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my parents came to visit recently, wonderful excuse to sample some of florence’s finest. but the place we wanted to go to was packed. so following the hostess’s recommendation, we headed to trattoria toscanella.

the three of us walked out of 4 leoni, turned around the corner and walked down a quiet street towards this new place. the busy piazza was disappearing in the distance, whilst this completely deserted street was looking increasingly suspicious. but we persevered.

before we knew it, we found ourselves in front of a giant human-size pinocchio statue with abnormally large hands.

it was terrifyingly ugly.

it made the small children in the street cry.

behind it was the entrance door to trattoria toscanella.

but we were hungry, so we just shrugged and walked in.

and suddenly, in stark contrast to the monstrous statue outside, you enter a fantastic room which combines ancient, vintage and contemporary art – all, i believe, local. the ceiling is high, with grecian-like pillars in the middle of the room. most of the walls are covered with a mish-mash of modern and old paintings. the one wall in the back is a uniform bright, bright red, at the center of which is a window,  perfect frame for the roaring hob in the kitchen. (there’s a few  more normal-sized pinocchio dolls in the room, but we avoid looking straight at them.)

the menu is in italian, but good sign language skills help you get the jist of things. we had delicious vegetable & salami antipasti; fresh pasta in tomoatoe sauce and wild boar ragu; a lovely bottle of montepulciano. ‘yes, thank you, i’d definitely come again. but may i suggest you rethink the giant pinocchio statue.’

osteria-toscanella-20130205-095324

it’s even worst in real life,

at night time.

via toscanella, 18

(photo courtesy of the internet)

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