Recipes from a Tuscan Farm

For the past twelve months, I’ve had the pleasure of taking photographs for the cookbook of Fattoria Poggio Alloro, an organic family farm in San Gimignano, Tuscany. A record of family traditions, the farm’s seasonal produce and rustic, hearty dishes, the book is arranged month by month, season to season. A Family Farm in Tuscany: Recipes and Stories from Poggio Alloro by Sarah Fioroni will be released in the US on March 31, 2012, [and you can now order on amazon] but for now, here’s a little peek at some of the images:

Not only was it a pleasure to spend time on the farm, out in the picture-perfect countryside with a backdrop of rolling hills and medieval towers, but it was a pleasure to become welcomed like part of the family, getting my hands dirty making salame or peeking into steaming pots in the kitchen.

But the best part may have been getting to eat and drink as if there were no tomorrow together with the entire Fioroni family. The fresh produce, straight out of the garden, is dictated by the seasons: ribollita in the winter, fava beans in spring, risotto of pumpkin and saffron (also a specialty of the farm) in the autumn.

The farm’s own handmade prosciutto and salumi are always served, as well as the traditional fettunta rubbed with garlic and drizzled with their delectable grassy-green olive oil. Endless bottles of Vernaccia, San Gimignano’s own local white grape, and Chianti flow. But it’s the farm’s ancient breed of Chianina beef that was always a highlight – these huge white beasts make the best steaks for the legendary bistecca fiorentina.

The next morning at breakfast, a steaming cappuccino made with fresh milk from the farm’s token brown dairy cow, and perhaps a slice of cake, make a real treat.

The recipes and stories from this organic farm were collected from the eldest members of the family by Sarah Fioroni. It’s a precious account of the history of a family and the farm’s traditions. The seasonal cookbook, A Family Farm in Tuscany: Recipes and Stories from Poggio Alloro, is to be launched in the US at the end of March 2012 by Shearer publishing.


  1. juls says:

    just looking at you pictures I realize in what an amazing place we live. I remember with pleasure our days at the Fattoria and especially the amazing food!

  2. Regula says:

    OH Emiko, such beauty!
    Looking forward to the book!

  3. vaniglia says:

    ohmmamma che splendore!

  4. Susan Poe says:

    Yeah! I’ve been waiting for your book Sarah! I cannot wait to get it. This looks BEAUTIFUL! The book will show us what you’ve been telling us in your classes here in Houston at Central Market. P.S. I went to every one of your classes and can’t wait until you come back!! Hugs and Congratulations!

  5. Zita says:

    I love San Gimignano! I was there on my own in October and I loved walking around. The landscape was absolutely beautiful!

    Did you take all the photos with your camera? You have a Canon, haven’t you?

    I’m so excited for your success! Great job, Emiko! 🙂

    • Emiko says:

      Thanks Zita! San Gimignano is a really special place, isn’t it? Yes, I took these photos with my Canon. I literally took hundreds and thousands of shots over the year so it was hard to break it down to just a few for this post!

  6. Absolutely inspirational! If I ever get a cook book published myself I’d so want u as my photographer and friend to explore foods with x

  7. What gorgeous photos! I very much look forward to the launch of this book in the U.S.

  8. Pam says:

    4 of us spend 4 glorious days at Poggio last September (in Italy 2 weeks). This was the highlight of our trip. The scenery beautiful, the food was the absolute best, the company most enjoyable and the weather perfect. Love, love love– heaven on earth!!! Can’t wait for Sarahs cookbook to come out– I want her pea reciepe!!!!!!

  9. Valeria says:

    Your images and words make all the possible justice to this beautiful place and family business. Wish I had the chance to be there while in Tusacany for the workshop. Emiko, such a pleasure to see your pictures. Can’t wait to see them printed. Love, V.

  10. Sarah says:

    Thank you Emiko!Best gift ever! I almost cry….simply perfect…

  11. janie says:

    Your photos are gorgeous. It makes me want to hop on a plane and go there immediately. I look forward to seeing the book when it’s out in the US.

  12. hayley says:

    stunning! i loved the time i spent in san gimignano at the fioroni farm while i was studying abroad in florence. to this day, every liquor store i go into i request to see their selection of vernaccia’s. mmmm sweet memories! i look forward to the finished product! cin cin!

  13. Sarah says:

    Such beautiful work! Looking forward to checking out more of it once the book comes out!

  14. Egle says:

    Mamma mia che meraviglia! Photos are stunning as it is Tuscan scenery. Now I’m desperately waiting for the book to show up. And it will happen exactly on my birthday! This will be definitely a treat for myself and another trophy on my bookshelf 🙂

  15. You capture such spirit in your photos, it’s moving. Beautiful!

  16. lara dunston says:

    Ah, this book sounds wonderful. My kind of project. And beautiful photos. Will look out for it!

  17. sarah walton says:

    Wow – what a life. Looking forward to seeing the book

  18. Michelle says:

    Just gorgeous, as usual! The first photo is my favourite. What a wonderful cookbook that will be.

  19. Joy Franklin says:

    These are breath taking photos, true beauty! You have such talent Emiko!!

  20. This is magical. I love the atmosphere of this post.
    Thank you for sharing.

  21. Your blog and photos and whole website just made my day! I studied abroad this past fall in Tuscany. I miss it so much and you just brought it all a little bit closer than the ocean allows with your beautiful stories and the way you capture the essence of the place in your photos. Thank you!

  22. C&T says:

    Wonderful photos! I am sure the book is superb too :)!

  23. CV says:

    Hello Emiko. First of all, congratulations on the book – you photos are great! I came upon your blog while looking for organic farms selling fresh products in San Gimignano. I will be in San Gimignano in two months, and staying fairly close to this farm. Do you know if they sell their meat and produce products to the public? I think they have a store, but I’m not sure if they only sell olive oil and wine. Thank you and congrats again!

    • Emiko says:

      Thanks! Poggio Alloro don’t sell their cured meats (they use them exclusively for the guests of the agriturismo, so if you eat lunch or dinner there you can try it!) or the vegetables for the same reason (also they have 3 families to feed too!). They do sell their chianina meat but in bulk packs of 10 kg where you get a bit of everything. Then there’s the little store where they sell certain things, all produced on the farm, like their organic extra virgin olive oil (which is top rate, I highly recommend it), their saffron, honey, biscotti, pasta made from their organic wheat, and obviously the wine too.

  24. Christal says:

    This is so random that I stumbled across your blog and I was just at Fattorio Poggio Alloro a couple weeks ago as a stop during a trip through Italy! I picked up the book, the pictures are stunning, and I will be part of the Blogging Book Tour for the book! Great job on the book, and wonderful post, you really captured the beauty of the farm!


  25. Katie says:

    I have BEEN to that farm! I stumbled upon your site this morning after clicking over from A Girl in Florence. I’ve been reading about expat life in Italy since my husband and I (and our by-then 3-month-old daughter, who’s not quite born yet) will be moving to Ferrara this fall. I’ve been sifting through your beautiful site admiring the photography and writing. I’m not sure how I ended up on this post, but my jaw dropped when I realized you were talking about an agriturismo I visited in 2015. I stood up and walked to my bookshelf just a few feet away, and sure enough — there’s Sarah’s book, which I bought directly from her. I love this tiny world of ours. 🙂

    • Emiko Davies says:

      What a very small world indeed! How exciting — and Ferrara is so beautiful. Good luck with the move, not easy with the little one but also not as dramatic as some may tell you, Italy is such a family-friendly place and one of the things I always loved when mine was little (and still now) was how accepting and encouraging everyone is about you bringing children with you everywhere! 🙂

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