Friday, May 31, 2019

Buyer Beware!


The allure of a window display in a gelateria is hard to resist
when you're hot and tired from sightseeing in beautiful Florence, Italy.
Temptation is everywhere, because Florence is loaded with gelaterie.
That's not surprising, since the first "modern" gelato was created
in Renaissance Florence by alchemist Cosimo Ruggieri for the Medici family.
italymagazine.com

Gelato
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



One look at a luscious array, and my mind is anticipating 
the silky mouthfeel of gelato and its intense burst of flavor.
Chocolate hazelnut cream?  Pineapple?  Coffee?  Mint?
What to pick?  What to pick?

Terry and I succumbed to the temptation of gelato at least once a day in Florence,
but our most memorable indulgence was not what we expected.

We had just walked across one of the most famous bridges in the world,
the Ponte Vecchio which spans the Arno River at its narrowest point in Florence.

"Ponte Vecchio" means "Old Bridge," and old it is. 
A bridge has likely stood at or near this spot since the second century B.C.
when the Romans built the Via Cassia to connect Florence and Rome,
and the bridge is documented as far back as 996 A.D. 
lifeinitaly.com  wikipedia


Ponte Vecchio
Spanning the Arno River
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



The day we visited this Florentine icon, we had looked forward to
browsing through its famous jewelry, art, and antique shops 
and gazing at the Arno from scenic overlooks on each side of the bridge.

Shops have lined the bridge since the 13th century,
when butchers and fishmongers rented the first shops from the city.
The stench of these wares prompted Ferdinand I to decree in 1593
that only goldsmiths and jewelers could have shops on the Ponte Vecchio,
and so it has been since.

But on that hot, humid September day that we visited it,
the bridge was teeming with people
roaming back and forth and jockeying for the best selfie spots.
Forget viewing the Arno, we couldn't get close to an overlook,
and I actually gave up on taking photos and put my camera away. 


Crossing the Ponte Vecchio
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


As I jostled my way through the mobs of people,
I completely forgot to look up at the Vasari Corridor,
a long passageway that runs above the shops on the Ponte Vecchio
and connects the Pitti Palace to the Uffizi Gallery.

Duke Cosimo I de' Medici had it constructed in 1565, so that he could move freely
between his residence in the Pitti Palace and the government palace, Palazzo Vecchio.


Palazzo Vecchio
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


By the time we neared the left bank of the Arno and its Oltrarno district,
I was overheated and cranky.  Then we spotted a gelateria!

We should have known better, but all we could think of was getting off our feet
and creamy, cool, rejuvenating gelato sliding down our throats. 

"Dark chocolate and something with carmel," I said to Terry
as I chugged from a water bottle.


Terry (Right) Ponders
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Gelato
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




And More Gelato
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Terry returned carrying two small cups of gelato and sank down on a seat.
Looking gobsmacked, he handed me the receipt.


The Receipt
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



"Twenty euros?" I gasped.

"Twenty euros," he answered.  
"There were no prices posted,
and I didn't think of asking before he rang up the order."

He looked at his cone and groaned, 
"And to think we usually share."


My €10 Gelato
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




We returned to the Ponte Vecchio again, 
and enjoyed this Old Bridge under less crowded conditions;
but guaranteed, we indulged in gelato elsewhere!


The Ponte Vecchio
from the left side of the Arno
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


Sidewalk Cafe
Florence, Italy
September 16,  2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved








Note:  €20 = about $23.40 on September 17, 2018


For Map Lovers Like Me:
Location of Italy




Location of Florence





Location of Ponte Vecchio


      Fun with Maps!





Ponte Vecchio
Spanning the Arno River
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





37 comments:

  1. Thank you for a most informative and interesting post, what you wrote and the pictures are awesome.

    Have a good weekend.
    Yvonne.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Yvonne! I really appreciate your kind words. I'll remember them when I'm struggling to find my way with a piece of writing. Photographs are easy and fun for me; writing is much more challenging. It's great to see you back! Have a lovely weekend!

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  2. A beautiful city!

    I wish you hadn't shown the gelato. It looks SO delicious! I want to break into the cage and gobble it all up...Of course, then I'd be out 4000 euros.

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    Replies
    1. You are so funny, Sandi! I dearly love Florence, and I want to go back so much! And I so hear you about the gelato. When I was writing this post last night, I wanted to attack a pint of ice cream in the fridge, and Terry had already plunked one dish by my computer earlier in the evening. Ice cream, chocolate, and chips were singing to me loudly from around the kitchen as I typed at the counter. Somehow I resisted by imagining the scale I climb on each morning. Sometimes when confronted by a gorgeous display of gelato I have to walk away and have Terry pick something for me, because otherwise I'd run amok with sampling, tasting, and wanting to have a gigantic serving of everything! Hang reason and the cost! LOL Have a great weekend!

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  3. Yikes! I'd forgotten how expensive everything is in Florence.

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    Replies
    1. Yikes is right! But this gelato was double what we paid at any other gelateria in Florence. I think this gelateria prospers on sucking you in when you're hot, tired, and not thinking ~ LOL! That's not an excuse for us as buyers ~ We own it; but we'll never go into a place without posted prices again. Bar Ponte Vecchio is the real gold trader on the bridge, luring customers in with a rainbow colored gelato display and fattening its pot of gold by fleecing customers of theirs. Have a good one, my friend!

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  4. Oh my, that's a pricey gelato, but I'm sure well worth it, they all look so delicious!!! The bridge, I'm sure I've seen that in music videos...maybe a Madonna one, looks familiar!

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    Replies
    1. I've never tasted a gelato that I didn't love and want to gorge on, Rain! LOL I had seen photos of the Ponte Vecchio before, but it didn't feel real to me until I saw it and walked on it. Now it is forever fixed in my mind. I hope that you are having lots of fun with your gardening, although I will miss watching those potato tires this year! Have a great weekend!

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  5. That bridge! That gelato! That price!! You are so funny, I would have fallen on the floor if shown that receipt! Florence...I am envious.😊

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    Replies
    1. Florence is marvelous, Kay! If you've never been there, I hope that you make it! I am campaigning hard to return ~ LOL. And next time I'll be on the hunt for truly artisanal gelato, and damn the cost! Well, damn the cost only if I'm by myself. Terry usually sits on me when I step outside the bounds of reason. Wishing you and Richard a good weekend together! 💖 btw ~ Thanks for using an emoji. It made me wonder how you did it, and I figured it out. Duh!

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  6. Such beautiful photos and so descriptive. I may never get there (probably won't) but I love traveling through others. Now, trying to figure out where I can get some ice cream without traveling 30 minutes from home...yup, got me craving. LOL!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry about that, Donna! I guess you can't succumb to temptation too often, if you have to travel 30 minutes from home. I'm eating an apple right now in an attempt to ward off the siren call of ice cream in our freezer. Thanks for your encouraging words bout my photos and writing! Have a great weekend!

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  7. Gelato, oh how I love you. We were in Rome for 8 days and I swear we ate it 2-3 times a day! Yup. Gained pounds.

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    Replies
    1. Getting out of any part of Italy is hard to do without gaining pounds ~ LOL! Lucky you, eight days in Rome! We were there for two nights, and I want to go back so much. My first sight of the Colosseum took my breath away. It was so beautiful in the light of the westering sun; but what a blood-soaked, horrific place. And yes, we had gelato in Rome! I absolutely love gelato! Wishing you a great weekend!

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  8. Sure quite the expensive stop indeed. Hopefully it tasted worth the money. Must go off how it is the in spot and has lots of tourists about, so jacks up the prices. Sure quite the views. You? Cranky? Say it ain't so haha guess you better keep the AC on so you don't get overheated at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Pat! Yup, it was definitely a tourist trap! And we should have known better. But the gelato was most welcome on that sultry day. Terry could tell you about cranky ~ LOL Have a great weekend, my friend!

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  9. It looked so good until I saw the price tag... :)

    www.thepulpitandthepen.com

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    Replies
    1. We were shocked ~ LOL I can look back and laugh now, but it wasn't too funny then! Have a good one, Sage!

