Friday 21 June 2019

Bologna Diary (1) - A stopover in Florence - Alberti Dischi, Piazza Del Vino and Osteria de'Cicalini, nostalgia

Interior (partial) of Alberti Dischi
So it was that the annual trip to the beloved Alberti brothers DVD store in Borgo San Lorenzo in Florence produced another small treasure trove. The section of Italian films is divided into two. First the major directors get their own wall and then in a separate alcove every other Italian film in the offering is there in alphabetical. All covers are face out so you have to pick them up. It's so large that it takes a couple of hours to pick up every DVD and if of the slightest interest turn the package over  and peer around the small print to see if it has English subtitles. Most dont.

So, films unknown or unseen (to me) by Gennaro Righelli (a Magnani and De Sica comedy) Carmelo Bene, Gianni Amelio, Ettore Scola, Antonio Pietrangeli, Alessandro Blasetti, Emidio Greco, Vittorio De Sica, Marco Bellocchio, Edmond T Greville and, this one (right) without subtitles, by Franco Rossi. Smog  from way, way back in 1962 when I first saw it, I think at that Italian theatre in Footscray, and proposed that MUFS screen it. 

Lo and behold my first published review in Annotations on Film followed. Never seen it, nor heard of it since. But there it was on the general shelves, Franco Rossi not being a major Italian film-maker, at least not regarded as such these days. Regrettably the copy comes without English subtitles but that's not the point. ....Such nostalgia. 

Meanwhile,  couple of hundred metres away, tucked away near Florence's magnificent Duomo is Osteria de'Cicalini on Via delle Oche (interior left),  where a couple of young guys are doing some wonderful things in the kitchen. This is not a place  getting its food from Italy's central servery. Prawn carpaccio, slow cooked pork ribs and some sensational desserts were on offer and we were there for two and half hours. It cost us Euro45 each which included two bottles of wine between five. Recommended.

...and then there is Piazza Del Vino (interior above), stuck away way off the Florentine beaten track on Via della Torretta on the other side of the main railway line near Campo di Marte. No concessions to English on the menu and no deliveries from the central servery.  Riccotini with black truffles proved to some superb dumplings, filled with cheese and floating in a delicious sauce. The baked rabbit with zucchini and tomato on the side was similarly delicious. Sides of grilled vegetables and baked potatoes. A bottle of Pino Nero from Alto Adige washed it down and a glass of barolo topped it off. Euro50 per person. Highly recommended

Taking one's time. Bologna tomorrow morning... 

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