People living in the Mediterranean have a much lower risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease than those in other parts of the world. This explains why most of the elderly local population around villas for rent in Tuscany who eat a healthy Mediterranean diet similar to the one we ate at La Collina del Sole when we ordered the suggested menu from Maria the super cook of Lucca Villa Rental are in strikingly good form at a ripe old age, with alert minds and a quick joke - such a pleasure to encounter when you rent a villa in Tuscany and encounter the locals, whether in the local café to your Villa rentals in Tuscany or the restaurants near your Holiday Villas in Lucca , most local restaurants have a designated table for the older men who, for some reason, have no women to cook for them. They meet every day usually for lunch but sometimes for dinner too, they read the local press and have a jolly good chat. Researchers looking for an explanation found an association between extra virgin olive oil and low rates of Alzheimer’s. They attributed olive oil’s disease-fighting power to high amounts of monounsaturated fats. However, new research shows that oleocanthal - a natural substance found in olive oil is the real cause of Olive Oils remarkable quality Research has shown that oleocanthal decreased the accumulation of beta-amyloids—the amino acid–based plaques that scientists believe cause Alzheimer’s—in the brain and boosted production of the proteins and enzymes that researchers think play roles in removing those same plaques. Results also showed that oleocanthal from extra-virgin olive oil which is consumed in a Mediterranean diet has the potential to reduce the risk of AD or related neurodegenerative dementias. When you buy olive oil it is worth bearing in mind that the terms “first pressing” and “cold pressed” don’t mean much on a bottle of olive oil that’s already labelled “virgin.” There is only one pressing involved, and it always takes place at ambient temperature and the difference between “virgin” and “extra virgin” is the percentage of acidity allowed - up to 2% and 0.8 % respectively. Italians consume about 3 gallons of olive oil per person, per year, but Greeks consume the most in the world about 5 gallons per capita annually, both countries are known for their “Dolce Vita” attitude Olive oil goes rancid rapidly when exposed to light and heat, so although it looks nice in brightly-lit displays or sunny shop windows, you shouldn’t buy those bottles, store most of your oil in a cupboard or better still the cellar and only keep a small container to hand for daily use. Be sure to clean that container before refilling each time, so you won’t end up adding good oil to rancid remainders. As if deliciousness and protection against Alzheimer’s were not enough to recommend it, other research has found that extra virgin olive oil helps to clarify thinking and improve memory. So if you would like to know where to get REALLY GOOD Olive Oil contact us
Recently when we were staying at La Collina del Sole our favourite Lucca Villa Rental a friend was told that unless he cut out all fats from his diet there would be trouble, which meant no egg yolk, no fatty meat, certainly no butter and no oils EXCEPT Olive Oil that is because Olive Oil is GOOD for you, it is a healthy source of monounsaturated fat and antioxidants. The best Olive Oil comes direct from the press, when you rent a villa in Tuscany it is a good idea to check out the area just north of Lucca for Olive oil farms, as they might sell to charming guests at Holiday Villas in Lucca some of the precious freshly pressed Olive Oil [only destined for home consumption] which is ripe, viscous, fruity and way too precious for cooking and best sprinkled on salads. An experience that we suggest when you choose villas for rent in Tuscany in the late autumn is to see the Olive harvest in progress, to do this you will have to be prepared to travel along winding roads in the sunny hillsides of Lucca to find a “fattoria” with Olive Trees, there are several near villa rentals in Tuscany in these fattorias at harvest time the young family members and grown strong men will be climbing gnarled old olive trees like monkeys, shaking the fruit into nets spread around the trunks, then the olive harvest will be taken to the local mill where it is converted into olive oil nectar. La Collina del Sole produces a minute quantity of Olive Oil, it is barely enough for a few meals but .. my oh my … its good along with the small Olive oil production of other villas and farms, this Olive Oil is a bright green in colour and is too perishable for export and cannot be found in supermarkets or delicatessens. To the palate it is liquid gold, it tastes of the sunshine of where it was grown and it is best when freshly pressed as, unlike fine wine it does not benefit from aging.
