by Melinda Gallo

Enjoying my visit of Taste

For the last couple of years, I have been wanting to go to Taste: the fair of tastes. My friend Sarah and I rode our biciclette (bikes) down the relatively quiet streets to Stazione Leopolda, which is near the Porta al Prato. When we arrived, we parked our biciclette along the metal fence. We had planned on arriving right when the fiera (expo) opened, but the lines to get in were already long and the salone (hall) was full of people. I was attracted to the back wall of the main salone where there were multi-colored plates attached to it as shown in the picture.

Living in Florence :: Enjoying my visit of Taste

We started down one aisle where olive oil, pesto, and some other local delicacies were on display. The vendors stood behind a long interconnected table that was the length of the salone. The names of the vendors were displayed above the stand along with the city they were from. It was interesting to see the different regions being represented.

I tasted a few items as I walked by, but I wasn't thrilled about trying raw tortellini that was on a plate with toothpicks. Once in a while I had to wait behind a few people to wait my turn to have a sample. I walked around a few times to check out all the stands although it was a little difficult to get by all the people especially when confronted with babies in passeggini (strollers).

There were so many interesting items being presented like spicy salts, ready-to-cook risotto in jars, vegetables marinated in oil, capperi (capers), cioccolato (chocolate), caffè (coffee), formaggio (cheese), prosciutto (ham), vini (wine), aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar), biscotti (cookies) and much more.

After all the tasting and walking around, I was pleased to see the negozio (store) where one could buy almost everything that was on display. Some people walked out with bags of items as if they went to a supermercato (supermarket). I was tempted, but decided against it as I've seen some of the items at the mercato (market) and at specialty shops like Pegna in town.

After only a couple of hours, I had to head home. I jumped back on my bicicletta and rode along the lungarno (the road that runs alongside the Arno river). I enjoyed the sunny day, and was happy to be back on my bicicletta because I haven't taken it out for a ride for a few months. I'll certainly try to go back to Taste next year, but I'll avoid going on Sunday. Either a weekday or early Saturday morning would've been a better choice to visit the fiera when hopefully there'd be fewer people out and more space to stroll through it.

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