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It was tearfully time to say good-by to the villa and our friends at the end of a wonderful week. We were off to Florence for a "last day in Italy" before our early flight home in the morning. We easily drove directly to our hotel, dropped off luggage, and headed to the Auto Europe office to return the car. let the shopping begin! I had a couple of hours before the stores would close for lunch. our first stop was Rampini ceramics (almost directly across the street from the car rental office). It is such a beautiful shop. I added a few pieces to my dishes that I bought from the factory in Radda last summer.


In the 5 minutes it took Brad to walk back across the street to pick up a walking map of Florence, I purchased a big pad of tear-off paper placemats of maps of Italian cities: Florence, Rome, Venice, and Milan. Very cute!

Next, I hit a paper shop for a few place cards and a table decoration.

We visited my favorite Italian women's clothing store (in almost every large town and city), Luisa Spagnoli, where I purchased a logo top. Every couple years I treat myself to something from here, and I was due (though I tried in Rome). Though few at home would recognize the name, this will be fun to wear on future trips. Their clothing always FEELS so good! I am saving up for another "hit" in Bologna in September, when the fall fashions will be out.

Time for lunch! We stopped to eat and relax. Brad had a lemony pasta, and I had ravioli in a sage-butter sauce.

I was happy with my purchases, and it was fun to just sit and linger over coffee. We were both a little tired, and decided to walk back to our hotel and take a nap before our dinner with Jerry and Paul.


Dinner with Jerry and Paul:
Of course it was a real treat during our week in Montisi getting to hang out every day with my "bro" Jerry, but during this trip, a true highlight was getting to really know Paul. I SO enjoyed laughing every day with him, at our own little jokes and teasing him. Feeding him was a pleasure, as he is an enthusiastic eater (I love cooking for people with that kind of gusto!), and the time we spent over bottles of brachetto, or cups of coffee was really a joy. I have adopted him forever as my wonderful "bro-in-law"!
How adorable is he?

We met the guys at one of our favorite Florence restaurants, Osteria del Chingale Bianco. All of us were somehow hungry from walking all over Florence much of the day, but we all had naps and were ready to enjoy our last night in Italy.

We began with a pasta course. I had strozopretti, and Brad had a lovely asparagus risotto.

That paparadelle with chingale sauce sure looked good too.

Next came our delicious entrees. There were a couple of these veal chops on the table, and Brad had his favorite chingale with polenta.


After dinner, we all had dessert, and then we polished off my last two bottles of Brachetto. It was only fitting to share them with Jerry and Paul, since they schlepped them to me from Piemonte!


The last Brachetto together (until October):

It was hard for me to say good-bye to the guys, but I know they will be visiting the desert this fall. It was a lovely ending to our week together.

Comments (6)


I love Cinghiale Bianco. On our last trip, it was the only place where we dined twice. My husband would eat that paparadelle every night of the week if he could. I had a dish that was thinly sliced beef with rucola and tomatoes on top - yum. We'll be there in January-February 2009 and will definitely make a visit to Rampini!

In Italy I learned that when saying cheers, it is all about the eye contact. It looks like Jerry's got that down!
Was that an entire case of Brachetto?

Dear lord - how much did he pay you for that? There will be no living with him now! LOL It was lovely to spend time with you two as well.

Sounds like your last day was a memorable one. I am drooling over the photos! The ravioli dish in this post is one of my very favorite dishes in Italy (simple but deelish!). The dessert also looks incredible. I am so looking forward to some yummy food soon!


Thank you very much, Palma -- you've just helped me fill in some of my itinerary for Florence in September!

I've wanted to try Osteria del Chingale Bianco for a long time, but didn't get the opportunity. This year, I'll make reservations and be sure to get there. The food looks fantastic; I'm dying to try that paparadelle!

And I'll be checking out Rampini ceramics. It might be the perfect time to buy some pieces, since I'll be flying home from Florence and therefore won't have to carry them around too much!


I loved reading this post! I'm going to be in Firenze in October. The Luisa Spagnoli shop on Via degli Strozzi is just a hop, skip and jump from the apartment I'll be renting...I will have to check it out. And I too am drooling over that food - yum!

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