Here, the children are given giant, hollow chocolate eggs that usually have toys in them. There are all kinds of varieties, and they are all beautiful...and tempting.
Gillian and I may or may not have bought one each, and though it did take a great deal of willpower, I resisted the 20-pound egg and went for a smaller version. The chocolate store is also home to a gelateria, and since we had been planning to get gelato anyway, we decided to gamble and try this new, untested and unrecommended place.
We were not disappointed.
Every Easter for more than 300 years has been celebrated in Florence with il Scoppio del Carro, or the Explosion of the Cart. The cart is pulled by four white oxen in a procession through the city until it comes to rest between the Baptistery and the main cathedral. A wire is attached somehow, and a white dove that is actually a "rocket" is sent down the wire to the cart, which is full of small explosives and fireworks. Apparently the belief is that if the explosion is successful, then there will be a good harvest that year.
Lovely morning picture, but check out how big it is! It's the size of my head! And the chocolate is of much higher quality than the stuff they use to make those nasty hollow bunnies with in America. I gave half to my roommate Marissa because Lord knows I don't need that much chocolate.
We had a nice Easter dinner (after trekking through the POURING rain to the other side of the river) at Dante's, which had been recommended to us multiple times, partly because of the food, but mostly because as students, we get free wine. We each ordered a pizza and had a few glasses of wine. When we left the restaurant, it was raining even harder, and our feet were already soaked, so we called a cab to take us home, where, in our wine-induced giddiness, we may or may not have started an all-out berry-throwing war. I think there were berries in every corner of the apartment by the end of the night. Don't worry, parents, we woke up the next morning and promptly swept, mopped, and picked up every last berry.
Oh! I forgot to mention that I spent most of Easter constructing a crostata, or fresh fruit and custard tart, like one we had made in class earlier in the week. I didn't manage to get a picture of it before we demolished it, but Gillian did. I kind of messed up the custard, but it was still delicious. I was quite impressed with myself.
Gillian and I are now off to check out the San Ambroggio market, which is just another one of Florence's food markets, but we have been itching to see if it is better than il Mercato Centrale. The weather is also gorgeous, so I'll probably hang outside before meeting Mary for lunch at Sergio's later this afternoon. Mmmmm, minestra here I come!