I was born in the magical Tuscan Maremma, far away from these windy and green lands, in a context of sun and sea that I thought never to abandon. Yet, for more than 10 years, I live here, in the territory of San Giuliano Terme, 8 km from Pisa, in the Tuscany of the North hosting towns and masterpieces of Nature unknown till today.
With my blog and my work I try all the time to study and make known to tourists and travelers the authentic Tuscan reality, comparing those who have prejudices on this land, and the effective reality that they belong.
The spirit in which I left for a Blog Tour in my life zones was precisely to convey to others my knowledge on a place that I live every day … yet … as the hours passed, I realized that I as the “daily living” environment often would render granted what for someone else is a masterpiece of nature.
During our weekend tours and visits in these areas, it became more and more mine the vision about the Travel according to Stephen Littleword:
In the green plain between the rivers Arno and Serchio, on the slopes of Mount Pisano is located in San Giuliano Terme.
The main assets of the town of San Giuliano Terme is its vast territory, full of history and resources, often unexpressed. A heritage that, in a particular microclimate, develops from the Pisan Mountains to the sea, surrounded by two major rivers (Arno and Serchio) and, now, enriched by a beautiful Regional Park Protected of 24 thousand hectares.
These areas are home to historic villas, hot springs, an incredible network of historical-naturalistic trails, Romanesque churches and medieval …
Unlike areas such as Chianti or Senese San Gimignano and Pienza, these “Tuscan” environments have been preserved throughout the years. Perhaps it is for this reason that agriculture is the main economic activity, while the friendly tourism still has great potential for development.
The Chef and Patron Luca Micheletti delighted us with several courses of starters and exquisite flavors.
Then we pass to first and second courses traditional revisited in a very personal way, but never depersonalizing the dish. I especially enjoyed a “Pappa col Pomodoro” (Tuscan tomato soup) with burrata flake that can not wait to taste it again.
Concerning the desserts, the chef has dedicated us a Show Cooking, while hosting in his kitchen, late hour.
We found out the ingredients and procedures of “mise en place” about the most successful desserts at Locanda Sant’Agata: Chocolate Mousse, Castagnaccio, Tiramisu and Millefeuille with chestnut mousse and persimmon sauce … they are no longer a secret for anyone noted Chef Micheletti’s tricks.
Late at night, me and my fellow traveler Beatrice Ghelardi, headed to Molina di Quosa direction, on the old road to Lucca; there, in the village of Rigoli, a few meters from Villa Corliano, on the right side of the Statale Abetone road, we could see standing out on the hill, very elegantly, the charming residence where we stayed for the weekend: Villa Alta.
In 1996 the house was restored by the actual owners renovating it completely, with an intervention that has helped to bring to light and original splendor most of the frescos. In Villa Alta can be found all the warmth and hospitality of a family environment, accompanied by the care of every detail as shown by the beautiful “Sala dei Fiori”, “Sala Paradiso”, “Sala degli Angeli” and “Sala della musica”.
In the morning, barely awake, I opened the small window of my room and I was struck by the splendor of the view. Just come downstairs for breakfast, one of the owners, Raffaella Cecchetti, welcomed us in the beautiful frescoed hall and while enjoying an excellent cappuccino and brioche, told us of the legend of the Villa.
For those who like to relax with a good book or still idle the time away in an intellectual way, I found very interesting the Italian garden right next to the Villa, where you will experience all the scents of nature combined with the peace that only a place so “high” can have.
Santa Bona, towards the end of 1.100, accompanied the pilgrims to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela (Portugal) and till today historians wonder why this Rosace about Beata is in these areas.
And it’s with spirit belonging to a person who always seeks excellence in its work, (according to the traditional rules), where it represents quality and authenticity, that we visited the Frantoio del Rio Grifone, next to the medieval town of Vicopisano.