Here we are, the wedding season has begun … but even before that of the ” Stags and Hens parties “.

We are receiving many requests in this period for the organization of Stags and Hens parties, dos or activities near Florence. 

And just in these days we have made a reflection: how much has the way of experiencing the Stag and Hens party changed over the years?

We started to read up, and from there the idea of ​​sharing this reflection with you

Tuscany draws countless visitors every year. So it’s not too difficult to understand the reasons for our Tuscany best holidays. Tuscany is the home to some of the most beautiful cities of art and elegance. Its fabulous landscapes were created over the centuries by the harmonious and mysterious interplay of man and God. So much so that the Tuscan countryside has become synonymous with the quintessential almost mythical beauty of Italy. On top of that let’s add a tantalising food and wine culture and a special care to make its visitors feel at home. It won’t be hard to see how you could devote a week or even a whole month to your Tuscany best holidays.

Tuscany is the cradle of the Renaissance. So you’ll be spoilt by choice as far as works of art and feats of architecture are concerned. Its major art cities are Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca and Arezzo. They offer an endless opportunity to sync with the utmost expressions of beauty and ingenuity of western civilization.

Tuscany then boasts dozens of minor centres which are actually treasure troves for arts and crafts. Besides, they are always surrounded by some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. San Gimignano, Volterra, Monteriggioni, Bagno Vignoni, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, Anghiari, San Sepolcro, Cortona, Pitigliano. These are just a few names which first pop to mind. From Etruscan, to Roman and from medieval to Renaissance. A whirling pleasing plunge into history which will bring you peace and happiness countless times.

Tuscany best holidays embody what the English poet Keats wrote in his poem Endymion: “a thing of beauty is a joy forever”.  This is what Mugello&Tuscany tour operator means to give its guests. So another tide of inspirational sites come to mind: Chiusi, Massa Marittima, Populonia, Radicofani, San Casciano de’ Bagni, Santa Fiora, Sarteano, Sorano, Suvereto, Vinci.

All around the ubiquitous rolling hills with their magical alternation of olive groves, vineyards, pastures, sunflower and arable land patches. Hilltop medieval villages and rural homes at the end of a long line cypresses are all iconic must-see for travellers all over the world. We believe Tuscany best holidays is what most people keen on travelling would like for this year 2021.

Perhaps less known is the fact that Tuscany offers one of the best coastlines and beaches of all Italy. Cinque Terre is just at a stone’s throw from its border with Liguria. The isles of Elba and Giglio, the Etruscan  and the Argentario coasts are of an unmatched stunning beauty. The Apennine chain to the north of the region offers fabulous mountain tracks at 2000 metres of height and even skiing facilities for the winter. So every season is the right for Tuscany best holidays.

Mugello&Tuscany hopes this post may have helped you plan your next Tuscany best holidays. Of course we will be willing to offer you a bespoke itinerary according to your needs. That’s why we are offering here a general survey form to help us understand your needs. We’ll get back to you with a specific plan eventually honing it into a beautiful travel plan. There won’t be any specific commitment on your part.so feel free to fill in the entries.

Here we are at another episode in the series of delicious Tuscan dishes. Here we will touch both land and sea dishes and finish with a queue dedicated to Tuscan dry sweets.

Cod in the Florentine and livornese (photo title)

There is a bit of confusion when it comes to cod in Tuscany. The Florentine cod is often confused with the Leghorn one. However even the cod of both variants is entitled to inclusion among the most delicious Tuscan dishes. If you fry the cod fillet then you are making the Florentine recipe. In fact it is the most used even if on the menus there is the name of “cod alla livornese”. The cod alla livornese does not involve frying the fillet. The fillet, on the other hand, is cooked in oil with a base of white onion without flour. Then at the end it is blended with good Tuscan vinsanto. This is the real Livorno/Leghorn recipe, if you fry it you are making Florentine cod. In Florence in the past the only marine fish available were those that could be preserved in salt or dried. The most common were anchovies, sardines and cod in the variants of salted cod or dried cod. The cod in particular has made its fortune in Florence and its province. The main reason is the fact that the cost has always remained relatively low. Remember that the cod is salted. Either you buy it already soaked or you have to soak it yourself. If you do it by yourself it takes 4 days by changing the water two or three times a day. Of course, soaking is also used for desalting. Among its ingredients: flour, top extra virgin olive oil, garlic, tomato sauce, parsley, sage, salt and pepper.

prelibate pietanze toscane

Scottiglia

The scottiglia is also called “cacciucco di carne” and is a typical dish of both Maremma and Casentino. In the scottiglia there are pork, chicken, veal, rabbit, turkey and lamb. In some recipes you can even read “Meat of all kinds” as long as it is cooked over low heat. The tomato and red wine make the final result very dark and juicy, hence the name “cacciucco di carne”.

