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Mar 25, 2009 05:32 PM

Dining in Tuscany

I will be staying at the Villa Mangiacane this summer. The hotel is approximately 15 minutes outside of Florence in the town San Casciano. Does anyone have any restaurant suggestions in this area? Also, any suggestions on where to eat lunch in Siena if only there for one day?

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  1. I live in Florence now. I've only been to Siena once, and it's beautiful, but I can't really recommend any specific restaurants. However, I can tell you where NOT to eat there-in the Campo, the main Piazza. The food is overpriced and underwhelming. Make sure you wander a ways through the streets and up the hills; the further off the beaten track, the better. This applies to every city, I suppose, but I find it to be especially true in Italy.

    In Florence, I love Acqua al Due-famous for their blueberry glazed or balsamic glazed steaks. Also, there are "salad samplers" and better yet, the pasta sampler, which allows you to try five different types of pasta, which change nightly-hourly, even.

    1. I agree with the other poster that you should try to get away from the Campo. My favorite place in Siena is Osteria Il Tamburino. As you go uphill towards the Duomo - I believe that's via di Citta` - you'll come to a crossroads. From there you will turn right to get to the Cathedral, BUT if you go straight on for about twenty paces you'll come to Il Tamburino on the left. You'll have good, local food at reasonable prices and Paolo and Susanna will make you feel welcome. You may find - horrors - other tourists there, but remember it's Siena!

      2 Replies
      1. re: kenman

        Thank you for these suggestions! Do you have any other recommendations for the San Casciano area? I appreciate the insight!

        1. re: shap1009

          Not far from Villa Mangiacane is La Cantinetta di Rignana (not Rignano which is a totally different place). They have a great restaurant, with outdoor (and indoor) tables. Casual, yet delicious, homemade, authentic.... It is at the end of a long country road, but well worth the bit of a bumpy drive. We always pick up a case of their great wine (from the vineyard down the road from the restaurant). They also have an agritourism, but looks like you're already covered on that front.

      2. It was a few years ago now, but we had a great meal at the Osteria Castelvecchio, on Via di Castelvecchio, not far from il Campo. I've just googled it, and it still gets very good comments on various websites. It is traditional, but serves some more adventurous dishes too. It's popular with local people, is good value and is good for both meat eaters and vegetarians.