Here's a list of other related guides that you may wish to discover.Tuscany
Mercatino Etrusco, Chiusi. The Mercatino Etrusco or 'Etruscan Market' in Chiusi is a family oriented day that takes place on the last Sunday of each month. This special market is aimed towards children and showcases the artisans of the area by providing a platform for them to exhibit and sell their goods. If you have little ones with you, this is the perfect day to get them out on the town and immerse them in some of Siena's culture. With activities like face-painting, juggling and storytelling available, they will be occupied from the moment you arrive and be begging you to stay longer so they can hear the end of the story. And even if you don't have children, there is plenty to be seen and sampled. With all sorts of jewellry and ceramics being sold, you can browse through the stalls and buy unique pieces for yourself, or pick up presents for your friends and family back home. And if lavish decorations aren't your thing just sample all the exquisite breads, wines and delicacies that are on offer!
What to eat in Tuscany. Italians live to eat whilst the rest of the world eats to live. It is very much ‘La Dolce Vita’. Many say that Tuscan cuisine is the very best there is, a true Mediterranean experience. So what is it that makes Tuscan cuisine so special? The Olive Oil, the pasta, the fish and the truffles? Yes, of course. But it goes beyond that. Centuries of poverty in this region has been responsible for generations of imaginative locals making the best they can with the most simple of ingredients. For many, there is a stereotype of expensive food and immaculate etiquette. Not true. Tuscan cuisine is very simple, and that is what is so great about it.
Suggestions of what to eat in Tuscany: - Pistoia: Giblets soup, known as ‘the prisoner soup’, as it was given to people in jail. It really is very tasty despite its name! Eat with necci chestnut bread.
Cacciucco alla Livornese; Stewed Fish. combining all sorts of fresh seafood treats such as sole, mullet, catfish, dogfish, goby, squid, octopus and shellfish, to create a delicious and healthy dish. Tuscan bean soup
Cecina is a bread made from chickpea flour. The great thing about this recipe is that it is rumored to be have been first made by accident. A ship carrying chickpea flour was caught in a storm. The flour was wet, yet in the Tuscan tradition throwing it away was simply not an option. A little olive oil was added and it was cooked like bread . Whether this story is true or not, it certainly reflects the true spirit of food in this region, for there is always a story to tell about each dish over the table.
Acquacotta, cooked water. A dish that really did come from nothing, and gradually advanced over time before developing into a tasty soup which included water, salt, bread, oil, eggs and sheep’s cheese.Throughout the Tuscan Maremma you’ll find many varieties of the dish, for example an alternative that features wild boar seasoned with red wine. Different families have different recipes for the same dish, and different cooking styles and traditions that have been passed down generations.
La Bistecca alla Fiorentina- huge T-bone beef steak. Scottiglia is a mouth-watering soup of beef, pork, chicken, duck and pigeon
Birilli is a small cake with honey, Zuccata is a popular local jam.
Finocchiona, a pork sausage flavoured with fennel Panzanella salad which includes tomatoes, basil, cucumber, onion and fresh bread. Aristo alla Fiorentina a roast pork loin with garlic and rosemary Necci: chestnut flour crepes are a prime example of a Tuscan take on classic French cuisine. ‘Salame Toscano’ (classic salami) Schicciata con l’uva’ which is a special orange flavoured cake, also well known in the region!
Wine in Tuscany: Wine is also a huge part of life in Tuscany and one is spoilt for choice. Tuscany is a region synonymous with good vintages. The most renowned are Chianti, Morellino di Scansano, Brunello and Montepulciano. It is quite usual to see restaurants stocked with some excellent vintages, or to have the possibility to arrange a tasting at a cellar. House wines are usually from the local grape so it’s a pleasure to taste ones way around the region! On the Pisa hills there is a great wine tradition, dating back centuries when its expansion to other parts of Tuscany was encouraged by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. This is understandable for the Pisa hills reach 200 metres above sea level, ideal for wine growing. The sheer quantity of vineyards on the hills of Lucca is astonishing, and the quality matches it with Colline Luchessi and Montecano wines being popular produce from the area.
Where and what to eat in towns: Volterra: For the best possible Italian food, La Vecchia Lira is possibly the place to go. Pici al Ragù di chianina speciali is a delicious whilst Gnocchi Gamberi, ‘Gnocchi Prawns’, is an equally mouth-watering treat. More classic dishes such as La Bistecca Fiorentina, ‘Florence Steak’, or Cinghiale, ‘Wild Boar’, sit proudly in a menu filled with daily specials and delicious wines.
Sienna: La Pizzeria de Nonno Mede, a restaurant with a beautiful view of San Domenico, serves Pici all’Anatra (Pici with duck).
At Boccon del Prete, there is a relaxed atmosphere and a Ravioli in a broccoli sauce to die for. The Pizza’s aren’t bad either.
Panforte cake.There are numerous variations of this almond, dried fruit and spice dessert throughout the country, however Siena is where it is done best. You may find it with 17 different ingredients, to symbolize the 17 different Contrade of Siena.
Copate is a crunchy nougat, also mainly featuring almonds, which can be found impeccably decorated in ribbon boxes along the streets of Siena.
Fonte Giusta is an excellent restaurant. Located near Porta Camollia, it has a very relaxed atmosphere, and boasts excellent food and wine. The Pici al Ragù is particularly impressive. It has fantastic flavours and texture, and the Ragù sauce really is something to savour. Other top dishes include Gnocchi with mushrooms, Chicken with Pecorino cheese and a huge range of pizzas. There are many wonderful restaurants throughout Siena; you really will be spoilt for choice!
Florence: The sheer quantity of Gelateria’s indicates what an important part it is of local cuisine. Yet one in particular, Gelateria Santa Trinita, has been widely praised for providing excellent quality at reasonable prices. With 38 different flavours, including exciting variations of traditional tastes such as peanuts and chocolate or dark chocolate sesame, as well as a range of cakes on offer, all made with the finest ingredients, this is a paradise for someone with a sweet tooth.
Piazza della Signoria: Always a place for a coffee and to watch the world go by Visitors of a more savoury persuasion are also in luck, for the Florentine’s do meat as good as anyone. La Bistecca alla Fiorentina, for example, was another favourite of English aristocrats visiting the city. One of the best steakhouses is surely Antica Trattoria da Tito, where there is a delicious range of Florentine steaks, veal chops and beef stews cooked in red wine, as well as other classic Tuscan dishes.