It is definitely time to write a food related post, in the hope that it may be useful to some of you if ever traveling around Tuscany. Or in other words, this is a hint to you all to go to Tuscany 🙂 From little corner shops selling wonderful local produce, to rustic restaurants, agriturismos and Michelin star restaurants. Totally something there for everyone. And you can even experience all of them within one week if you fancy doing something similar to what we did during the Easter holidays 🙂 So here we go:
We started off in Laterina in the Province of Arezzo, Tuscany. This is a beautiful, tranquil town, surrounded by vine yards, agriturismos and just beautiful rolling Tuscan landscape. If you end up in Laterina, we highly recommend staying at ‘La Finestra Sul Borgo‘. It is a wonderful little B & B, with just two rooms. The B & B is run by a wonderful ‘Italian Mamma’, Anna Maria 🙂 oh my, if you stay there, she will truly pamper you with her wonderful breakfasts on the roof top terrace, wine in her wine cellar and antipasti dinner 🙂 And also, don’t forget to try Anna Maria’s home made Cantucci, a wonderful Italian type of biscuit. Near there you can also go for a dinner at Osteria del Vino, which serves wonderful local food.
The reason we started off in Laterina is that we intended to visit a farm near by. Fattoria la Vialla is a farm producing its own wine, olive oil, cheese, Italian sauces, anti pasti and baked goods. After we stumbled across it online, we ordered some food from them and it was fantastic. You can order individual items or go for one of their food hampers…it is like food heaven!! Visiting the farm was even better than we had imagined. Wonderful smells of Italian sauces and baked goods greeted us upon arrival at Fattoria la Vialla. You can go on a free tour of the farm there, which takes you to the wine cellar, cheese factory, olive oil production facility, bakery and sauce production unit. All fantastic with opportunities to taste little bits and bobs on the way. But the BEST bit is the lunch. If you visit Fattoria la Vialla, do book a lunch (in advance) at the long table outside. For 25 Euros you get fed copious amounts of anti pasti, pasta, meat and coffee and cake. You also get to sample a range of their wines. And then of course you can buy some of their produce directly from the farm, or you can take your own time and order it online. Just perfect for a Tuscan experience 🙂 It is also possible to stay directly at Fattoria La Vialla, but this time we didn’t, since it was fully booked over Easter and this was rather a spontaneous trip.
Next stop, Colle di Val d’Elsa. This is a very interesting town, divided into a lower and a hill top town part. This is definitely a town to explore. So many little corners with interesting things to see. Also enjoy a relaxing breakfast or afternoon coffee and cake at Pasticceria Mario Barone. Colle di Val d’Elsa is also a town with a 2 Michelin Star restaurant, Arnolfo. Definitely worth a visit and a splash out on food. This is definitely in our top restaurants we have visited.
After Colle di Val d’Elsa we decided to leave the hustle and bustle behind (although at Easter time it had already been less busy in the above mentioned places than we had expected) and head into the Apuan Alps for some mountain air and walking….but of course also still food 😉 We stayed in a little mountain village called Pruno. Tranquil, rustic and surrounded by mountains. And we found the perfect place to recommend for people to stay at, a house rented over airbnb. Beautiful large rustic house, in the middle of the forest, surrounded by the Apuan mountains. Beautiful and restful location away from everything. A little bit of an interesting drive to get to the house on a forest track, but well worth it. The owners are really really friendly and helpful and can even take you to the house if your car is not suitable for the track. In this case you can park your car in Pruno itself. From the house you can go on various valley and mountain walks and from Stazzema, a near by town, you can walk up to the impressive hole in the Monte Forato mountain. An easy but rewarding walk in terms of views.
Although the house feels like it is in the middle of nowhere it is only a 10min walk up to the proper village of Pruno and it even has a few restaurants. We went to one of these, Locanda il Poveromo. Again quite a wonderful little find…rustic place serving delicious local food. Really very welcoming owners too. Highly recommended to pop into if you find yourself nearby. Apart from this there are also another few restaurants which we did not manage to go to. Many of the little restaurants have little shops attached, which we managed to get some delicious Italian cheeses and sausage from. The best one we found is part of restaurant ‘Norcineria Barsanti‘. The restaurant was fully booked, but we got some very tasty local cheeses, cured meats and honey from there, to enjoy at the airbnb house.
That was the end of our Tuscany food trip and I think I have included info about all our favourite food places, in case anyone passes near them.