The colour of the oil reflects the maturity of the olives pressed. Darker oils usually come from riper olives and have milder flavours, whereas the unripe olives can make some of the most flavourful oils, which are bright, almost neon green.
At La Collina del Sole you can book one of our favourite experiences which is Olive Oil tasting at Il Vecchio Mulino as extra virgin olive oils like wines have differing tastes, each with its own subtle complexities of flavour, colour and body based on factors like the terrain, production methods, and the type and age of the olives harvested. There’s one big difference between wine and Olive Oil: wine improves with age, olive oil does not. It can lose its strongest flavours in a matter of weeks.
A Tuscan summer is about sun, bravado, parties, pageantry, great food and great restaurants While you enjoy your villas for rent in Tuscany we suggest you visit Siena which embodies all these. The 16th of August marks the 2nd and final Palio of 2013 - a dramatic event to watch when you rent a villa in Tuscany Good and affordable restaurants are a must when you visit from your villa rentals in Tuscany First up and a favourite with guests at La Collina del Sole the very special Lucca Villa Rental is La Corte di San Giorgio, in Via di Pantanetto close to the main piazza with pretty outside tables and a fun interior décor with modern caricature art with a hare jumping from frame to frame or vegetables jumping off a boiler. These paintings are mixed in with period photos of interesting looking people. The food is SUPER and well priced with stuffed zucchini flowers, saffron and asparagus risotto, special Sienese pasta called Pici with meat sauce and an unusual tiramisu partitioned into its different ingredients and tastes. A real treat when you stay at holiday villas in LuccaSiena has a fondness for “Osterias” and they ALL look really good, one we loved is, Osteria le Logge Due, Via Porrione 33, Siena, tel +39 0577 48013 They have tables both outside and a fun dish is tempura battered chicken in a garlic mayonnaise sauce. Many locals and visitors eat here, the menu is very tempting and it is easy to over order! The “cool” eatery in Siena is called “Morbidi 1925 Siena” in Via Banchi di Sopra # 73 Siena, tel +39 0577 280 268. For breakfast they have a table full of cakes and various inviting breakfast items like scrambled eggs, Croissants, chocolate and vanilla cake, muffins etc. For lunch or dinner they have salads and cold meats. The bar is decorated very much in the “loft NY style” with concrete beams still bearing the marks of the wooden planks that were there when the concrete is poured in Morbidi is also a delicatessen where smart local Siennese buy their pre-prepared delicacies. Another very good, well priced restaurant and wine bar is called Zest, [ on Costa di Sant’Antonio 13, Siena 53100 +39 0577 47139 ] It is set on the steep incline of a side street, all the tables and solid bunk chairs are on uneven legs so that every table has a view of swallows swooping in the sky calling to each other with the large Church of San Domenico as a backdrop. The menu has lots of fish and shellfish dishes, non-fish items are also available like caramelised gorgonzola cheese and onion tart, or cold beef salad. For those who have a sweet tooth we recommend being adventurous, one of the options when we went was chocolate torta, which was described as “it is chocolate torta”, it was in fact a delicious melting hot chocolate sponge cake with a lovely cool cream. If you sit in the bunks outside you will notice a large number of visitors emerging from a covered walkway which leads into St Catherine’s home which has been turned into a shrine. It is off the beaten track and is cool as you go through a lovely Cortille of arches to a beautiful patio ... perfect to snooze the excess calories off !
