Ciao! Updates from Tuscany | Chicca’s Newsletter FEBRUARY 2024



February in Tuscany is an underrated month. Here on the coast, near the Mediterranean, the climate is mild and we are blessed with many sunny days. Despite the countryside sleeping in silence, the first blooms begin: almond trees are the first to show their beauty.

They are like small lights lit in a landscape that seems lifeless but is ready to explode. It’s palpable. Everywhere. Small buds on the trees, shy little flowers hiding in the grass. I think February is the cousin of May, celebrated for the blossoms that actually begin now. It’s the perfect month to visit Tuscany, especially here on the coast. Even though everything is calm, the art cities are just a few hours away, for a day immersed in the beauty of Italian culture.

As nature reminds us that a new season is soon to arrive, typical seasonal products continue to grace our tables: pumpkins, broccoli, cabbages, spinach… everything that is green or round!

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup - live class replay - recipe on demand, do you want to give it a try?

A few weeks ago, together with Chicca’s Cooking Club, I taught live, via Zoom, how to cook one of my favorite recipes, butternut squash soup with crispy croutons. Over 70 people from around the globe turned a simple seasonal ingredient into a comforting and flavorful bowl of soup.

As the recipe had very few ingredients, we focused on quality over quantity and how to create a creamy soup without the use of heavy cream. Simple and healthy.

If you want to cook this soup with me, you can sign up here to watch this class on demand. It’s like Netflix for foodies!

▶︎ Sign up now and get this class for 21$

When you sign up, you will get:

• List of ingredients and tools, and a very detailed recipe.

• Access to a 1-hour instructional video replay with my tips and tricks to cook anytime later for life!

• New skills and a new recipe to add to your culinary repertoire.

• Wine pairing recommendation provided by our friend Linda Lawless, of My Somm Friend.

You can see here some of the pictures and feedback this recipe received from our beloved community, who gather after class on our private Facebook group to share their results.


Let me tell you a story…

I enjoy listening to stories, and I wanted to share something with you about Bolgheri and the wine region where we live.

When we moved here over 20 years ago, we found out that we landed in a 5-star paradise for wine lovers. Bolgheri is where Sassicaia and Ornellaia are made, and acclaimed by global critics as the best wines in the world several times.

Wine has been made here for centuries, but it was just a very ordinary wine, made with the typical Tuscan red variety, Sangiovese grapes.

During the 40ies, a revolution happened. The passion and the intuition of one man changed the destiny of this region in a few short decades.

The Marquis Incisa della Rocchetta, inspired by the special microclimate and similarity between Bolgheri and Bordeaux (another famous French wine region), decided to plant French grapes on the Tuscan coast.

His experiment, a French wine made in Tuscany, was later awarded the best wine in the world many times.

Fifty years later, when you visit our countryside, where once there were peach orchards, now a sea of vineyards is stretching to the blue of the Mediterranean…

Did you know this story? Are you a wine lover?

This is just a short version of the whole story, but if you’re curious, you can learn more here in this blog post.

If you want to visit Tuscany and our region, please reach out to us. You can stay in our property La Casa Toscana as an independent traveler or join one of our Food and Wine Trips.or one of our Food & Wine Day Tours. I would love to tell you more stories while cooking together and sipping a glass of Bolgheri wine!

Love from Tuscany,