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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

Small-Group Palazzo Vecchio Secret Passages Tour with Lunch

Experience the emotional discovery of hidden locations of Palazzo Vecchio museum, not accessible to the general public, recently opened only for small groups of visitors.

from 51,58 US Dollar

MEET MICHELANGELO'S DAVID

The Accademia Gallery is one of the most visited museum in the world thanks to the magnificent DAVID by Michelangelo. Thanks to the priority entry tickets you will avoid the long lines and the sold out, you will have the chance to remain into the gallery as long as you like.

from 46,78 US Dollar

Private Shore Excursion from Livorno to Florence and taste of Tuscany

In Livorno port at disembark from your cruise ship meet our selected professional English speaking driver for your private shore excursion tour in Tuscany. At your arrival in Florence, the Tuscany art town considered the birthplace of Renaissance rich in art and architecture, you will have time to enjoy the highlights like: the Brunelleschi’s Duomo, the Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery with its famous bronze gates called “The Gates of Paradise”. A stop in Piazza della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio and a walk to Ponte Vecchio, the famous Medieval bridge over the Arno River. You have free time for your shopping spree in the boutiques of the centre of Florence and for lunch on your own. A last breath taking view of the Renaissance town with a stop at Piazzale Michelangelo on the hills over Florence. On the way back to Livorno a stop in Chianti where you have time to visit a Organic Wine Farm (tuscany salami,wine tasting,tour)

from 119,95 US Dollar

Cinque Terre Small Group Guided Tour from Florence

Discover the breathtaking area of Cinque Terre, a UNESCO Heritage site, visiting four of the five villages; departing from Florence, in a small group of max 16 participants, and using the right size vehicle, you’ll be able to reach the Cinque Terre Park, very fast. Moving by train/boat (tickets included), to maximize your time/comfort, and with the assistance of an expert guide, discover the beauties of Riomaggiore, Manarola and Vernazza. In Monterosso free time for lunch (not included), shopping or relax on the beach; in the afternoon you will meet your driver, to come back to Florence.

from 190,72 US Dollar
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