Day Trips ideas from Florence

According to the Guardian, Florence remains the epicenter for true Italian culture and heritage. There are, however, a number of quiet towns and restaurants that blanket this popular and inspiring city. Florence also has a backdrop with breathtaking scenery, including stunning mountains, wineries and monasteries that rejuvenate both body and soul. These venues are located within a few hours of the city and truly make for great day trips. If planning to visit this historic city, there are a number of destinations that simply cannot be missed.

The Magic of Barga

If you want to avoid museums and crowds, Barga is truly the place to be. This medieval hilltop town features twisting lanes, cobbled streets, and spectacular floral arrangements. The town is primarily made up of artisans that effectively capture the allure and essence of Italian culture. From ceramic shops to small art galleries, Barga has everything you need to refresh the soul. Visitors can easily reach the town via train or car. There are also convenient and affordable guest houses for tourists and locals alike. Whether it is Villa Moorings or the Apuan Alps, Barga offers serenity at its finest with a touch of class.

Enjoy Certaldo Alta

Certaldo Alta is just a stone’s throw from Florence. Known for its quiet old town bars and restaurants, this picturesque town is a haven for tourists and visitors. With mouthwatering cuisine and even cooking classes, you will truly enjoy the culinary excellence this amazing town offers. Certaldo Alta also showcases a summer arts and music festival. Whether you love jazz or modern hits, the old church offers tantalizing tunes that easily blend in with its scenic environment. If planning to stay the night, the Fattoria Bassetto will easily facilitate your needs and that of your loved ones. This former Benedictine convent is the best budget hotel and hostel in the area. If you want to experience a great Italian day trip, Certaldo Alta will meet all your needs within time and budget.

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Certaldo Alta – source

 

Experience San Gimignano

Located in the Tuscany region, San Gimignano is known for its captivating vineyards and olive groves. Surrounded by green hills and pastures, the town is a haven for fine wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs. Just an hour by road from Florence, San Gimignano is blanketed by ancient farm buildings, tranquil gardens, and aesthetically pleasing backdrops. Whether it is capturing the sunset or a quiet picnic for two, this lavish and elegant town offers true romance at its finest. The area is also perfect for hiking, biking, and especially nature walks. If you need a break from the daily grind, San Gimignano truly offers a day trip experience like no other.

You Will Love Lucca

Lucca is also the perfect getaway for those seeking true solace. As the birthplace of Puccini, this traditional yet vibrant town remains a true gem. From scrumptious food at Trattoria Buralli to its signature bricked tower at Guinigi, the town simply offers something for everyone. While vacations to Florence are still great, daytrips to neighboring towns seem to be soaring in global popularity. For more information on the best day trips to Florence, speak to your travel agent or simply check the web.

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Tower in Lucca

How to Visit a Balsamic Vinegar Producer in Maranello

Guided visits at Acetaia Clara in Maranello, Emilia Romagna Italy.

If it happens to be in Maranello visiting the Ferrari Museums remember that we also conduct balsamic vinegar tour there. Specifically we visit acetaia clara an artisan producer with a passion for quality vinegar. The acetaia has more than 300 casks holding the precious liquid. The owners have been running the place for over 30 years. Beside being certified producers of balsamic vinegar of Modena DOP they offer very competitive prices for their excellent products, so it is indeed a place for shopping for some bargain souvenirs.  The visit is in the language of tour choice and it lats about 1 hours, it also include tasting of Saba (cookeed grape must) a vinegar aged for 15 years, a second one aged for 25, and a reserve vinegar aged in juniper casks only. The tasting include ricotta topped with saba, Parmesan cheese topped with 25 years old balsamic, Balsamic and chocolate. And to finish some Nocino liquour  that is a speciality of Modena.20140614-174029-63629326.jpg   20140614-174026-63626280.jpg 20140614-174024-63624748.jpg

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What to do in MODENA in three hours

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Visit the perimeter of Maserati factory, you can spot many Maserati super cars running around, and see them test driven.

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The Maserati factory has a small showroom where you can see the cars but you can also buy Maserati gadgets, T-shirt and so on. You do not need any appointment to go to the showroom, you can just turn up. However factory tours are harder to get.

