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Tuscany: Food, Farm and Kitchen Shops

Pauline Kenny

The page lists some of my favorite specialty food shops, farm shops and kitchen shops.

Florence

Kitchen Shops

Bartolini, Via dei Servi (the largest)

Menegere, Via Ginori

Chianti (Tuscany)

Bucine: Stefano Luciana, Via Roma 43.
Steve and Pauline, June 2000. A great fruit and vegetable store with some grocery and deli items. They had a homemade polenta that they sold by the slice which was great. It was displayed puddled on a big wooden board with a wire net over it. On the main street, just inside the city walls.

Gaiole: Lo Sfizio di Bianchi, Via Ricasoli, 44/46. Caffe and store in the center of Gaiole. Recommended in the Capalbo book.
Steve and Pauline, Fall 1999: Their deli is excellent. They have many prepared foods and great fresh bread and other bakery things. The woman that runs the deli is very helpful and friendly. She will explain everything to you (and she speaks English).

Greve: La Bottega Del Pane, Rinaldi e Grassi, Piazza Matteotti, 80
Steve and Pauline, Fall 1999: A great bakery. We went there frequently in 1997 when we were staying nearby and returned in 1999.

Panzano: Panificio Flli. Cennini, Via XX Luglio, 60.
Steve and Pauline, Fall 1999: This is supposed to be a good bakery in Panzano, but we didn't find it.

Siena (Tuscany)

Consorzio Agrario Provinciale, Via Pianigiani, 5 (just off B. di Sopra)
Steve and Pauline, Fall 1999: A big alimentari. They sell the consortium's olive oil, made from Tuscan olives, pressed at the mill in Pianella. 5 liters in a tin is 49,000. That is only 10,000 per liter (about $6). Compare that to 25,000 per liter at an estate ($15) or $30 in the US. Lots of other food things.

Morbidi, Banchi di Sopra 73/75
Steve and Pauline, Fall 1999: A great deli. You can get fresh gnocchi, artichokes and lots of other things to take home and make a meal.

Arezzo and surrounding area (Tuscany)

Pane e Salute, Corso Italia 11, closed Sunday, Wednesday PM in winter, Saturday PM in summer, August. 7:30-13:00, 16:30-20:00 Recommended in the Capalbo book.

Steve and Pauline, June 2000: Great bakery. The bread is great. We got some flat, salted bread, some flat olive bread (whole grain and great), half a round, flat loaf, and a loaf called Pane Medieval.

Monte Amiata area (Tuscany)

Castel del Piano: Corsini Biscotti, Via Marconi, 2. On Piazza Garibaldi, the main piazza on the edge of the historical center. Open 7:30-13, 17-19:30. Closed Tuesday, Sunday afternoon. Recommended in the Capalbo book.
Steve and Pauline, June 2000. A fabulous bakery - very high quality. The bread is great. Also biscotti and other bakery things. You can sometimes find their biscotti in the AutoGrill stores (yes!). We also got big pieces of pizza for lunch.

Castel del Piano: Fungoamiata, on the east side of the main road from Castel del Piano to Seggiano (in a small town called Pian di Ballo which is not on most maps). There is only a small sign. Open 8-12, 14-18:30, closed Sunday. Recommended in the Capalbo book.
Steve and Pauline, June 2000: Fungoamiata is a small food production factory. Their products are sold all over Tuscany. The sales office is up the stairs on top of the factory. The had all their products on display (all in jars and preserved in olive oil): porcini, other types of mushrooms, artichokes, olives, asparagus, dried tomatoes. They had some pates: olive, truffle. And sauces. We bought some to take home and some for the trip.
Note: You can buy all their products in the Agricultural Cooperative store in Pienza, beside the pay parking lot. We saw them there in October 2001.

Southern Tuscany

Cetona: Cantina La Frasca, Via Roma 13. Just behind the police station if I remember correctly.
Tom from CA, September 2001: A very charming woman selling her family's wine and olive oil in addition to pecorino, proscuitto and other products. There were tables set up in the cantina and she encouraged us to have a seat and taste EVERYTHING. We ended up buying a few bottles of wine and some cheese from her. Great little place.

Montepulciano: Formaggi Silvana Cugusi, cheese maker, SS 146 between Montepulciano and Pienza. The farm has a big sign and is on the north side of the road, 3 km past Montepulciano. Open 8-13, 15-19:30 every day. Recommended in the Capalbo book. They also have a shop in Montepulciano, on the main street.
Steve and Pauline, Fall 2001: A small shop on the farm. This is the real Pecorino cheese (sheep's milk) - handmade on the farm. You can get various "ages" of Percorino, fresh Ricotta and more.

Montepulciano: La Buca (or Buca Nuova?), cheese maker, on the road from Pienza to Montepulciano.
Recommended by Bill from Montefollonico.

Pienza: La Cornucoppia, a speciality food store, on the main street just inside the gates. Many high quality locally made products. Recommended in the Capalbo book.
Steve and Pauline, Fall 2001: We found the British printing of the Capalbo book here. Good wine selection and specialty products.

San Casciano dei Bagni: Pasticceria Il Campanile, up the main street, past the main shops, past the church.
Steve and Pauline, June 2000: No bread, but good cookies and other bakery things.

Western Tuscany

Massa Marittima: Le Logge, caffe and pastry shop, Piazza del Duomo, 11-13. This caffe is across the piazza from the Duomo.
Steve and Pauline, June 2000. They make a special Panforte (the Siena speciality of a flat cake made with nuts and candied fruit has been made here since the times when Siena ruled this area). They have a light and a dark variety - Panforte il Balestro and Panforte Nero il Balestro. You can buy the light Panforte from Williams Sonoma (in the US by catalog) at Christmas time. The man selling us the panforte was very please to tell us that. It is in the Christmas 2000 catalog, listed as Panforte (the description says it is from Massa Marittima and the picture is the same as we bought there). There was an expiration date on the Panforte we bought. Closed in October. We paid 8,000 lire for the dark Panforte and 7,500 lire for the light (each is 250g or 8.8oz). That is about $3.75 for the light. Williams Sonoma charges $12 for 15.8 oz, which, we think, is about 500g. So in Italy you would pay $7.50, but in the US $12. If you are in Massa Marittima anyway (they have an excellent Duomo), pick some up; otherwise give Williams Sonoma a call!

Nothern Tuscany

Lucca: Cioccolaterria Caniparoli, Via San Paolino 96.
Jean from MI, October 2001: Famous chocolate shop.

Buy food things to bring home

Shopping for food things and everyday things that seem a bit different because they are from Italy is fun. You can carry lots home with you - just load up your carry on bag with the breakables and squishables and hope you don't have too far to walk in the airport.

On our 1999 trip, we brought home:

  • 6 bottles of olive oil and 2 jars of tomatoes from the organic farm near Arezzo
  • a 5 liter tin of organic olive oil and 5 jars of sauces from the store in Spello
  • 2 jars of porcini in oil and a small jar of truffles from the store in Castiglion del Lago
  • a bottle of olive oil from Castelo Melto
  • a bottle of olive oil from the Siena co-op store
  • cookies from Nannini
  • chocolates with liqueur in them
  • tea towels and pot holders from the Busatti store in Arezzo
  • clothes pegs from the store in Panicale (they are made in Italy)
  • 2 olive wood cutting boards from Montalcino
  • ashtrays from our Florence hotel and the restaurant in Saturnia (they gave them to us)

Things we bought, September 1999

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