Sant’ Ambrogio Market

For a while now I have been wanting to walk into town for a bit of exercise and to re-visit my old stomping ground (I remember there were a lot of fabulous shops along the strip of road that took me to my old supermarket) and to hit the food markets. For the summer months it was way too hot to even think of going on a 40-minute walk into town. However, now the boys are in school, I have mornings free and my friend Shelly is also up for morning market visits, and so we finally wandered into town last week.

It seemed like a very quick walk, we hit Sant’ Ambrogio in about 40 minutes which also included the obligatory coffee and pastry stop off (when living in Firenze!). Shelly is very passionate about the organic movement and she had found a farmer a few weeks back who grows organic produce and wanted to go back to him. We have talked about the organic movement quite a bit and if I am honest, I don’t think a lot of the farmers in Italy use chemicals quite as much as Australian and American farmers and I am more than happy to shop around picking up produce that looks good and smells like it is the real deal, I haven’t been disappointed yet.

The farmer was very nice and his produce didn’t look like other organic farmers I have seen, where the bugs have got to veggies first and you get the second best parts but pay a premium. No, this was good looking produce, I’m sorry to say I didn’t get any photos of the produce…….. I was too busy buying! How about a market shot instead?


The other surprising fact with this organic farmer was it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I bought some polenta, carrots, potatoes, peppers, cavolo nero, eggplant and something else for the glorious price of 12 euro! I have since cooked all my veggies and made some polenta and can happily report they were all delicious, flavoursome and have me thinking I need to go back for more.

I went a little crazy in the outside section, it was pretty hard not to considering there was a man selling gorgonzola & olives and an Asian lady with all her Asian produce; by the time we went into the covered section I had already blown a hole in my purse. However, this did leave me time to window shop and take photos.

As soon as we walked in through the doors I was drooling over this pasta store. Vibrant colours of pesto and homemade pasta were staring at me…what had I done, how could I not remember the inside section!!???


Shelly highly recommended the lemon ravioli which I was already eying off along with the fungi porcini parcels and ragù di carne….heaven without the coin is somewhat of a wet blanket; however, I won’t be so narrow minded with my next shopping trip!


Shelly pleased as punch with her purchase…..and I love that they write the cooking time on the packet, so you don’t ruin all the hard work that has been put into making the pasta.


Cheese was our next destination, you could just follow your nose to this store as it was pungent and mouthwatering. I’d just bought a lovely piece of pecorino the day before so I wasn’t so miffed I didn’t purchase some of the offerings this time round.


While Shelly was asking the lady about the organic cheeses on offer I was poking my head around looking at the meat counter which always catches my attention. I looked a little further and this is what I found….


It was concealed in it’s own compartment and looking like something from a Doctor Who episode! I know it looks VERY unappetising but I couldn’t stop looking at it and wondering what all the bits were (it’s the chef in me). It did help me figure out what I was eating in a restaurant a few weeks ago, though part of me wishes I still didn’t know but the texture of tripe is kinda hard to disguise. I know, I know, I can’t finish the blog with this as my last offering to you so here is another rose from my blooming garden to wipe the eyes clean….



It’s Friday, the sun is shining, BOTH kids have walked themselves to school and I finally have the place to myself for half a day and all I feel like doing is crawling back to bed.

What a week it has been, and I’m not talking all glories and wonder, more along the lines of:

“Mum my tummy hurts……no, here…..HERE” and then 10 minutes later he is out the door waving a wooden sword at anyone who comes by.

One hour later,

“Mum my tummy hurts” where my response is “Mmmmm, ok have a drink of water, maybe you need to go to the toilet”

“You always say that!”

But of course the tummy only decides to take it to another level at 2 in the morning!! Sadly this conversation happened all week and then before I knew it, I had both boys down and out with bodily fluids pouring out both ends and very little sleep going on. A quick trip to the Doctors office was fun. We missed the first bus downtown due to explosive eruptions, however, managed to keep everything in place for the next hour- Thank god!

I love it, when I went into the doc’s office with both boys and explained the situation he then turns to me and says,

‘So what are you hoping to get out of this visit today?’


I stared at him for a bit and then said in my least sarcastic voice, ‘I want something to stop the bodily explosions they are having….perhaps a cork? Enough is enough and when I have to air the house out and scrub the floor at 3am, I’m thinking you really need to help me here, that’s what I want out of this visit today, thank you’.

And with that he looks at me with a crinkle in his brow and says “Hmmm, you had to air the whole house out? well I can understand you wouldn’t like that”…….and what I felt like saying but managed to find some sense of control was-

“No I didn’t bloody well like that at 3am and I also want a full nights sleep but I’ll settle for drugs for these two if you don’t mind!” I’m wondering if my patient smile got that message through?

Anyway, we got the meds, we got home without any mishaps and I am happy to say the meds worked really fast and I had one back at school yesterday and the other went back today- YIPPEE!! I can now get back to the piles of laundry I have waiting for me and hopefully a few blue patches of sky will hang round long enough to dry it.

On a happier note the roses growing in my garden are absolutely flourishing with all the rain we are having so I am taking my cup of tea out into the garden to sit and stare at the decadent colours on display before I start to hose down the germ infested house. And if there is anything I have learnt from this experience it’s to be hard core with the boys washing their hands more than usual because after a google search on Doc MD I find the rotavirus is down to them not washing their hands properly!! Now where are those roses…..