The World Cup Beer Sommeliers was in Rimini, but Rimini doesn’t have an airport and the train service from Eindhoven to Rimini is frankly horrendous, so we decided to go to Florence first and end the trip in Bologna. I wished the trains would have been an option, but with two transfers in the middle of the night and with everything that’s going on, it’s not.
An old colleague of mine, Esther, has a gorgeous website on Florence: Details of Florence and she organises tours and all as well. So with her help I came prepared, which was a good thing, since we would only be there for a night and a morning. We also got loads of tips from Charlotte, who actually studied ice cream in Florence.
We arrived at night at the most gorgeous Bed (and breakfast) ever, Florence Station Rooms! This B&B is on the 4th floor of a gorgeous building near the station, run by Andrea sr. and Andre jr., has gorgeous decoration, great beds and wonderful showers. We first went to eat something at Ciro & Sons. Florence has a major Gluten Free scene, which is nice, because it meant I could give my stomach some rest before the big beer tour. Ciro & Sons has won several prices for their gluten free food and you can order a gluten and lactose free variant of everything on their menu.
After that we went on a chestnut beer hunt. This hunt, unfortunately was cut short when we found out that chestnut beer is a seasonal beer and not available yet. But we did find grape beer…. at Brewdog… Yes, we wanted to visit local bars, but ended up at Brewdog anyway because they had the grape beer. We did drink some nice beers at Mostodolce. Italians have a very interesting way of tapping beer though. I thought it was a way of this café and brewery, but we saw it in Rimini and Bologna as well.
The next morning we took our time to enjoy the sites of Florence. And the food. And the gelato. After that we took the train to Rimini and the World Cup Beer Sommeliers took over. Although we did manage to visit the city centre on friday morning. Rimini surprised us with a wonderful beer shop Abeervinum with beers from over the world and a lot of beers we can’t get here. Too bad we flew in and weren’t by train, so we couldn’t take anything with us.
Saturday morning after the World cup, I first got interviewed and then we went to Bologna, Maurus, Pepijn, Hubert and I. Try going to the food capital of the world with three foodies. And I’m not saying Foodies lightly here, we are talking about FULL ON FLAVOURS, TASTES, SMELLS AND BASICALLY FOOD ADDICTS! So you can imagine what that was like. Normally I lead on city trips, this time I followed and it was worth it. So many food related places we visited I cannot for the life of me remember them all. The most impressive one was Sfloglia Rina. Don’t let the line scare you, it’s worth it. Besides it’s almost impossible to get food in Bologna without waiting in one line or another. We also went to one cute beer shop: Beer4Bunnies. They have a terrace, so you can drink he beers you bought immediately and they have three beers on tap as well. And if you think Bologna on its own is a food paradise, we happened to visit the city during a major food fest/farmers or artisans market: Villagio Coldiretti. It’s a bit of a puzzle to find out how it works: you can buy green tickets for food, yellow tickets for sweet stuff and fries, purple tickets for wine, orange tickets for beer and blue tickets for water, but it’s worth it to figure that out. At the stands themselves you can also pay buy card or cash anyway. There we tried pizza, mozarella, beer, fried fish, ice, cheeses, hot sausages and more. We missed chestnut beer by an hour!! They had chestnut beer!
The next morning we found Hubert and Pepijn already with a wine and a big plate of foods at Simoni Laboratorio. They had to catch an early flight, so Maurus and I hung around a bit and ended the trip at Naama café, a Turkish coffee shop where they played Nancy Ajram <3
All in all, it were five days of lots of food, quite some beer, gorgeous architecture, nice weather, nasty mosquitoes and a lot of diplom biersommeliers!