May 2, 2014

Buona Notte Firenze

It could be argued whether my Mom came to visit just me or just Italy, and the generous answer would probably be a combo of the two. But really, if we're honest, she came for the carousel. 

In Piazza della Repubblica there is a restored early 20th century carousel ran by the Picci family (see story here). From what I have been told it only runs from November to May, but since I arrived in January, it has been present for my every jaunt through the city center. Though I was many times tempted to jump upon the 20 horse parade, I continued to hold out hope that my mama (and Jewel) would cross the Atlantic and be with me for that first ride. 

I was not let down. 

A lengthy train ride from Venice brought us back to Florence late Sunday afternoon. We took Mom and Jewel to their new hotel, rested a bit, and then headed back out for the perfect evening in Florence, starting with the carousel. 

We rode round and round like a bunch of jubilant kiddies. 

After our fun on the ride, we walked over to my favorite pizza place in Florence, stopping to see some impressive chalk art along the way. 

There are a lot of pizza places in Florence, and let's be honest, I have not tried them all, but I have tried a few. The one I have found I like best (especially days I'm hankering for some take-out) is O'Vesuvio. I was initially a little skeptical about this particular joint because it gained notoriety from a highlight on The Jersey Shore, and that's not exactly my cup of tea. That said, I am forever glad I did not let this stop me from trying the delectable Neapolitan pies these guys make in their hot brick oven, located in the center of the restaurant to tempt you into gluttony before you meal even begins.  

To be a true Italian pizza night, I warned mom and Jewel, that here in Italy, we get personal pizzas. What they failed to realize, is that a "personal pizza" is not the weenie 5" dough balls we're served in the states, but rather a 12"+ diameter pizza, made to be enjoyed in its entirety. 

The rest of the evening's documentation is essentially a photo illustration of Jewel's reaction to this particular challenge of joining, what we like to call, the "Clean Plate Club". 

We see her first with a slightly intimidated smirk of #challengeaccepted. 

When the pizzas arrived, not only did they look as delectable as ever, but our chefs had made them into hearts. *insert flattered moment here* I got the Calabrian pizza, consisting of spicy salami, olives, mozzarella, and tomato sauce. It's definitely my favorite thing on the menu, and I have no problem eating the whole thing (not only have I adapted to the Italian way, but I was essentially made for it).  

Jewel was obviously just as flattered by her cuore shaped meal.

At this point photos ceased temporarily as I shamelessly shoved my face with an outrageous amount of pizza. Mom struggled a bit, though nearly finished (she had enough self control to stop, unlike myself), while Jewel became determined to do it the Italian way and eat every. last. bite. 

I became a bit worried with this face that success would not be hers. 

There was skeptical glances as she battled to decide if that last bite was worth it. 

Skepticism turned to triumph as she consumed the last of her personal pie. 

Triumph turned to a bit of distress that was later reconciled when she got her reward. 

Jewel gained her official membership into the Clean Plate Club. Welcome to the team, girl. 

It was the perfect, light-hearted notte italiana after a fantastic, but long weekend away. The pizza was also perfetto, and now that I have written this lengthy description of its delectability, I might just go get me some right now;) 

Yours, Kenna 

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