 

 

Tonno del Chianti – Chianti tuna

As for the scottiglia, here too the meat mimics the fish that we usually find canned. In fact, the Chianti tuna has nothing to do with the sea tuna. In this case sea tuna is nothing more than pork. It is precisely the loin, cut into slices and kept covered with salt for 3 days. Then we move on to very slow cooking in white wine. Further steps are degreasing and conservation in oil and aromatic herbs. These steps produce a radical change in the texture of the pork. The loin becomes just as tender as tuna !! The tuna thus obtained can be kept for a month both as an appetizer and as a main course.

 

 

Peposo alla Fiorentina

For this dish it is really necessary to refer to history. The peposo alla fiorentina or peposo all’imprunetina, links its origins to Brunelleschi’s dome of Florence’s cathedral. Peposo, often listed among the delicious Tuscan dishes in the South Florence-Chianti area, was born around 1400. This was the period when Brunelleschi was engaged in the construction of the Dome of the Florence Cathedral. For the construction of the majestic dome, a substantial production of bricks from the Impruneta kilns was necessary. 

We have already published an article on the best specialties of Tuscan cuisine. Not being able to exhaust everything in a single article, we limited ourselves to selecting a first tranche of dishes. We then talked about crostini, pappa col pomodoro, ribollita, panzanella, tortelli from Mugello and pappardelle. We realized from a preliminary investigation that there are dozens and dozens of typical Tuscan dishes. Hence the need to select products in multiple articles.

 

specialità della cucina toscanaFlorentine T-bone steak

Naturally, everyone expects the Florentine steak queen of the specialties of Tuscan cuisine. Normally even you simply order “a Florentine” and everyone knows what we are talking about. A good Florentine must have 2 basic characteristics: an excellent cut of meat and rare cooking. Traditionally, the Florentine steak has as its absolute protagonist the Chianina breed typical of Tuscany. The Florentine is obtained by cutting the loin of heifer or beef that has a “T” shaped bone in the middle, with fillet and sirloin in 2 parts.

A very important feature for selecting the meat for our Florentine steak is the so-called marbling. These are filaments and white areas of fat, which has infiltrated the pulp of our meat. This seemingly unsightly fat is extremely important. In fact, during cooking it will melt, bringing taste and softness to our Florentine steak.

The preparation is very simple, just put the steak on the grill over a good embers. There must be no open flame and the meat should never be pierced. This specialty of Tuscan cuisine should be turned only once, salting the cooked part first on one side then on the other. It takes about five minutes per side before being served. We suggest a sprinkling of ground black pepper and a little squeezed lemon.

Lardo di Colonnata (cfr. lower part of pic above)

Colonnata is a tiny village in the mountains of the Apuan Alps a few kilometers from Carrara. Colonnata is also the home of the most famous Tuscan lard. It is a PGI salami obtained from pork lard matured in Carrara marble basins. The lard is placed in the marble basins rubbed with garlic. The lard is then alternated with pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, sage and rosemary. The aging lasts from 6 to 10 months after which it is ready to be served in thin slices with bread. Some variations may include greens, legumes, or bolder pairings like shellfish.

This year give an experience to remember forever!!

2020 offered us limited opportunities to be together, live new experiences and discover new places. So for Christmas 2020 beauty wins along with the desire to travel and to share emotions with our loved ones. Give an experience with a Mugello&Tuscany gift voucher.

CHOOSE BETWEEN EXPERIENCE AND/OR MUGELLO&TUSCANY BESPOKE GIFT VOUCHERS!

Tuscany like all other Italian regions has a solid culinary tradition.

Given the Lock-Down period to which most of the countries are now subjected, we decided to give you a Taste of peasant Tuscany, with some good typical Tuscan dishes.

Today we offer you a first roundup of best typical Tuscan dishes, often of the most popular and genuine tradition.  So when you come to Mugello near Florence you can experience them all.
Many are based on bread which in Tuscany is strictly unsalted. 

