France & Italy With Trafalgar Tours: Day 5 (Part 1)

December 16, 2011

I could have laid luxuriating in my bed at Villa Il Poggiale all day, however I had an important assignment that I needed to undertake involving me, an Italian, and food.

Trafalgar Tours had arranged another Be My Guest exclusive dining experience, but this time we would be helping to create the food that we would be consuming.  We drove into the center of Florence, where we were joined by renowned Tuscan Chef Libero.

He then broke us up into groups and each group was given a list of ingredients that needed to be found in the fruit and vegetable market of Sant’Ambrogio.  My group was intrusted to locate two special types of tomatoes for the pasta sauce.

I had an unexpected aha! moment during our market adventures.  I have always loved food (I am Italian, how could I not?), however it had never occurred to me how aesthetically beautiful food is.  The vibrant colors and interesting shapes of the produce inspired me.  I could have spent all day in the market photographing everything I encountered, however time was of the essence and I had spotted one of the tomatoes that we needed to purchase.

And just a stall down was the other tomato on our shopping list!

We had finished our task earlier than the other groups, thus I took the extra time to wander around the nearby streets and fantasize about life as a Florentine.

I did not have a map and I had no intended destination, however my intuition told me to turn down a certain street.  Imagine my surprise when I looked up to see that the street and I shared the same name!

I knew that if I could still see the familiar bright emerald green dome atop a church that I was using as a marker, than I had not strayed too far away.  Thanks to the sounds of another church’s bells, I knew it was midday, and that I must find my group once again.


I spotted them and Chef Libero waiting against a spectacular graffiti-filled wall.  As I was taking photos of it, I was told that it used to be a women’s prison.

Once the entire group had reconvened, we set off with our bags of ingredients to Chef Libero’s restaurant tucked away in the Tuscan hills. . .

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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44 thoughts on “France & Italy With Trafalgar Tours: Day 5 (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: France & Italy With Trafalgar Tours: Day 5 (Part 1) | iWannaGo Travel Network

  2. Emily in Chile

    I love markets! The colors and just the whole vibe really do it for me, not to mention of course the yummy food that comes from them. What a fun day, and we haven’t even gotten to the eating part yet.

    1. Andi Perullo Post author

      It was SUCH a fun day! I love markets too, though I haven’t been to enough. In 2012 whenever I travel I will try to visit the local market in each destination.

  3. Elisa

    ah, what a fabulous way to spend a day in Florence – wandering around and then cooking with a chef.. and then eating a delicious meal, I assume 😉

    Also Andi, I have to say, these photos are simply gorgeous!!

  4. Pingback: France & Italy With Trafalgar Tours: Day 5 (Part 2) | My Beautiful Adventures

  5. Andrea

    I agree – food is beautiful! I had so much fun taking pictures of all the colourful food we had in Jordan. Those tomatoes look so fresh I just want to bite right into one!

  6. Ceri

    I think you’re like me and always see the beauty in everything. 🙂 You manage to capture it through your photography wonderfully too. I do hope our paths will cross one day, hun.

    You look gorgeous by the way. … Oooh, btw, did Lucas come with you on this trip or did he have to stay behind and work?

    1. Andi Perullo Post author

      I’m absolutely like you, I definitely see the beauty in EVERYTHING! Thank you so much for your kind words and I too hope hope hope that our paths cross one day soon. And thank you so much for saying I looked gorgeous!!! You’re too kind. No, sadly Lucas didn’t come. It was just a work trip.


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