The landscape, towns and tastes of Tuscany are perhaps Italy’s most iconic. Only amidst the beautiful hills, and through the winding alleyways that skirt past architectural marvels, do fine living, unbeatable history, impeccable culinary heritage and traditional craftsmanship all combine. Something maybe even more iconic Tuscany’s green hillsides are perhaps the artisanal and culinary products. From craftsmanship to food and wine, there really is no other place on earth like this.
During this particular time, with everything going on in the world, not everyone may be in the mood to go abroad but, thanks to globalization and a little help from the internet, Tuscany can come to you!
Here are 3 typical products you can shop and enjoy at home:
Italian Craft Leather
Italy and particularly its Tuscan heartlands are well known for their exceptional craftsmanship and artisanal skills in leatherworking. This tradition has been around for centuries and the land is still populated by local artisans that handcraft every single thing they make. A website called Mirta sells artisanal Italian handbag brands, putting you in contact directly with these local artists. Here you will find the finest handmade leather bags with intrinsic designs and authentic quality.
Half way between Florence and Siena, you’ll find the world-renowned vineyards of Chianti, producing some of Italy’s finest wines. Rolling hills and trees provide incredible scenery, whilst a beautiful climate promises not to ruin any wine-tasting. While still in the UK, check your local wine shop for a bottle of Chianti wine and do your own wine tasting at home. To get even more close to the Italian culture, set up an aperitivo (Italian happy hour) and serve the wine with a cheese assortment, jams and honey, bread and crackers, cold cuts like prosciutto, figs and other finger foods you like.
The Truffles of Siena
A visit to Tuscany wouldn’t be complete without going to Siena and trying some fine Italian food at one of the many restaurants that swoop around the famous Piazza Del Campo. With Tuscany particularly known for its gourmet truffles, Siena is the perfect backdrop for such an indulgence. Authentic Italian truffles are not so easy to come by in the UK but online there are a few stores where you can find them; you could even try some local bodegas and gourmet food shops. The best part is that enjoying truffle is very easy: cook up some pasta and toss in a skillet with warm butter, then grate the truffle on top and enjoy! Another way to enjoy truffle is to grate it directly on a seared steak. The taste is so delicate and unique, you don’t need to add much to it.
Although the attractions of Tuscany can’t be seen or experienced anywhere else, their products can surely be enjoyed even abroad. While waiting for this global storm called Covid-19 to pass, enjoy some travelling without leaving your home, or at least the UK.