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Greve in Chianti and the five things to visit

13 Dec

The five place to visit during a stay in Greve in Chianti.

The Matteotti square in Greve in Chianti

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The square is the hearth of the village of Greve in Chianti. The main feature of square are the colonnades that enclose it. Under the colonnades there are restaurants, artisans shops, winery and the famous butcher shop of Falorni. The square hosts: the statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano, a famous Italian explorer, who was the first European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America, born in Greve in Chianti, and a beautiful work of Igor Mitoraj, just of the town hall. On Saturday morning, the square hosts the large coloured market, it’s a pleasant popular chaotic happening.

The Montefioralle Castle is 2 km far from the square of Greve in Chianti (20 minutes walking), on the road to Panzano.It is one of the oldest fortified castle in Chianti, built around the 930 a.c. During the Middle-Ages was one of the largest military hamlet of the area. It belonged to some of the most important Tuscan families such as Ricasoli, Benci, Gherardini and Vespucci. Now it is a car-free location where to walk together with your children, where discovering from the ancient passageways great views of the surroundings Vineyards. It is also a good starting point for bikers and hikers to move through the strade bianche di Toscana.

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The Falorni butcher shop is much more than a place where to buy high quality meat product. It is a charming location where to experience lively the long tradition of the Tuscan food and lifestyle. Here it is possible to buy every kind of pork and wild pork salami and ham, great Fiorentina’s steaks, but also pecorino cheese and to make wine tastings both with the best Tuscan wines, including the best Super-Tuscans’. Easy to find, as it is located just under the colonnades of the Greve square.
The Pieve di San Leolino in Panzano in Chianti

The Pieve is a very charming, secluded place, full of works of art. Pieve was built in the twelfth century, has front porch of the sixteenth century. The interior has three naves with quadrangular pillars, adorned with numerous paintings by Tuscan school painters. It is located in a very beautiful location with an amazing view on the Chianti Vineyards.

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The Pieve di San Cresci in Montefioralle

It is one of the oldest church of the Chianti area. The first document talking about the Pieve di San Cresci is dated 963. The original building had been modified many times during the centuries. Inside of the Church there is a paintings by Francesco Boldrini, of the Vergine del Rosario, dated 1715, and a holy Cross dated eighteenth century.

Greve in Chianti is of course much more than these 5 attractions. Greve is the capital of the Florence’s Chianti area, and the main beauty is done by the surroundings countryside. The hills of olives and Vineyards, stone-farmhouses and Villas.

It is not by chance, if Greve in Chianti is one of the main Italian countryside destination, where tourists likes to rent villas and stone-farmhouses and apartments all over the countryside.

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Book Fiorello contry house with pool in Montefioralle

Vacavilla, villa rentals.

 

 

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Pastry-shop Francesco Cecchi, Cinquale: amazing pastries & cakes in Versilia

1 Oct

This is a real gem. It is not a secret to reveal, but for sure a very special address where to taste excellent cakes and pastries, typical of the traditional italian haute patisserie.

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The Pasticceria Francesco Cecchi is almost hidden  between the streets of the little seaside resort of Cinquale, adjecent to the celebrated Forte dei Marmi, the capital of the Versilia riviera.

The café is very small. There few tables at the exterior, where it is possible to taste the fast-italian breakfast, made of amazing breakfast pastries (the best rice pudding in Tuscany), and also a very good coffee or cappuccino.

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After the breakfast test, you will not be able to live without buying some of their excellent cakes (don’t’ miss the chocolate and pear pie).

If you love cakes & pastries, you will simply fall in love with this Pasticceria of Francesco Cecchi.

The address:

Via Cateratte, 130 – 54030Cinquale – Montignoso (Ms)

Tel 388-4626060 / 349-2325921

If instead you wish to rent a villa or an apartment for your stay in Versilia, in the land of Forte dei Marmi and Pietrasanta this is the address for you:

Vacavilla

Via Fratelli Bandiera, 67, 53034 Colle di Val d’Elsa SI
Tel: 0039 0577 165 6690

Osteria Brucia Tegami, Bagno a Ripoli, Florence in Tuscany

4 Nov

Just 20 minutes far from Florence, in the little town of Bagno a Ripoli, at the 39th of Roma street, the thoughtful and lively Fiamma welcome her guests in the cozy space of the Osteria Brucia Tegami.

