Florentine All Saints Day

We had no idea what to expect for a Florentine All Saints Day, but we were about to find out.

It was a sunny day in Florence after three days of cool drizzle. The view from the breakfast room was better than ever.

Sunny view of Florence, Italy rooftops on All Saints Day

We enjoyed our now usual breakfast of yogurt, European meats and cheeses, eggs, croissant and cappuccino. It definitely wasn’t anything like what we do for breakfast at home! The staff cheerfully responded to our request to borrow silverware and plates for our use later in the day for our lunch of leftovers.

We then headed out of the hotel to explore. We weren’t sure what to expect, given the holiday. Much to our surprise, groups of Florentine families strolled the pedestrian areas around our hotel.

A few horse-drawn carriages clip-clopped by.

Horse-drawn carriage in Florence, Italy on All Saints Day

Sidewalk artists created beautiful chalk drawings. (Oh, don’t let it start raining again!)

Sidewalk artist drawing portrait of woman in Florence, Italy on All Saints Day

Meandering down back streets, we realized that we were fairly close to the Central Market (Mercato Centrale). It was a good time to check it out.

The Central Market, or Mercato Centrale, in Florence, Italy on All Saints Day

The first floor was closed for the holiday, though the second floor food stalls were open but very crowded. We’d seen videos on You Tube about it, so we were curious the big deal was.

Display of cheese at the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy

It was a microcosm of all the shops that we’d seen around our hotel over the previous three days. We found pasticcerie (pastry shops), sandwich shops, a sushi shop, and a brick oven pizzeria.

Two men in front of brick pizza ovens at the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy

There was a most amazing smoothie bar with a bicycle-powered blender.

Bicycle-powered smoothie blender at the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy

Smiling students handled sheets of pasta in the cooking school. With more time in Florence, I’m sure that we would have spent an afternoon there.

Cooking school at the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy on All Saints Day

A cappuccino bar enticed Adriel with its ‘nitro cold brew’, and he had to try it. Unfortunately, in his estimation, it didn’t hold up to either American cold brew, or Italian espresso or cappuccino.

Adriel sitting on steps of Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy holding cold brew coffee cup
Oh, the disappointment!

On the way back to the hotel, we popped into a wine shop to pick up a bottle for our lunch. We still had the leftovers from the feast the night before. Daughter and her husband brought a large loaf of bread and some olive oil, and it was lunchtime! We enjoyed a picnic on the balcony outside our room. The view was great.

View of street in Florence, Italy from the balcony of the Hotel della Signoria
View from the balcony of our room

The prosciutto, salame, cheese and mushroom salad from the previous night’s feast were an excellent base for an picnic lunch, and the wine, bread and olive oil completed it. It was such an perfect outdoor meal…not fancy, but very Italian…and delicious.

Picnic lunch on the balcony of the Hotel della Signoria in Florence, Italy
Close up view of picnic food

The lunch lacked some cappuccino and a ‘dolce’ (something sweet) so we visited a local quasi-outdoor cafe to enjoy both. I found it humorous that we’d stumbled upon a cafe in Florence, Italy with a not-very-Italian-sounding name… Paszkowski.

Cappuccino at Paszkowski Cafe in Florence, Italy
Adriel at the Paszkowski Cafe in Florence, Italy
View of Cafe Paszkowski visitors in Florence, italy

After spending the late afternoon packing, we had hoped to explore the hotel bartender’s last suggestion for a ‘local’s place’ for dinner, but their earliest reservation was 9:45. Since our taxi was scheduled to pick us up at 7:00 am, that was way too late.

We opted instead for a little outdoor restaurant near the hotel.

We each ordered different dishes. After we all sampled each other’s plates, my daughter won the prize for choosing the best dish among the four of us….Tagliatelle with Mushrooms and Truffles.

Tagliatelle with Mushrooms and Truffles

Before turning in for the night, we visited our buddy the hotel bartender to say goodbye and let him know how much we appreciated his pointers and recommendations.

Adriel and I discussed how, on one hand, it would be great to just stay and explore Europe forever. However, after eight days of being on the go, we were ready to be back home – sleeping in our own bed, sipping tea on our screened porch, and enjoying the home that we’ve created for ourselves.

It was time for some sleep before we flew home.

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