Twitter #italychat Transcript: Travel to Tuscany and Tuscany for Foodies with James Martin

|image1|On Wednesday, March 2nd, James Martin of href=”http://www.wanderingitaly.com” target=”_blank”>Wandering Italy
and target=”_blank”> About.com’s Europe Guide joined us on #italychat to talk about Tuscany! Shortly after our chat, James’ first app href=”http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/tuscany-for-foodies/id422802182?mt=8″ target=”_blank”>Tuscany for Foodies was released!

Intro:
 
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly
Here we go 4 today’s #italychat – our guest is James Martin aka
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly.
His sites – href=”http://www.wanderingitaly.com” target=”_blank”>www.wanderingitaly.com
+
target=”_blank”>www.goeurope.about.com.
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly
Read more about  guest James Martin and his life in Tuscany –
target=”_blank”>http://bit.ly/a0RlXt
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly
We’re talking all about Tuscany- everyone is welcome to
chime in on answers. href=”http://twitter.com/wanderingitaly” target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
is our guest.
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone href=”http://twitter.com/dreamofitaly” target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly  href=”http://twitter.com/wanderingitaly” target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
I’m here too!
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly href=”http://twitter.com/dreamofitaly” target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly I’ve
got even more sites, you know. Some you don’t want
to know. 
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly
Welcome href=”http://twitter.com/ilpalazzone” target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone.
Feel free to chime in on Tuscany travel advice!
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly href=”http://twitter.com/wanderingitaly” target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
Do you share any sites you feel comfortable, ahem,
sharing.  And tell us about your Tuscany iPhone app!
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly href=”http://twitter.com/dreamofitaly” target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly 
My app should be out in a week. Tuscany for
Foodies and has info on classes, tours, and most of all restaurants.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly  href=”http://twitter.com/dreamofitaly” target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly 
I have a European weather site,
travel-weather.com for example.

Q1: So what is it about Tuscany that makes
everyone go gaga? True or hype?
Q1a: Does Tuscany live up to the hype of the movies, books, etc? What
makes it special?

target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
Hype. No, I dunno. I like the rural parts of Tuscany, where people make
their own food. I’m not actually partial to Florence.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli
It’s cheesy, but there’s this quality to Tuscany like
you’ve known it before whether in dreams or paintings. Hype yes, but
certainly strong evidence backing up that hype.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
I have some advice. Don’t come to Tuscany now. I’m freezing
my butt off. The wind is relentless.
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly
A1/A2 I think href=”http://www.dreamofitaly.com/public/100.cfm”
target=”_blank”>Chianti
lives up the hype, what people imagine Tuscany is
like, but now too many tourists. Gorgeous.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly  href=”http://twitter.com/melanierenzulli” target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli
Tuscany is everywhere. It’s a state of mind for sure.
In America, a restaurant called Tuscan is boring. Tuscan food is
simple. And you need great ingredients to
make simple work.
  href=”http://twitter.com/melanierenzulli” target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli
So true

Q2 If a traveler has a week in Tuscany, what are your personal
must-sees?

target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
Must sees? I’m a cultural relativist. You need to see what
floats your boat. Lucca is nice, living with my neighbors is better.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli
I always have to go to Siena. I’d love to spend a whole
week in just the Uffizi
target=”_blank”>@Hackneye I
have a general bias for the south. Siena, of course,
but also Montepulciano and the Val d’Orcia. 
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
I’ve started doing places nobody’s heard of on Wandering
Italy. Course you won’t find them if you don’t know to seach for them.
target=”_blank”>@Brigolante Reminds
me of funny Tuscan spoof story in The Onion:
target=”_blank”>http://tinyurl.com/2bnaehj 
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
Yeah, I like Siena too, but the horse race is for sissies
compared to L’ardia di San Constantino in Sardinia. I’m going to
Sardinia in a couple days for carnevale,
Sartiglia, another horse event. Should be interesting.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli I’d
really like to spend more time in Pienza, Pitigliano and some of
those lesser known southern Tuscan areas.
target=”_blank”>@SophieR Monteriggioni!
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone
target=”_blank”>@casinadirosa
wrote about how more various Tuscany is than
the Florence & Chianti brigade would have us think
target=”_blank”>http://bit.ly/esivBN.
target=”_blank”>@Hackneye Going
smaller and less obvious, I really like Radicofani
(great butcher), Sarteano, Pitigliano.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
I love the Lunigiana, the north, where I live. I like the
Val d’Orcia too–maybe it’s cuz I live here that I find it compelling.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli  href=”http://twitter.com/hackneye” target=”_blank”>@Hackneye
Pitigliano is very cool, what with its (quickly fleeting)
Jewish heritage.
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly Faves
in Tuscany – Maremma especially Saturnia. Val d’Orcia – see La
Foce estate. Bagno Vignoni. Radda, Greve, Panzano.  
 
