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Eating & Drinking

  • Local cuisine from Cortona is a hearty variant on classic Tuscan cuisine, with Val di Chiana beef definitely on the menu. For any beef-loving Tuscan, bistecca alla fiorentina – a huge, tender Val di Chiana T-bone steak, grilled over an open fire and seasoned with nothing more than crushed peppercorns, salt, and a hint of garlic and olive oil, served very rare – is the ultimate steak. The Val di Chiana, the most extensive valley in the Apennine range, is the fertile farmland mainly used for cattle-rearing. Here graze herds of one of Italy’s most prized breeds of beef cattle – the Chianina, which is native to Tuscany. The cream-coloured Chianina cow grows quickly to a large size, so that it is butchered when the steer is a grown calf. The meat is firm and tasty, with a distinctive flavour.

    Also on the menu are chicken liver crostini, panzanella peasant salad, fennel flan, stuffed courgettes (zucchini), tagliatelle with ceps (porcini mushrooms) or stubby pici pasta in a meaty ragu sauce. For mains, expect wild boar stew, roasted rabbit, jugged hare or boar, along with that famous steak. The local cooking is not for wimps. That said, Cortona’s elevation in the popularity stakes means that sophisticated fine dining options can also embrace fusion cooking or creative contemporary Tuscan cuisine. Discover some good Tuscan recipes on the city website:
    Web: www.cortonaweb.net

  • Osteria del Teatro

    This mid-priced, established, old-world inn occupies a 16th-century palazzo and serves upmarket Tuscan cuisine using Slow Food produce, as well as local beef and pork. The dining rooms evoke different moods, from frescoed elegance to rustic ease. Dishes include stinco d’agnello (braised lamb shanks) and pici con chianina e porcini (pasta in a chianina beef and ceps sauce). For a budget meal of cold cuts and crostini, opt for La Fett’unta, their deli-style wine bar over the road, known as a fiaschetteria.

    Address: Via Giuseppe Maffei 2, 52044 Cortona
    Web: www.osteria-del-teatro.it

  • Relais La Corte dei Papi

    Set a few minutes’ drive from Cortona, this upmarket fine-dining country estate makes a romantic spot for dinner. Service is attentive yet friendly and the prices are deserved. Depending on the season, unwind in the estate’s former cellars, now a cosy restaurant with exposed beams, or dine poolside under umbrella pines. Tuck into beautifully presented dishes, such as duck breast or seafood, served in a traditional or contemporary style.

    Address: La Dogana 12, 52040 La Dogana, Cortona
    Web: www.lacortedeipapi.com

  • Il Falconiere

    Located in a lovely setting in the hills, this elegant, Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant makes you feel as though time stands still. The Cortona-raised chef serves imaginative cuisine that includes both fish and meat dishes. Menus are seasonal, featuring a game menu in autumn, plus a full tasting menu, and well-priced wines, including those from the family estate. In summer, you can dine on the charming panoramic terrace.

    Address: San Martino a Bocena 370, 52054 Cortona (4 km north of town)
    Web: www.ilfalconiere.it

  • Cortona Bistrot

    Run by a friendly husband and wife team, this cosy bistrot serves mid-priced, inventive Italian food with Tuscan ingredients and wines. Typical dishes include spinach and ricotta gnocchi in pecorino sauce, goose pate crostini, lasagne stuffed with pistachio nuts, and seasonal fruit tarts. The views over the Valdichiana are complimentary.

    Address: Via Santa Margherita 13, 52044 Cortona

  • Bottega Baracchi

    Run by the Baracchi family, who also own Il Falconiere, this, inexpensive wine bar and bistrot in the centre of Cortona is open late in summer. Come for good-value Tuscan cold cuts, tripe crostini or a rustic frittata, accompanied by the family’s estate wines. Come for a fruit tart at teatime or, between 6 and 8pm, the wine bar is also a fun place for creative cocktails. If you have a group of at least six, then a morning’s cookery course is also on offer.

    Address: Via Nazionale 78, 52044 Cortona
    Web: www.bottegabaracchi.com

Experience an official tuscany tour with

Casa Campatelli and its Medieval Tower Entry Ticket

Typical Tuscan tower-house in the heart of San Gimignano, accurately restored by the Italian Heritage Trust, FAI Fondo Ambiente Italiano, and opened to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday. This very special house-museum offers an immersion into the lifestyle of a typical well-being Tuscan family and narrates the history of San Gimignano and the Tuscany region using multimedia-technology. A must for anyone who loves Tuscany and wants to know more about its history. A perfect start for the visit of San Gimignano.

from 8,05 US Dollar

The Duomo Complex and Its Hidden Terraces

Admire the magical aerial panorama and learn the secrets of the Duomo from a different point of view. Enjoy an exclusive perspective: admire Florence panorama from the Duomoʼs 32 metres high terrace and climb up to the top of the Dome!

from 67,84 US Dollar

Dome Climbing Tour with English Breakfast in the oldest café in Florence

See the entire city from a single point by climbing to the top of Florence's Dome. Join a guided tour with local expert guides to discover the structure's full history and to make it unforgettable enjoy your English  breakfast,  before your tour begins or after the tour at your convenience from the oldest café in Florence.

from 78,19 US Dollar

Florence: Medici Tour with Michelangelo's David

Discover the Medici's story whilst skipping the line to see more of the great masterpiece of Michelangelo’s David. From Giovanni de Medici to Lorenzo de Medici, you can watch, listen and understand the power of the Medici Family.
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
• Discover the story of the most elite families of the time
• Gain exclusive entrance to the Accademia Gallery, the home of Michelangelo's original sculpture of David
• Learn from a passionate and art-loving local guide
• Cover the most of your stay in Florence with a Medici walking tour with a group less than 5 people
• See the stunning architecture of historical buildings

from 241,47 US Dollar
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