Location, location, NOT

It can be intimidating to defy SIRI and take the “road less traveled,” but the rewards can be huge.
On the way to Lucca from an errand in the Florentine suburb of Scandicci, we chose be different and take the Via Statale/State Route 66 (rather than the Autostrada 11) on the way home. While even my car’s GPS loudly insisted that I’d taken a wrong turn, we dove down a two lane highway between factories of furniture, fabric, and clothing, to discover one of the best authentic meals we’ve had in a very long time.

The Bar Giratempo in Quarrata (a suburb of Pistoia) is tiny, featuring nine tables in a clean modern setting (mostly outside). The fact that one end of the cafe` doubles as a resale shop of old clothes, may dissuade some, but in its quirky honest way Bar Giratempo brings back flavorful memories of the working class osterie that once served artists, bricklayers and other working class customers excellent meals at affordable prices in Firenze, so many years ago.

The kitchen prepared deliciously homemade Spaghetti alla Carbonara (customized, upon request, to a lower fat version with baked ham) and Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Radicchio (photo below). The atmosphere was punctuated by jokes among truckers, and the occasional passing car on the nearby road. But considering we were seated on a terrace just 15 feet from the highway, all was peaceful. In fact we were impressed by the guests’ high expectations for lunch and felt a little slighted that the host hadn’t told us about the homemade tordelli (meat-filled ravioli) and super fresh ricotta that he happily offered to his regular guests… In addition to the great pastas, we had half a liter of house red, water, and a Crostata della Nonna for dessert, all for just 17 euros for two — definitely worth a visit if you are passing by.

Bar Giratempo, via Statale n. 172, Olmi Quarrata (PT) 0583 717369