3 days in Radda Chianti? What to do? Where to eat?
I'll be in Radda (Palazzo San Niccolo) for 3 days arriving on a Sunday with hopes for the Solociccia lunch that day. We plan to spend one day in Siena and also would like to visit surrounding areas, like San Gimignano, Pisa, Lucca, etc... Any advice on itinerary and places/restaurants not to miss?
Would like to throw in a half day cooking class as well. We'll be on a motorcycle so we can be pretty flexible. Also, any recommendations for a place to stay?
Help!! Thanks in advance..
I was in Radda the 1st of March. There wasn’t much open, but we stopped for a late lunch at a little pizza place on the main road. There were several well dressed businessmen in there just finishing their meals while talking on cell phones. We ordered a pizza and a salad. The owner/server returned to ask if we liked tonno; getting an affirmative, it appeared in our salad. The pizza was excellent. The point I’m making is that Italians are serious about their food and want you to enjoy your meal. Even the little places can be special, so one doesn’t have to worry about finding good food. What we did in Radda was drive the little, narrow, back roads to find wineries open for tasting.
On my wife’s first trip to Italy 11 years ago, she and her friends stayed at “Mama” Miranda’s. When they arrived the maid started yelling “Mama, Mama, wake up!” Mama, an older lady, was asleep standing up over the hotel register. Her kitchen was state of the art with a big wood oven. The food was memorable and the rooms were in ancient buildings out in the vineyards.
Reading BN1's post about Villa Miranda brought back bad memories from the year 2000. Please dont tell me Mama is still alive. We had gone there based on recommendations in various books. My memories of the place - meal was insanely expensive, the entire restaurant was quiet as Mama made her presence known and it was like people were scared to talk for fear of being reprimanded (haha).
We ordered wine, she chose another one for us. She wanted to know what we wanted to eat without showing us a menu (until asked) and then at the end of a really weird evening, she then tells us that her credit card machine was broken and we needed to pay in cash! Well we literally had to look for coins that had fallen in the car to scrape up enough for the full amount. For us it was memorable, a bad one. Haha. We leave in a week, not a place we will be returning.
We just returned from three nights in Radda. The best place we ate (and one of the better places we ate on a trip that included 4 nights each in Rome and Florence) was a place called Chiasso dei Portici. Reasonably upscale in a casual sort of way, with very well made pastas and cinghale stew (my wife loved the seared tuna). Apparently owned by two sisters. I know that this may be blasphemy, I was disappointed with Solociccia. It is probably still worth going to, but don't get super high expectations, as it was good but not otherworldly at least on the night that we were there.
Enoteca Fuori Piazza in Greve is worth a side trip for a wonderful, wine-filled locals lunch. The winemaker at Querciabella picked this as a place to meet for lunch. Low key, but delicious.