When you rent a villa in Tuscany there are several treats you can look forward to as a “only in Villa rentals in Tuscany experience” like a RELAXING TREAT picture yourself relaxing in the jacuzzi within the pool at La Collina del Sole the only salt water infinity pool available within the choice of Villas for rent in Tuscany sipping some prossecco looking at the surrounding area and felling the warmth of the sun caress your skin …. There are VISUAL TREATS like the wild flower covered terraces of Lucca Villa Rental in the early part of Summer May June and July is a riot of Poppies, Buttercups, Tassel Hyacinths, Crimson Peas, Black Medic and all manner of wild flowers that abound in the area of Holiday villas in Lucca Some of which have medicinal properties or hidden culinary uses and from this point we move onto … SPOILING TREATS like having a gourmet Italian feast cooked for you at La Collina del Sole and served on the terrace and cleared up for you while you enjoy the sunset behind the infinity pool…. Then there are FOODIE TREATS like our new found star restaurant Osteria al ritrovo del Platano which we wrote up on our Foodie Treasure Trove Found blog posted 25 of May the food is wonderful and VERY reasonable Keeping on the Foodie theme there are also EPICURIAN TREATS like wine and Olive Oil tasting at il Vecchio Mulino and if you fancy a light meal order the taster menu with the cheese taster plate and the local cold meats palter or as they say in Italian le piatti di assaggi di formaggio e di salumi.There are YEARLY TREATS like seeing the Chestnut woods that cover the mountainous region of Garfagnana literally carpeted in Chestnut Blossom, the huge profusion of Chestnut trees means that there are many speciality Chestnut Foods many of which can be found in Aia di Piero from Chestnut pasta to chestnut marmalade to chestnut cake and bread. In fact Chestnuts were one of the few edible items that kept the population from starving during the WWII occupation and the years beyond when Italy was poor due to the almost complete destruction of crops, manufacture or any other money making venture. Continuing this reflective mood there are MEDITATIVE TREATS like watching the swallows drink their evening libation and reflecting that God takes care of all His creatures while sitting by the infinity pool at sunset, one of the highlights of the experiences section of the Lucca Villa Rental site Still on a pensive note but a little more active we can enjoy the PEACEFUL HUNTING TREAT like Funghi Hunting in the chestnut woods in late summer early and mid-autumn. Then we can enjoy the ENERGETIC TREATS like joining in the Vendemmia at La Collina del Sole a once in a lifetime experience unless you live in the area in which case it becomes a once a year experience as described in the Viva La Vendemmia blog posted on October 6th 2012 The feeling of satisfaction when you sit down to a well-earned vendemmia feast has no compare. There is the GO FAST TREAT like renting a Ducati, Maserati, Ferrari and Lambhorghini driving as described in our La Collina del Sole it is all about the va va voom post dated April 6th Or a truly ONCE IN A LIFETIME TREAT like peeping through Heavens window !
On our latest escape to the land of “ Villa rentals in Tuscany “ we have discovered two AMAZING FOODIE finds just a stone’s throw from La Collina del Sole our favourite among Villas for rent in Tuscany the first is the “Osteria al Ritrovo del Platano” so named because Giovanni Pascoli - arguably the greatest Italian poet writing at the beginning of the twentieth century - met his literary friends here at the grocery store / bar near where his sister Maria lived. This area is filled with lovely Holiday villas in Lucca and gastronomic hotspots like il Vecchio Mulino which incidentally celebrates Slow Food day in Italy today 25 of May 2013 with a feast of Tuscan delicacies and wine tasting, Andrea the owner is a great friend of the owners of Lucca Villa Rental and Mauro Bertolini, the owner the above mentioned Osteria. Andrea with his affable personality is a bit of a celebrity in Garfagnana and hosts wine and olive oil tastings; so why don’t you meet him when you next rent a villa in Tuscany it is WELL WORTH IT. So