We booked our agriturismo through airbnb (this one) and we found the best priced flights were to Pisa so we hired a car and set the navigation to take us the scenic route. Our first stop was Cecina on the coast for a dip in the sea and although the coastline wasn't the prettiest, it was a much needed stop to cool off and prepare ourselves for the cross country drive.
Our route took us through the rolling hills passing Volterra & Sienna, every turn being a breathtaking view filled with fields of sunflowers, olive groves & vineyards. When we eventually arrived at Citta Della Pieve our hosts Francesco & Luisa welcomed us with opened arms and showed us to our apartment. After a quick unpack we headed to a tratoria 'Serenella' on our hosts recommendation . This place felt like a real locals place and we got stared down when we entered. After nervously asking for a table for 2 we were seated and asked Trattoria or Pizza. We went for trattoria before being told 5 menu options. We went for pici con ragu & lasagna bianco. I think that ragu was one of the best I've ever eaten not overly meaty but the sauce was just incredible. I could have eaten 4 more bowls of it. The lasagna bianco was a mixture of 4 cheeses, incredibly indulgent and the cause of my cheese dreams that night. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of this place as I just wanted to enjoy the moment and I didn't think the old lady serving us would understand. We finished the meal off with gelato at a local gelateria (photo above)
After our meal we headed to the local supermarket & went to town at the deli counter. I love how you don't even have to ask for samples, they are just constantly being offered over to you. After sampling a variety of different aged pecorinos we went home with a bag of spek, pecorino, gorgonzola, tomatoes & the sweetest peaches I've ever eaten.
On my return we set about making breakfast using eggs from the farm. Crumbling pecorino into a quick omelette & serving with a nice strong espresso & speck. Over breakfast we planned out our day and decided to head to Montepulciano. Being one of my favourite grapes I was eager to get wine tasting.
En route home we decided to pop into Citta Della Pieve to pick up a couple of essentials (read food) and were thrilled to discover a market in full swing. Although the majority of it was pretty disappointing we stumbled by an old chap selling truffles. Jo dug her fingers into my arm so hard that I'm pretty sure I still have indents a week later. We quickly did the deal securing 2 truffles €20 before rushing home to store our wares.
Emiko Davies. She has lots of great reads on food in Tuscany and especially Florence and I was thrilled to discover her foodie picnic tour of Florence on Every Trail. We used it as a rough guide as we knew we couldn't fit all of Florence into 1 trip. We started off at the Sant'Ambrogio Market where we parked. Taking in the sights & smells of the delicious fruit, vegetables, fish & meat on offer before stopping off for a quick espresso at a stand up coffee bar.
We spent the next few hours taking in the sights that Florence had to offer but the huge mass of tourists scared us off a little so we ran for shelter in a gelateria no less. Caramelised fig & marscapone and a Aztec chocolate gelato was the perfect saviour and energy boost to help us battle through the crowds yet again. This stop wasn't on Emiko's list but the gelato was just too good to pass up.
Our last stop that day was to.. you've guess it, another public swimming pool. The perfect way to cool off and relax before our drive home and to a simple home cooked dinner of Pici & a quick gorgonzola sauce.
To be continued....