I adore this period of the year! It is the best time to enjoy times outdoor: weather starts to get warm, sometimes it can get a little bit hot, but still sweet. The days are longer and longer, so an post-dinner slow walk is back onto the daily schedule again! And what makes a casual city walk more interesting? Walk in the city center, get some street food, and also learn some foodie knowledge sounds a perfect solution to me. And I got all these from a foodies walk last week with Urban Adventures Florence!
Foodies walk so far is the most effective method for me to learn cultures of the city. You are brought to some authentic shops, and introduced some local food cultures, as well as offered tasting of their specialty. But it was not only about food! The tour also took me to certain historical places with history introduced, which was good enough for me to remember and then brag in front of my Italian husband!
The Old Wine Doors on the Wall
When walking in Florence city center, it is not hard to notice little windows on the wall like this. Did you know what were they used for?
Nowadays they are all shut. If we could roll the time machine back to the 17th century, these little doors were for selling wine! Yes, the door for VINO!
In the old days, these doors were like little windows of a wine shop. They had a regular open hour. People would go there, buy a glass of wine, and have a chat while drinking. Easy like that! And it is easier for me to understand why Italians like to drink coffee standing up! It seems they started this habit centuries ago. Why you need to fancy cafe with wifi and a big table for a cup of coffee? Just go to a bar, take a drink, and leave. Same for drinking wine!
Osteria vs. Trattoria
I’ve been wondering this question for a while: what’s the difference between Osteria and Trattoria? I was so happy that our tour guide Linda helped me find the answer during the food tour!
Nowadays the two places have no much difference, but in the old days Osteria usually was a place where people came with their own panini, asked for a glass of wine in the Osteria, and sat down over the table for a quick bite. That’s why the Osteria table set-up are quite simple: disposable table covers, a few chairs around, and sometimes you could even find the wine door (mentioned before) on the wall.
Instead Trattoria is more formal, like a real restaurant.
Balsamic Vinegar: The Older The Sweeter
Italian has managed to make two great things out of grapes: wine and vinegar! I’ve joined some food & wine tours before, and this time with Urban Adventures, I tasted some authentic balsamic vinegar!
We had balsamic vinegar tasting in La Bottega dell’Olio, a shop selling all olive oil related products as well as certain authentic vinegars. We tried the vinegar collections aged from 5 to 8 years. Here are some of the takes I have:
- Similar to olive oil, balsamic vinegar has different tastes from mild to strong. Depends on what’s in your plat, you may choose different vinegar to go with: salad, fish, meat, even dessert!
- When looking for real balsamic vinegar, check the ingredients which only contains Grape Must, and the label should say Modena, where produces the most delicious balsamic vinegar.
- As the balsamic ages, it becomes more concentrated. So the older the balsamic vinegar, the sweeter.
For any of my foodie reader who is interested in joining tours offered by Urban Adventures Florence, you can enjoy 5% off from their standard price (seen on the official website). Please refer to below information for details:
use code: STAIALBORGO on purchasing your tour with Urban Adventures Florence, and get 5% off from the standard price
- This code only applies to Urban Adventures Florence Tours. Tours in other destinations are not applicable
- Urban Adventure Florence Tours reserve the right of final explanation