let me tell you a little more about the wonderful Osteria al Ritrovo del Platano, well it has THE MOST AMAZING FOOD at unbeatable prices, do not be put off by the photo of a very smart looking chef on the website, or the advertising, he is very friendly and serves a “working” lunch menu on weekdays or “menu di lavoro” which for €10 gets you starter from a choice of 4, a main course from a choice of 4, water, wine and coffee ! and a jolly good one too ! for €20 you can choose the menu turistico which consists of a selection to choose from and for which you get antipasto, homemade pasta, main course, pudding [ SO YUMMY ] water, Wine and coffee, unbeatable really … the A la Carte is fabulous and SO reasonable you would pay 5 - 10 times in a metropolitan restaurant . Here is a small selection of our favourites, boiled egg with truffle, polenta with game topping, puff pastry with cheese and black truffle sauce, wild mushroom maccheroni, Goose Ravioli with truffle, Chestnut pasta with walnut and fresh Ricotta sauce, Bison meat Tagliata [grilled so the meat remains succulent] Guinea Fowl breast with mustard and green pepper sauce, Duck in Leek sauce, FAB veggies like roasted onions and sformato di verdure [a vegetable and potato mash], with a selection of cheeses and honey to top it off or a warm … yes warm tiramisu AMAZING so if you, like me are hungry at the thought of such delicious food, we recommend you go to the 445 that runs between Aulla and Lucca, and at the Ponte de Campia be prepared to stop in a hurry as it is ON THE EXACT fork where the road goes north to Castelnuovo / Aulla and right to Barga, blink and you miss it so … don’t miss it. The Osteria still has the two banana trees that gave it its name in Pascoli’s days, dating from this time too, you find a table that Pascoli used to sit at, many photos of the era and amazing food. Their address is Via Provinciale, Ponte de Campia, Gallicano, 55027, Lucca Tel 0583 68 99 22 Rock on in and give Mauro our very best wishes, he is super friendly !
One of the delights of life when you rent a villa in Tuscany is the FOOD and what better way to explore the best AND most hidden restaurants in the region of your villas for rent in Tuscany than to know how to ask directions, as even the best sat navs send you into the sea instead of keeping you on track, here we share with you 3 of our favourite VERY hidden treasured restaurants near La Collina del Sole and a few useful phrases to use when you get there as restaurants in the mountain ranges near Holiday villas in Lucca do not necessarily have a menu in English, particularly if you are in the remote villages near Lucca Villa Rental the same is true of any remote villages near Villa rentals in Tuscany they might not have an English menu but Mamma Mia ! they will serve a fabulous home cooked meal. First up is Il Ponte di Ceserana, in Ponte di Ceserana a fabulous restaurant located at the point where you leave the main road to go to La Collina del Sole the closest gourmet meal you can get, to Lucca Villa rental their telephone number is 0583 66 20 05, they are WELL known for their fish menu on Friday lunchtime which is well priced and has FRESH fish and seafood caught that same morning in the sea 1.5 hours away. The Fish and Chips are elegant and delicious, although the cook Claudio comes from Ayr in Scotland and speaks English with a delightful Scottish accent, his wife Clementina does not so you will definitely the phrases I write of a bit further down.
Second super find is Locanda Belvedere Di Roberta e Clara just outside the town of Silico, 30 minutes drive from La Collina del Sole It is run by a family and has great home cooked food, with homemade pasta it has a concise menu of what is SUPER fresh that day it is well priced with tables out of doors. Telephone number is 0583 662173, phrases needed here.
Third HIDDEN secret is La Bettula in Alpi di Sant Antonio, their telephone number is 0583 760380. It is a very picturesque 1.5 hours drive into the mountain range from La Collina del Sole if you are going straight there …. however it is the drive and views of the hilly countryside getting there and back that make this day trip special. Good food phrase book ESSENTIAL here.
