Living in Florence Living in Florence

Festa della Donna brunch

Monday, March 9, 2009

While most of my Italian girlfriends were planning on going out Sunday night to celebrate the Festa della Donna (International Woman's Day), many of my English-speaking girlfriends and I met up for brunch yesterday to begin the festivities early. I haven't been to a typical American-style brunch in at least a year, and was so excited to finally be going. All fifteen of us met up at noon and started off our brunch with either a mimosa or a bellini (prosecco with either orange juice or peach juice). We were also served a plate of fresh blueberry or chocolate muffins that we snatched up before it hit the table.

We went to Angels because they have such a wide selection of items for brunch, and the food is delicious. A few other places in town do serve brunch, but are a bit small and I didn't want to risk it for our festa (holiday). The choice ended up being perfect because those who knew about the brunch at Angels were happy to return while those who had never gone before had wanted to try it out.

I heard shrieks when some of the women saw bacon, eggs Benedict, pancakes, and especially bagels on the menu. Living in Florence, there are a few dishes most Americans, British, and Australians miss, so when we can get our mouths around something like a bagel, we generally jump up for joy.

I ordered an American-style breakfast with pancakes, eggs (sunny-side up), bacon, sausage, and toast. My two girlfriends across from me ordered eggs Florentine (which is usually my favorite breakfast item). I know that I stopped talking and listened to my girlfriends talk while I enjoyed each bite of my pancakes with maple syrup running off the fork. I usually followed it up with a small piece of bacon.

A few of my girlfriends go out for brunch much more often than I do. I'd go more often, but I don't like missing my Sunday lunches with my suoceri (in-laws).

Our festa della donna brunch would've been a success even if the food wasn't delicious because we all enjoyed being in the company of other women who were just acquaintances, friends, or new acquaintances. Those of us who live here are always interested in other people who end up living in Florence. We usually have our list of questions for each expat that we meet: where do you come from, what do you do here, how long have you been here, etc.

I was happy to see how they quickly struck up conversations and by the end of the meal, many exchanged emails and/or cell numbers. Each girl told me how enjoyable the brunch was, and how they'd like for us to get together again. I couldn't agree more. It's a pleasure to meet people who live here and know what experiences we've all have had to partake in as well as the ups and downs, and loneliness. I'm sure we won't wait another year to go out for brunch again. And, I'll probably order eggs Florentine next time just for variety's sake.

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