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IMPORTANT INFORMATION » Our Monthly Newsletter ITA -

Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany
NEWSLETTER December 2008

December… snow has now whitened the surrounding mountains and the Arno is once again running swiftly. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… so with that in mind, we have focused on ways to save by buying used and recycled goods.

To our friends far and near, SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA and KIMBERLY send a slew of holiday cheer from Florence.


One of our favorite return clients us sent a series of short essays on the various times she had encountered unexpected kindness (gentilezza) in Italy. I immediately asked if I could include it in our newsletter, perhaps in a few installments. She replied “Good gracious me” and consented.
La Gentilezza - By Elaine Fellows
Snow in Rome and Sun in Sicily - In January, 1985 as I arrived at Fiumicino airport from London where I’d spent two months, it was snowing heavily. The snow would continue - so rare an occurrence in Rome that for years the stalls sold post cards showing the city covered in snow. My plane was late and I feared I’d miss my connection to Palermo. We had disembarked in the airport’s centre -far from the gates- the snow swirled around us as our baggage was unloaded onto a truck. I was told my plane was already out on the tarmac on the other side of the airport. I expressed my concern to two gentlemen, airport employees. After conferring, they asked me to identify my bag then gallantly conducted me over to a waiting ambulance, loaded my bag and me aboard. One of them accompanied me as we raced across Fiumicino. I couldn’t remember the word for siren and laughingly asked why we weren’t ringing our “ bell”. My attendant and the ambulance driver seemed to find my question charming! Thus we were in a convivial mood when we arrived at the little plane for Sicily. They were just taking away the stairs, but this operation was soon halted, and the little old lady was welcomed aboard the last plane to leave Rome for three days.

My experience has been that the closest thing to an American-style garage sale here, is when someone places a chair, table or old TV strategically BESIDE a dumpster, indicating that it could still be useful for an interested taker. Buying and selling second hand serves a number of uses... it is perfect recycling, goods cost less to buy and when selling, provide profit from something that may otherwise have been tossed. A recent message asking about consignment shop options in Florence brought a few second hand stores to light for me.
The MERCATOPOLI FIRENZE-LEGNAIA deals in books, furniture, appliances, clothing and various other objects. It is are located in Florence (Via Pisana area) on Via Fra' Diamante, 12/a. the shop is open 10:00 am to 1:00pm and 3:30 to 7:30 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday. Tel. 055 7130228. firenzelegnaia@mercatopoli.it.
I found LA MECCA in the Gavinana area. They have home and garden furniture, statues, plates, dishes, books and more. You can get an idea of the stock by visiting their website. LA MECCA, Via Poggio Bracciolini 8, Tel. 0556800111. www.lameccacontovendita.it.
Plus I found a consignment shop dealing specifically in used children’s clothing (0 to 16 years), pre-maman clothing, and baby equipment (cribs, strollers, toys, bikes) in Scandicci at Ecobimbo, on via Giotto n.67/A (zona Vingone). info@ecobimbo.it. Tel: 055 7300065. They are open 9:30 to 1:00 pm and 4:00 to 7:30 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
And don’t forget the great Christmas markets. The League Bazaar has lots of super, used clothing and toys for sale, and there are more recycled toys at the Piazza Signoria Rigioccatoli tables on the weekend of Dec. 12/13/14 (see above).

THUMBS UP – THUMBS DOWN “Our Readers Right”
Our “Thumbs up, Thumbs down” column is your chance to write us and share your own ideas and information, or to toot the horn of businesses, events and those Florentine situations that strike you as either wonderful or terrible. Please note: all opinions are (usually) strictly those of our readers. Lend us your thoughts!

   Dear Sandra,
To follow up on our conversation, the yarn shop in Florence is called Filati Campolmi, Via F. Portinari 19/21R, 50122 Firenze. Tel. 055 210218. www.campolmifilati.it/eng/. The recommendation for this shop came from an employee (?) at Paperback Exchange who was changing out the window display and had yarn in a basket. I asked and she said this particular shop has less expensive wool than another shop in town. We spent 20 euros for 400 grams of wool and a pair of knitting needles. The selection is quite large as various types of yarn have ten or more available colors (do ask to see the color card for the yarn you are interested in). Sale bins had 100 gram skeins for 1,50 euro each. I am considering going back for bulk yarn to make afghans! They also carry embroidery floss.
Lisa Solley

PATE DI FEGATINI - Makes enough for 30 canapés.
This chicken liver paté is served at virtually all Tuscan gatherings, a real standby/classic for any occasion.

1 Tb. olive oil
half pound chicken livers
1 yellow onion, chopped
half stalk celery, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
6-8 fresh sage leaves
pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
half cup white wine
4-5 anchovy fillets, minced
2 Tb. capers, minced
1-2 Tb. butter

Put olive oil, chicken livers, onion, carrot, celery, sage, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat approx. 10 minutes. Add wine and cook, covered, 15 minutes more. Purée mixture in a food processor, blender, or food mill, then return to saucepan. Add anchovies and capers and cook another minute or two. Add butter and stir until melted. Serve warm on toasted bread, garnished with more capers or parsley.

Recipe provided by Sahna Wicks of A Tuscan Welcome Catering (wicks@katamail.com).

All our best,

The Staff of Pitcher and Flaccomio

Newsletter compiled by Kim Wicks

Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter Copyright 2008

Direttore responsabile Mario Spezi -  Pubblicazione con iscrizione n. 5697 del 23\01\09 presso il Tribunale di Firenze