Our phrase format is English, Italian as it is written and then as it is pronounced if you have an English or American accent. Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? Par-la Een-glay-zay I don't understand Non capisco Non Ka-peesk-koh I'm sorry Mi dispiace Mee Dees-pee-at-chay Where is? Dov'é Doh-vey ...a restaurant un ristorante Oon Rees-toh-rahn-tey ...a casual restaurant una trattoria / un'osteria Oo-nah Trah-tor-rhee-ah / Oon Ohst-air-ee-ah I would like to reserve... Vorrei prenotare... Voar-ray Pray-note-ar-eh a table for two una tavola per due Oo-nah Tah-voal-lah Pair Doo-way I would like Vorrei... Voar-ray ...some (of) un pó (di) Oon poh (Dee) ...this questo Kway-sto ...that quello Kwel-loh and e Eh antipasto antipasto Ant-hee-phas-toh fresh pasta pasta fresca Phas-ta Fres-kha porcini mushrooms funghi porcini Foon-ghee Por-chee-neh truffles tartufi Tarh-tuh-fee Chicken Pollo Poh-loh Beef Manzo Mahn-zho Dessert / Sweet Dolce Dohl-chey ...a glass of un bicchiere di Oon Bee-key-yair-eh Dee ...fizzy water acqua gassata Ah-kwah Gah-saht-tah ...still water acqua non gassata Ah-kwah Non Gah-saht-tah ...red wine vino rosso Vee-noh Roh-sso ...white wine vino bianco Vee-noh Bee-ahn-koh ...beer birra Beer-ah The bill please Il conto, per favore Eel Coan-toh Pair Fah-voar-eh Is service included? É incluso il servizio? Ay Een-clou-so Eel Sair-veet-zee-yo Thank you Grazie Graht-zieh ENJOY !
Italians are suave, debonair, elegant and CHARMING ! We suggest that in order to get the best of your stay at Holiday villas in Lucca you learn the lingo… this way the hosts of your Villa rentals in Tuscany will be charmed and show you an even better time while you rent a villa in Tuscany You have two options you can learn Italian at La Collina del Sole as if you stay at this amazing Lucca Villa Rental you can learn Italian with a friendly, engaging and creative approach, with Alina d’Amelia who teaches Italian as a second language and is available for private tutoring to see this option check the experiences section of www.luccavillareantl.com . This is the easiest way to learn “Italiano” when you stay at villas for rent in Tuscany Learn many useful expressions at the same time as getting to grips with Italian culture. From absolute beginners to advanced levels, improve your communication skills, in order to get the most from your stay in Italy. Lessons upon request at La Collina del Sole tutoring fee is €20 per hour which includes preparation time.
Your second option is to buy a phrase book, a notoriously laborious and often frustrating method, the third is to start now so here are a few useful expressions, here is a starter portion we have divided them in the word you would like to say, how it is written in Italian and how it is pronounced if you have a English/American accent. First up to get Maximum Brownie points … greeting people. The ubiquitous Hi or Ciao is hardly ever used, only while dashing past someone with no time to greet properly, so to gain most points greet properly, greet them with the time of day.
Here is how to catch peoples attencion to ask directions to the suggested watering hole farmacy, food shops, walks, Pizzerias or places of interest written up in the Villa handbook Good day Buon giorno Bwohn Juor-noh Good evening Buona sera Bbwon-ahh Sair-rah Good night Buona notte Bwon-nah No-tay Goodbye Arrivederci Ah-ree-ver-dair-chee Or if you want to be very formal for Goodbye - Arrivedela ah-ree-vehdair-la At a bar and need an extra prosecco ?? Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi Skoo-zee I would like a glass of Prosecco– Vorrei un bicchiere di prosecco Vorr-hey hun beak-khiere dee Prosecco When searching for the perfect scoop of ice cream [gelato] and have to look past a queue 3 deep use -Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso Pair-meh-so When searching for the best restaurant in town use Where is the restaurant ? Dov'é il ristorante Doh-vay Eel Rhis-toh-rant-eh What do you say if soemone lets you into a super secret special date for a festa Thank you grazie Grat-tzee-yay How to begin asking where you can find the Olive iol and wine tasting experience ? please per favore Pair fa-vohr-ray What do you say if you found the suggestions in the Villa handbook helpful ? yes si see What MUST you say if asked if you woudl like to go home ? no no pronounced as it is said … no When asked if they would like to come back to La Collina del Sole our guests have always said an emphatic SI … do join them !
