We were lucky enough to have a friend of ours from New Zealand come and visit us here in Viareggio for a long weekend!
It was great having her here, and we jammed in as much as we could while she was here with us! It included a lot of time in the car driving and a lot of sitting on trains but it was all worth it to be able to explore what Tuscany has to offer!
Two Tuscan towns that we particularly liked were Volterra and San Gimginano. They were very ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’
First we checked out the markets in Volterra to work up an appetite for lunch.
After perusing the markets, we were in search of some lunch, and without too much effort came across what looked like a restaurant with some great potential.
We were greeted by the Owner/Chef/Wine maker, a jolly looking fellow with a kind face, then led to our table where we were soon being looked after by a friendly waiter. He asked if we would like some sparkling… Yes please! Thinking it was sparkling water that he was referring too. Turned out it was bubbles that came to our table. Perfect, I’ll take that over water any day! A case of lost in translation but a good case of lost in translation.
After humming and haring over a menu that you wanted to try every single dish, Sue ordered the Wild Boar Terrine to start, it looked pretty good and surprise… It tasted good too!
Dave and I shared the cured Wild Boar with Pecorino Cheese fondu. It was a Heart Attack on a plate but a very yummy one!
For the main course I had whole roasted Pigeon, Dave had suckling pig and Sue had a pesto and pecorino Gnocchi.
We opted not to have desert, we were going to wait for a Gelato in San Gimignano for that. We did however finish the meal with a café each, which came in the cutest coffee cups I have come across!
The food was great, the service was fab, friendly, warm and efficient! The food was brilliant and the prices were not what you would expect. We are used to the slightly more over the top tourist prices of Viareggio (and the food is sometimes not up to scratch with those prices) so it was a pleasant surprise to have a meal that was not only a lovely experience but friendly on the wallet too.
As we were about to get the bill Genuino Del Duca took us through the restaurant and through several doors. He was taking us to his wine cellar! The type of place that you wouldn’t mind being locked in for a day or too!
The website for this little spot if you ever happen to be in the area of Volterra, Tuscany, Italy is http://www.enoteca-delduca-ristorante.it/en/volterra.htm (You will have to excuses my lack of computer skills, if anyone is reading this and knows how to make it as a link I will happily take the advice)
A friendly wave goodbye and we were heading onto the next destination San Gimignano, where we had a lovely little hotel booked. The Leon Bianco, which was situated right in the town square, it was once a Palace, the rooms were rather grand. A nice little get away for the night.
After checking in, dropping the bags into our rooms we took a little walk around the walled town of San Gimignano. After looking through the typical tourist trap shops we found a rustic, cellar style bar to have a wine at, Chianti was the wine of choice seeing as we were in the region. When in Rome… We found a little table outside, admired the view, said salute and right about then was when Sue got targeted by a pigeon! I’m no expert on pigeon poop but this pigeon clearly had an upset tummy… Lets just say it looked like that little bird had eaten far to many berries and black olives! He got her right on the head and even managed to get some on her jeans.
I’m pretty sure the pigeon miscalculated the distance and maybe the prevailing wind, after all I was the one who had the roasted pigeon for lunch, it may well have been a cousins or distant relative of the pigeon. They say that having bird poo land on you is a sign of good luck… How that could ever be considered good luck I don’t know!
You will be pleased to hear before venturing off for dinner, we did go back to the Hotel and Sue did have a shower.
After our long lunch and pigging out on Gelato, we didn’t feel the need for a big dinner, we found a cozy little place with a husband and wife team. A simple small pasta dish each did the trick for diner, followed by a sneaky dessert each. The perfect way to end the day.