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Showing posts from January, 2015

WINTER LUNCH IN MONTERIGGIONI (and what to do in fortress town)

Close to the Firenze-Siena highway, tiny Monteriggioni is a beloved stop on the Tuscan tourist trail. However, most locals don't take the Monteriggioni exit for sightseeing but for a bite to eat at bar Orso. The roadside cafe not far from the highway exit is well known for its panini: generous Tuscan sandwiches filled with prosciutto, salami, Pecorino cheese or - my favorite - acciughe sotto pesto (anchovies marinated with parsley, garlic, chili pepper and extra virgin olive oil).  However, on a sunny winter day skip bar Orso and drive up to Monteriggioni itself. The medieval stronghold is visible already from the highway and similar to San Gimignano has been a landmark along the former pilgrim route since medieval times (and hence also got its mention in Dante's Divine Comedy). The fourteen towers have been cut back and rebuilt through the centuries but the intact town wall is the real deal. The small town has several bars and restaurants. On a warm winter day a