... our hot tips for food and wine in the area! ... breakfast in Cortona, lunch in Montepulciano, ice cream in Monte San Savino and dinner in Arezzo ... and not only!
Favourite bars in Cortona & our surrounding area
As you know breakfast in Italy is a quick espresso and a croissant , so there are many bars all over the area and Cortona that are suitable. There is a bar in Cortona called Tuscher hall, owned by Massimo and Danilella friends of ours, which is great for an apperitivo. The following is a quick bulb we found on the internet,; "I have travelled extensively through Italy and stayed in Cortona on several occasions. Four years ago I discovered the Tuscher bar and restaurant. If you are looking for a mixed drink instead of just wine or beer, Tuscher serves the best scotch and soda I have had anywhere and the free h'ordouvres are a gourmet treat. How hard can it be to make a scotch and soda? Try to get a highball glass full of ice in Italy. Ask the owner Massimo Olivieri about his grandmother's recipe for eggs! The food there is wonderful. Tuscher was the crowd favourite of all the places we stopped".
Favourite lunch spots in Cortona & our surrounding area
Ok in Cortona there is a restaurant called "Pane e Vino" which is very good for lunch and there is a great ice cream parlour next door called "snoopy" for an afternoon gelato or an evening chat when it becomes the centre of the towns night life!! Nearer to the Villa we have the fantastic unique little walled town of Lucigiano, which we feel is one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany. In this town there are several good restaurants. For lunch we recommend "Il Goccino" (the spoon full) which crosses the wall of the town so at the front the terrace is in the rustic streets and at the back you eat above the town wall and over look the view beyond. Out side the wall of the town for something more simple there is a small restaurant called the "La Vecchia Cisterna" (the old well) . There is also a great ice cream parlour in the town and two bars on either side of the gate to the town which offers great people watching for both the natives and the foreigners!!!
Favourite Dinner spots in Cortona & our surrounding area
In Cortona it would have to be "Il Teatro" (the theatre) elegant and casual all rolled into one with the owners wife having the more outrageous laugh!!! La Loggietta where you can eat outside under a renaissance loggia in one of the main squares and watch the town go by of an evening! Closer to home we have several great eateries. In Lucigiano again there is Il Goccino, as above, which offers the most elegant Tuscan fare in the area. There is also a great pizzeria called "nice people" (I know corny!!!), its very casual, the pizza is good and they have the best outdoor position in the town! If it is steak your after then try Mengrello in our local town of Foiano, you have to try the tagliata steak with rosemary and green pepper dressing our favourite - not had a bad one in 10 years!!! In our local Village there is our local bar and pizzeria where the place itself is nothing to write home about, but the pizza is the best in the area!!!! Lucky us, we've eaten a lot!!! In Marciano della Chiana is the restaurant called "la Vecchia Rota (the broken wheel) where the owner Massimo (a real character) is a member of the "slow food" society, cooking all the local dishes – as you'll find out "how his grandmother used to make!!!" Finally, last but not least is my personal favourite "La Lodola", this is a very special place run by a young husband and wife who have a passion for cooking and entertaining. She is the sommelier and he is the chef and his mother an antique dealer (you get the picture!), it is a very unique both food and ambiance and somewhere I dream of eating if I have ever been away from here for a while!
As you may be aware we are perfectly situated between the three great red wine producing areas of Italy not only Tuscany. 20 mins to the north we have the Chianti region - producing the Chianti Classico now personified by those raffia bottles and there after with a candle in them on a restaurant table!!!. 20 mins to the south the Montipulciano region for the Vino Nobile di Montipulciano a wine first recorded as early as 600 years ago. And finally 40 mins away the king of the regions Montalcino producing the Brunello wine, an acquired taste but once smitten nothing else will suffice!! We work with two wineries in the latter two regions, who are small family run and offering personal tours, tasting and lunch. AVIGNONESI near Montepulciano and Poggio Antico near Montalcino.
Please note that wineries here are not those where you can just drive by any time and if they are like that that they are not the ones worth visiting, so you need to book in advance! For all the other restaurants we normally book our guests in the evening of, or the night before, unless it is for a large group.
Favourite ice cream parlour
At the local town of Monte San Savino (10 mins drive) there is an ice cream parlour called Cioccolato di Carlo where he produces the best home made ice cream and chocolates in the area. Absolutely delicious!