CUCINA POVERA IN TUSCANY
16-23 July 2017
Learn about Tuscany's traditional rustic dishes of the past!
Pamela's book, Cucina Povera, is the inspiration for this 7-night tour around Tuscany,
from the mountains to the rolling hills to the seaside.
Euro 2850 per person, double occupancy,
(single-room supplement, Euro 600)
Seven nights accommodations in 4-star accommodations, all meals, food and wine visits,
cooking classes, ground transportation (arrive/depart Florence).
This sample itinerary may be subject to change due to weather,
seasonal conditions, and serendipity.
DAY ONE Victory gardens of wartime Florence
4:00 pm welcome apertivo with Miriam Casalini to hear a few stories about life in wartime Florence, a stroll along the Arno with her and dinner at a local trattoria.
Overnight Florence (additional nights can be booked if you want to arrive earlier)
DAY TWO Peasant farmers and foragers
Rise early to visit the Sant' Ambrogio market , then off to the precious hilltown of Artimino. Here we meet Carlo Cioni at his renowned restaurant Da Delfina. Carlo will walk in the campo with us to forage ingredients for our lunch, cucina povera at its purest. After lunch we make our way to Lucca with a few interesting stops along the way, including the chestnut museum. After we check in, you will have some free time to roam inside the city walls, meeting at a local trattoria for dinner.
DAY THREE The Appenines and the church of the holy chestnut tree
Above Lucca we visit some of Pamela's favorite 'secret' spots (you will be sworn to secrecy!) Sauro Petroni and his wife Daniela will share the culture of the chestnut tree, an important source of sustenance in hard times. From the wood and leaves to the nut, the chestnut provided shelter, tools, and food. We will have a snack of Sauro's necci, chestnut crepes with fresh ricotta. As we wind through the mountains, we'll visit the Regoli mill, and have lunch at Andrea Bertucci's fabulous Osteria Vecchio Mulino. Dinner tonight at Pamela's friend Aurelio Barattini's Antica Locanda di Sesto dal 1368.
DAY FOUR The Tuscan coast
In the morning we head for the Versilia coast with a stop for coffee and a taste of Renza del Bianco's Scarpaccia, zucchini cake shared with a few more characters from the book. We end up in the resort coastal town of Viareggio for lunch and a walk on the boardwalk, then finish the day in Livorno with a demo of cacciucco, seafood stew, and dinner.
DAY FIVE The Tuscan archipelago and island of Capraia
If we can get up early enough, we'll hit the marvelous central market of Livorno before catching the ferry to Capraia. Here we will enjoy the pristine landscape of this quiet island and share an aperitivo with Anna Bessi. We'll learn about a local fisherman's unique product, bottarga (cured fish roe), and have a cooking class with his wife.
DAY SIX Southern Tuscany: the Maremma and Pitigliano
On our return from Capraia, we follow the coast south to the Maremma with its wild horses, butteri (cowboys), flamingos, wild boar, and the amazing horned Maremmana cattle. Our destination is the hilltown of Pitigliano, also known as La Piccola Gerusalemme, or Little Jerusalem. We will meet Elena Servi and hear the story of how her family survived the difficult years before, during, and after the war. After a delicious lunch at a nearby farm, we finally arrive to Poggio Etrusco, Pamela's organic farm in Montepulciano. After a break to rest, read, or take a country walk, we head to the Pesce d'Oro to watch Enrico Agostinelli prepare brustico, the Etruscan version of grilled perch from the lake.
DAY SEVEN Home in Montepulciano
This morning we visit the local market and buy what we need to make our local pasta, pici, with Lina Mazzetti. Joining us for lunch will be our family's adopted grandfather, Virio Neri, a prominent figure in the book. We'll enjoy several local specialties from the cookbook.
Our final dinner will be at the fabulous Enoteca La Porta in Monticchiello, a glorious spread of local dishes accompanied by the best Tuscan sangiovese wines, including Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello.
DAY EIGHT Return to Florence after breakfast
"Pamela Sheldon Johns has written a heartfelt and engaging account of a remarkable group of Italians and the food memories they shared with her. Cucina Povera is not about poverty—it's about the richness of the human spirit. "
—Nancy Harmon Jenkins, food journalist and author of The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook