The nearby streets were lined with the leather and garment stands leading to the Central Market. Il Mercato Centrale is full of food stands of all types: meats, seafood, cheeses, pastas, and produce. The "mystery meats" tested our fortitude...huge folded piles of tripe, stacked cow hooves, and pale pig snouts. Yum!
The image of the snouts faded and we grabbed lunch at Trattoria Anita. Spaghetti ragu, tagliatelle with porchini mushroom, and a creamy asparagus-topped chicken.
Dessert across the Ponte Vecchio at our (current) favorite gelateria...Santa Trinita. Visited the Chisea di Santa Maria del Carmine, with its famous Branacci Chapel. This frescoed chapel contains the iconic scene of Adam and Eve being cast from the Garden of Eden.
As the afternoon grew late, we headed through one of the old City walls, headed up a long, STEEP set of stairs, and arrived at the Chisea di San Miniato al Monte. A large beautiful church with almost no interior lighting...leaving the interior detials to be revealed slowly as eyes adjust to the darkness. An emerging scene of lovely frescoes, a painted beam ceiling, and gold-clad altars. At 5:30, the local monks begin to chant, filling the halls with a magical, soothing sound that surrounds you. Early evening views of city below. Returned with a short walk through a hillside rose garden full of amore. A peaceful stroll along the Arno.
Returned to Coquinarius for dinner. Fantastic Chianti and bruchetta to start. Two wondeful first courses: cheese and pear ravioli, gorganzola and bacon gnocci. Two hearty salads as our entrees. The only downside to dinner was watching the last two pieces of dreamy cheesecake go to another table while we sat and sat waiting for our waitress :( We had revenge gelato from nearby Grano, famous for its artisan flavors...very good, but we enjoyed Santa Trinita better.
Too tired to go our, we strolled the city. Discovered a dual-guitar concerto echoing through the Piazza della Signora.