Monday, September 10, 2012

Ricatoni's and a Stroll Around Florence

Hello again!

I have not been able to post the past few days. As the saying goes, life happens and things get out of hand. I was very busy trying to get my items boxed and ready for the flea market yesterday, but on Saturday I had a very bad allergic reaction to I know not what: insect bite, food or something else. Swelling and a rash put me to bed for 24 hours so instead of making it to the flea market yesterday, I went today. A big mistake; Mondays are not the day people visit. But I had already loaded my boxes into my vehicle so I decided to make the trip, and if nothing else, get an idea of the layout of the place.  More about that in tomorrow's post.

Tonight, we drove into Florence, as Claus was in the mood for a meal at our favorite little restaurant, Ricatoni's Italian Grill. It's about as authentic Italian as you're going to find in north Alabama, and it's a favorite spot for both locals and visitors.

The meal begins with homemade baguettes and olive oil poured over fresh herbs. I could eat this and be done!

I always order the same thing: Cheese stuffed ravioli with tomato cream sauce seasoned with herbs. It is out of this world good!

He had pizza, cooked in a wood-fire oven. Delicious! Thin and crispy crust.

Well, someone named Elvis ate there I'm sure, but not the King, as the restaurant only opened in 1996.

Afterwards, since it was such gorgeous weather, we took a walk through town to admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings. I grew up seeing these, and took them for granted. But now I appreciate them so much. They don't build buildings like this any more!

Music affictionados will recognize the Fame Recording Studio name, home of the "Muscle Shoals Sound." 

The Shoals Theater, the only inside movie theater in town back then. Date night meant going for a movie at the Shoals. Now they have special live events here. I was always fascinated by the lighted sign when I was a child.

Ann's Hat Shop was in the small building in the background, where I accompanied mother to select  her hats.

Former home of Best Jewelers, where all brides-to-be selected her china, silver and crystal patterns. Also where parents bought their child's first watch, birthstone ring, charms for bracelets and gifts for special occasions. 

A view of the old Roger's store, which I posted about last week. The brick building in the background is the old Walgreen's Drug Store, where we used to get the Friday special: a banana split for 19 cents. It's now been turned into a very upscale and pricey condo.


  1. I love the architecture of those old buildings; as you say, they don't make them anymore. Many country towns in Australia have similar facades, and they look great if well maintained. Yay for delicious Italian food!!

  2. I see the de-cluttering has started,Mettie will be giving you a 'gold'star'(laughing).

    I have learnt more about the countryside of the USA since you started to blog,I really enjoy seeing these towns/history through your eyes.the buildings have a touch of the art deco.

    I agree about how we tend never to notice our own local buildings.Still we are reaching the stage where we can stand & stare!! Ida

  3. Florence looks like a very charming town. I am just having a difficulty of the name, because of the Florence/ Italy ; )..

    Definitely a BIG gold star for you going to the flea market! I too wished to go to Vermo on Sunday ( not absolutely sure if it is open though ), so I´ll try to make a new entree this week ( if it´s open ).
    Gotta get rid of everything not used ; ).

    Agreeing with Ida, I am always amazed to hear that Helsinki is a beautiful city. For me, it is just Helsinki.

  4. Enjoyed this very much - felt like I was there because it is all so familiar! Like you, we just didn't appreciate these old buildings when we were younger - we were only interested in the merchandise inside the buildings!
    The food looks great - makes me hungry.

  5. so sorry to read about your allergic reaction, I hope all is all righ now. The pizza looks yummy! Well, everything looks yummy, like proper Italian tratoria style food.

  6. Patricia, let's hope some modern-day planners don't ever decide these old buildings should go and be replaced by glass and steel structures.

    Ida, I must admit that Mette has inspired me along my decluttering journey. I am glad the information I have shared has been educational to others. I love any story that has a bit of history attached to it. Hooray got being older and having the time to stand and stare more!

    Mette, I'll share this bit of information: Florence, Ala., was named by Italian surveyor Ferdinand Sannoner, who surveyed it in 1818 and gave it the name of Florence, capital of Tuscany in his native land. Thanks for the gold star. :))

    Sissy, but we do grow up and no longer care so much for that "merchandise" and begin looking for ways to dispose some of it.

    Anna, taking Benadryl took care of the reaction but the stuff made me crazy for 24 hours. Strong stuff! The food at that restaurant is very good; love Italian!

  7. I am always happy to see towns that have saved their "old downtown" look. The story of the jewelry store make me smile. When I was growing up our town's had one like that where everyone HAD to go for jewelry that marked special events. Believe it or not I still have jewelry in fancy boxes with the store's name on in gold script.



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