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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 October 2008
WELCOME


  October… there is a chill in the air with each new morning, but our October sun warms the stones of Florence and country hillsides during the day. Dress in layers you can peel off as necessary. The wine harvest is going full force, and olive picking looms not far behind. Our thoughts turn back toward warming, comfort foods and various indoor activities.

In this issue: some great insider advice on how to best navigate everything from local hospitals to overcrowded museums.

From the office SUZANNE, CORSO, LORI, KIMBERLY AND SANDRA send our golden autumn best.

PITCHER & FLACCOMIO REPORT

FRIENDS OF THE UFFIZI
Our heartfelt advice is to become a member of the non-profit “Friends of the Uffizi” Association. The Association supports the Florence art scene by sponsoring important publication, exhibition, acquisition and restoration projects. With an annual (January to December) donation, the fantastic privileges that members enjoy include free, unlimited access to Florence’s most important museums including the Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello, Pitti, Boboli gardens and more. Not only that, members may skip any line, showing their membership card directly at the museum entrance to gain immediate access (the Family membership allows two adults and two children to use this plan at the same time).
Members are also offered exclusive guided visits, invitations to exhibits and cultural events and reduced price tickets for concerts and performances in the most important theatres of Florence. There are different ways to “join”. Memberships include: Individual - valid for one adult (EUR 60.00), Family - two adults and two children under 18 years old (EUR 100.00), Young - under 26 years old (EUR 25.00). Find further information or join online at www.amicidegliuffizi.com. Associazione Amici degli Uffizi (onlus), Via Lorenzo il Magnifico 1, Firenze. Tel. 055-4794422.

YOUR FRIEND IN THE MEDICAL BUSINESS
New on the Florence scene: easy, insider access to the sometimes convoluted Italian medical care system. Both short and long-term visitors to Florence should look into Navigate. We recently approached Meaghan Cussen, Director of Business Development at Navigate Health International for more information.
Navigate Health International’s Florence Medical Assistance is a service providing coordinated access to medical care for internationals living in or visiting Florence and the nearby Tuscan countryside. This service, with its high level of in-person client assistance, is the first of its kind in the travel industry. The Medical Director and CEO, Kevin M. Ban, MD, has been working in Tuscany for the last five years as the Director of the Tuscan Emergency Medical Initiative, a collaboration among Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians, the three university hospitals in Tuscany, and the Tuscan regional government. He is currently serving as Director of the Meyer Pediatric Trauma Center in Florence, in addition to continuing his role as Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School.
According to Dr. Ban, "Throughout my stay in Tuscany, I have witnessed a disconnect between the Italian health care system and the non-Italian-speaking patient. While medical care in Italy is quite good, the health care system is complex and difficult to navigate for the non-Italian. This, along with language and cultural barriers, often leads to variable care provided to the English-speaking patient. My hope is to help internationals living in or traveling through Tuscany to find the superior care that exists in this region."
While there are other travel insurance and high-end concierge medical service companies that offer medical assistance for travelers via telephone, Navigate is the first company to offer in-person, concierge-level coordinated care to international travelers. Navigate's doctors all work within the Italian system, speak the language, and understand Italian medical culture and practices. And the team is led by an American physician. Navigate's expertise in both the Italian and American health care systems is the key to its service. They offer a variety of membership plans for students, travelers, and foreign residents of Tuscany. Clients with pre-existing medical conditions, or who plan to stay in Florence for longer periods of time, are encouraged to schedule an introductory meeting with Navigate’s Medical Director to review relevant medical history. For more information, or to enroll in the service, visit www.Navigate-Italy.com or contact Meaghan Cussen at (USA) 866-377-3848 or (Italy) 055-462-7276 or (Email) mcussen@navigate-italy.com.

READERS REVIEW RESTAURANTS
We invite your comments for our “Readers Review Restaurants” section. Use this forum to spread the word about restaurants that merit recognition for their great food and good service. The contents will reflect our reader’s points of view (though we reserve the right to agree or disagree). Send your input to newsletter@pitcherflaccomio.com.

