Tuscany

Nothing’s Ever Easy in Tuscany

A Typical Atypical Morning for the Foodie in Tuscany Living in rural Tuscany, one quickly learns that everything is more complicated than it seems. Always. On the plus side, life here is infinitely more adventurous, and no matter what the circumstance may be, food is usually involved. As I found out today, even the simplest of tasks (groceries, mail) can take …

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Lunch with Farmers in Tuscany (Video)

I spend several months each year in Italy – in the middle of nowhere, Tuscany. My next door neighbors are olive farmers, and in the past eight years that I’ve lived here, we’ve become pretty close. Every day the farmer and his family sit down together for a traditional Tuscan country lunch. Over the years (of inviting myself over with …

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Photos: Making Backyard Grappa in Tuscany

The farmer and I walk down the dirt path in silence. The unseasonably warm October sun heats my shoulders and I can hear my sandals crunching against the gravel. Before we reach the shed he stops and turns to me. “You know, this is illegal.” I did, in fact know it was illegal. My latest Facebook status update reads, “I’m …

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Sunday Lunch at a Farm in Tuscany

There’s something about a toasted slice of Tuscan bread and a single raw garlic clove that makes my heart beat a little faster. Farm-style bruschetta is one of my favorite foods, especially in autumn, when the olive oil is hours-old and bread is toasted over a roaring hearth. But this is July, and one of the hottest I can remember …

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How to Watch Football Like an Italian

Last night I watched the semi-final match of Euro 2012 from a square in Montisi, a tiny medieval hill town in southern Tuscany. The teams: Italy vs. Germany. With more than 200 locals and visitors crowding the piazza and cheering on the Italian team, Montisi served up an unforgettable home-cooked feast flanked by big screen TVs. Food and football go …

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Harvesting Olives in Tuscany, A Local Experience

Autumn in Tuscany  This is the time of year when the scorching summer heat fades to warm; when school is back in session and tourists head home. Grapes are plucked from their vines and transformed into glass jugs of young, fizzy vino nuovo. This is the time for black truffles, white truffles, and porcini mushrooms. This is the season for …

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Southern Tuscany’s Soul Food at Latte di Luna

A Small Restaurant in Pienza Makes Suckling Pig a Religious Experience   Located in the stunning hills of Val d’Orcia, between Montepulciano and Montalcino, Pienza is a charming Renaissance village that produces some of the best pecorino cheese in the country. Pienza also serves up Southern Tuscany’s best crispy-skinned suckling pig at family-run trattoria, Latte di Luna. The restaurant specializes …

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What to See and Eat in Florence, Italy

Florence has become a city close to my heart (and stomach) after spending a year abroad there in the mid-90s. It’s one of world’s magical cities, brimming with Renaissance masterpieces and stunning architecture. This is a place where old and new come together, charm meets style, and nothing on earth can compare to a view of the Ponte Vecchio at …

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The Wildest Hill Town Festival in Tuscany

This is not a scene from “Animal House.” It’s supper time in Montisi, a tiny, walled hill town on the outskirts of Siena. Each year, the town’s four contrade, or neighborhoods compete in a medieval-style joust on the Sunday closest to the 5th of August (the Feast of Madonna della Neve, Montisi’s patron saint). What you see here are revelers at …

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