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This is the Maserati tower it is the headquarter of the company, note the Trident which is the symbol of the Maserati and it is sitting on top of the building, the Trident  was chosen as it was also represented in the Piazza Maggiore fountain in Bologna.

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Nearby you can find another supercar Museum. It is just five minutes away, it is Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari, and it is located at his house where the car maker was born, now it is a museum with plenty to see.

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This is the main building of the Ferrari Museum and host many super car collection that are changed regularly. From here you can also take a shuttle bus and go to Marenello, where the other Ferrari Museum is.

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This is the oldest delicatessen in the world it was open in 1605, it belonged to the GIUSTI family for a very long time. They were salami and ham makers in Modena and their products were exported all over Europe. Now is still a deli but also a renowned restaurant, featuring traditional fare but make sure that you book well in advance. It is open only for lunch.

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In Modena people eat your gnocco fritto, it is a local speciality, it is simply a fried dumpling but is very tasty as it is fried in pork fat. You can order it for breakfast with your espresso. Or have it for dinner with slices of Parma ham.

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This mercato Albinelli, here are you can buy many local specialties and super fresh meat, fish vegetables and fruits. It is in liberty style and built at the beginning of the 19th century. It is a focal point of the city, if you want to see the locals and what they eat, mercato Albinelli is the right place.

Buy Lambrusco Wine Online In the United Kingdom

Our Lambrusco wines have been carefully selected to bring to our customers the most amazing bubbly experiences. Forget the Lambrusco of the 1980s, this wine has gone through total new revamp and it is experiencing a revival. Some of our wines are organic, bottle ferment using the same method used to make Champagne. Other Lambruscos in our selection have won several prices in Italy as best wine. If you are looking for an unusual high quality bubbly wine you are in the right place.
Wines are shipped directly from the producer in Italy to our stock room in London and we can deliver to the UK mainland. The minimum purchase is 6 bottles and the prices include free delivery for your convenience.

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Italian Olive Oil Importer in London UK.

Extra Virgin high quality Olive Oil from Abruzzo Italy Available for wholesale in London.

Another amazing producer has joined Emilia Delizia’s quest to bring the best Italian products to the UK. This time we have an excellent extra virgin olive oil produced by Fattoria la Pietra near the picturesque town of Penne Abruzzo in central Italy. This extra virgin comes from a single producer and it is very different from the mixed olive oils that you find in supermarkets. The excellent climate of the Abruzzo region benefits from the influence of the Adriatic sea and the coolness of the Apennini range. This is one of the reason of the quality of the agricultural produces that come from the area. In this case the olive oil has been labelled with a PDO award which is given only to the highest food products available in Europe. For more information about the Apurtino Pescarese DPO Olive Oil you can visit the cooperative website.

Olive Oil from Abruzzo

This olive oil is set to please everyone from beginner and occasional users to gourmet foodies who like to use extra virgin olive oil everyday. Tasting the product you will find first fruity with low acidity, at the end you have lasting hints of artichokes and a final touch of spiciness to complete the product. Olive oil is known for its health benefits due to its high content of polyphenols, in particular it helps to lower bad cholesterol which is considered the main enemy in modern diets.

Fattoria La Pietra ExtraVirgin olive oil is available in 3 formats: 500 and 750 ML bottles and 5 liters tin containers. Emilia Delizia would be very happy to organise a tasting in London for your deli, restaurant or any other food retail.

Emmer – Farro Fetuccine

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The same producer also grows emmer  also know in Italy as farro. It is an ancient kind of wheat that has less gluten toxicity compared to modern grains. Emmer is also rich in essential amino acids hard to find in other foods. Fattoria La Pietra proudly produces farro grains to cook as is or it is also milled into flour, ideal for breads and pizza. The producer also make delicious pasta fettuccine from wholesome farro.

 

Fresh Pasta Importer in London United Kingdom.

Importing Fresh Egg Pasta into The United Kingdom.

Our company has teamed up with some of the best artisanal pasta makers in Italy. We are now able to import into the United Kingdom high quality fresh egg pasta packed in protective atmosphere with a long shelf life. The stuffed pasta lasts for 30 days, and the non stuffed products last for 45 days. The availability of refrigerated courier in europe is now greater and it is possible to have these products within 48 hours from ordering without breaking the controlled temperature chain.

