Dining Pleasures

Dining Pleasures

Traditional recipes and typical products

Valdinievole does not only allow one to live well and have fun but to also eat well.
A hearty tradition of recipes and typical products are enhanced by the presence of specific tours around Montecatini Terme that lead to the discovery of precious Valdinievole food and wine tastings.

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Food and wine routes

Valdinievole Strada dell’Olio - Oil Route

Valdinievole produces an excellent extra virgin olive oil. In fact, the hills surrounding Montecatini Terme are always covered with thousands of olive trees, which produce an exquisite flavour thanks to the richness of the soil and the excellent exposure of the hillsides to the sun.
The Valdinievole Strada dell’Olio is based in the Municipality of Uzzano but the small member producers are also in the nearby towns of Massa and Cozzile and Pescia.

Montalbano Strada del Vino e dell’Olio - Wine and Oil Route

Wine and oil are typical of traditional products of Eastern Valdinievole too, where the Montalbano mountain range straddles the provinces of Pistoia and Prato. Vineyards and olive groves are the dominant element of the view from the Montalbano area and thanks to this long traditional production, the wines and oil produced in the area are very famous throughout Tuscany. The best wines of the Montalbano area are those produced near the town of Carmignano, especially in the area where there is the famous Villa Medicea di Artimino. The Extra virgin olive oil is just as fine, proven by the Typical Geographical Indication award.

Strada del Vino delle Colline Lucchesi - Wine Route of the Hills in Lucca

The hills of Lucca are famous for their vineyards, which produce a very pleasant wine. Red wine is particularly famous, produced by a several small grape producers who form part of a single consortium.
The best wine of Colline Lucchesi is produced in small towns like Gragnano and Matraia. However, the absolute wine capital is Montecarlo, the fortified village surrounded by walls, within which a traditional feast is organised every year during the harvest period, during which the "new-wine" is uncorked (young wine that has just been produced with grapes from the latest harvest).

Typical products

Chestnuts

On the mountains of Pistoia, a few kilometres away from Montecatini, there have always been vast numbers of chestnut trees which produce a particularly fine fruit with which a special chestnut flour is produced having a light colour and very fine texture, which is highly valued in desserts. Chestnuts from the Pistoia Mountain area are particularly special and are also eaten cooked on the grill, called 'frugiate', or boiled, called 'ballotte'.
They are collected between October and November and have a typical sweet taste.

Brigidini (thin anise flavoured wafers)

Anise flavoured egg puff pastry, typical of Lamporecchio. They are named after the monastery of Santa Brigida, where the nuns originally prepared these traditional sweets.
From their initial production in the small town of Valdinievole, today they are famous throughout Italy: in fact, they are found on the sweet counters at any fair or event, especially during the typical Tuscan festivities when the patron saints are celebrated.

Waffles

Waffles are typical of Montecatini Terme. Discs made with the same mixture as that of ice-cream cones, which is used for wafers.
It is a very old tradition: Montecatini Terme waffles have been produced ever since the first half of the 20th century by a few artisan bakeries.
Its fame has led to the Montecatini Waffle being awarded the Prodotto Agricolo Tradizionale (Traditional Agricultural Product) award by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Traditional recipes

Necci

Traditional sweets prepared with the special chestnut flour from the mountains of Pistoia. They are thin buns baked on the fire and then rolled with a ricotta or hazelnut cream filling.
Typical in winter and the Christmas holidays.

Cioncia

A typical dish from Pescia, which is prepared with the residue of the skin used for the tanning process. It was originally always a simple dish, however, today it also satisfies the most demanding palates. Today a special feast is organised specifically for this typical dish from the tannery district of Pescia.

Castagnaccio

The traditional chestnut cake is also prepared with the fine flour from the Pistoia Mountain area or Garfagnana, enriched with pine nuts and dressed with oil and rosemary.