An Unforgettable Night in Florence

In February, while on a product development trip, I had the grand pleasure of spending an evening with Marinella (my friend and Arte Italica colleague) and her charming husband Marcello.  I was fortunate, as they are Florentine locals who live in an apartment on Piazza Santa Croce.  We started the evening with a glass of Prosecco, at the  stunning Four Seasons bar.  This “bar” was unlike any other I have ever seen Dark woods gave way to gorgeous fabrics in Tuscan colors of greens, rust and ochre.  The most striking focal point was the magnificent central chandelier with abundant orchids intertwined in the arms and hanging with greenery, nearly touching the table below.  This dramatic room filled the senses and set the tone for a magnificent, fun-filled evening ahead.

                          

From there, we walked to the delightful restaurant, La Giostra.  This restaurant was created by the late Prince Dimitri Kunz d’Asburgo Lorenzo and is run by his charismatic and somewhat eccentric twin sons.  La Giostra, which means carousel in Italian, is located near Piazza Santa Croce.  This hidden gem is in a building that once housed a carousel lending to its historic ambience.  We were welcomed into the warm embrace of the staff and an inviting room with twinkle lights adorning the ceiling.  One of the sons was our waiter for the evening, who is known for being very fond of the ladies (as they are of him) and justifiably so! As he described the impeccable dishes with palatable emotion, my eye caught the abundant jewelry he was wearing – silver and turquoise bangles going up to the elbow on each arm, lavish necklaces around his neck and silver rings on every finger.

         

We were served complimentary Spumanti and delicious antipasti, including some of the best crostini misti I have ever eaten.  Our luscious feast included, among other dishes, ravioli with Brie and artichokes, beef Carpaccio, osso bucco and ended with one of their signature dishes, tiramisu.  La Giostra is known for its white truffle dishes and especially with pasta.  It was not the season for white truffles, but there is always next time!  I would recommend this enchanting restaurant to anyone who wants to have, not just a delectable meal but also, an unforgettable Florentine experience.  May you be so lucky to share it with locals.  I am already planning my next visit!

Salute, Ann