Who are the producers?

In this case we have selected a very high quality pasta producer based in the region of Le Marche in Italy which is famous for its excellent culinary traditions. Our producers only use the highest grade ingredients. Only the best flour and the best eggs have been selected to produce these delicious pasta parcels. The company uses only fully traceable ingredients and in particular they only use Italian wheat and Italian eggs.

The Stuffed Pasta.

High quality hand made pasta from Le Marche. Here below you can see two example of the the pasta they produce

Caramelle: Durum Semolina egg pasta stuffed with Various Fillings

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Caramelle are delicious and fun at the same time as they replicate the wrapping of candies. The company produces them with different fillings: ricotta and porcini mushroom, ricotta and artichokes, Ricotta and radicchio.

Ventagli : Durum Semolina egg pasta stuffed with Various Fillings

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Made strictly according the Italian tradition only with high quality ingredients and completely made by hand. The stuffing varies according the requirements of the client: Ricotta and Spinach; Ricotta and truffle, Ricotta and pumpkin, Ricotta and Radicchio, Ricotta and prawns. 

Freshly Made Artisanal Olive all’Ascolana – Italian Stuffed olives

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Olive all’Ascolana are a typical dish that you find in Le Marche in central Italy. They are an excellent product when sold as street food or at events or parties. Our supplier makes them by hand one by one using only the freshed and best local ingredients. They are simply made with olives stuffed with meat and parmesan cheese. They are breaded and ready to be fried. They also come packed in trays under protective atmosphere and they have a life of 20 days. If you are planning to start a food truck, or if run food based events olive all’ascolana will be an incredible hit for you.

Why choose products from Le Marche.

Le Marche is famous in Italy for its incredible food traditions spanning from fresh egg pasta, to cheeses and wines, fish and meat dishes. To learn more about the cuisine of Le Marche you can read this article too.

The Beauty of the Five Lands: Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre which means five lands is on the brink of Italian Riviera. It is named after the five small towns of Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, Monterosso and Riomaggiore. It has out of the ordinary scenes that are very architectural and filled with lively colors. These villages are connected by old steps and different hiking trails. Accommodation booking should done early especially during summer.

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Stunning villages – The cinque Terre – Source

Monterosso the largest of them all is among the most scenic towns in Italy. It is located on the Ligurian Sea and is the point of departure for 12km hiking path used by adventurers that runs down the Coast of Cinque Terre. This village features various tourist attractions like a cathedral, castle and a sandy beach with a magnificent footpath. One can board a ferry that connects this town to the other four towns.

Corniglia, the smallest of Cinque Terre villages is located in the center of the five villages. It is not adjacent to the sea like the others but is about 100metres high on a cape. Three sides of this town are surrounded by terraces and vineyards while the part that goes down sharply to the sea is the fourth side. You can reach this village by climbing the Lardarina if you love climbing. It has the narrow roads and a terrace through which the other four villages can be seen with two on one side and the other two on the other.

Manarola built at the mouth of river Volastra has very steep narrow alleyways that lead you to the waterfront. It is considered to be the quietest village of all the five and is known for producing olive oil and wine. The distinctive terraces with vines can be viewed from the hilltop. Wine lovers can make a stop at the small museum that is devoted to wine. It has a tiny harbor with blue water formed by a terraced boardwalk. Sit at the piazza if you want to enjoy the atmosphere and have some great seafood.

Riomaggiore the first of the Five Lands lies between two steep hills is characterized by constricted tower-houses. If you want to go to the little beach of Fossola then you can use a set stairs on the south side. Bird watching can be done at botanical gardens of Torre Guardiola. On the lower part is the old castle of Riomaggiore where one can enjoy stunning sights over the sea. The Lovers’ Walk path is a well covered shoreline trail that has stone benches set on the side of the cliff along the way.

Among all the five towns Vernazza is the only one that has a port. It is considered to be the most beautiful Cinque Terre village. It is surrounded by sharp terraced olive groves and a complex layout. While here you can visit Belforte Castle, the cylindrical tower, go hiking through the north-west trail that is 3.5km and you will have to purchase a Cinque Terre Card to access it. At the end of the paths is the open space of haven with a flowing spring. This town can be accessed by local commuter trains. This will enable you to ride alongside cliffs which overlook olive trees and turquoise waters.

