Where to eat in Florence with locals.

IMG_2598Italians tend to eat at home and go out for meetings,  special dinners with friends. So when someone asks  us where to eat in Florence, we feel a bit embarrassed because we have not tried so many restaurants.Now with the niece who studies in town we have more occasion to go out and “live the city”. Lately we have found and tried some cute  small places.

IMG_2525La Caffetteria Oblate , perhaps not so special for the furniture but in a magnificent location. When you arrive you find a library, well organized, and if you go to the second floor you can have a coffee or eat with the beautiful view of Brunelleschi’s Dome in front of you.On the first floor there is also a baby Pit Stop ,a place  perfect when it’s  babies feeding or changing time. Particular not to be underestimated when a mamma is walking in town. www.caffeteriadelleoblate.it

IMG_2502With a couple of vegetarian friends we found Simbiosi ,it  offers a menu suitable for everyone, even something vegan.They have organic food . The environment is nice and you can choose the pizzeria in Via de’Ginori at no. 56R or the restaurant in Via de’Ginori  at nr. 58/60R .The dishes are traditional ones  revisited in a modern style

IMG_2508and with the the staff cooks/plates in front of you.www.simbiosi.bio

IMG_2595In Oltrarno a traditional restaurant that has been doing typical Tuscan cooking for 50 years  Trattoria La Casalinga in Via dei Michelozzi  9R. Casalinga means home made,home style.

IMG_2587The tables are set  very simply  but  the menu  hanging outside gives the idea that you can try traditional dishes  such as  Minestrone di Riso e Cavolo ,Tagliatelle alla Nana (Duck) And  you ‘ll hear it is frequented by Florentines, both for work and with the family. www.trattoriacasalinga.it

Buon appetito… for now!

Ricotta GF Cheese Cake


This recipe was published years ago in our blog connected to  our Toscana Mia Cooking School web site.As we now closed that blog  we want to offer this recipe here : it is great in many occasion and perfect for a typical Italian  breakfast.It is a traditional Italian cheese cake with the great advantage that is simple  and completely Gluten Free. Continue reading

Cool Events in Tuscany

image2Certainly in Tuscany there are beautiful places to visit, Museums, Churches, a lot of Art, but  in our Tuscan days we can take moments to see and do something else: small and big events in which the locals participate and are very much Italian lifestyle. So let’s talk about  special occasions.For example during the weekends of March there is a beautiful exhibition of camellias.Camellias in Italy? Yes, just near Lucca
image4                   XXIX Mostra Antiche Camelie della Lucchesia
10-11 17-18 24-25 e 31  March & 1-2 April, 2018
Exhibitions, tastings, walks in the countryside, concerts and  the camelliamostra scientifica al centro culturale compitese
Do not forget to visit L’Antica Chiusa and Villa Borrini where the only Italian tea is produced by Guido Cattolica.The acidic characteristics of earth and water, abundant, of Compitese are perfect for camellias,so Guido Cattolica has developed an ecotype able to withstand low temperatures. And the experimental plantation   produces around 2,500 plants that can give up to 5 crops a year. The final product is very small,  reserved to customers who go  to the Antica Chiusa. 
estatto raw00080_JFR
If you’re already in Lucca area in February let’s join the Preview in Lucca, from next weekend.For the 29th exhibition of ancient Camellias della Lucchesia scheduled  on the territory over weekends in February.
nik_4402_13247312795_o      For information and reservations: Centro Culturale Compitese – Exhibition  Secretary Antiche Camelie della Lucchesia 0583/977188 (from 9.00 to 13.00) – 366/2796749 – www.camelielucchesia.it – info@camelielucchesia.it


Hire a driver in Tuscany ?

Parkink in Radda in Chianti, Tuscany

When you plan  to visit  big towns you can easily use train or bus service , but  if you’re thinking to  visit smaller towns or the countryside you  need a renting a car or hiring  a private driver ?

It  depends  on how many days  you’re thinking to  drive around, how comfortable you feel in driving in a foreign country

For instance  the  day you want to visit  a winery and have lunch there, that may be a good day for a driver so you can freely taste  wines.


Let’s talk to Giorgio from www.realchianti.com

With a driver you can enjoy the view and not  waste time in looking for  a  parking place.

Furthermore these licensed drivers  know the most scenic routes, they can drive in the  limited traffic zones   and know places  and people so well as they are locals.


Let’s talk to Azzurra and Christian  from www.viaggidambra.com

If you are in  a larger  group of 6 or more and want to spend as much time as possible with your friends and family , you can ask for  a  van


Let’s talk to    Giovanni  from www.jwchiantiservice.it  

and  Gabriel from www.travelintuscany.it

Probably  the funniest would be to arrange to drive around in a different way: Ape!


Let’s talk to Daniele from www.chaintitaxi.com

Here we just mentioned some of the many drivers in Tuscany, but we saw them “at work”  and noticed their kindness and efficiency  .Buon viaggio!

Eat Vegetables in Tuscany


DSC08312-1.jpgTuscan  cuisine is  very well known for its beautiful fish and meat dishes  but also for a great  variety of vegetable dishes . Continue reading

Travel plans 2018!

This can be such a inspirational blog we like to share with friends !

Travel with Wendy

Other side of Blue AzureSo you want to travel! Me too ~ maybe you’ve just arrived in Europe or maybe you’re on your way out. Either way you look at it, I bet you’ve already made some travel goals for 2018! Setting New Year’s resolutions is something just about everyone does, including me. Sometimes I get so excited about making new “goals,” I forget about ones I’ve already attempted, it is a symptom of my ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.) 

When you are stationed here in Europe most of us want to see it all. However, we just don’t have time to do it all. So, I’m going to share a few tips and tricks I do every year to get organized and help keep me focused. 

Ryan Air wings over GreeceHere are a few questions I ask myself before getting started?

  • What are this year’s MUST-SEE locations – then I MAKE A LIST!
  • How does work/school/family schedule…

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Winter Shopping in Florence

IMG_3704The other day we decided to do the traditional “passeggiata in centro”(a downtown walk),looking  for presents  and practising  window shopping  we had  not done for so long .

Continue reading

The 20 most beautiful Italian cities for 2017

Compliments to Radda in Chianti !

Skyscanner has prepared the list of . They have written:

“What are the most beautiful little towns  in Italy? Ancient medieval villages, castles perched on rocky spurs, white houses embraced by secret woods and breathtaking views of natural paradises

Each region of Italy is unique, and each of these beautiful little towns is even more so. Discover the monuments and the testimonies of distant eras, venture through the narrow streets of stone, look out from the flowered balconies and stock up on beauty in these magical places where time seems to stand still.”

Radda in Chianti (SI) – Tuscany nr. 9

“Yet another medieval village for our ranking of the most beautiful countries in Italy. This time we find ourselves in the refined countryside of Tuscany, in Radda in Chianti, a country perched on the hill that divides the valleys of Arbia and Pesa, guarded by powerful defensive walls. Its strategic position has increased its importance in history and even if it is no longer a crucial crossroads we like to visit it because it fills the soul with charm … purely Tuscan. Try the local specialties and taste the best red wine glasses!”

: Le 20 città più belle d’Italia per il 2017

Which season in Tuscany ?

_MG_8610 2If you are wondering what are the ideal times or the best seasons to visit Tuscany, or looking for tips on when and how to go, it is good to know that Tuscany is a very varied territory: from mountain to coast, countryside and cities like Florence, Siena, Lucca. Continue reading