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travel

San Miniato Dining and White Truffle Guide

We have now called San Miniato, my husband’s hometown, our family home for the good part of this year and I admit that one of the reasons we found this Tuscan hilltop village so charming is the excellent quality of restaurants and food shops in this small historical centre. Other than being a fixture on the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrim route, with picturesque views of the surrounding countryside from every angle you look, San Miniato... Read More

The 11 best panini in Florence that aren’t *that* panino

We used to live on Via dei Neri, the street that runs from the back of the Uffizi Gallery towards Piazza Santa Croce. It was more than 10 years ago now, when it was still a residential neighbourhood of central Florence. Despite being in the shadow of Palazzo Vecchio and two steps to all the monuments, people lived here — you could tell from the little shops like the fruttivendolo for fresh fruit and vegetables, the bakery and even the little... Read More

Fish soup on Giglio Island

We spent a week in our favourite holiday place, the very special Giglio island, a tiny island in Southern Tuscany that can only be reached by ferry from Porto Santo Stefano. It’s the kind of place where time slows down and there is a simplicity to the rhythm of the days when you’re on an island like this so we really slow down when we are here (especially in a spot like Pardini’s Hermitage, where we stayed one year). One of the things... Read More

Farm to Table at the Adler Ritten Lodge in the Dolomites

I had the pleasure of a truly relaxing and rewarding getaway earlier this month in the Dolomites, an area of Italy I have only scratched the surface of so far, but that is so worth digging deeper into! I was invited to stay at Adler Dolomiti in the heart of the charming centro storico of Ortisei (more on this soon), and at their sister property, Adler Lodge Ritten, in the beautiful, unspoilt Alpine highlands of Ritten (also known as Renon), sitting... Read More

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