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 Id 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 Id miss my connection to Palermo.
We had disembarked in the airports 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 couldnt
remember the word for siren and laughingly asked why we werent
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.
USED IS COOL
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. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
childrens 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). email@example.com.
Tel: 055 7300065. They are open 9:30 to 1:00 pm and 4:00 to
7:30 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
And dont 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!
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
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
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