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  10. dear Louise accept SPECIAL THANKS AND BIG HUGS for sharing your exquisite trip to Italy :)

    what an elegant city with such tempting architecture

    i am stunned with the age of old bridge ,still looking great !

    wandering during hot weathers can be exhausting and we too often eat ice cream after roaming as it refresh our energies

    but yes until i saw the the receipt :(

    places packed with visitors have become so expensive and it is so annoying specially when we visit Murree during summer everything blows our mind away i mean so costly

    thank you for sharing charming images and specially your kind cute happy soulful face at the end!
    hugs!

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    Replies
    1. Hugs, Baili! Thank you for your kind words! There's nothing like an ice cold treat on a hot day. I am always amazed at the ages of things in other parts of the world. Here in Colorado anything over 150 years old is ancient ~ LOL. I love exploring places with a lot of history. Murree is beautiful, so I'm sure that people flock there in the heat of summer, and merchants always love to see visitors fatten their profits. Take care, my cherished friend!

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  11. Hi Louise,
    just popped over to get a catch up on your blog. I understand exactly how you feel here. I was brought up in South Wales and there were many Italian families came to live in the valleys there, so we had many shops in the coastal area that had these delights! However, my friend over there often buys them and I don't believe the price is anywhere near what you had to pay there. Still, it's worth paying extra if you enjoy something.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for popping over, Brenda! Other places that we bought gelato had much more reasonable prices. We just got snared in a classic tourist trap because we weren't thinking. I've always wanted to visit Australia, and it must have been a wonderful place to spend your childhood. The UK is definitely smaller. Have an enjoyable week!

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    2. Hi Louise,
      just to mention, I didn't go over to Australia until after I was married, but our son spent a lot of his childhood there. There were some very nice places there, but there is also a lot of desert areas. Even though the UK is a lot smaller, there is much beauty there also, as there is in every country. I am happy that we have been able to visit many places when we have had the opportunity. I knew a lady in Inverness in Scotland whose moto was 'Just do it'. I think that would be mine too :-). You have a lovely week too Louise.

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    3. You are so right, Brenda! There is beauty in every country, and those of us who get to explore the world are fortunate! Have a good one!

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  12. Oh my gosh, Louise! That is expensive. I hope it was really delicious.

    Aside from the pricey treat, what an amazing experience to be touring that area!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Martha! I hope that you had a lovely weekend! Mine was very busy! The gelato certainly hit the spot, once we ruefully got over the price. I LOVED Florence, Martha, and I so long to go back. I've barely scratched the surface of all there is to experience there. Have a great week!

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  13. Replies
    1. Gelato is one of my most favorite treats, Adam! I hope that you and Daisy had a fun weekend together!

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  14. What a lovely, lovely trip. My daughter went on a high school trip to Italy (it's hard to believe how many years ago it was). When she returned, she knew how to say in Italian "lemon gelato, please."

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. Haha! I'm glad that your daughter had her priorities straight when it came to learning Italian, Janie! And I hope all is well with you! Have a good one!

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  15. I am itching to get authentic gelato! However, I would have about died seeing 20 euro for 2 small cups. That's outrageous! It reminds me of being in Iceland last summer. I nearly choked at their prices. We spent almost $80 for the 4 of us to eat Taco Bell. The same meal we got there would have been under $20 here in the US. Talk about sticker shock!

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    Replies
    1. If (when, I hope!) I return to Italy I will definitely be on the hunt for the best authentic gelato. This place had good gelato, but I know there is much better to be found ~ likely cheaper too. You're not the first to say that Iceland is expensive. My brother, his wife, their son and daughter-in-law and their baby daughter are in Reykjavik right now. It will be interesting to see what they have to say about the prices when they get home. Have a great week, Theresa!

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  16. I've heard that the leather goods are pricier on the Ponte Vecchio - had no idea the gelato was too! Yikes! It does look delicious though....

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Sue! I'm guessing everything is more expensive on the Ponte Vecchio! We saw many beautiful leather shops as we walked up and down the streets of Florence. What an amazing city! I hope all is well with you!

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  17. I have never been over-seas so I thank you for sharing your adventures. I hope you are well. The gelato does sound quite pricey.

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    1. Thanks, Truedessa! All is well in my corner of the world! I hope someday you will get to travel overseas. Take care!

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