monday, April 27, 2015

Florence: Lunch at Trattoria Mario

After settling into the B&B that is Hotel Casci, I decided to look up a place to eat lunch. Every other meal we've had has been out of necessity. We get hungry, I get grumpy and food must be had immediately. Meals have been good, but not great.

I searched something like "Best Lunch in Florence" and found Trattoria Mario. The reviews were glowing and said things like, "A place for tourists and locals alike", "Share Tables but worth it". Inexpensive, simple, local food was what I was after, so around 2pm we walked 5 minutes and were there. I gave my name and was told the wait would be an hour. I said, "Yes!" without hesitation.

Kate and I walked around the corner to find outdoor and indoor markets. Perfect! So, we wandered and shopped for snacky foods (biscotti, strawberries, tomatoes on the vine, a loaf of crusty bread, slices of chocolate cake).

I love that this woman photobombed this shot
Back at the restaurant, waiting for my name to be called, I noticed that today's menu was hand written. Because it was nearly 3pm, items that sold out were marked thru.

The door opened and out came a man calling my name from this list. "Sarah. Sarah! SARAH!" I'd seen him do it before with someone else. You get three shout outs and if you don't answer, you're done. Your name gets crossed off and you miss out. At the first "Sarah" I said, "YES!" and raised my hand. I wasn't going to miss this. As he said my name twice more, I very nearly ran to him. He smiled, brought us inside and (in Italian) told me to walk through the packed room to the table with the couple at it and sit with them. Two empty seats are two empty seats. I was happy to share with others for a chance at some yummy local food.

I opted for something simple. Tagliatelle with Tomato Sauce (fresh tomatoes). Kate got Rigatoni with meat sauce. Both were amazing. Simple flavors, perfect home made pasta, delicious. I took the first bite and started laughing with glee. This was exactly what I thought Italy would deliver and was overjoyed that it did.

After lunch (as if that wasn't enough of a win for the day), I haggled over a cute cardigan (look for it in future pictures...I'll point it out), we found an ATM, cashed up and then right next to the ATM found a place to book a tour to Cinque Terre tomorrow (and spent our cash like it was on fire).

It is raining heavily now and I fear that tomorrow's trip to Cinque Terre will also be rain soaked, but we will have a great time regardless.

I have to say again that switching hotels/locations in Florence made all the difference. I am having a wonderful time and can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

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