*Said slowly with a sultry Italian roll of the ‘r’ and an elongation of the ‘ll’s’.
Were still talking about coffee right? Well, after going to Marcello I am talking about coffee and I am talking about a sigh worthy moment taken out as a nod to the genius behind the pastries and cakes and sandwiches and other assorted deliciousness at Marcello…la Pasticceria.
About a ten minute bus ride from the center of Florence, in the neighborhood of Gavinana-Galluzzo, is a very boring, unsuspecting green sign in front of a café/bar with that reads Marcello…la pasticceria. I’m not going to lie, it doesn’t really look inviting. Just across the street is another café that looks hip and tendy and cool, but we didn’t go into that café, we went into Marcello.
You have to understand, Italy is where I learned to truly appreciate and come to love the cappuccino. It is also where I learned to long for the pastries. With a sister who lives in Florence, when I visit her, a lot of the guess work is taken out of where to go. She gets to share with me her new finds and I get to awash myself in the glow of the decadence it is difficult to come by in the States.
So, upon arrival, I’ll admit Marcello doesn’t look like much. You enter under the large green sign and give a ‘no thank you’ nod to the vendor holding out various sundries, umbrellas, Kleenex, headbands, sunglasses and other such things.
Imagine cases up on cases filled with dreamy Chantilly creamed stuffed pastries, decedent cakes that look too good to eat, tantalizing paninis with thick slices of fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes and wonderful basil.
A helpful young woman in a baker’s outfit, complete with little white hat, stands behind the cases, ready to help, but there is no one that can help with this decision. The impulse is to cry “one of everything!” But first you have to get your eyes to focus properly and stop the drooling that is effecting your speech. At least that was how I felt the first time I came here.
Okay, what makes this place great? Let’s go ahead and give about 5% to the fact that it’s located in Florence, Italy. I’ll admit that is a little bit of it’s charm. But mostly, it’s the pastries. The pastries are amazing. They don’t use whipped cream here, they use Chantilly cream. It is unlike anything I’ve had to date. It’s lighter than whipped cream and somehow sweeter, but not sicken-ly so.
The fruit tarts are a thing of pure artwork, so gorgeous when we bought one I was rather reluctant to cut into it. But the taste of fresh ripe fruit bursting in your mouth with that Chantilly cream and the perfect crust…oh Marcello.
Now, the cappuccinos are not amazing. I hate writing that. They are good, but they aren’t the best I’ve ever had. Their cappuccinos get the job done. They are the supporting actress that allows the pastries to shine through.
Marcello also has something not a lot of café’s and bars have; seating. You can actually stop in and find a table. You can take your time with your coffee and pastry and make a morning of it. That’s another reason why I like the place.
When I am in Florence you can bet your roasted beans that first morning I’m on a bus headed to Marcello’s, excited as Viale Europa curves and I can just make out the green signage. My mouth begins to water because I know what’s coming.