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travel

Insalata Gigliese, a summery salad from a Tuscan island

I’m counting down the days until we get back to our favourite annual Tuscan holiday spot, Giglio island, and in the meantime I’m feeling a little bit nostalgic about the cookbook where this recipe for Insalata Gigliese (a deliciously refreshing salad of tomatoes and celery) comes from, Acquacotta. I recently found out that it is getting harder to find copies of Acquacotta because it sadly isn’t going back into another reprint, which... Read More

A dreamy weekend at Adler Resort in Bagno Vignoni

The Valdorcia is one of my very favourite areas to visit in Tuscany, it embodies so much about what I love about this region — the green and golden rolling hills, magnificent stone hamlets, rustic and genuine country food and the delights of the natural landscape, in particular the pampering hot springs. In Bagno Vignoni, one of the most charming towns of the area, natural thermal springs flow that have been attracting travellers since Roman... Read More

Making Prosciutto di Cinta Senese with Sergio Falaschi

I have long been taking advice from my friend and favourite butcher, Andrea Falaschi (above), a fourth generation butcher who goes by @guidofalaschi, the name of his great grandfather who first opened the family butcher shop in 1925 in San Miniato. We share the same passion for ethically and sustainably raised free-range animals, Tuscan traditions and quality over quantity when it comes to eating meat. Andrea works with his father, Sergio, in the... Read More

Grottaglie, a ceramic lover’s dream in Puglia

It was serendipitous that I read Patience Gray‘s recipe (which is more of a description of this beautiful summer ritual than actual measurements) for “salsa doppia” (bottled tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes in layers over orecchiette and a shower of pecorino cheese) while visiting Grottaglie in the province of Taranto in Puglia, a small, somewhat unglamorous town that has been known for centuries for its artisan ceramic production. Gray describes... Read More

A Cinque Terre getaway

If I could describe the summer break we just had in the Cinque Terre in a handful of words, it’d be a list of some of my favourite things, especially when experienced together: saltwater, anchovies, lemons, sea breeze, pesto, winding coastal roads, chilled white wine and cheesy focaccia that leaves your hands deliciously greasy with olive oil. It’s been over 10 years since my last trip to the Cinque Terre, and even then, we always visited... Read More

Venice, post-lockdown, is still about the cicchetti

I don’t know if it’s just me but even after leaving Venice I feel like I’m still swaying on a pier waiting for the vaporetto. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it was one too many spritzes or a little bit of Venice’s version of Stendhal’s syndrome (also called Florence syndrome, from the feeling of dizziness and like you might faint after being exposed to the great beauty of the Renaissance city that I call home) but... Read More

A guide to eating through charming Bergamo

In October 2019 I found myself lucky enough to be in Bergamo, Lombardy, to judge the Guild of Fine Foods World Cheese Awards, which was an exciting and delicious opportunity — I tasted 50 cheeses tasted in one morning! It was a busy time and surrounded by almost 4,000 cheeses in the industrial outskirts of the city near the airport, I must admit that I had no idea how utterly charming and beautiful Bergamo was until after the awards when I took... Read More

How to create your Italian family tree

I have spent many, many years tracing my husband Marco’s family tree, a project that started well over a decade ago when I was woking as a restorer, first as an intern and then in the archives of a photography museum in Florence and it struck me on a really personal level how many thousands of photographs (many family portraits) of unknown faces were in the collection. I immediately made my mother in law pull out her black and white family... Read More

Grape and fig leaf spoon sweets

In late October I spent a week on the island of Andros, back in the same beautiful place I was in in June, charming Melisses. And can I say, late October was, unexpectedly, perhaps even more beautiful than in June? It was warm and sunny, punctuated by a few intensely windy days, but perfectly warm actually to be in summer attire on the beach (the girls thought the water was great too, though it was definitely chillier than it was in June). We were... Read More

Pecorino e Vino: A cheese making and wine culinary retreat, 22-27 June 2020

{UPDATE: SOLD OUT!} I’m so excited to be able to announce that for our new culinary workshop next summer∫, we have Cressida McNamara from Pecora Dairy on board to teach cheese making. Together with me and Marco Lami, my sommelier husband, we will be hosting five wonderful days of cheese, wine and Tuscan food in the Val d’Orcia, one of the most breathtaking parts of Tuscany. We will base ourselves in Pienza, the heart of pecorino cheese... Read More