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly  href=”http://twitter.com/melanierenzulli” target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli  href=”http://twitter.com/hackneye” target=”_blank”>@Hackneye
Pitigliano is a cool place. Melanie, you
wrote a book on Tuscany, right? 
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone
I have started a series of posts about things for families to do within
reach of Montalcino href=”http://bit.ly/e1G2P7″ target=”_blank”>http://bit.ly/e1G2P7.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli  href=”http://twitter.com/dreamofitaly” target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly
Yes, I wrote about Tuscany for the Unofficial
Guides and Michelin.
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly  href=”http://twitter.com/ilpalazzone” target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone
I know  href=”http://twitter.com/casinadirosa” target=”_blank”>@casinadirosa
would agree, so much in
Province of Pisa. Pisa has much to offer despite tourists.
target=”_blank”>@Alextcone Cetona
and its intorni – The best food I ever tasted
occurred on a short trip to Cetona (and side trip to Montepulciano).
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone
Next one will feature the Il Bosco della Ragnaia in S.Giovanni
D’Asso- superb landscaped garden by US artist Sheppard Craige.
target=”_blank”>@KreegadyKreegs  href=”http://twitter.com/melanierenzulli” target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli
I was thinking about Southern Tuscany too – had
trouble finding a place to rent last time we planned a trip.  
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli  href=”http://twitter.com/alextcone” target=”_blank”>@Alextcone
I’ve heard of Cetona – made from you – but never made it
there. Certainly on my list for next visit.
target=”_blank”>@FairtradeMiss for
me a week in Baths with a car to explore the surrounding
areas would be perfect.
target=”_blank”>@KreegadyKreegs Ended
up in Umbria (again) and took long drives from Perugia-area over
towards Montepulciano only- Montalcino was too far.

Q3: What must you eat in Tuscany and where? Specific restaurants would
be great to know!

 
target=”_blank”>@WanderingitalyYou
have to buy my app for specific restaurants!
 
