Tuscany, Italy

"The Tuscans have the faculty of making much of common things and converting small occasions into great pleasures." - Henry James

People often ask me, “where should I eat in Tuscany?” and I don’t have an answer. Tuscany is bigger and encompasses more than most travelers can imagine. The region spreads nearly 9000 miles across diverse terrain, from cyprus-dotted rolling hills to sandy beaches, through miles of earthy vineyards, volcanic mountaintops and olive groves, to a number of costal islands sprinkled in the Mediterranean Sea.

Beyond the incredible landscape, you have elements of history and culture equally as diverse: Tuscany is the center of the mysterious Etruscan empire, the cradle of the Renaissance and home to iconic cities like Florence, Pisa and Siena. And then, there are the cowboys. Yes, cowboys.

Because Italy wasn’t even a unified country until 1861, each city and village has its own culinary history. From one hill town to the next, you might find an entirely different cuisine. This, and the fertile earth, plentiful wild game and fruitful vines, makes Tuscany’s food like none other.

I’ve spent much of the past 19 years of my life in Tuscany. First as a college student, and in the last decade, as a homeowner and olive harvester. I have favorite day trips, dining destinations and cultural events that I return to year after year. I’m so happy to share my favorite parts of Tuscany with you.

La Calcinaia, Tuscany

Articles

Find More  

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 …

Continue reading  

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 …

Continue reading  

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 …

Continue reading  

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 …

Continue reading