We found our way to Lucca, a suggestion from my other worldy friends Marija and Anton whom I stayed with in Trogir Croatia. And they were right! Another little gem to add to my list of "Italian Gems".. Lucca is a medieval city, and these photos taken on their super wide wall built for protection in the 16th century!
Hoping not to bore you too much with history and info, as much as I love it! I'll post links I like to learn more if interested: Lucca : Tuscany without the crowds (boston.com)
If you watched from above, we must have looked like the black rat in a maze test.. Between the three of us, we did manage to escape the town, but it took much longer than it needed to, for sure... ;-) And we must not damage the rental car while managing the tight streets built long before the idea of an automobile!!
How good looking is this family!!? One of many Authentic Tuscan food experiences.. as we explore off the beaten path into smaller villages. This one in Montefiorelle. A little castle village outside Greve in Chianti.. so many great choices of where to go and have not found a bad meal yet!! Is that even possible in this part of the world? So my wasteline is proving!!
Anneli enjoys Italian coffee..
Maris enjoys famous Tuscan soup, Ribollita
Here is a map that is not traveled exactly as shown, but shows the areas we are exploring.
My wonderful Estonian friends explored a lot of Italy, and only had a couple days with me.. So after they left, and my love of Italian food momentum going, I was still on a mission to get the most out of my experience by taking a cooking class!
Melanzane is a dish I've had twice here already and loved it. So
it was my special request to the instructors of what I'd like to learn today.. I have honestly never cooked an eggplant in my life, and now I'm in love with it!
Potato gnocci.. it's having a little rest before it goes in to the boiling water. We had it 2 ways today, one with our homemade tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. And the second was butter and sage sauce.. Oh dear, never had this before either, and darn! Now I love it too!! I suppose I should mention the round tin on the table is our fresh out of the oven tuscan cheesecake...
Now I've gone and wandered into Pisa on another day.. It was a Saturday, I think I had a full week of blogging.. and no point in adding a blog post about blogging..! So might as well show you the good markets happening here.. and of coarse a quick visit to that well known tower everyone raves about..
Hilarious to watch literally the majority of tourists making photos to appear holding up the tower.. I passed on that one.. ;-/
Not the prettiest of days for photos of the tower. My treat in Pisa was a homemade Calzone from the tinyest little shop in an alley...mm mm good.
Now, I'm getting a bit food crazy and overboard here, but it's definitely a picture into my life in Tuscany for the moment. Like I said, I will back on the road full time in a couple weeks, so if you are more into motorcycles than food.. bypass this post! Probably should have said that way earlier than now, hey..
I certainly don't want to neglect the vines around me in this famous wine producing country.. they are also having a little rest for winter. I'll have more on Tuscan wine later when I visit a winery, tastings and tour.. yum! But these are just photos as I make my way around the local area daily..
Life around me is interesting enough in itself, just check out the butcher shop in Greve!
Another dish I was "game" to try in the cucina, is Pappardelle with Wild Boar Sauce. Better known as Chinghiale (cheen gee allay) Same story, I've had it twice now in Italy, and wanted to attempt to make it myself.
Here's a look at where Lilly and I wander everyday, even amongst the hunters.. always worried they would make a mistake and shoot us too! ;-/
While I've got the camera going, a quick snap of the fireplace that keeps me warm while I'm cooking.
Now to add the entire bottle of best Chianti wine.. chef's recipe philosophy, use the same wine you would serve your friends for dinner to marinate this meat.. okey dokey! Adding up to quite an expensive meal!
Mix in the veggies, and let them all enjoy this bottle of wine for 2 whole days!! Which makes me curious, what would I look like if I laid in a bath of red wine for 48 hours, might like to try that! ;-))