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Report 1997: Farm Stay in Tuscany - Tenuta di Spannocchia

By fivediggs from Italy, Spring 2012

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Page 2 of 7: Spannocchia - Restaurants & Cinta Senese Tour

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Cinta Sense Tour

While we were at Spannocchia we participated in the Cinta Senese pig tour. It was a highlight for all of us - including the kids. Katie, the Education Director, is a charming fun woman from Ireland that confessed she decided to move to Italy and take this job at Spannocchia after tasting the Soppressata. She loves talking about the animals and the breeding process and her passion and enthusiasm are contagious. The Cinta Senese pigs are a heritage breed and Spannocchia began breeding them after learning of their endangered status. The pigs are bred for consumption but they are meticulously cared for and have plenty of room to roam and play. There are fenced areas located throughout the property and the pigs are moved periodically. Each morning, our family would do a "pig hunt" trying to find where they might be on the property.

The tour concludes with a Salumi tasting. You are served a plate with lardo, prosciutto, soppressata and salsicce. Katie asks you to smell each piece and try to figure out what fresh herbs have been used to season them. It is fascinating - you can smell the rosemary or nutmeg and the flavor is amazing. For foodies, this tour is a must!

We did eat a couple of times at nearby local restaurants that I would highly recommend trying if you visit. The small village of Torri, located about 10 minutes away from the property has a wonderful restaurant, La Serva Ubriaca. The building is an old farm stable and has an amazing view. The gnocchi are made by hand and melt in your mouth. We also tried the wild boar in a tomato sauce and it was delicious. For wine, there is a great Chianti Classico di Torri that is made right on the farm.

We also ate at Le Logge in Rosia two times. It was probably the favorite for our children. The restaurant serves wonderful pizza (only at dinner) and managed to make a special green sauce (pesto) for my four year-old even though it was not on the menu.

A great recommendation from Katie was to purchase fresh fish at the "market" in nearby Stigliano. The "market" consists of Gianni and his white truck packed with fresh fish driven straight from the sea that morning. We bought polpi (octopus) and followed his instructions to make an amazing meal. Cleaning them was not fun but certainly provided lots of laughs and a memorable moment for the kids. There is a great store, La Bottega, in Stigliano as well that sells wonderful local cheeses, meats, olive oil and wine.

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