Food Experiences near the Cinque Terre.

If you are interested in a food experience around the Cinque Terre you should also check this page about fishing tours in Camogli. For hiking tours in Cinque Terre you can also check out sister site.

How to make Tagliatelle (with a rolling pin) in Bologna

Bologna is the city of fresh egg pasta, and its symbol is the Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese. Long strips of pasta noodles served together with meaty and traditional Bolognese sauce. Emilia Delizia does Pasta Making classes in Bologna, so you could stay in town and learn how to make this stupendous dish.  Tagliatelle are easy to make, you can use a traditional rolling pin or you could use a pasta making machine for practicality. Below we have included a quick tutorial.

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Making green tagliatelle in Bologna – source

 

Making Fresh Tagliatelle in Bologna,  Italy.

Making delicious authentic Italian food at home doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you follow the simple instructions from Giallo Zafferano, one of the leaders in traditional Italian cuisine. When it comes to Italian food, it all starts with the fresh pasta, and as far as pasta goes, tagliatelle is far and away one of the most versatile and easiest to make of all the various pasta varieties. It goes well with almost any type of thick pasta sauce including Bolognese and almost everything in between. What’s more, you can even add a bit of extra flavor to your dish by incorporating fresh spinach  directly into the tagliatelle dough to make a green version of this dish.

Making the Pasta Dough.

To make enough of this outstanding fresh tagliatelle for 4 people, all you’ll need is 2 1/3 cups (300g) of flour, 3 medium eggs and a pinch of salt.
To make your tagliatelle dough, combine the flour, eggs and salt into a large bowl, then begin mixing it all together with your hands until everything starts to come together. Then transfer the dough onto a clean surface and knead it until you’ve got a smooth even ball of dough. Finally, cover the dough with plastic wrap or a bowl and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Rolling Out the Tagliatelle

After the dough has rested, you’ll begin by taking a portion of the dough (1/4 at the most) and rolling it out until it’s no more than 1/16th of an inch thick. Then, take the strip of rolled out dough and roll it up on itself long ways, making a long rope, taking care not to press the layers together. Now, take a knife and cut about 1 inch strips off the rope to create the individual strands of tagliatelle, and then repeat this process with the rest of the dough.

Cooking the Tagliatelle

The final step is to cook your pasta. To do this, place a large pot of well-salted water on the stove to boil. Once it’s boiling, add the pasta, making sure to try to separate the individual pieces as you drop them in the water. Let the pasta boil for just a few minutes (usually no more than 4 or 5 at the most), then strain and serve your delicious homemade tagliatelle with your favorite pasta sauce. It’s that simple.

Lambrusco – Rediscovering this precious wine

Meet Lambrusco – a refreshing, foamy red wine, ideal for a family picnic, fresh egg pasta companion or an appetizer for a summer cocktail party alongside with a bowl of fruits or berries. Unlike Champagne, where the second fermentation occurs in the bottle, Lambrusco is treated by a method called Charmant – where the wine gets its bubbles while stored in large steel tanks, prior to bottling. However these days we see a variety of producers doing bottle fermented lambruscos.

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Organic Unique high quality bottle fermented Lambrusco from Modena – San Polo di Castelvetro.

 

The origin of Lambrusco.

Being originally produced in Emilia-Romagna (northern Italy), this lower alcohol content wine is primarily made from the Lambrusco family grape, in fact most red wines have 13/15 alcohol degrees but lambrusco rarely has more than 11/12. Ranging from classic dry to an exquisitely sweet fragrant, the frothy drink has made a long way from its popularity peak in the 70-ies to a gradual decline due to mass production and then a revival in the recent years. The reputation of a cheap alike-soda is long behind and today, a great variety of tangy and delicious Lambrusco wines are available; in this article we shall discuss the frizzante type – lightly sparkling red ones.

The difference between secco, dolce and amabile

Depending on the tannin, and alcohol amount, Lambrusco can harmonize with a wide assortment of dishes. When picking up the right sort for a barbecue or a romantic dinner, make sure you understand the labels: secco for dry, amabile for medium sweet and dolce – for a sweet dessert wine.

