4 days based in Florence area
Hello and thanks in advance for any help.
I will be in Florence around 24 June - 28 June.
I am thinking basing myself in Florence with one day in Florence and 3 days making day trips around the area. Overnights if necessary.
I've read about Sienna, Lucca, Moltepulciano, Panzano, Montalcino.....they all seem equally beautiful.....
I'd like to go to Panzano to see Dario Cecchini's butcher shop (the irnoy is he will be doing a demo tomorrow night near Boston, USA about 20 minutes from my house and it is sold out! 32 person waiting list!!!!) and a friend has recommended the Cennatoio Winery nearby Panzano as well....
I know I need more time, but 4 days will do it as I will take the 5th day to go to Venice....
I'd be happy seeing Florence's mesuems and churches in a day and spending the other 3 days driving around Tuscany eating in small towns and going to vineyards. This is as much of a food trip as anything else to be completely honest.
ANY SUGGESTIONS or sample itinieraries would be much much appreciated.
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Personally, I am a big fan of Lucca and the Garfagnana region, which is the Serchio River valley heading north from Lucca. Towns in the Serchio valley worth a visit include Bagni di Lucca, Borgo a Mozzano & Barga.
Trattoria da Leo is a good spot in Lucca for lunch. Buca di Saint 'Antonio is a good spot for dinner. La Mora, in Ponte a Moriano, is a few miles north of Lucca and is also a good choice for dinner.
If you go to the upper right hand corner of this page and do a search for Lucca, you will many a good number of other helpful posts regarding the Lucca area.
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I would not miss Siena. It's only an hour away from FI. It's big enough to take up a whole day too. Same for Lucca.
Panzano is more of a lunch trip. There is not much to 'see' in Panzano except food. Not a bad thing of course! But not a day's worth for sure. Dario's got that lunch special for 10 euros which is a great bargian everyday but Sunday. On Sundays, he's got that full on meat tasting menu.
Will you have car?
re: The Chowhound Team
Understood, all food talk.....
Thanks to all, this is very valuabkle advice I have received. My research continues.
By the way, I didn't get into the demo that Dario Cecchini did tonight over here (it was sold out), but I did shake his hand outside and told him I would be visiting him for a meal in June at his place in Panzano!
Next questions....what are must have foods to try in Florence/Tuscany area....like lampredotto....Bistecca alla Fiorentina......what else?
must tries - food in Tuscany is pretty simple with a big focus on beans and grilled and roasted meats - the soups are great, acquacotta (tomato based) and ribollita (a thick minestrone) seppie in inzimiinio (squid or cuttlefish with a spicy spinach and tomato sauce) is classic in Florence, ricotta and spinach gnocchi (sometimes called strangolo preti tho that name is used elsewhere in italy for other things) can be excellent. Crostati with liver pate and other toppings can be delicious. Out in the smaller places esp in southern tuscany there is a lot of homemade pasta (pici) served in ragu, based on a variety of meat and game such as the indigenous wild boar. Lots of salumi (cured pork products) special to the various areas. We liked the finocchiona, a fennel-flavored salami, also you may find porchetta in a butcher shop or market as well as tuscan cheeses - mostly pecorino (sheep) - the less-aged ones are particularly delicious but availability is very seasonal.. Look in the public markets for the fresh produce on sale -italian food is very seasonal and what you see in the market you are likely to see on your table. Do eat the vegetables - "contorni" they will be well prepared and delicious.
if you want to get an idea of what is available in some of the tuscan locales, there is some info on restaurants as well as recommended dishes (for some) on the Restaurant pages. Click on the restuarant names and additional info (if any) will appear. here is a Montalcino sample.