The sunset overlooking Florence, Italy.

The sunset overlooking Florence, Italy.

This entry is part of the 2014 Italy (& Turkey too!) Travel Blog Series. Read this story and then the rest HERE


We had many wonderful nights during our trip to Italy, but there was something about the sun setting over the city of Florence that really set this night apart. 

On an outdoor grand staircase, it began with a bottle of red wine overlooking the most beautiful view of Florence - buildings, streets, a river... a view that has remained nearly untouched for centuries. The steps were crowded with art students who had just finished their final exams, the air buzzed with happy conversation and our teeth slowly turned purple as we watched the sky turn all kinds of orange and red. 

We had spent our day touring the city with our guide Rose and before parting we asked: where should we eat dinner? If we've learned anything about travel it's that locals know where to go and Rose was no exception.

She did us one better than simply give us her recommendation, she called her favorite restaurant on the outskirts of the tourist destinations and made us reservations for 4. 

"The food is exceptional and the service is quick," she said. "You don't always find those two things in one place." 

It wasn't until the last drops of wine drained from our glasses and the sun finally dropped below the horizon that we realized we were late for dinner. It was then that the great American Mall Walk race against the clock began.

With a 25 minute walk ahead of us and only 10 minutes to get there... you better believe locals shot some odd looks at us along the way. Josh, our fearless leader, took it upon himself to clear the way through the groups of people raising his hand every so often mimicking the tour guides we'd seen throughout the day. And of course, every time his hand raised with the utmost seriousness we cracked up laughing completely slowing us down.

Sides sore from both our hustle and our laughter, we arrived (surprisingly) at Trattoria Gargani just in time. The charming family run restaurant was off a small side street in a first floor space that appeared to join (on the inside) the two buildings next to it creating a 3 room dining area.

As we sat at our reserved table for 4 in the middle room the waiter handed us our menus. He explained that because their menu is never the same, they hand write them new each morning. All I could think was, "That is badass." 

And it was... the food was amazing, the experience was outstanding, and all of our mall walking had surely paid off given the calories we had just ingested. This meal was by far my favorite in both taste and in experience. 

After dinner we wandered back towards the center of the city to find gelato. Instead we stumbled upon a carousel that Emily and Josh insisted on riding. And so we did. 

For the record, we still ate gelato. 

This entry is part of the 2014 Italy (& Turkey too!) Travel Blog Series. Read this story and then the rest HERE