Anne's Blog

  • lucignano_chianina_top

Lucignano, From Gold to Chianina Goodness

Date: December 15, 2014 - categories: , , - Leave your thoughts

The tall medieval watchtowers on Lucignano’s main piazza are testament to its bellicose history: ferocious battles raged when nearby Arezzo, Siena, Perugia and Florence vied for dominance of this hill town perched above the fertile Valdichiana valley stretched out below. The urban street plan, too, is typical of a fortified town: the Sienese built the first ring of walls in the 14th c and the conquering Medici added theirs over a century later. The concentric circles of looping alleyways are quiet now.

Lucignano, a fortified medieval hill town of southern Tuscany

Lucignano, a fortified medieval hill town of southern Tuscany

And Lucignano is to discover: sleuth out its “heart of gold.” You’ll find l’Albero della Vita (the “Tree of Life”) in the town Museo. Like us, you’ll probably view the stunning reliquary in flabbergasted silence: over seven feet of gilded bronze, embossed silver, enameled parchments, and coral branches interlaced in an intricate masterpiece of 14th c. and 15th c. Sienese and Arezzo area goldsmiths.

L'Albero della Vita, reqliquary majesty of Lucignano

L’Albero della Vita, reqliquary majesty of Lucignano

And Lucignano hides other delights, too – like the food. Strolling the backstreets, we stopped in at the local macelleria where butcher Gilberto was slicing up the prized bistecche alla fiorentina; after all, this is the Valdichiana area, homeland of the famous massive white oxen, la Chianina. The so-called “Florentine steaks” can only be of Chianina beef.

Gilberto, proud of his Chianina steaks

Gilberto, proud of his Chianina steaks

Pino and Gilberto talk about the raising of the Chianina beef

Pino and Gilberto talk about the raising of the Chianina beef

In the glass case, a huge salami we’d never seen caught our eye – and Gilberto offered us a taste of borista, a salami typical of the Arezzo area.

Gilberto with borista

Gilberto with borista

Gilberto and his wife Barbara have run their macelleria for over 15 years – and it’s worth a stop even if you’re vegetarian: the antipasto of porcini which Barbara had made certainly tempted…

Barbara's porcini were certainly tempting...

Barbara’s porcini were certainly tempting…

But by this time, we were on “the Chianina trail” so Gilberto suggested the Ristorante la Maggiolata just up the road – where hosts, Fabrizio and Francesca cook up and serve Chianina (Gilberto provides the meats) goodness – and not only. I tried the pici al ragu di Chianina (thick handmade spaghetti with a meat sauce of Chianina beef) while Pino ordered the pici with walnuts, radicchio and gorgonzola.

Pici con ragu di Chianina - a Fabrizio specialty

Pici con ragu di Chianina – a Fabrizio specialty

Pino chose pici with walnuts, gorgonzola, and radicchio

Pino chose pici with walnuts, gorgonzola, and radicchio

Fabrizio serves up the pici al ragu di Chianina

Fabrizio serves up the pici al ragu di Chianina

Ristorate La Maggiolata

Ristorate La Maggiolata

He was holding off for the Chianina as a second course. But all I needed were those artichokes! Che buoni! Young Lucrezia – their daughter – was at a nearby table enjoying an extravaganza of a dessert – gluten-free – made by her mother. To wrap up our feast, we split a French yellow-cream tart, lo gnocco, this one a specialty of Gilberto.

Ah, that Chianina!

Ah, that Chianina!

Fabrizio brings out the Chianina for Pino

Fabrizio brings out the Chianina for Pino

Artichokes for a superb antipasto

Artichokes for a superb antipasto

Daugher Lucrezia enjoys the dessert her mother made

Daugher Lucrezia enjoys the dessert her mother made

Lo gnocco, a tasty dessert Francesca makes

Lo gnocco, a tasty dessert Francesca makes

Whether you head to Lucignano for the golden reliquary splendor – or for the Chianina – be sure to include it in your southern Tuscany explorations. You’ll strike gold.

Click here to read more about Lucignano’s golden treasure
Click here to read about nearby Trequanda, another southern Tuscan favorite
Read about Petroio, not far away
Montisi is yet another southern Tuscan gem
Read about Sinalunga, a nearby southern Tuscan hill town we often visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website www.annesitaly.com
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
TYPE OF DATA TREATED
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address anne@annesitaly.com

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)