Thursday, June 20, 2013


For the past few months I have been working a few days a week in the kitchen at a bar/cafe/restaurant place called Vagalume. It's a funky little place with only a handfull of tables, a big blackboard menu and an open bar/kitchen.
The owner Iuri is a Florentine guy that until last year was living in Sydney for 6 years and the waiter is from Perth! We have an old record player for a sound system (which Danny diligently turns every 15 minutes or so) and lots of old school quirks around the place- like the 1960's coffee machine, the meat slicer and the door bell!

The style of cuisine isn't typically Italian- I think it's been influenced quite a bit by Iuri's time in Australia, but ever so often we will do something traditional like Lasagne or Pappa al pomodoro to keep the tourists happy ;).
Something I found surprising is that we not only have a huge amount of travelling Australians (and other nationalities) coming in for dinner, but it seems to be a new spot for lots of ex pats too! It's refreshing to meet new expats in Florence and to be able to speak english for a while!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Greve, Panzano and solo Ciccia

In an attempt to see a little more of Italy we have decided that we need to do a trip every week... even if it means going to a little town close by for half a day. Lets see how long it lasts!!
This week we went to Greve and Panzano in Chinati.

In Panzano we went to their famous butcher... Where you walk in and they give you some wine and a crostino to try with one of their products. Clearly that's why we paid 10 euro for a slice or pork!!! It's a really cool place though and they sell only really good quality Tuscan meats.

While we were there a couple of German tourists came in and asked for a Florentine steak (the traditional tuscan T-bone steak- like the one in this last photo) and they owner calmly replied that they need to be ordered, but that he would be happy to keep one aside for them for next Wednesday!! Bet it's worth the weeks wait though!
The suckling pig next to the steak in the photo is what we bought a slice of. They have a minimum of 500g slices!! (which of course they tell you after you have asked for a slice and as they are cutting it...) I must admit that it was pretty damned good though!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mini Giardino

Last year, at the end of summer I decided I wanted a veggie garden and convinced Lorenzo's parents to let me dig up a one and a half by two metre patch of their back yard, boarder it with old scrap wood and sow some seed- pretending all along I knew what I was doing. I had a great excuse in the beginning... That as it was late in the growing season I wasn't really trying to grow anything to eat, just to "prepare the soil" for the next season. Weeeelllll that excuse was tested because nothing grew (only because it was at the end of summer and you know, cold weather, not much sunshine and all that) but this season I have no excuse.
To date, in my 1.5 by 2m patch I have 4 tomato bushes, 4 strawberries, 3 cucumber "vines", a chilli bush, a snow pea vine and a leaf pretending to be a parsley plant... yes, I am capitalising on my space. Well somehow these darling plants understood that I was short for space, and have made themselves minitures... My snow pea vine (if you can call it that) is a pushing on 20 cm high.... and already has a lovely snowpea and a couple of flowers. My chilli bush, at a hight of maybe 25cms, is covered in flowers and baby chillis, the cucumbers are shooting out flowers from where I assume the vine is meant to grow (at the moment the plants are smaller than the chilli) the tomatoes are probably the biggest space killers, but they two are covered in flowers and I even have 2 lovely tomatoes coming along... The strawberries had their day... clearly strawberry season is over..........

My pride and joy however (and my saviour- proving that I really do go to Ag college) is my Rose. Do you remember the beautiful orange rose that Lorenzo's dad gave me for easter? Well before it wilted and died I decided to try my luck at growing a rose cutting, I thought I had failed miserably when the few leaves I had left on the cutting died and fell off, but I saw that the stem was still green (and as I learnt in Biology- this means that it has the power to photosynthesize) so I left it and kept watering it. After a good couple of months, the leaves have now shoot and my rose is well on it's way! Hooray!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The other brother.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to have an old friend of my brother come to stay for a few nights on his way home from South America. I think he is actually the first person that has come to visit that has actually stayed with us in our little apartment!

Riding home from the city one day we stopped in at Luna Park so the boys could show off their manly-ness and win me some giant fluffy toys (which turned out to be a soccer ball and a dart board... SO FLUUUFFFYYY)

Unfortunately I had to work for a few of the days here was here, but we still managed to see a few sites, eat some good food and drink... alot. I even lost the rights to my Australian passport... Turns out I'm not such a good drinker anymore!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Little treasures

Look what we just found in the garden!! Lorenzo's dad was trimming the hedge and found this little treasure in the middle...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pizza in the Garden

How long have I been here? On and off for about 2 years. How many times have we used the wood fired pizza oven?????? Until the other day, never, now I can say that we have used it once... in 2 years... Craziness!

 It took a friend of Lorenzo's parents to come over and cook the pizzas for us (that and about 6 hours to clean out and heat up the oven) for us to use the oven... Now that I know how to work this oven however, I think wood fired pizza will be on the menu more often!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring Snow

As I said in one of my earlier posts that there is a park near/surrounding my uni, and in the last few days the trees (which I think are cotton wood, not really sure) in this park have been pumping out these fluffy white seeds that make it look like it's snowing. It's awesome! So not only is it beautiful and green and warm (almost too warm!) here at the moment... it's also been snowing!!


It's pretty hard to get a good foto of snow falling. So you will have to believe me. It was pretty cool though!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bella Primavera!

Spring is here and it is truly glorious. These photos don't capture the essence of what I am feeling, but they will have to suffice for now.

You just can't understanddddd! It's. so. damned. pretty. right. now.