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4 Best Cities to Explore the Food of Tuscany

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Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy

The four best food cities of Tuscany capture the region’s distinctive flavors and celebrate the remarkable terrain that forms a gastronomical paradise. Many of the culinary customs surrounding the simplicity of Tuscany’s cuisine take root with the local Etruscan settlements and tradition of peasant cooking.

No matter the roots of the cooking methods and styles, Tuscany’s cuisine has helped shape the larger image of Italian food in an area known for sunflower fields and Renaissance lords, cypress trees, and hilltop towns whose recipes you can enjoy during your Italy trip.

1. Florence

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

The cuisine of Florence is simple, plentiful, and represents a range of culinary ideals embodying customary and contemporary styles. The heart of the cuisine of Florence consists of five essential ingredients: bread, extra-virgin olive oil, meats, legumes, and wine. The city's typical dishes reflect a mixture of the rural traditions focused on utilizing rustic ingredients and touches of aristocratic cooking techniques.

Famous dishes of Florence: Panzanella | Pappardelle with wild boar or wild hare | Florentine steak | Lampredotto | Tripe | Florentine peas

2. Siena

Siena, Italy

Siena, Italy

The cuisine of Siena embodies the greater traditions of Tuscany. Typical Sienese dishes utilize garlic and aromatic herbs such as mint or tarragon, producing delicacies like pici pasta or Cinta Senese salumi. Siena province is also known for producing pecorino cheeses and fabulous wines. The tradition of Sienese cuisine derives from the poorer farmers of history, resulting in rich flavors captured in the olive oil, meats, and herbs from the surrounding hills and mountains for exceptional local flavor.

Typical dishes of Siena: Pici | Crostini neri | Braised beans in tomato and sage sauce | Pasta e Beans | Pecorino cheese | Truffles | Tuscan Salami

3. Lucca

Lucca, Italy

Lucca, Italy

The cuisine of Lucca is rich in ingredients and robust in flavor. Traditional Lucchesi cuisine embodies the variety of landscapes around the province with ingredients like chestnut flour, anise, cured mates, artichokes, and asparagus. Local products like farro and porcini mushrooms and olive oil have a special place in Lucca kitchens, reflecting the wealth of natural ingredients in the province and gastronomic heritage.

Popular dishes of Lucca: Panforte | Pecorino cheese | Pici pasta | Mount Amiata mushroom soup | Raviolo

4. San Gimignano

San Gimignano, Italy

San Gimignano, Italy

San Gimignano’s typical cuisine represents the broader traditions of Tuscany’s renowned hills. Typical ingredients include rabbit, leek, tomatoes, and aromatic herbs, in addition to cultivating celebrated wines and the iconic colorful spice of saffron. The most common dish of San Gimignano is rabbit cooked in Vernaccia wine, which highlights the importance of both the meat and the wine in a single recipe. Starches like tagliatelle, risotto, and gnocchi also play an essential role in the town’s customary cuisine.

Popular dishes in San Gimignano: Pork loin with savoy cabbage | Lamb ribs with garlic puree | Zuccotto with saffron | Ribollita | Pappa al Pomodoro

How to Plan Your Tuscan Vacation

Rolling hills in Tuscany, Italy

Rolling hills in Tuscany, Italy

The cities of Tuscany represent one of the most famous regions in Italy and protect a rich culinary heritage that demonstrates the region’s diverse flavors and gastronomic styles. Each city uses local and seasonal ingredients to create historic dishes resulting in memorable flavors. You can find exciting traditional tastes with our Italy Food and Wine Guide, or enjoy inspiration for your trip with Zicasso’s Italy Travel Guide. You can also speak with an Italy travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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