Conquer Florence Italy
Where to stay in Florence
As far as hotel and farmhouse are concerned, let your imagination go from richly furnished five star hotels either in the hub of the city or smaller town accommodations, hidden away in the green hued countryside. From palaces to castles exquisitely decorated and pensions or guesthouses owned by friendly local people. These all year round lodgings have a wide price range but you can assured that good bargains are to be found in the low season. Florence welcomes everybody to be comfortable and caters to everyone’s budget.
Wealth and Comfort in Florence Italy
The Savoy Hotel is a favourite for those wishing to fulfil a desire for luxury sleeping, not forgetting the shopping gallery and excellent cuisine at the restaurant. The Hotel II Guelfo Bianco on the Via Cavour right near the San Marco Square has antique art treasures and original paintings and excellent commodities. Or maybe a stay at the Grand Hotel Baglioni with its sweeping grey stone stairway so typical of many Florentine monuments and wooden beams decorating the ceiling all which give you that special feeling of peace and relax.
Florence city needs to be visited during an extended period of time and if this is not feasible, then short visits are ideal to take in all the museums. And for me, one of the best ways to do this is by staying in a small town farmhouse near Florence and with your Florence car rental, enjoy small joints into the city. One of the cutest medieval towns nearby is San Gimignano, situated in the triangle of Siena, Florence and Volterra. San Gimignano is undoubtedly known for its thirteen remaining towers of the original seventy-two which once existed. Here, you can have sweet dreams sleeping in a mansion from the 14th century and have breakfast in a precious patio. Or in a rural house with high ceilings and worked iron beds.
Praise Good Italian Cooking
At some of these farmhouses there are cookery classes and it is here where I learned to cook Stracotto or ‘Pot Roast’. This is a very popular weekend Sunday meal in Italy as well as in Great Britain and North America. The Italians serve it over a delicious noodles bed of pasta enriched with the Chianti wine sauce where the others serve it with potatoes. Here goes……
Stracotto (serves 4-6 persons)
– 3 to 4 lbs. top round beef
– 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves
– 3 medium thinly sliced carrots
– 3 medium diced onions
– rosemary leaves
– 2 cut up celery stalks
– 2 cups water
– 1 lb. ripe tomatoes ( peel, seed and cut them )
– 1 fourth cup olive oil
– 1 and a half cup Chianti or dry red wine
– 1 tbsp. melted butter
– 1 tbsp. flour
– salt and pepper as you like
– 1 lb. pasta of your choice
Roll and tie up beef and then make small holes to put the garlic into.
In a saucepan, heat the oil and slowly cook the carrots, onions and celery until soft and add in the rosemary. Push these vegetables to one side and put the beef roll in the middle and brown on all sides at the same time as you are sauting the veggies. Add in the tomatoes and when they are getting soft, add the wine. Boil until the wine liquid has been consumed to about one half cup and add 1 and a half cup of water and let simmer for about 1 hour more. Separate the meat and vegetables from the broth and let the meat cool. With remaining half cup of water mix the flour and the melted butter in with the broth and cook, constantly stirring it for 3 minutes. Slice meat and put the pasta and the sauce in the middle of the plate and two or three meat slices to one side and top with some more sauce if desired. Bon appetite!