Is it the light? The beautiful rich terracotta quality to the sunsets that you perceive when you rent a villa in Tuscany ? Is it the View? That reminds you a still serene moments as you savour your holiday villas in Lucca ? Is it the Tuscan food? That brings the tinge of pleasure as you remember your beautiful Villas for rent in Tuscany when you next taste Funghi Porcini in your home town? Is it the culture? That surrounds you at every step when you get acquainted with the surrounding area of your villa rentals in Tuscany ? Is it the kindness of all the help you get when you stay at La Collina del Sole ? is it the amazing experiences you live when you stay at Luca Villa rental ?Well we would like to think it is a combination of all the above, without doubt Tuscany has the most amazing colours for those who are artistically sensitive you cannot fail but to appreciate the crisp morning light so beautifully captured by the gifted photographer Rebecca Jenson on her last visit, to the deep terracotta sunsets pictured by every guest at La Collina del Sole the surrounding heritage is also astounding from the most amazing ruined fortresses surrounding La Collina del Sole to the seat of civilization in Florence and the home of pageantry in Sienna. From the delicious Funghi Porcini and Black truffles that are indigenous to the countryside around Lucca Villa rental brought to your table at the excellent food found at Boninni’s or at Casa del Pescatore to the fine Tuscan dinning found both at Ristorante Millevini in Siena [Fortezza Medicea, 1, 53100 Siena, Italy tel +39 0577 247121] our new favourite with specifically Tuscan cuts of Beef and Tuscan vegetables they have one thousand wines on display in their excellent event cellar below the restaurant, the wines here are wonderful and the food is to die for, and in one of Pavarotti’s favourite eating stops Antica Locanda di Sesto in Via Ludovico in Sesto Moriano, telephone 0583 578181 & 0583 406 303 where we can guarantee you an unforgettable meal with excellent wines. The friendliness and inclusiveness of the Tuscan people and in particular the people around Lucca Villa rental is exceptional, this warmth is testified in the tripadvisor feedback whcih La Collina del Sole has attracted, where with one halting Grazie you open the doors to the special Tuscan smile, and their extreme goodwill, it is not unusual for people to accompany you miles out of their way to make sure that you arrive at the right place, and this they do sharing their knowledge and love for the area, and then of course there is the views…….. which are outstanding, peaceful and have a historical charm about them When you are in Tuscany you are WELCOME indeed !
Italy and Good Food are synonymous … Such a bonus if you are planning to rent a villa in Tuscany Italians know how to live well and eat well! As we chose the location to be among the Holiday villas in Lucca one of the main considerations was an abundant choice of Truffles, Funghi Porcini and fresh pasta all of which are super abundant in the area around Lucca Villa Rental another consideration was award winning restaurants that are reasonably priced … think fresh sliced truffle topped fresh angel hair pasta for £15, or an amazing grilled steak, thankfully the Villas for rent in Tuscany that we chose had a comprehensive list of recommended restaurants Our favourites in the area of Villa rentals in Tuscany were casa del Pescatore, Boninis, Il Ponte di Ceserana with a fabulous fish menu on fridays and Pozzo, others in the villa handbook of La Collina del Sole were Butterfly , Triti, Aia di Piero whcih is also the best Italian speciality delicatessen in the entire region, La Bottega del Fattore, Osteria Vecchio Mulino where they also do Olive Oil and wine tasting sessions, La Ceragetta, Antica Locanda di Sesto where Pavarotti was a frequent diner, Trattoria 4 Leoni where Al Pacino likes to hang out when in Forence.La Collina del Sole also has a FABULOUS catering team that either bring you a feast from their suggested menu to eat so all you have to enjoy no washing up either! or they can leave you a ready prepared meal, with freshly picked ingredients and freshly cooked for you to enjoy at your leisure, they can teach to you cook “ a la Italiana” or they can show you how to prepare and cook a true Italian Pizza from scratch which is a real Pizza Experience !
