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The Italian Saga: Castiglione Della Pescaia

August 5, 2011

Today’s post will be entirely devoted to a cozy, charming village named Castiglione Della Pescaia, an ancient medieval pearl located in the province of Grosseto, Tuscany. Its history goes back to the ninth century AD, when the inhabitants built a fortified wall around the town to protect their homes from repeated pirate invasions. Today this little town attracts crowds of European tourists, who are anxious to try out its treasure trove of culinary delights and beautiful Tyrrhenian beaches.

If you’re staying somewhere in Tuscany, Castiglione Della Pescaia would be a perfect destination for a romantic day trip. It has dozens of restaurants and pizzerias that offer authentic Italian food and incredible Tuscan wines. My boyfriend still can’t stop emphasizing that he didn’t have a single mediocre wine there.

One of our favorite restaurants in Castiglione was Ristorante da Anna (and not just because I share the same name). It’s a very simple place with no fancy dining. But the food there is almost indescribable. The menu consists of several pasta dishes, which are to die for, and the rest are specials, usually the fresh daily catch, which is displayed at the entrance to entice hungry passersby. My favorite dishes were succulent grilled octopus salad and homemade spaghetti with lobster.

Another great eatery is La Pergola. It has the best pizza in town and even Wi-Fi, which surprisingly is pretty hard to find in Tuscany. To me, the secret of delicious pizza is in its crust. It has to be thin and crispy, but at the same time a little soft to soak up the marinara sauce and marry all of the ingredients together. That’s Food Network talking! 🙂

Two other restaurants I’d recommend are L’Andana and Ristorante La Vecchia Torre. They both are situated a little away from the sea, in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. L’Andana is located at a luxurious hotel with its own vineyard and olivewood, and boasts a Michelin star, which I’d solely give for its outstanding Tiramisu. La Vecchia Torre is a tiny family-owned restaurant where the recipes have been refined throughout the generations. Make sure to try the savory steak Florentine, homemade gnocchi with rabbit ragout, and homemade ravioli with spinach and ricotta cheese.

At night, Castiglione becomes a unique party place, with people dancing on the tables in the narrow medieval streets and DJs jamming a surprising mix of the 90’s pop and rock.

That’s it for today. More posts about Pisa, Florence and Rome are coming up soon!

Mmm… delicious!


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