Saio Rosso Lambrusco from Agriturismo San Polo Castelvetro di Modena.

This Lambrusco offers a unique experience, San Polo is a strictly organic producer, who use the bottle fermented method like in champagne. The wine is aged for 3 years before being consumed. It is robust and rustic but yet fruit and pleasant, and ideal for meaty pasta, and roast beefs sort of dishes.

Lambrusco di Sorbara from Cavicchioli, for example, will add an unforgettable air and a rosy scent to a light fruit dessert. It can be drunk on its own as aperitivo before dinner.

Lambrusco of Venturini Baldini, on the other hand – with its cheerful spirit of raspberry balanced by a touch of bitterness – is known to be best served with traditional pasta and local Emilia Romagna cuisine.

Lambrusco Grasparossa Amabile from Chiarli vinery, made by one of the oldest wineries dating back to 1860, has its cheerful berry overtone and goes along with a Parmesan cheese or Prosciutto di Parma.

The best Lambrusco wines are affordable for all Lambrusco prices vary from 5 euros to 10 euros per bottle, which is another great reason to include this fizzy wine into your menu.
Vittorio Graziano Fontana dei Boschi’s lambrusco, for example, has a delicious aroma encompassing a strong purple berry scent blurred with notes of salami. It is best to be accompanied by cold cuts like Parma ham or another cured meat. Unlike traditional Lambrusco wines which are best to be drunk young, this one goes just as well being slightly aged.

Lambrusco Concerto from Medici Ermete  has its multi-fragrant element providing a unique, persistent essence with a slightly bitter finish – it will fit perfectly into a barbecue brunch with an old-fashioned pollo alla cacciatora.

Ca’ Montanari Opera Lambrusco di Modena Secco  is one of the best choices to supplement down-to-earth dishes such as the Lasagne or tagliatelle alla  Bolognese. This dark colored, flowery-scented drink adds a long-lasting impression to any Italian-style classic dish.

Lambrusco is best to be served chilled

The ideal temperature for getting the utmost value is around 12/15 degree celsius. Serving it too warm might destroy the complexity of the multi-layer aroma bouquet: the alcohol, evaporating too fast will overlay the sophisticated perky fruit flavor for which this wine is so much appreciated.
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Lambrusco red wines differ in hues, texture and sweetness-bitterness scale – each sparkling drink suits a different mood and occasion. Experiment with the wine-food combinations until you find the true spirit and the best match.

EU Stops USA to Use the Name “Parmesan” For Fake Cheeses

According to The Guardian, during recent trade talks, the European Union stated the desire to ban European names used in the United States for cheese. Parmesan is one of the cheese’s mentioned during the talks. The EU believes that cheese made in the U.S. pale in comparison to the European varieties, hurt the identity of European cheeses, like parmesan, as well as reduce sales.

The EU argument on copied PDO products.

The EU argues that parmesan cheese should only come from Parma, Italy, and the ground cheese sold in green, cylinder containers in the U.S. is not, and should not be labeled carry the name parmesan. The problem for the U.S. is what would you call the block of cheese grated onto your favorite pasta? If it’s not parmesan; then what is it?

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Kraft exploits the name Parmesan to market  a product that has nothing to do with Parmigiano Reggiano – Source

The U.S. are fighting back.

Needless to say, U.S. dairy producers are fighting the change, claiming it would greatly cut into the $4bn cheese industry, and cause confusion for cheese consumers. The cheese name change would not only affect parmesan, but other popular U.S. cheeses as well, including feta, asiago, Romano and muenster.

Kraft, and other large cheese producers in the U.S. claim that while it was Europeans who originally brought parmesan and other cheeses to the U.S., it was, and is, the U.S. produces that have made these cheese profitable and popular. They also argue that cheese parmesan and other cheese names have always been considered generic names in the U.S.

What this name change comes down to is mass confusion by consumers in America, as well as loss in sales and jobs. Errico Auricchio, president of BelGioioso Cheese Inc in Green Bay Wisconsin suggested, “I can’t believe it’s not parmesan,” as an alternative name in jest.

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