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly First
thing that came to mind, href=”http://www.ribollita.com/eng/index.htm” target=”_blank”>ribollita
– delicious Tuscan soup.
Also great meats in Tuscany esp. at Dario’s in Panzano. 
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly href=”http://twitter.com/wanderingitaly” target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
Don’t make me beg! Please share one or two fave Tuscan
restaurants and we will buy yr Tuscany Foodies app! 
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
I just ate a 12 Euro Lunch at href=”http://www.locandadelgallo.it/” target=”_blank”>La
Locanda del Gallo here.
Pasta with wild boar, Roast Suckling pig, cannelli beans, wine, caffe.
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone
ll Silene di Roberto Rossi, Pescina, M.Amiata EVERY TIME! 
amazing primary ingredients, creative but not pretentious, gr8 wines.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
Yeah, Pasquino does great steak and panigacci.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli 1
of the best meals was at href=”http://www.vicchiomaggio.com/eng/ristorante.html”
target=”_blank”>Castello Vicchiomaggio
target=”_blank”>http://bit.ly/h3ney5.
Roast had soaked in 2btls of wine for 24h.
Phenomenal.
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone
Silene is also a romantic hotel plus Rossi runs nearby Spoerri
scultpure park… 
target=”_blank”>@Hackneye a
rare steak at href=”http://www.acquacheta.eu/” target=”_blank”>Acquacheta
in Montepulciano.
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly Cinghiale
(wild boar) also great to eat in Tuscany.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
target=”_blank”>L’Officina della Cucina Popolare
in Colle Val d’Elsa.
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone
target=”_blank”>@maremmaguide
should be here  a brilliant source of
information on all aspects of Maremma, a great corner of Tuscany.
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly href=”http://twitter.com/dreamofitaly” target=”_blank”>  href=”http://twitter.com/wanderingitaly” target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
Lampredotto Stands in Florence. Mmm, cow
tummy!
target=”_blank”>@Luccaitschool A
Lucca, la torta di verdura, la zuppa di farro e href=”http://italianfood.about.com/od/stuffedpasta/r/blr1081.htm”
target=”_blank”>i
tordelli.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
I repeat: href=”http://www.anticalocandadisesto.it/” target=”_blank”>Antica
Locanda di Sesto for meat
outside the walls
of Lucca. Man, pig fat rules. My local href=”http://www.spinofiorito.it/en/tipycal-restaurant-in-tuscany.asp”
target=”_blank”>Spino Fiorito
for three course lunch with all the
organic wine you can stomach for 10 Euros is nice as well.
target=”_blank”>@WanderingitalyYou
must eat wild boar with polenta because the boar really,
really likes eating the corn the polenta is made of. style=”text-decoration: underline;”> If
you can’t afford a fiorentina, even a tagliata is good
here, a steak cut in slices, grilled rare.

Q4: What are some great places to stay in Tuscany- hotels, rentals,
agriturismi, etc?

target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli  href=”http://www.vicchiomaggio.it/” target=”_blank”>Castello
Vicchiomaggio that I mentioned
earlier was once
the home of Caterina de Medici. Definitely ghosts there. I loved it.
target=”_blank”>**@Wizardofwords  href=”http://twitter.com/dreamofitaly” target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly
We really enjoyd stayng at href=”http://www.nh-hotels.com/nh/en/hotels/italy/pisa/nh-cavalieri.html”
target=”_blank”>NH Cavalieri in Pisa
as it
was right by the train station. More at href=”http://is.gd/TKMGm8″ target=”_blank”>http://is.gd/TKMGm8.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli In
Florence, I like this little B&B  href=”http://bit.ly/ei5OUI” target=”_blank”>Il
Porcellino– reasonable rates for
the location.
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone
Le 7 Camicie, agriturismo with view and thermal dipping pool or
Poggio Castellare B&B in hidden alleys of Montalcino.
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly My
friend Franco and family have nice rentals on their olive farm in
Chianti http://www.pornanino.com/

target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly I
LOVE staying at Tuscan spas like href=”http://www.adler-thermae.com/” target=”_blank”>Adler
Thermae and href=”http://www.hotelsaturnia.it/” target=”_blank”>Saturnia.
There
r some nice spas in Pisa province. 
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli Also
in Florence, I like href=”http://bit.ly/hOChu4″ target=”_blank”>Hotel
Botticelli – superb staff, great
location near the market, free wifi.
target=”_blank”>@SophieR  href=”http://www.remignoli.com/” target=”_blank”>Casolare
di Remignoli is quite nice.
target=”_blank”>@Thesorellaluna
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly
Nice! Thanks for sharing : ) I love olive farms! 
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone very
high end href=”http://www.ehc.it/castello-di-velona-montalcino/it/”
target=”_blank”>Castello Velona
is due to reopen this May,
10 mins from Montalcino.
target=”_blank”>@FairtradeMiss  href=”http://www.casacordati.it/index_e.html” target=”_blank”>Casa
Cordati guest house has clean
comfortable rooms an
apartment and a museum housing the paintings of Bruno Cordati.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli must
also mention my friend’s agritourism place in Castellina in
Chianti- target=”_blank”>Collelungo
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly One
of the coolest places I have stayed in Tuscany
target=”_blank”>http://www.residenzadarte.com/
filled with modern art,
sculptures.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
stay at target=”_blank”>Le Torri
near Poppiano Castle  href=”http://bit.ly/fLB5J6″ target=”_blank”>
target=”_blank”>@Alextcone  href=”http://twitter.com/melanierenzulli” target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli
hotel – target=”_blank”>http://j.mp/i4USBi
and the ristoranti – (1)
target=”_blank”>http://j.mp/ifYQLp
(2) target=”_blank”>http://j.mp/eB9Nzb
#cetona

