Monday, January 9, 2012

Italy - an authentic Tuscan kitchen

Was excited to be cooking in a Tuscan kitchen in a 14th Century stone villa.
Last night, we took an overnight train from Munich to Tuscany and disembarked in a station called Chiusi. After an hour's drive, we found ourselves in a most gorgeous valley, south of Tuscany, called Val d'Orcia. Located on the rolling hills of Pienza and Montichiello, it is earmarked as a UNESCO World Heritage site and should not be missed when in Tuscany.

Pienza is located in a place so beautiful that even the Pope fell in love with the area. The landscape is of immense and incomparable beauty and has been used for blockbuster movies including Gladiator, The English Patient and Twilight. As we were there in winter, we met more locals than tourists which was really really nice.

We checked into the beautiful Cretaiole, an awesome 14th Century stone villa. For the next 7 days, the kids didn't want to leave this villa!

View from our farmhouse. 
An authentic Tuscan marble sink. The tap on the left brings spring water from the mountain into the kitchen.

The sunrise(s?) and sunsets in Tuscany were dramatic and a daily phenomenon.
Photo credit: my aspiring photographer daughter
The beautiful Creatiole - highly recommended.
Photo credit: daughter
A dish drainer that doubles as storage - now, why didn't I think of this when I renovated my kitchen?

Some of the utensils I used while cooking there. 
These were just outside the door and I helped myself to them too. 

I did an easy roast chicken with lemon and thyme. Somehow, it looked better in Tuscanware even though I did
not get to truss the chicken.
The Tuscan kitchen inspired my 2 sons to want to make something that night. One made mash potatoes and the other made egg mayo for breakfast the following day. There's just something culinary about Tuscany.

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  1. Gorgeous place you stayed. No wonder the kids were so inspired to cook. Did you have the place all to yourself?

  2. It's a huge villa and you can book the entire villa if you have many families and friends together. We took 2 rooms out of maybe about 5 or 6 rooms. Each room is quite self-sufficient with its own bathroom, living, dining and kitchen and all beautifully decorated.

  3. You’re really amazing!

  4. Hi Anonymous, thanks for dropping by! Do visit again and leave me your name so I can call you something else other than this! Cheers, and happy 2012!

  5. Hi! My family and I will be staying there this summer! I can't wait! I think we will be staying in the same room that you have in your photographs. Any suggestions on things we must do or see while we are there?

  6. Hello. Cretaiole is so beautiful and relaxing. Isabella has a 200-page book she compiled herself on what to do and where to go. It is very comprehensive and better than any guide books! We enjoyed just driving around the Val d'Orcia which is breathtaking and the venue for many movies including The Gladiator!


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