Cheese, wine, steak, olives, truffles, the list of delicious food native to Tuscany is endless! Many visit to taste the produce, and combined with the wonderful towns, art, architecture and history, it makes the perfect holiday.
To get the inside view on Tuscany we asked Lenny at “Taste of Tuscany”, who runs amazing culinary tours, for her opinion on everything Tuscan!
1) You arrange many activities including cookery lessons, truffle hunting and wine tours. What is the most popular?
Most people choose wine tasting and sometimes a cookery course, but once you tell them about olive oil tastings and truffle hunting, a new world opens up for them.
2) You live in one of the best wine regions in the world. Do you have a favourite Italian wine?
I don’t have one favourite Italian wine. The joy of living here is that it’s very easy to explore and experience new wines every day. For me it is fun to visit wineries I haven’t visited before and to try award winning wines like Brunello di Montalcino, as well as local wines that don’t carry this prestige. There are A LOT of pretty good ones out there.
3) Which is your favourite month of the year?
Spring is beautiful! It feels like Tuscany is waking from hibernation. Fall is beautiful too because it’s harvest time for pretty much everything, like grapes, olives, porcini and tartufi. Tuscans like to celebrate this with little local festivals, which are just great!
4) When you are not working, what do you do?
I like being a tourist, but I guess I’m still working even then! I enjoy visiting places off the beaten track like wineries, cheese farms, restaurants and coffee places. I am always looking for somewhere that would be perfect for my clients.
5) If I only had 1 day in Tuscany, how would you arrange my day to sample Tuscany’s delicious produce?
Take it slow and use your time to visit Montepulciano, Pienza and Val d’Orcia. Start at Montepulciano, then enjoy a cheese-picnic lunch with wonderful views at Cugusi Silvana. Here there is a little cheese shop where you can fill your basket with cheeses, salamis and wine. After lunch, drive to beautiful Pienza and enjoy a wine tasting. Complete your day with a beautiful meal at a typically Tuscan restaurant.
6) What are your 2 favourite places in Tuscany?
Firstly, Montefollonico, where I live. It’s just the cutest little hilltop village. It has a very small, close community and people are just so nice. Secondly, it depends on my mood: to relax I love going to Pienza on a Sunday morning for a coffee and to enjoy the views across Val d’Orcia; or if I feel lively, I go to Montepulciano.
7) What do you like best about living in Tuscany?
I’m from the Netherlands, which is a fast-paced society. In Tuscany, people take their time over everything. Even their high-class wines take a minimum of 5 years before they can sell them! I guess quality really takes time. :)
8) Your passion and knowledge of Tuscan food and wine is second to none. What future plans do you have for “Taste of Tuscany”?
I would love to organise specific group-trips, like a painting week, combined with all the best from Tuscany. I believe that would be really cool!
Thanks so much to Lenny for her wonderful insights. If you would like to book a tour then contact “Taste of Tuscany”, or we can arrange it for you when you arrive. At Cignella you are in the perfect spot to enjoy the best of Tuscany, and with spacious, modern accommodation, you can easily relax and unwind too. Check out our availability, as some of the best months of the year are just around the corner!
See you soon