Dear P & F,
I just had one of my most memorably delicious, and most typically traditional Tuscan meals at Trattoria Sagginale near Borgo San Lorenzo in the Mugello area. For about 20 euros a person (we spent 103 euros for lunch for 5 pp.) we enjoyed a feast of antipasti misti, two types of stuffed pasta (ravioli and tortelli), water, wine and coffee.
The mixed antipasto (which we wisely ordered only 3 portions of) featured highest quality salumi including finocchiona, prosciutto, salame, lardo and flavorful preserved vegetables (artichokes, garlic and sun dried tomatoes) , plus mushroom crostini, tomato bruschetta and liver pate crostini.
We brazenly ordered two types of pasta, in portions for 5 (way too much, in the end). The homemade ravioli stuffed with fresh ricotta and spinach were pillowy soft and fluffy, with rich, delicate “burro e salvia” sauce. The tortelli di patate, a local specialty stuffed with flavorful mashed potato filling, were also “high” and served with lots of meaty ragu.
The trattoria style is casual, filled with locals. Go easy on the ording… we didn’t make it anywhere near the great smelling, grilled meat “secondi”. All foods are brought out on platters, to pass around the table family-style. Trattoria Sagginale, Via Belvedere 23, Loc. Sagginale (about 3 kilometers from Borgo San Lorenzo).Tel. 055 8490130 . Closed Thursdays.

Suzanne suggests: Il Santo Bevitore on Via di Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno neighborhood. After a couple of recent visits, Suzanne wants to suggest a great, contemporary dining option, in the slightly more off-beat neighboorhood “across the Arno”. Located on Via Santo Spirito, near the Ponte Carraia, Il Santo Bevitore offers delicious food, a charming atmosphere and a superb price to quality balance. Almost always busy (at lunch with local workers, at dinner with locals and vistors), you will find a great list of wines to accompany your meal. Il Santo Bevitore on Via di Santo Spirito 64 red, Florence, Tel: 055 211264.

FLORENCE NEWS
CORRI LA VITA - RUN FOR LIFE – A beautiful Tuscan September day, hundreds of volunteers and fabulous sponsors, the generosity of thousands and a brilliant surge of good will from the 12,000 participants all came together to make this year’s Corri La Vita a huge success. Over 230,000 euros were gathered between sign-ups, donations, and the vintage Bulgari jewelry auction. Our friends and clients Inky and Dave Amoroso, Victoria Belco and Anjela and Ted Guarello come through once again with generous and heartfelt donations to the cause. Becoming involved in local charitable events is one wonderful way to enter into the Florentine lifestyle with grace. Although Ted and Anjela have just now returned to the States, the letter and photo below, they let us know that Corri La Vita and Florence are still carried strong in their souls.

Hello Suzanne and Sandra,
I hope the marathon and fundraiser went well. We thought about you all Sunday, wishing we were there. However we did have a nice day and although the picture of Max, Theo, Anjela and I is not overlooking Firenze, this view is pretty good overlooking Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. We all love the new color of the shirts and will probably wear them on most of our walks.
Warm Regards,
Ted Guarriello

RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Coniglio all’Etrusca, Etruscan-style Rabbit Serves 4-6
This recipe uses ingredients available to the Etruscans, centuries before Columbus brought foods such as tomatoes and potatoes which eventually became staples of Italian cuisine. Thus, this stew is made without either tomatoes or potatoes, so often basic ingredients used for such a dish. Rabbit is the most authentic meat used in this recipe, however if you choose, chicken is a suitable substitute.

extra virgin olive oil
1 rabbit or chicken cut into pieces
½ cup flour for dredging the meat pieces
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup red wine, Chianti if you have it
4-5 fresh laurel or bay leaves
1 cup olives, you choose which kind

Dredge the meat in flour and brown in olive oil, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Remove browned meat from pan and set aside. In the same pan, sauté chopped carrot, onion and celery until lightly browned. Return meat to pan, add wine, bay leaves and olives. Cover and simmer until meat is cooked through, approx 20 minutes. Add a little water to pan if necessary during cooking so it remains juicy. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
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

 
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