After a morning of visiting Uffizi Gallery, the Bargello Museum, not too mention a wonderful lunch at Sergio Gozzi, we had a nice nap. Upon wakening, the Missus was ready to go. Her destination, the view from Piazzale Michelangelo. We decided to not even look at the map and just headed off in the direction of the Arno River. We walked past a hospital, down some side streets, then crossed busy Via Verdi and ended up in front of this wonderful looking church.
At which time I took out the map. This was Piazza Santa Croce.
And the church? It was the Basilica di Santa Croce. Since it was covered by the Firenze Card, we decided to visit, and we were really glad we did.
The largest Franciscan Church in the world, it houses and impressive crucifix, of which there's a story. In 1966 Florence suffered a devastating flood, the Arno overflowed and in the Santa Croce area, the high water mark reached 22 feet! The Crucifix, built by Giovanni Cimabue in 1287 was damaged. you can read more about that here. We'd see that crucifix later on.
There are many notable people buried here; Galileo, Rossini, Ghiberti, and Michelangelo. The photo I took of his tomb is to the right. In 1564 Michelangelo died in Rome. Pope Pius IV gave instructions that the great artist, architect, and poet was to be buried in Rome. Lionardo Buanarroti, Michelangelo's nephew, under the guise of taking care of his uncle's estate and belongings, coordinated getting Michelangelo's body smuggled out of Rome by merchants. There are more stories here. As for who isn't buried in Santa Croce, but have what I guess we can call "monuments" is Dante, who was exiled to Ravenna. When Florence demanded his remains, Ravenna refused. And so, he has a place waiting here I guess. We'd see Dante's tomb later on during the trip.
In the sacristy, you'll find the original crucifix that has been restored as much as possible.
It was approaching 5pm so we decided to head on out.
As we approached the Arno River, we could see our destination.
That's the Torre San Niccolo, once a gate to the city walls. Piazzale Michelangelo is visible on the hill above.
We crossed the river on Ponte alle Grazie and headed up the hill.
From the stairway, you can actually see parts of the old city wall.
Needless to say, the view from Piazzale Michelangelo is wonderful.
And lots of folks walk, cab, and drive it up here. Many, to take in the view, and then have some nice refreshment.
After walking down, we decided to stay on the south side of the river. I had a restaurant in mind which was located in the Oltrarno neighborhood.
A few blocks off of busy Via de Guicciardini is a quaint little square.
Sadly, our destination wasn't open yet. Nor were the doors unlocked so I could ask for reservations. On the other side of the Piazza della Passera was a café, by the name of Caffè degli Artigiani. This was one of those places.....that I wish we had here; serving everything from espresso, to beer, to wine, to cocktails, to Spritz. Feeling a bit hungry? Well, for one euro, you can fill up your plate with Apertivo, basically snacks. I'm not sure if it's all you can eat, but we saw one guy come in a fill up his plate three times!
This was not bad......but most of the fun was just sitting and watching all the folks come in; grab a spritz, stand at the bar or hang around the square and come back to drop off the glass when done.
Caffè degli Artigiani
Via dello Sprone 16/r
By this time, the restaurant, named "Il Magazzino", aka "the Warehouse" was open.
Sadly, we were told they had "no tables....all reserved". The Missus asked about the outside tables and the really nice guy said, "oh no...too cold". I was a bit bummed, but that's the way it goes. As we thanked him.....he looked at us and said, "ok, you want outside....is ok.....is ok." That's how we got our dinner at Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino.
We started with a very beefy, really nice beef tongue carpaccio.
The cheese added just the right amount of milky-saltiness to the tongue. The greens were very bitter, which I kind of enjoyed, but the Missus did not.
The Missus's favorite dish of the evening? The Ravioli di Lampredotto con Cipolla di Tropea.
I gotta say; this was super delici-yoso! The tomato sauce was just tangy enough, it tasted like sunshine! The sauce was thick and the flavor condensed which helped to balance out the strong flavor of our friend, the "fourth stomach" of the cow, which was almost buttery when minced. There was a small amount of red onion "Cipolla di Tropea" which added a bit of texture to the ravioli. The Missus is still talking about this dish.
Of course I had to try the Trippa alla Fiorentina here.
The tripe was oh so tender, and I really like the tomato sauce here. This was really good.
The Missus, still fascinated by Lampredotto ordered the Lampredotto Salcicca e Fagioli.
A nice, slightly smoky, almost Spanish style sausage, with those oh-so tasty local beans, and mildly offal-ly - beefy lampredotto.
A couple of glasses of wine; the very warm and amiable service.
Being able to watch the happenings on the local square.
The big, jolly guy working here wasn't so jolly when a guy sitting on one of the benches threw some litter on the ground. He saw it....went to the guy and made him pick it up and throw it in the trash can. We loved it!
This was our favorite meal in Florence. It was just the kind of place we like.
Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino
Piazza della Passera
As we took our leave, Caffè degli Artigiani was still doing good business.
I'd eaten quite a bit on this day; but one look at my phone and I knew why.
Meanwhile, the Missus was on the look-out for some Gelato!
Thanks for reading!