Food + Joy + Music = La Bella Vita

Well, well, well following the publishing of the first 2 albums on the Facebook page of La Collina del Sole the most beautiful Lucca Villa rental and Rachel’s favourite villa from all the Villas for rent in Tuscany , we thought  we would tempt you with a photo of the antipasto recently served as a gastronomic feast to guests of Holiday Villas in Lucca  so we first of all let you into the secret of where you can buy most of the components on this antipasto platter served in the jewel among villa rentals in Tuscany  and then suggest a few Festas you can join in while you rent a villa in Tuscany  which is guaranteed to be fun and FULL of JOY ! This platter was made mainly from home produced meats and home grown ingredients, however you could cheat and buy the components from 4 different places: For cured meats, sauces and cheeses go to Aia di Piero – on Via Roma, by the Porta O. Dini, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana Telefone 05893 62519 Aia di Piero,  is a Delicious specialty local food delicatessen at the upper end of the price range, An Aladdin’s cave for “Foodies” you can also eat in, they have seats in what were the wine cellars or outside in the summer –delicious food worth the prices.  We have had great reviews from all our guests. The ingredients for the antipasto whcih were bought here are : Finocchiona and delicious soft fennel aroma salami Wild Boar salami Bacon and maraschino cherry rolls Funghi Porchini sauce on fried polenta {polenta in the Pizzeria more later} Wild Boar sausage sauce on fried polenta A freshly cut slice of sweet San Daniele Ham a type of Parma Ham - Artichoke hearts in Olive oil Salsa Verde, salsa di tonno e salsa di pomodoro all on small rectangles of grilled potato bread

Near La Collina del Sole we sourced the The Polenta and Roast chicken which was then mixed with veg and fruit came from  - La Credenza, on Via Farini 2,  in Castelnuovo their Telephone is 0583 63 9332, This is a Pizzeria and Rosticceria, – with a wood oven, they make the richest of all the Pizzas in town, also delicious roast chickens, beef and pork. Located next to ”Castelli” Supermarket just after Piazza Umberto, which is the main piazza in Castelnuovo. Open late morning through to late evening

The Apple and Celery and Radicchio for the chicken salad and the Basil for decoration all came from La Piazetta – Vegetables , in Castelnuovo on 12 Via Fulvio Testi, Telephone 0583 644520. Located between the Loggiato and the Piazza del Duomo, It is an excellent veggie shop with specialities like figs, fresh locally picked berries, fresh funghi and other treats when they are in season; they also stock truffle salami, fresh local honey. Run by a husband and wife team. There is limited English spoken here they are very friendly and a firm favourite with La Collina del Sole incumbents.

The Meat came from our favourite butcher - Maccelleria Broggi , Via Vallisneri  12 on the Piazza delle Erbe in Castrelnuovo their Telephone  0583 644214. It carries excellent locally grown meats.  The young owner, Emanuelle, speaks good English and will prepare the meats to your specification. He cut Beef filet into Carpaccio slices. Macelleria Broggi also stocks a small selection of general shopping requirements and a good selection of cured meats, this is where we got the Mayonnaise for the chicken salad.

NOW onto parties ... Apart from the Festas that we mentioned last week which are still on going in Barga with the Opera Festival ,  Orzaglia with the throwing of Cheese rounds  -very quaint !  Pieve Fosciana with a Ravioli feast and Villetta with the Suckling Pig Roast The new additions are : Piazza al Serchio that is hosting a Fisarmonic International Festival from the 13 to the 15 of July. On the 14 there is the feast of the kitchen gardens  “ Festa delle Orti ” in Cerageto in the area of Castiglione di Garfagnana  north of La Collina del Sole Also on the 14th there is a Medieval Feast in Fabbriche di Vallico On the 15th just west of La Collina del Sole  Palleroso  is holding its festa in the old part of town , and on the 13 to the 15 of July in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana  the main town near La Collina del Sole  there is the mysteriously titled ” Leggere Gustando “  which is billed as a gastronomic and cultural event … Told you the Italians love their food !