To the Italians (and several nationalities really) food is an experience. It is a joyful celebration of the robust nature and fragile splendor that is life, all presented perfectly on a plate or in a wine glass. I myself never like how Americans are an eat on the go people. An I'll just grab a bite in between my work and some more work people. To me, food has always been special. A delight. Not to be rushed. I want to eat how I live, savouring each moment/bite.
Unfortunately I don't often get to practice what I preach (I usually have to eat and run) but I was allowed to linger in Italy. Some of my meals while I was in town lasted 2 or 3 hours. No, I did not order 10 courses. On the contrary, I often ordered wine, a main meal and occasionally a light dessert. But with several restaurants doing family style seating and me traveling alone, I got to meet new people at every dining experience. I was privileged to be introduced to a new dish while getting introduced to someone else's life. Funny enough, I met a lot of people from California. Go figure. I go to Italy and meet people from my own state!
All in all it was a fantastic experience, eating in Florence. I hope to do it again, sometime very soon. I will be posting about some of my favorite food experiences while I was there. After all, I didn't take pictures at all of my meals like some crazed foodie for nothing!
And a note to all you allergic travelers: there is hope. If they'll love you in Italy, they'll love you other places too ;)