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Taste of Florence, a must

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Little forward...I used the wonderful information from the Fodor's Talk to plan most of my recent trip to Italy. It was so helpful and really helped to put my mind at ease. Although there were many great things experience on our trip-thanks to many of you, those reviews and comments will come later. This particular tour, Taste of Florence was such a delightful surprise, I wanted to share it with everyone....thank you!
Review:
The Taste of Florence tour was THE highlight of our Florence trip. Last month my husband and I had the chance to take a two week trip to Italy that was truly a dream come true. While scheduling tours, trips and museum visits I realized that after a week and a half of all this running around, I needed to plan something more out of the ordinary for my husband. I looked all over the internet and was having difficulty finding something truly unique to do in August and something that, to be quite honest, was not a complete tourist trap. Somehow in my search I found the Taste of Florence. I could not find much on it at the time, but thought it would be perfect for both my husband and me. Though a bit skeptical, I immediately contacted the company through their website and received a near immediate response from Antoinette that helped subside my anxieties in booking this tour. Booking was simple and the price was very reasonable when compared to food tours in other cities. I was sent clear details on where to meet and how to contact the company in case of last minute changes needed to be made.
The trip itself was just amazing. It was much more than either of us expected. We had a wonderful time wondering through the market gawking at all the fresh meats, pastas and produce. Playing guess the meat behind the counter with butchers was quite a laugh and seeing how well Antoinette knew the market folk made us feel less like outsiders.
While there we had the greatest time visiting the family that runs Perini's Delicatessen and savoring the largest taste testing of meats, sauces, spreads and dips, cheeses, breads, olives, truly gourmet balsamic vinegars...we'd ever seen. So thankful we did not have breakfast that morning. Afterward we made our way to a wine shop for a nearby winery and learned more about Chianti and the region than we ever did in any wine class we took back home. Miss Antoinette really knows her stuff, and how to present it so that it makes sense to the average person.
We then took a stroll through town to make our way to the greatest gelato shop in all of Italy. Along the way Antoinette told us stories of her time there in Florence and showed us great places to shop for books, foods and to rest our feet. She even went through our map and marked a wide range of local favorite places to eat [which we tried a few and had an adventure to remember]. We soon arrived at "Perche No?" and sat down to what real gelato should always be. It was pure heaven. It was so quaint, felt like a 50's American ice-cream shop, and quite busy, though it did not seem to be on a main roadway [but was near the Duomo]. So, we ended our day there...taking up much more of Antoinette's time than scheduled, but laughed, learned and enjoyed every moment of it. It was and will be the most memorable part of the entire trip in Italy.

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