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Light green and yellow are the relaxing colours dominating walls and furnitures of this nice osteria. A selected menu of traditional dishes, prepared with high quality, genuine products. Nice presentations and generous portions, in a young and familiar hospitality style. Selections of great pecorino’s cheeses and salami of Cinta senese, potatoes tortelli, spicy pici, excellent beef tenderloin, fiorentina steaks and tagliate, but also baccalà (salted codfish) and cacciucco soup (on request).

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The dessert menu offers, a very good apple pie and an excellent tiramisu. The wine menu is not large, but very well built and realized. It is organized in geographical areas and in each of them some good there few selected wines, at reasonable prices.

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There you can find gluten-free pasta, and some gluten free dishes will let also the celiacs enjoy a tasting experience.

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Osteria Brucia Tegami is a recommended address for the Vacavilla‘s guests, staying in Florence or in the surroundings of the most beautiful city of the world.

To book, call 0039 055 682 1276

Il Cucchiaio della Nonna, restaurant and pizzeria, offers excellent gluten-free food in Forte dei Marmi

4 Aug

Il Cucchiaio della nonna is a restaurant and pizzeria offering pizzas and flatbreads cooked in wood, local and fish food, but also a take away service, for the beach lovers. The restaurant is located at the end of Forte dei Marmi, in the department of Vittoria Apuana, in the parallel of the seafront street, 50 meters far from Versilia’s largest free beach .

The food is good, prepared with genuine ingredients (it seems it is prepared by Mrs Paola, the grandmother), and despite the service is not ever very quick, the staff is pleasant and courteous. As soon as you arrive at the table, they are quick to serve you an appetizer, usually a variety of pizzas’ stripes. The opening of Il Cucchiaio della Nonna is a good news also for the celiacs. The restaurant indeed offers a very large gluten-free menu, and serves very good pizzas for celiacs. For reservation Tel 0039 0584 752340 info@ilcucchiaiodellanonna.it

Venice is always an amazing surprise

17 Nov

 

Venice is always a surprising city. Ponte di Rialto, Canal Grande, San Marco, are for sure worldwide known, but at the same time, they are normally besieged by multitudes of tourists.

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Walking far from these very famous attractions, is what I normally do, during the periodical visit of the Vacavilla’s Venice apartments. This is the reason why of this article, as I normally write about about my beloved Tuscany.

This time I decided to come back to the Sestiere of Cannaregio and Dorsodure, visiting also the Ghetto,  Campo San Polo and le Zattere, facing of the Giudecca channel.

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During the weekend, I had great food experiences, starting from the Osteria Bancogiro, having a lunch outside on the more than beautiful, let’s say: unique outside, just over the Canal Grande, few meters far from the Rialto bridge, but at the same time in a quite place. Great dishes are the six cicchetti veneziani (nice to see, and excellent to eat), such as the green hollow spaghetti with calamari and chanterelles (mushrooms), the breaded chicken with wild herbs and sweet & sour tomatoes sauce or the tuna steak with pistachios, pinenuts and orange sauce. Address: Campo San Giacometto, 122, tel 041 523 2061 

As usual, I decide to dine by the Vecia Cavana restaurant. It is located in the Sestiere of Cannaregio and it is a very classic restaurant with a wide choice of Venetian dishes. Excellent products, and very tasty dishes. I love their  baccalà mantecato with a tender commeal mush, but the best dish is fried moeche (tipical lagoon crab, fried entire nude of its shell), also the cakes trail is great. There is a nice atmosphere, and what I like more is that, the Vecia Cavana is an authentic place, mainly attended by Venetians’ people, instead of the only tourists. In addition to that, the restaurant also offers a wide gluten-free menu. For sure one of the best, and with a larger gluten-free offer I have ever found.

Address Rio Terà SS. Apostoli, 4624. Tel ‎041 528 7106 

I wish also to suggest other addresses:

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Gelateria Nico, in Dorsoduro, at Le Zattere. Don’t live Venice, without having tasted their gianduiotto ice-cream.

