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Dining and Restaurants in Tuscany

A visitor to Tuscany may feel like the only person ever to tread down its winding country roads, through villages so small they would disappear were he or she to blink. From the much-loved towns of Lucca and San Gimignano, to the renowned cities of Siena and Florence, to the rolling hills of Chianti, here lies some of the best cuisine in the world. Enjoy relaxing lunches in charming trattorias featuring well-known specialties or, even better, in small cafés where the menu is handwritten and no one even speaks English. Following are a few of our recommendations:

San Gimignano

Trattoria Chiribiri, in the town center, for the osso bucca ~ a delicious lamb shank served in a light broth covered with fresh peas.

Lucca

Ristorante Puccini for the Food Fantasia, a fixed three-course meal ~ seafood mousse, followed by a plate of raw shrimp, then sea bass baked whole surrounded by artichokes and tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil.

Florence

Villa San Michele, overlooking the city of Florence, for a relaxing al fresco lunch of Parma ham with melon, fresh salad and grilled chicken with rosemary.

Throughout Italy's history, more than anywhere else in the world, the emotions and rituals associated with food and wine are integral to the country's traditions and customs and are part of the Italian way of life. Most Italian meals consist of primo (pasta or rice), secondo (meat or fish), and contorno (vegetables or salad).

Regional Specialties

Tuscan food is simple yet simultaneously rich, based on the purity of the ingredients. Most dishes incorporate olives and olive oil. Vegetables such as fagioli (beans) and tomatoes are prevalent; an invigorating summer salad is panzanella, consisting of fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, bread soaked in garlic and a garnish of fresh basil. There are delicious local meat dishes as well, mostly grilled. Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a melt-in-your-mouth steak entré flavored with spinach and grilled over aromatic charcoal, is perhaps the most popular. Cinghiale (wild boar) is another staple, as is arista (roast pork). Two great Tuscan seafood specialities include cacciucco (fish chowder) and triglie alla livornese (red mullet cooked with tomatoes and oil). Finally, everybody makes it a point to order ribollita. This stew—with an endless if eclectic list of ingredients including vegetables drizzled with fresh olive oil—is perhaps the most satisfyingly Tuscan dish there is.

Regional Wines

Tuscan wine is one the region's more vital ingredients, not surprising given the amount of countryside consumed by vineyards—most of which are dominated by the popular Sangiovese grape. Great red wines include Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. A hearty Tuscan white wine is Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Major Chianti labels include Rocca delle Macie, Ruffino, Il Palazzino, Antinori, Badia a Coltibuono, Castello di Ama, Castello di Rampolla, Fattoria Selvapiana, Brolio, Felsina Berardenga, Isole e Olena, Monte Vertine, Riecine, and Tenuta Fontodi. Major Brunello di Montalcino labels include Argiano, Villa Banfi, Il Poggione, Castelgiocondo, Altesino, Caparzo, and Costanti. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano labels include Avignonesi, Le Casalte, and Poliziano.

Villa HII BEL, Italy, Tuscany, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, WiFi, WIMCO Villas

HII BEL

Very comfortable, elegant villa with an antique tower, stunning views, a short distance from the sea

Tuscany, Italy
4 br / 2.5 ba

Villa BRV SAS, Italy, Tuscany/Siena, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, WiFi, WIMCO Villas

BRV SAS

Perfect for a large group, surrounded by hills and vineyards, walk to bus stop and nearest village

Tuscany/Siena, Italy
4 br / 4 ba

Villa BRV CLO, Italy, Tuscany/Siena, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, WiFi, WIMCO Villas

BRV CLO

Country style, antique and contemporary design, stunning panoramic view of Tuscan hillside

Tuscany/Siena, Italy
5 br / 5.5 ba

Villa SAL DMO, Italy, Tuscany/Lucca, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, WiFi, WIMCO Villas

SAL DMO

Lovely farmhouse situated high on the hills, private and quiet position, magnificent views

Tuscany/Lucca, Italy
5 br / 5 ba

Villa SAL SOR, Italy, Tuscany/Lucca, 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, WiFi, WIMCO Villas

SAL SOR

Ideal for 2 families, very attractive property, tastefully furnished, well-groomed gardens

Tuscany/Lucca, Italy
6 br / 6 ba

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WIMCO Villas, BRV GEG, Italy, Tuscany/Siena, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms

BRV GEG

Strikingly beautiful restored country house, stunning panorama of Tuscan hills, beautiful pool

Tuscany/Siena, Italy
5 br / 5 ba

WIMCO Villas, SAL FON, Italy, Tuscany/Val D Orcia, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms

SAL FON

Lovely property, spectacular position with views of surrounding hills, featured in several magazines

Tuscany/Val D Orcia, Italy
5 br / 5 ba

WIMCO Villas, HII PGG, Italy, Tuscany/Val D Orcia, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

HII PGG

Comfortable country house, ideal for families, near Lake di Chiusi, beautiful infinity swimming pool

Tuscany/Val D Orcia, Italy
3 br / 3 ba

WIMCO Villas, BRV ISA, Italy, Tuscany, 6 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms

BRV ISA

Breathtaking vistas, spacious and comfortable, ideal for golfers, spectacular swimming pool

Tuscany, Italy
6 br / 7.5 ba

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WIMCO Villas and Hotels, Hotel, Palazzo Magnani Feroni, Firenze, Book now with WIMCO

Palazzo Magnani Feroni

Right in the heart of the city, this Palazzo with its eleven luxurious, restored suites offers all the comforts of the third millennium, while allowing guests to experience the luxuries of aristocratic Florentine families. 24-Hour service, gym.

Firenze

WIMCO Villas and Hotels, Hotel, Hotel Cerretani Firenze, Firenze, Book now with WIMCO

Hotel Cerretani Firenze

Contemporary in style and located in a historic 17th-century building, close to the Cathedral, Dante's House and the central train station. In the heart of the elegant shopping district, the Cerretani Firenze is one of the city's best hotels.

Firenze

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