Welcome to the second stop in our series of offbeat places to visit in Tuscany!
Leonardo da Vinci is one of Italy's most renown and Renaissance figures but people often aren't aware that his name comes from his place of birth, Vinci, a small town in Tuscany. Thus his name is Leonardo OF Vinci where he was born in 1452. Leonardo's work includes paintings, frescoes, drawings, blueprints, machines, and early technological inventions. There are several places in Italy where visitors can admire works by this great man, and an ideal place to start might be with a visit to Vinci his hometown. >>
Welcome to our new series ITALY EXPAT EXPERTS! Meet expats from around the world who all have one thing in common: they have chosen to make Italy their home. What is it about this country that attracts so many foreigners? Our EXPAT EXPERTS share quick blurbs with us on their impressions, their loves and their favorites about this country.
Our first feature is Eliza from Canada who now lives in San Miniato, Tuscany, a small town famous for its annual White Truffle Festival. Mother of young triplet boys and passionate rower, Eliza has been living near the Florence area for almost 20 years... >>
15 things to remember when dining in Tuscany, especially if you are dining with Tuscans, a finicky group who demands the highest of standards and who likes their food cooked and served in a certain way with no questions asked! >>
Perhaps the best-known Carnival treats in Italy are "cenci", delicious thin rectangles of fried dough dusted in powdered sugar. In the Tuscan dialect, "cenci" means means "rags" because that's exactly what these haphazard rectangles look like! They're golden, crispy, light and easy to prepare. But Italy is divided into 20 different regions which each has its own past and identity so what is known as cenci in Tuscany has many aliases in other parts of Italy such as crostoli, chiacchiere, frappe, sfrappole, galani, grostoli and bugie.... >>
One time of year that really showcases Italian sweets is Carnival season, the last party time before Lent. These delicious "frittelle di riso" or plump little rice fritters start appearing in Italian bakeries and food vans parked at fairs around carnival time in February, but are perhaps even more commonly associated with la Festa del Papā on March 19: Italian Father's Day. Like anything deep fried, these are best eaten while still hot and crisp, so cook these when you have people around to share them with! >>
It's Carnival time again and at this time of the year, there's no avoiding it -- you can't go past a pastry shop in Florence without noticing windows piled high with those delicious Carnival treats: frittelle di riso (rice fritters), cenci (fried dough), and the schiacciata alla fiorentina - a lovely orange scented flat cake that is a Carnival tradition of the city of Florence. >>
This is the first stop in our new series of offbeat places to visit in Tuscany! Montelupo Fiorentino is a quick 30min train ride from Florence, or 20min by car, and is right off the highway that connects Florence with Pisa (and thus the seaside). Because of its vicinity to Florence, in recent years Montelupo has experienced a housing boom as more and more young Florentines have been moving into this area. Today the town is a thriving and lively center proud of its past as a major center of ceramic production for the ancient Florentine Republic yet with an eye towards the future and a great sense of innovative urban development. >>
Here is the certified version of the Tuscan Ribollita DOC recipe! This very simple Tuscan peasant soup is commonly called ribollita because it is served the day after its preparation when it is warmed up in a pot with extra-virgin olive oil and reboiled, or "ri-bollito". Ribollita is simple, inexpensive and its base is made with the typically stale unsalted Tuscan bread and a variety of winter vegetables including the popular Tuscan kale. This is a typically winter dish because its the main ingredient - kale - is a vegetable that can be found exclusively in winter. >>