Monday, April 30, 2007

sunday lunch in Tuscany

Two weeks ago we followed the friendly suggestion of the reception lady at our Livorno hotel and drove along the "la strada del vino", the wine road, to Castagneto Carducci to have lunch. We didn't look for wine tasting this time because we were driving ...

Castagneto Carducci is a town full of traditions and important cultural aspects. Its old town is well-preserved and rich in historical remains: ancient roads, squares and buildings can be admired in the centre of the town, Castagneto was first mentioned in a document which dates back to 754 a.C. In the beginning the town was under “Della Gherardesca” family’s control, later under Pisan control and since 1405 under Florentine control. In this period we have the birth of two other towns: Bolgheri and Donoratico which were destroyed in 1433 because of a Florentine revenge. In Castagneto the first inhabitants arrived in 1832 while the railway was bulit in 1863. However the first real fixed settlement dates back to 1864.

This is the view over the wine fields from the parking lot we found at the village entrance. Since blogger isn't cooperative and I don't seem to be able to get the code to allow a " click to enlarge", click here to see the enlarged pics on my photoblog.

The village is absolutely charming and very hilly!

Besides the breathtaking views this is what impressed me the most: there were a few of this kind of "tunnels" but look closely, there are doors on each side! I figure this is the way people lived in the Middle Ages and it added a special feeling to the walking tour.

There were many restaurants to choose from, but we settled for this one due to the inviting terrace across the narrow street:

Every table had huge olive oil and balsamic vinager bottles! This is the view we had from our table. Yes, you may hate be envious (updated because Melli is right - read her comment), but at least I am sharing this splendid view with you ! isn't this just beautiful?? (click here to see the enlarged pic!)

What I didn't share was my delicious lunch! This is what we ordered: spinach-ricotta ravioli with a wonderful walnut-cream sauce for the signora (myself) and spaghetti al ragu for signore Mar. Delicioso!!! Ah, bella Italia, I would double my weight in a few months if I lived there, let me tell you!!


  1. Oh those pictures are scrumptious!

    I am green with envy.


    ps. here via Michele

  2. Ohhhh Yummy Yum Yum, Mar...This food looks scrumptious and so does that restaurant and the views...What a Beautiful Beautiful area...! You know those portions look very nice in that they are not too big! And no doubt I would be waddlking around if I ate like that every day...Well, I am waddling around now eating here in L.A., at home! (lol) What a lovely lovely post Mar...!

  3. No,no if you eat exactly like the Italians do you won't become fat ! (look at me, lol) Of course if you eat every day in a restaurant I couldn't guarantee, but I think it's like everywhere. Are you sure nobody lived behind these doors in the tunnel, because we have friends at the lake of Garda (where Mr. Gattino comes from) who have an entrance like that and then you go to very thick walls and arrive in a beautiful big appartment completely modernized and renewed. It's in an old convent. Really wonderful and so special ! Ah ! bella Italia ! (here speaks the Italian, I am Italian too, lol )

  4. Beautiful pictures and the food looks totally yummy! Wish I were there instead of rainy New Hampshire.

  5. You have an utterly magical ability to capture the spirit of a place through your words and pictures. I am always glad to visit your site: today, I am especially so.

  6. Ya know... hate is such a STRONG word! I am simply envious... that is all... you just keep me in a constant state of green! Honestly... I do believe if that view is OUT there, SOMEbody should be enjoying it -- and it sure isn't me! So it might as well be you! That ravioli looks to die for! It was, wasn't it? I know it was... only 4 small pieces... not even enough to share! No doggy bag or anything...

  7. The views and the foods are magnificent! I do so much want to go back there. We ate like pigs, but we actually lost about 5 pounds each, due to all the walking.

  8. That food looks scrumptuous! As does the view. How wonderful. That whole village looks absolutely charming.

  9. Hello Mar!
    What a nice travel in italia! And the landscape is beautiful! And the village too!
    Now will begin the inauguration of my new blog!
    You are invited you and all cruisers and others!
    Hope you will have a nice moment with the capt'ain and her band!

  10. Wow! Stupendous! Great! These are what I can say about these photos and great places. BTW, I have tagged you . I hope you don't mind. Go over my site to see what it is all about.

  11. Yummy! Ñam.Ñam!
    Que preciosas fotos Mar mi mamá siempre que va de paseo toma fotos a todo es su pasion.
    Have a nice Tuesday!
    Eres de Barcelona verdad!
    Mis papis son Chilenos y tú?

    ●๋: ●๋:
    ´´´´´●๋: ●๋:
    ´●๋: ●๋: Luna ●๋: ●๋:
    ´´´´´ ●๋: ●๋:
    ´●๋: ´●๋: ´●๋: ´●๋:

  12. Gorgeous! Let me ask you, do you speak Italian? I'm wondering if I visit Tuscany would I be able to communicate with hotels, vendors, resturants, etc. if I only speak English...


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