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From Tuscany with Love

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A dream foodie holiday with the Ferragamo family.   By Judi Gallagher   Traveling through Italy is thrilling for a chef and food lover. The earth produces the most incredible grapes, the most delicate squash flowers to toss with saffron and cream over fresh pasta, and porcini mushrooms that are as light and buttery as […]

June 11, 2007


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A dream foodie holiday with the Ferragamo family.
 
By Judi Gallagher
 
Traveling through Italy is thrilling for a chef and food lover. The earth produces the most incredible grapes, the most delicate squash flowers to toss with saffron and cream over fresh pasta, and porcini mushrooms that are as light and buttery as the risotto they dance in. As we wave good bye to Treviso and our memories of strolling San Marco Square in Venice, holding our sandals in our hands as we splash through the morning floods, and our second lunch of stuffed pizza overlooking the famed Opera House, I am overwhelmed with the anticipation of Tuscany’s abundant fields of fresh vegetables, olive trees and vineyards.


The village of Il Borro
 
 A mere three-hour train ride through the outskirts of Bologna and …Il Borro, the medieval town and winery of the famed Ferragamo family sits just outside of Montevarci in the Tuscan hills. As we drive through the gates, champion stallions on either side, we gasp at the pristine hillsides, streams and picture-perfect villa that welcome tourists and wine lovers to this must-stay-at “resort”. Picture a town that dates back to 1090 with the amenities of a brand-new five-star hotel. As we climb the narrow stone path that leads to our condo, we admire the breathtaking views and the tiny shops and listen to the calling peacocks just below the hills. This is not a travel log—this is our home for the next three days.


Imagine pizza stuffed with brie cheese and topped with proscuitto, baby arugula and cherry tomatoes.
 
You settle in immediately at Il Borro, opening a bottle of their lovely wine and the shutters that let in the afternoon breeze. Feeling the sense of belonging, we opted to settle in by booking in-room massages followed by a venture into the next town, where we purchased fresh porcini, farm eggs so fresh they bore the color of sunflowers and fresh fennel and sweet oranges with butter lettuce. An experience not to be missed is to cook for oneself in Tuscany, and Il Borro gives you the option with beautiful kitchens as well as the Osteria del Borro dining option—internationally acclaimed for local ingredients, an exceptional wine list and subtle culinary expressions that respect the farmland’s bounty.


Salvatore enjoys a hamburger; wait till we get him to the  Hob  Nob !
 
Experiencing this with Salvatore Ferragamo and his companion Nikita adds an even greater dimension to the experience. As we dined over pasta with fresh mint, zucchini and roasted garlic, and American-sized hamburgers, (Salvatore’s favorite) I found myself back to pinching myself for another reality check.