Just how magical and serendipitous this city can be was revealed to me one day shortly before lunchtime, when I returned to Casa del Vino in search of sandwiches. At that early hour, only one other patron was present. Of all the humans on this planet, that other person turned out to be my younger brother Michael, who was coincidentally passing through on his way back home from India, where he'd been researching his Ph.D. Neither of us knew the other would be in Florence. The occasion called for a celebratory glass of Bartolo Mascarello's freisa (a spritzy, leggermente frizzante monument to the traditional Piedmontese viticulture barely available in North America; Casa del Vino offers it for 13 euros a bottle). This in turn led to food, which then led to more wine, which of course led to more food, as usually happens here, even at noon.