Tag Archives: al fresco

Tuscany day 3: Montelliccio dog beach, and more pesce fritto

Maddie at Mortelliccio

Our two “kids” are seasoned travelers in that they do fine on road trips, carry valid canine passports, and behave like saints at restaurants and in public places. This is the first time taking them to a dog beach/spiaggia per cani, and as it goes with all firsts, it’ll either be a good or a bad thing.

It was a hit.

Mr. B's first encounter sand

As I suspected, this landwiener stayed clear of the water and had zero interest in getting his feet wet. He was so engrossed with digging that all other dogs were ignored and not worth barking at.

Mr. B at Mortelliccio

I’ve never seen them so doggone ecstatic, so blown away by this fine, soft, dry material that falls back on itself. While Mr. B dug a hole to China, Maddie investigated the waves and had a sip. Bleah!

Maddie's first encounter ocean

The Mortelliccio location (north of Follonica) was surprisingly clean, long, and not crowded as I had imagined. Visiting before summer is most likely the reason, but I have no doubt the place sees a lot of quadrupeds and their humans during peak tourist season. From the pay-park (1€/hour) it’s a short walk to the beach.

da Mauro e Andreia

We spent an hour soaking up the sun before heading back for lunch, but not before picking up more of that delicious fried seafood from da Mauro and Andreia’s in Castiglione della Pescaia.

Lunch after the beach

Last Sunday lunch in August al fresco

Last day of August

August 31st: good food, good wine, good weather, good dogs! A fine way to end a summer that didn’t feel much like summer at all, and probably the last chance to have meals outside. While folks across the pond enjoyed a long Labor Day weekend, we celebrated the final days of August with flavors of the season.

Last lunch of August

Left to right: Riparosso by Illuminati, cialledda fredda (cold bread salad), prosciutto crudo and melon, smoked burratina and Paul Robeson toms from the garden, and sauteed portobello mushrooms in the corner. The bread salad is a snap to make. Take stale bread, tear it into pieces and moisten with a little bit of water. Toss together with chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, sliced cucumbers, dried oregano, fresh basil and black olives. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Smoked burratina

Burratina is a petite version of burrata, and this one is smoked instead of the usual plain (still excellent!) version. The smaller size presents beautifully as a single serving – look at that creamy interior!