Updates from the tourism world in Italy
What could be better than an enogastronomic tour in Tuscany, a region of irresistible charm, cradle of the Italian language, good food, excellent olive oil and fine wines? The ideal place for a journey over good food, to discover the most hidden villages and savor the most delicious dishes.
The region holds 89 Geographical Indication products, 68 of which are PDO, 21 PGI and 2 STG, a success made possible thanks to the heritage inherited from an ancient local tradition and the constant commitment of companies and institutions to pursue policies linked to quality.
If you combine Tuscany with food, the first thing that comes to mind is the Florentine steak. It is a particularly prized dish, obtained from Chianina breed beef. It is a delicacy that, as the name suggests, is linked to the city of Florence, the starting place to taste it. It is a dish that is still found around Tuscany, in particular between the provinces of Florence and Siena, or in any case in the internal parts of the region. What can not be missed on a food and wine tour of Medicean Tuscany, however, is the sandwich with tripe or “lampredotto” and Lardo di Colonnata PGI. The latter comes from the homonymous village in the province of Carrara, in the Apuan Alps, and is produced from pork lard, which is matured in Carrara marble basins.
From Florence, take the motorway junction towards Siena and enjoy the landscape of Greve and Castellina in Chianti, land of Vernaccia di San Gimignano PDO and Chianti Classico PDO. Here you can savor the famous red wine, appreciated all over the world, to accompany grilled meat and “crostoni” with Finocchiona PGI (salami in which we find wild fennel) and Pecorino Toscano PDO. Siena is not far. This is the city of the Palio and the “contrade” (districts). Stroll through Piazza del Campo and visit the Duomo. The cuisine of this area is rich, starting from appetizers: hot mixed croutons with mushrooms and truffles, cheese and walnuts, livers, pecorino cheese and black olives, soup of bread and beans, pork livers, chickpeas with rosemary and sweet and sour onions. When winter comes, is the ribollita you want to eat: a Tuscan bread soup PDO unsalted and stale, with black cabbage, onions, carrots and beans. Unmissable are the pici all’aglione or wild boar to be accompanied with red wines of the region. Finish with desserts such as Cantucci PGI, Ricciarelli di Siena PGI and Panforte di Siena PGI, to be served with Vin Santo.
From Siena continue towards the Val d’Orcia, to find Montalcino, Montepulciano and Pienza, lands of Brunello PDO and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano PDO. Here it is possible to taste the Cinta Senese PDO, a local pork breed, with its soft and oily fat, as well as the caciotta of Pienza and the excellent soups such as mushrooms and roe deer.
We move towards the sea, in the wild Maremma, the kingdom of grilled meat, of “cooked water” (peasant soup with vegetables and eggs), of tortelli with meat sauce and of wild boar, all to be served with an Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario PDO or a Morellino di Scansano PDO. Finally, reach Orbetello, a small town located in the middle of a particular lagoon, where you can taste an excellent grilled fish prepared by the fishermen of the area. In Livorno and Viareggio, on the other hand, one of the dishes has become a real national heritage: the “caciucco”. It is a mix of non-precious fish, such as cuttlefish and molluscs, cooked together in a pan and then placed on bread flavored with garlic and seasoned with sauce.
You can not finish the enogastronomic itinerary of Tuscany without a tour of the best wines of the area. With 58 wines in denomination (52 PDO and 6 PGI) and a production value of 926 million euros, Tuscany ranks 2nd in 2017 economic impact of Wine products, behind Veneto. Over the last few years, so-called “Wine Roads” have been organized to promote the wine-growing area, enogastronomic routes that offer the tourist 13 official itineraries with different stages between cellars, dairies, farms and craft shops.
Updates from the tourism world in Italy