Q5: What are some of Tuscany’s best historical sites?  href=”http://twitter.com/wanderingitaly” target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
has archaeology background.

 
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
There are over 160 castles and ruins in the href=”http://www.dreamofitaly.com/public/803.cfm”
target=”_blank”>Lunigiana,
so I
love visiting them.
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly
Dozens of trips to Italy but first time to Pisa this year. Liked it
way more than ever expected. 
target=”_blank”>@Usatourismboard It’s
all historical! href=”http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/174″ target=”_blank”>Florence
Historic Center, San
Gimignano…I like the Roman ruins in Fiesole and Ansedonia/Cosa.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
I like just walking into the unknown. There is lots of stuff
out there people dont’ see. I like sites you don’t have to pay for.
Sarzana, a little town near here (in Liguria though) has a
couple of fantastic castles.
target=”_blank”>@Hackneye if
you’re talking proper old stuff, not Renaissance
etc, this place near Sarteano is mindblowing: target=”_blank” href=”http://bit.ly/dNPJGr”>http://bit.ly/dNPJGr.
target=”_blank”>@Thesorellaluna
All of these suggestions have been so great! I have learned
so much . . . Grazie mille!
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
I like the Roman house, in Spoleto.
target=”_blank”>@WanderingitalyArchaeologists
are just starting to concentrate on real
people instead of palaces and gold. That interests me.
target=”_blank”>@Bellavitaitalia  href=”http://twitter.com/dreamofitaly” target=”_blank”>@dreamofitaly The
necropolis of Luni
is pretty amazing.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli  href=”http://twitter.com/wanderingitaly” target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
Tsk tsk….Spoleto is in Umbria! lol 🙂 
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
Oh, yes, the etruscan stuff. Pitigliano, Tarqinia, et all.
target=”_blank”>@Luccaitschool
Le terme romane di Massaciuccoli.
 
 
Post Comments:
target=”_blank”>@dreamofitalyThanks
everyone for joining  on Tuscany. See James Martin’s
site target=”_blank”>http://www.wanderingitaly.com
for tons more on the region. James also has a Tuscany for Foodies app
coming out in a few weeks. Look for announcement on href=”http://twitter.com/wanderingitaly” target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly.
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
I guess we’re done then. Phew. Grazie tutti. That hour went
fast.
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli Thanks
for the chat about Tuscany
target=”_blank”>@ilpalazzone
Goodnight  peeps let me know if you get to Montacino and
fancy a Brunello tasting.
 
Thank you to our participants for this week’s chat:
target=”_blank”>@AboutTuscany
target=”_blank”>@Alextcone href=”http://twitter.com/bellavitaitalia” target=”_blank”>
@Bellavitaitalia
target=”_blank”>@Brigolante
target=”_blank”>@FairtradeMiss
target=”_blank”>@Hackneye
target=”_blank”>@Ilpalazzone
target=”_blank”>@Italiamelissa
target=”_blank”>@Italofileblog
target=”_blank”>@Italylogue
target=”_blank”>@KreegadyKreegs
target=”_blank”>@Luccaitschool
target=”_blank”>@Melanierenzulli
target=”_blank”>@MyMelange
target=”_blank”>@SophieR
target=”_blank”>@Thesorellaluna
target=”_blank”>@Usatourismboard
target=”_blank”>@Wanderingitaly
target=”_blank”>@Wizardofwords
target=”_blank”>@WorkMomTravels