Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Familiar faces

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and for me that will always be a pizza or gelato shop. Finally being back and living in Florence again and working for Bus2alps living my dream life comes with a lot of perks, and one of the best is being close enough with the people behind my favorite food in Florence to be greeted by name when I order my daily panino/pizza/gelato. 

Pino after wine tasting...true love
There are a lot of things I love about this city, but one of the best has to be getting to see all of my favorite people I met while abroad last time again. By which I mean pizzaiolos, panini men, and gelato makers, because duh I spend all my time here eating. I'm never happier than when walking into Gusta Pizza and being greeted with a friendly "Amore mio!" or Pino's Panini and hearing "Ciao bella!" with a wink from Pino. Today I went back to Vestri for the first time, a gelato shop that's been closed for holiday since I've been back, and gorged myself on cioccolato gianduia a sale and crema con scricchiolio mandorla (chocolate hazelnut with salt and vanilla with almond crunch). When I paid, the man gave me a questioning look and asked if I had been there years before...I'm never happier about my gelato-a-day habit than when it makes enough of an impression on the people who work there that they still remember me years later. Obviously, I'll be back at Vestri on the daily again. 

Gusta Pizza on my last day in Florence two years ago
Living in another country can feel alienating and isolating from time to time, but something about Florence has always felt more like home than anything else. I feel like the city loves me back, which is not a vibe I really got from LA, that fiesty giant of a place. And on days when I think I might miss home, there's no better pick-me-up than eating some delicious food and being greeted with a friendly smile while doing so.