It is a bar of gianduiotto ice-cream, fully immersed into a glass of fresh cream. Unbelievable!!!!

Gianduiotto is also a gluten-free ice-cream.

Address Fondamenta Zattere al Ponte Longo, 922 tel 041 522 5293

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Always in Dorsoduro, OKE restaurant and pizzeria is a good address, with a very pleasant outside, just facing the Giudecca channel. The food is good, also the pizza’s. OKE offers also a large choice of gluten-free pizzas of good quality.

Address Calle Frati Dorsoduro, 1414, Tel 041 520 6601

For your stays in Venice, contact Vacavilla at info@vacavilla.com or at +39 0577 165 6690

Osteria La Tecchia, in Pietrasanta, the cultural capital of Versilia in Tuscany

5 Oct

Osteria La Tecchia is a very good address where to taste the real Tuscany food.

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The menu offers both fish and meat, with some of the Tuscany most traditional hits, like a superb spaghetti with arselle, fish fry, rosticciana (in english spare ribs), also a very great dish.
The portion are generous and the quality of the food is very very high. Also the catalana is an excellent choice. The creme caramel is genuine and despite they serve big portion, it will never be enough. the last time we went there, the chef offered some appetizing fry bread with anchovies.
The prices are correct, and they offers also a menu at 25€. Very Very good. We suggest it.

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The Osteria offers the possibility to enjoy your dinner outside. The setting is nice, as the Osteria la Tecchia is situated in the old town of Pietrasanta, few meters from the famous Enoteca Marcucci,usually attended by the jet set. The beautiful cathedral square is just 5 minutes walking.

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The restaurant is also organized to offer gluten-free bread and also some gluten-free dishes.

It is without any doubt one of the best addresses in Pietrasanta.

Osteria La Tecchia is located in Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 83, 55045 Pietrasanta Lucca
For information and reservation you can call 0039 0584 791211

http://www.vacavilla.com, if you need to reserve a villa or an apartment in the area of Versilia, write to info@vacavilla.com or call 0039 0577 165 6690.

Il Trillo restaurant with an amazing open terrace

15 Jul

Il Trillo is a very special place, just few curves above the city of Massa, few kilometres north of Forte de Marmi, in Versilia.

The restaurant offers real genuine food, prepared and presented in a contemporary way. Fresh ingredients and accurate preparation served in one of the more beautiful terrace of the Versilia and Apuan Riviera.

Under lemon trees, surrounded by flowers and plants, a young and friendly staff is happy to serve a delightful candlelight dinner.

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Some suggestions: between the starters:

White onions stuffed with beef, mortadella & herbs cooked in Vermentino wine, or  yellowfin line caught tuna tartare with Trevisan radicchio and peas coulisse;

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and the hand made pasta dishes:

Traditional thin green squared pasta, served with a rich beef tomato ragù sauce and parmesan cheese, or Paccheri pasta filled with buffalo mozzarella & aubergine, in a guinea fowl ragù;

the main courses
Organic Shorthorn fillet of beef with foie-gras and Cognac served with baby red chard, or a delicious slow cooked rabbit leg stuffed with cabbage, accompanied by sweet and sour shallots, or King prawns & “Tropea” onions flambée with Laphroig whisky;Side dishesDesserts & Puddings;

and to finish, as dessert:

Coffe and Chocolate mousse with amaretto biscuits crumble (great), or a tasty  caramelised apple and pear cake with fiordilatte icecream on custard, a light alternative is the  Sorbet trio Mango, Blueberries, Blueberries, but my favourite one is the lemon tiramisù.

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Friandises and a lemon cream (made by the lemons gathered on the terrace) complete the very accurate service.

The food is good, the location is amazing …. and the price? The price are reasonable: two courses, plus a dessert, water, wine (not an expensive one), and coffee is less the 100 Euro for two persons.

Highly recommended also for Vegan and Celiac, as they serve vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.

il trillo ristorante – la Limonaia
via Bergiola Vecchia, 30 loc. Castagnetola
54100 Massa (MS)
+39 0585 46755

http:www.vacavilla.com