You may recall that a few weeks ago I attempted my first organized run in Italy and promptly got semi-lost in a little town called Fiesole. As I was preoccupied at the time with finding my way back, I knew I’d need to return with Steve some other time in order to properly appreciate the town (and amazing views). That time was last weekend.
I specifically chose last weekend because it coincided with the Festa de “schiacciata con l’uva” (which literally means “crushed” with grapes, but is a grape-covered pastry). I had a slice of this cake at Cafe Serafini a couple of weeks ago (it is only made for a few weeks during grape-harvest season – i.e., now) and it was delicious! (Steve is not as fond of it as the grapes, and thus the pastry, still have seeds inside). I was looking forward to seeing the town, but especially eating cake (am I that one-dimensional?). In any case, we walked to the north part of Florence where we caught a bus out to Fiesole.
Fiesole is such an adorable town! It is very old, complete with Etruscan remains (pictured below) and a tiny town center with a few outdoor restaurants (ditto). It was so relaxed compared to the hub-bub of Florence. However, there did not seem to be grape cake anywhere! In the center of town there was a quaint little flea-market (pictured), but still no grape cake. We took a walk around the scenic outskirts for a phenomenal view (once again, it was hazy and my pictures are flat – arg!). If you look carefully in the second picture you can see the Duomo (it’s like playing “Where’s Waldo”). We were having a very nice time and could not get over the amazing view….but I was still holding out hope that I had not imagined reading about a grape cake festival (my Italian isn’t that bad!).
Finally we found the grape-cake festival part of town…it was basically a few sweet retired ladies having a grape-cake-only bake sale outside their church (pictured below). We bought 2 different slices of schiacciata – the one pictured on the left was interesting because it included walnuts and rosemary (but you could patch a wall with the crust); the one on the right was less complex, but had lighter (and more edible) pastry. To be entirely honest, the schiacciata at Serafini is much better, but we had a lovely mini-adventure none-the-less! Thanks, as always, for coming along on our trip!