Thursday, December 6, 2012

An Italian Secret during December

I am in Italy to visit the Christmas markets and discover how Italians celebrate this holiday.   There are many surprises even for an Italian American who thought I was practicing ITalian tradtions for all these years. 

I didnt do enough researc or I would have know that the REAL holiday buzz starts on December 8 and continues to January 6.   So I am early for some of the markets and events but I can still enjoy all the lights in the streets and the incredible displays in teh cafe's, candy stores and bakeries.

Not your average cup of hot chocolate!
What I was NOT prepared for is this:   liquid chocolate with whiped cream as thick as you have on scones in England.  Travel is so GREAT.




I should have asked his name, but if you are in Florence

 stop and say HI and ask for the best chocolate in town.
After asking a very kind barista at the Davinci Museum if he could make hot chocolate, he suggested I go to the BEST chocolate store in town.   Well I have the 30 second rule (maybe longer in a foreign language).  I was ignored and 3 other women were served without the owner even looking up!

Well i could find HC somewhere else.  I knew the cafe on the Piazza Repulica served the frothy brew but I was warned it was $14.00.   Prior to tasing I was not sure I wanted to spend the equivalent of a hotel upgrade to a 4 star!!!!

So I stopped in one of the oldest cafes in Firenze, across from the Duomo. 

They were busy but not too busy for the woman collecting your money (you pay FIRST, then order)   to explain that is was the BEST in town, did I want to take my HC at the bar or at a table.  Some things are universal and not difficult it both parties try to communicate.

Fortunately when you pay, your ticket says what you are ordering!  Makes it simple.   So I am standing at the bar and again THREE WOMEN come in.   Yes attractive Italian woman are noticed everywhere and a frumpy tourist is just 'chopped liver'.  But I want to give credit to the barman.  He said I was next and started to prepare the MOST INCREDIBLE CUP OF LIQUID CHOCOLATE I HAVE EVER HAD.     Of course it was topped with 700 calories of whipped cream or panne.

In very poor Italian, as usual, I said 'I am in heaven'.  This got a grin out of the barman.  I continued to drink every drop.......  I hope this is available in Rome, Lecce and Sorrento.......   It shall make the trip so enjoyable.......

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