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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

Orvieto Civita di Bagnoregio Pitigliano -Little Jerusalem- PRIVATE TOUR from Florence

- Take this tour and travel to the edge of the world and time, and back! Orvieto, with its Duomo and astounding array of Medieval and Renaissance religious art, is a sight to behold.
- Pitigliano, built into "tuff" (volcanic rock), is known as "Little Jerusalem" after its resemblance to the original. Its historical heritage is intact and yours to discover on a walk around town.
- Immerse yourself in the stunning Tuscan and Umbrian backroads. Enjoy typical Tuscan cuisine in a countryside setting, toasting perhaps with a glass of Orvieto DOC Bianco, Rosso Orvietano or Bianco di Pitigliano! Taste the others in a visit to a local winery.
- Moving along the 900 foot walkway that leads to the village of Civita di Bagnoregio is like crossing over into a dream. Founded by the Etruscans, this seemingly sequestered village sits, as if on a pedestal, far above the stunning clay hilled valley below.

from 312,79 US Dollar

Classic Siena Walking Tour

Enjoy a private walking tour around Siena, a smart medieval city center that has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.

from 185,35 US Dollar

Name your recipe: food market tour and workshop with a Cesarina in Florence

Have you ever been to a local market and traditional food shop in Italy, full of ingredients you'd love to experiment with? This is your chance to  visit a market with a local expert, choose your most inspiring ingredients, and create and name your very own recipe. 

Go food shopping with your Cesarina and choose 3-5 staple ingredients that capture your imagination
before immersing yourself in a private cooking class at their home. With their expert guidance, you will learn how to prepare your chosen ingredients and make your own Italian creations. Cultivate your creativity and confidence in the kitchen by adding an Italian flair to your dishes. 

Then, taste everything you have prepared accompanied by a selection of red and white local wines.

from 179,56 US Dollar

Private food walking tour and cooking class at a Cesarina's home - San Gimignano

Dive into your destination like a local foodie. Explore your Cesarina's most trusted artisanal food shops, tasting as you go. After your walking tour, immerse yourself in a private cooking class at the Cesarina's home,  learn the secrets of the most famous dishes of cuisine  from San Gimignano area and taste the fruit of your labour accompanied by  local wines. 

During the lesson the Cesarina will reveal the tricks of the trade of 3 authentic regional recipes. Have fun putting your cooking skills to the test. Participants will have a  workstation equipped with utensils and all the ingredients to make the dishes. Then, taste everything you have prepared accompanied by a selection of red and white local wines.

from 335,96 US Dollar
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