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

Buon anno – Happy New Year!

Cheers to new beginnings, to the good and the challenges that have yet to come. Because, after all, that’s what life is all about, isn’t it?

Our holiday season was quiet and isolated, thanks to a visit from Santa Covid before Santa Claus.

Arnaud and I had to say goodbye to all our plans and celebrate Christmas in the company of our beloved cats and dogs. It turned out to be a much-needed opportunity to rest—a lot. Sometimes, the best holiday plans are the unplanned ones!

The temperatures have been extremely mild, and we are able to spend time outdoors, during long walks on the beach and in our garden. Everything is dormant.

The big oak in front of the kitchen has shed its leaves, revealing intricate branches against the backdrop of a pink sunset sky.

The surrounding vineyards, with their earthy tones, dominate the scenery. Our cypress trees are standing tall and elegant, waving to us during windy days.

My kitchen is filled with seasonal fresh produce: vibrant citrus along with various types of broccoli, including cabbage, cauliflower, romanesco. Try these veggies raw into salads, finely cutting them into strips and dressing them with a zesty orange vinaigrette.

This is also the season of Cipolline Borretane, or Borrettane onions, a culinary delight from Italy. These small, flat, disc-shaped onions have a tender texture, a sweet and mild flavor that intensifies when cooked. They’re perfect for caramelizing.

Tuscan Food & Wine Trip, Join Us!

We’re gearing up to welcome the first visitors in April to our Food & Wine trip in this extraordinary part of Tuscany, where you can enjoy: vineyards like Sassicaia and Ornellaia producing world-class wines, rolling hills with Medieval villages and olive trees, pristine Macchia Mediterraneana forests home to wildlife, and a coast once inhabited by the Etruscans, stretching towards the mesmerizing Mediterranean blues.

While the April tour is fully booked, we still have some spots available in the May 8-12 and October 23-27 trips. Registration is closing soon, so please reply to this email to secure your spot or sign up below. We’d love for you to be part of our trip!

Picture this: 5 days of pure Italian life in the heart of Tuscany, by the Mediterranean, where every moment is a celebration of culture, wine, and cuisine. You’ll be traveling along with us and have the opportunity to gain insights into the history, culture, and traditions from true insiders.

In case you missed it, no worries! You can review the itinerary here.

The best part of the tour for me? Cooking together with you in my own kitchen, crafting handmade pasta, sizzling meatballs, and other mouthwatering traditional recipes!

Here’s what awaits you for 5 days:

  • Cook authentic Italian recipes with me in my home kitchen.
  • Savor the excellence of Super Tuscan wines from top vineyards.
  • Explore medieval villages, meet local artisans and winemakers, who have become friends over the years.
  • Indulge in the finest Tuscan cuisine at my favorite restaurants, curated just for you.

Check out this video from last year’s trip and feel the excitement!

We’re close to Rome, Florence, and Siena, easily accessible by car or train. You can easily extend your vacation by exploring the charm of these iconic cities after your stay with us.

For more info or questions or just to join, reply to this email! Our small-group (maximum 8 people) trips fill up fast, so let us know soon!

We can’t wait to make unforgettable memories together in Tuscany!
Chicca & Arnaud

PS: Our community keeps growing! If you’re new to this newsletter and wonder who I am, learn more about me here.