With grey leaden skies above me I cannot WAIT to go on my holiday when I rent a villa in Tuscany and find foodie treasures while feeling sun kissed, my favourite Lucca villa rental among villa rentals in Tuscany is La Collina del Sole a beautiful Holiday Villas in Lucca situated in the heart of the main area for villas for rent in Tuscany at La Collina del Sole you find an award winning salt water infinity pool amazing staff, a fabulous Villa handbook stuffed full of ideas of where to go, what to do or not and where to eat so without further ado let’s get down to FOOD and where to eat like a king and pay like a pauper. The nearest restaurant is Claudios ‘Il Ponte di Ceserana, located at the entrance to the cluster of villages where La Colllina del Sole is located, close enough to villages but in a secluded spot. Their number is 0583 66 20 05. The owner/cook, Claudio, comes from Ayr in Scotland. He has recently started offering a delicious and incredibly well priced Fish Menu served every Friday lunchtime. Our guests have highly recommended it in fact they have even written about it, the menu changes according to the best fish available on the day, one of the favourites is a “Fish and Chips” with a twist of elegance, the menu is €10 per head a bargain for the quality and quantity of food and the amazing locally made grappas of different flavours which Claudio produces at the end of the meal. His wife Clementina and children help run the restaurant and bar. Booking preferred Monday is his day of rest.
Our gourmand choice has recently had a facelift so looks elegant and the food is still spectacular it is Trattoria di Bonini Pier, in Monteperpoli, his number is 0583 639 425, During all working days there is a very good lunch Menu for around €10, excluding wine. There is also the a la carte dining which is spectacular, roughly €25 plus wine. The menu changes with the season but if you see Tagliatta of Beef with Grilled vegetables or game do indulge they are exceptional. Pier the owner has an impressive list and knowledge of wines which are well priced. It is closed on Tuesdays.
Il Pozzo in Pieve Fosciana is also a favourite, very popular for weddings and other large celebrations their number is 0583 66 63 80. It has a delicious antipasto [mixed starter] dish in the area. Giordano and Maurizio founded Il Pozzo in 1985 and have formed part of the “Slow Food” movement from its inception. They are passionate about the origins of the food they prepare and have won several awards. They also have a “menu del giorno”, the restaurant is usually busy but capacious. Their wine list includes some from Lucca, Tuscany and further afield. They close on Wednesdays apart from August when they open seven days a week.
Our next Foodie Heaven is Casa del Pescatore in the village by the Lago Isola Santa, their telephone is 0583 639408. This is possibly the BEST kept Foodie Heaven secret of all time, if you like Truffles and Funghi Porcini, local cheeses and open wood fire grilled meat you cannot get better and it is ridiculously cheap affordable. In the heart of the Marble Hills a 50 minute drive from La Collina del Sole . Gabrielle Matzei set up his own small restaurant in Isola Santa a small village part of which he has restored and brought back to life. He also can dispense the permit you will need to buy if you want to fish for the succulent local trout of the lake. He is one of the most gifted cooks of the area and has had extensive write ups in gastronomic magazines including “Bon Apetit”. It is TRULY worth the winding drive through the hills.
A new re-discovery is La Bottega dell Fattore in Castelnuovo on Via F Azzi on the corner facing the Carabinieri station their telephone is 0583 62179. This restaurant has been taken over by the daughter and her husband the food was always good with an excellent wine selection, the food is now excellent and the wine selection is still fabulous. The daughter has also newly enlarged the restaurant and added an outside terrace for al fresco dinning. We last had a fantastic beef with a reduced balsamic vinegar sauce… incredible.
The most spoiling and fabulous gourmet experience is the Feast selection in the suggested menu available at La Collina del Sole, or the Pizza Experience all our guests have LOVED these and come back for more … So when you come to La Collina del Sole leave diets at home … enjoy the best food that Tuscany has to offer.