Yesterday evening, by some strange turn of fate, I caught the end of a programme that I had meant to watch: Travels with Vasari. The item I was specifically interested in, and which I have craved to see since I was about 15 years old, is the Corridoio Vasariano, or Vasari's Corridor.

Those who have been to Florence might know that this overhead passageway runs from the Uffizi, along the Arno, over the Ponte Vecchio and right up to the Pitti Palace in the Santo Spirito neighbourhood, thus linking the Offices (or Uffizi) of Francesco de Medici to his residence (the Pitti).

What makes this corridor so special is the fact that it contains approx. 1,000 paintings, all self-portraits, by some of the most famous masters from the sixteenth century to the present day. Some name-dropping: Rubens, Ingres, Rembrandt, Ensor and many others... Although I did study in Florence, and have visited it on several occasions, the Corridoio is notoriously difficult to visit and I have never been fortunate enough to walk through it myself. These days, access is largely reserved to politicians and other such luminaries.

Another thing that I love about Florence is the Bistecca Fiorentina. Think of it as the Florentine version of a Porterhouse steak. Its secret lies in the low-fat beef, which is sourced from Arezzo (Chianina) or the Maremma (Maremmana).

It requires a grill, some bloody hot coals, and a fantastic T-Bone steak.
Heat the grill, slap the steak on the grill, cook for 5 minutes on either side. After taking it off the grill, you can season to taste with salt and pepper, and eventually some oil.
Think rare, or even moo for the right taste on the inside, and brown on the outside. Serve with some vegetables (rocket salad, or if you so prefer some garlic saut├ęd spinach).
Not for the vegetarians among us.

Finally, if you ever head to Florence, walk down to San Lorenzo, where I used to live and visit the Mercato Centrale for some delicious extra virgin oil, truffles, funghi porcini, etc. You will not regret it.

5 messages:

Fresco said...

You’ve been a bella donna in Italy? What haven’t you done?
And you can cook like a mama in the cuccina.
Avere fame.

UrbanVox said...

I've been told Florence stinks...
does it???
I sooo wanna go... :)
Vic would have trouble with the gondolas etc tho... she can't step in a boat without going green... :)
ask her about our honeymoon skuna trip... lol

Lula de Montes said...

Florence... not Venice...

Lula de Montes said...

@Fresco: I haven't been to Outer Mongolia or Patagonia yet? I haven't eaten bull's testicles?

UrbanVox said...

OMG... I really DID confuse the 2 of them!!!! lol!
that's it... no more going through my reader at night!!!! :)

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