Tag Archives: Tuscany

Sagra dei Pesci

Castiglione della Pescaia – And on the 4th day, there was a fish sagra.

Sagra dei Pesci

The evening before heading back home, we considered the idea of dinner service offered by the agriturismo’s hosts (the owner is a fisherman and cooks up these fabulous, multi-course meals), but then I had to spot this fish festival poster above. OH yes!

Regular readers know of my mad enthusiasm for traditional food events, and there was no question about where we’d dine that night. Held at a sports camp in the neighborhood of Casa Mora, we got there early before the crowds rolled in.

The menu was primarily fish with a couple of meat options thrown in for carnivores.

Sarde marinate con cipolla Tortelli al pesce
Baby sardines with onions — Spinach and ricotta-stuffed tortelli in octopus sauce

Tagliolini del pescatore Calamari ripieni in salsa
Tagliolini in a tomato-based seafood sauce — Stuffed calamari

It doesn’t look like we ate much but there was still some cheese, salumi and wine back at the cottage. Prices were a tad higher (altogether we spent 34€ which included service and a cup of beer), but that’s the norm for fish dishes in Italy anyway. The sagra was also open to dogs, so there wasn’t a problem with our two.

The following morning it was goodbye to our donkey companions (the westie saluted them with a woof!) and a promise to return soon. In October, not far from the agriturismo, there’s a festival serving mushroom dishes, chestnuts, wine, polenta, and wild boar. Che bontà!

La Dolce Vita - goodbye donkeys!

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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

Tuscany day 2: glamping under the Tuscan sun

La Dolce Vita in Vetulonia
La Dolce Vita, our hideaway in Vetulonia

You won’t have television or internet (for that you’ll need to go to the main building), but at Agriturismo Il Baciarino, why bother being a slave to the grid when you can indulge in a little dolce far niente? Excuse me while I pour a glass of wine in a toast to Julia Roberts.

La Dolce Vita

Where: ancient Etruscan village of Vetulonia. Tucked away on a quiet hillside surrounded by acacia trees, wildflowers, and pretty weeds, La Dolce Vita Vita lives up to its name and offers the casual air of camping life but takes the rough out of “roughing it” with indoor plumbing and hot running water within its rustic stone walls. Renovated from an old farm shed, it is one of 5 self-catering cottages on Il Baciarino’s property.

Glamping at La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita outdoors

A sheltered outdoor kitchen with camp stove, dorm fridge, open dining area, hammock, sun loungers, and swedish hot tub was all it took to fall in love with this magical place. But the true hook, line, and sinker? The undeniably breathtaking view.

Buongiorno bella!

Make that friendly resident donkeys and a jaw-dropping view. We fed apples to the mother-daughter duo from day 1 and they had us trained like good little tourists. The next morning while I was putting the Moka on the fire, they ambled up – clop, clop, clop – and gave me a look that said, “Well where are the apples?”

Pesce fritto

Food: eventually we had to take five from basking under the hot Tuscan sun. We replenished our energy for doing more of doing nothing with a quick trip to the fish stand in Castiglione della Pescaia for cold beer and fried seafood, then purchased fixings from the Saturday morning market for lunch al fresco back home. Roasted pork sandwiches, fava beans, pecorino, chicken liver crostini, and Chianti. Cheap and tasty!

Pranzo al fresco

The dogs loved their new digs. Such a huge difference from being enclosed in a hotel room, and with so much to sniff and explore.

Dog's life at La Dolce Vita

They napped in different spots throughout the day but I swear that Mister B preferred the hammock to all else. What a dog’s life, eh?

Dolce far niente in a hammock

I know we’ll be back: Il Baciarino