Tuscan Dinner


Sid and Claudia didn't think this evening's special excursion, a "Tuscan Dinner," sounded interesting.  But I wanted to go, and Margia agreed to go too.  So off we went, stopping first at a very nice overlook on a hill across the river from Florence: the Piazzale Michelangelo.  Looks like somebody's getting married down there.

Florence is a beautiful city.

The tower on the left is covered by scaffolding.  It's still a spectacular view of a beautiful and historically significant city.  Florence was the heart of the Italian Renaissance.

Margia likes it.

The big bridge in the distance is the Ponte Vecchio, which was built in the 14th century.  On each side of the road across the bridge are jewelry shops which have been there since the 16th century. 

Now we've left the overlook and we're headed up into the Tuscan hills.

Looks like we'll be eating at the Three Pines Restaurant.

Nice place.  We dined outside, under a fig tree.

When we arrived, they served us something blue.  Don't know exactly what it was.

On the other hand, I recognized this right away.  It's food, lots of it, and very good.  It was served buffet style, just like dinner on the grounds at church, but without the casseroles. 

This fellow was actually a pretty good singer.  His repertoire was much better than Bull the flute player's -- he included even some light opera -- and his accordionist was very good too.  I liked it.

A little Verdi, perhaps?

Ah, the main course.  Meat and potatoes.

More singing.  I even joined him on "Santa Lucia," which is Spanish, and I knew only the English lyrics, but who cares?

There's the chef, back in the bushes, carving the main course.

Our happy group.  Bill, Margia, Anne, Tim and Doug.

Obviously we're enjoying this.

The chef took his work seriously.

Don't get in his way.

Grilled meat is good stuff.

Dessert was pretty good too.  Now keep reading.

I have a story about what happened on our bus ride back to the Sheraton, but I don't have any pictures for illustration.  No matter.

As we were approaching the end of our ride, Daniele announced over the intercom that we should collect our belongings before leaving the bus. 

But what he actually said was, "Gather up all your tits and bits."

So I turned to Margia and asked, "What did he say?"

Daniele heard me, and replied, "Tits and bits. That's what you say, isn't it?  Tits and bits?"

There was a bit of panic in his voice, as though he had realized he might not have gotten his English colloquialism exactly right.  I suspect the tip-off was that everybody on the bus was giggling uncontrollably.

"No, Daniele, we don't say, 'Tits and bits.'" 

Then somebody in the back of the bus suggested he might have meant to say, "Tidbits."

Ah, of course, "Tidbits."  More giggling ensued.

Daniele explained that one of his tour guide friends had recommended the phrase to him.  When he said it, he thought we'd recognize it as a familiar phrase.  But no, we didn't, not really.  And we laughed about it for the rest of the trip. 

It turned out later that Daniele's friend had suggested the phrase, "Bits and pieces," and Daniele had just mangled it.  We met his friend later on the trip, in Venice.  She accompanied us with her tour group on an excursion to Burano, and there's a picture of her in that section.

When I first built this website, I almost titled the home page, "The Tits and Bits Tour."  But that would have required too much explanation at the beginning, I think.  Still, any time I think of Daniele Nannetti I'll always remember, "tits and bits."