Currently many plant and animal species of the European countryside are in danger of extinction.
The good Mugello honey has been little impacted by the still clean environment that characterizes it.
However, the environmental balance is of fundamental importance for our territory. 

We had mentioned Barbiana natural spiritual destination in the post “Mugello cycling heaven”.
Barbiana is a small fraction of the municipality of Vicchio. It is now famous for the pastoral and human experience of Don Lorenzo Milani. Coming from San Piero, stay on the right side of the Sieve river. After Sagginale, continue towards Vicchio. After about 4 km, always on the right, you will find the indication for Barbiana.
Assuming you are cycling, the climb to Barbiana is pleasant and not too demanding. It is about another 4 km from the junction of the provincial road 41.

Why do we recommend you visiting Barbiana ? Precisely for the reasons set out in the title: Barbiana natural spiritual destination. 

To create and cook good homemade Mugello fresh pasta, exercise and technique are essential. It is true that on the market there are machines that do almost everything by themselves. However, the total goodness of a handmade tagliatella, gnocco, ravioli or tortello from Mugello is unmatched. But to do this you need to practice and not a little.

Mugello&Tuscany have thought of cooking classes precisely for the enhancement of homemade Mugello fresh pasta. We really want to make it a cultural enrichment of a holiday in Tuscany. However, we would also like to lay the foundations for a holistic experiential intake by the tourist. The moments spent with us must be unforgettable and our chefs work precisely with this in their minds.

pasta fresca del Mugello
Good homemade Mugello fresh pasta is of course  a kind of egg pasta. So we must first decide whether we want to make taglierini, tagliatelle and lasagna or stuffed pasta such as ravioli, tortellii and tortellini. To start you need the right tools: a wooden surface and rolling pin plus the traditional ingredients. Speaking of egg pasta, we must first decide what  we want to make. It could be taglierini, tagliatelle and lasagna or stuffed pasta such as ravioli, tortellii and tortellini.

In the first case we will equip ourselves with 0 flour and whole eggs (3 eggs for 320 grams of flour); in the second we prefer durum wheat semolina flour with whole eggs and yolks (280-300 grams of semolina, 2 whole eggs and 4 yolks). It is essential to make sure that the flour is always sifted and the eggs are used at room temperature.

Then to make our special homemade Mugello fresh pasta dough, the classic cone or volcano of flour is formed. Eggs are best opened separately. Once you are sure that they are good, you can pour them into the flour cone.

It is a good habit not to use all the flour from the very beginning. In fact, each flour absorbs differently. If the dough is too soft at the end, you can add it when needed. As for the eggs, they must be beaten quickly with a fork until the yolk and egg white are perfectly mixed. At this point the flour is incorporated from the inner circle always with a fork. You have to continue like this until it is time to carry on with your hands.

At this point the egg mixture is covered with all the flour and then turned over on itself. It is a step that must be repeated several times. Eventually the egg will be absorbed by the flour. The dough can thus be worked well with your hands without sticking. Pasta should always be handled delicately, otherwise it tends to crumble.

With the summer, I too took a rate of bike rides through the Mugello. Personally, I am very convinced that in this way you can better appreciate Mugello cycling heaven. It is with the bicycle that you have the best chance to appreciate the dazzling beauty of this territory.

Mugello is less famous than other areas of Tuscany this is beyond doubt. Just some time ago we received news that Mick Jagger is going to settle in the Bolgheri area. Now famous for the wines called Supertuscans such as Sassicaia and Ornellaia. Once in Italy people associated it to the poet Carducci and to his “tall and straightforward” cypresses.

Other off-limits areas for comparison are certainly the Crete Senesi and the Chianti. Besides you could well add the whole coastal part with the Tuscan archipelago. But after well weighing the places, Mugello can match well with the sacred monsters of Tuscany for natural beauty. Therefore less famous can also have a positive connotation. It also means that Mugello is probably even more genuine and less touched by mass tourism. For this reason, the Mugello cycling heaven can even better find a space with the public.

The area has the potential for a lush touristic development also thanks to its becoming “Mugello cycling heaven”. In particular, I believe that this wonderful valley can truly become a Mugello cycling heaven. When we talk about bikes I mean all the main types. From the road bike, to the mountain bike with all its variants up to the gravel bike etc.