Of course the ideal period to visit Pisa: is in June . This period, known as “Pisan June”, is a celebration of a glorious past, when Pisa was an Independent Maritime Republic. The whole city becomes a spectacle, with concerts, festivals, exhibitions and fairs. Actually Pisa worths to be explored all the year around!
Even in the course of a rainy day there’s something interesting to do in Pisa
On the 25th November 2017 a Wine Event called “I Pisani più Schietti 2017” was held in an old convent ” I Cappuccini in San Giusto” inside the restaurant “Il Giardino del Colombre” . It was organized by the “F.I.S.A.R of Pisa” (“Confederation of Wine Tasting Experts, Hotels and Restaurants”). “I Pisani più Schietti 2017” in its XVIII edition is a Provincial Exhibition of the Best Wines produced from the “Etruscan Coast” to the “Colline Pisane” . There were Local Wineries of Pisa and its Province promoting the vast heritage of autochthonous grapes: Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero, Trebbiano Toscano & Malvasia Bianca Lunga . The province of Pisa extends over an area characterized by plains and hills that reach an elevation of 200 metres above sea-leve. Pisa and Its Province’s best Wines belong to a specific area and are associated with a road that leads gently along green hills in a charming landscape. There are many family-run Wine Farms : they have changed into businesses and promote their “D.O.C. Wines” (Registered Designation of Origin) and “D.O.C.G. Wines” (Registered and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) in Italy and abroad. Between the provinces of Pisa and Livorno exist zones highly suited to winemaking, with the mother of Tuscan coastal wines, Bolgheri, at the centre, such as :
- Volterra’s State Road 439;
- Terricciola, Morrona, Fauglia (“Chianti DOC & DOCG “,“Chianti Colline Pisane” and “White San Torpè D.O.C.“);
- Montescudaio, Castellina Marittima ( “Red and White Wine Montescudaio D.O.C.”);
- Peccioli, Ghizzano, Palaia (“Chianti”, “Chianti Colline Pisane” e “White San Torpè D.O.C”);
- “Terre di Pisa”: the New “D.O.C. Wines” established in 2011 with its hub in Pontedera and its main Red Grape Varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah.
- First Category: White Wines “Chianti Colline Pisane” ;
- Second Category : “Chianti Colline Pisane” ;
- Third Category: Red Processed Wines with a designation of I.G.T. (“Indicazione Geografica Tipica”/”Typical Geographic Indication”) ;
- Fourth Category: Red Not Processed Wines with a designation of I.G.T. (“Indicazione Geografica Tipica”/”Typical Geographic Indication”) ;
- Fifth Category: “Vin Santo”, D.O.C./D.O.C.G. (“Di Origine Controllata” /”Registered Designation of Origin”; “Di Origine Controllata e Garantita“/”Registered and Guaranteed Designation of Origin”).
A special Commission of members of Pisa Chamber of Commerce and of the Municipality of Pisa awarded the following Wineries :
- First Category: “Tre Sassi”, Fontemorsi, Montescudaio;
- Second Category: “980 AD”, Villa Scaletta di Palaia;
- Third Category: “Il Sagrestano”, Le Palaie, Peccioli;
- Fourth Category: Cuore Perduto”, Riccardi Toscanelli, Pontedera
- Fifth Category: “Desiderio”, San Torpè
The audience was welcomed in a friendly atmosphere inside the beautiful location ” I Cappuccini in San Giusto” , the old convent surrounded by a big garden . Despite the pouring rain on , each guest tasted all the Wines guided by the advices of the Wine Tasting Experts. They explained the story of “I Pisani più Schietti 2017” and people in charge of the realization of “I Pisani più Schietti 2017” were very proud of the quality of the Wines . There was the possibility to order something to eat something local as well. It was a great moment to realize what Pisa and Its Province can offer in terms of Food and Wine Excellencies. Pisa and Its Province are very proud of its Wine production in a region like Tuscany with wineries of National and International fame scattered throughout the country!
It was time to go home and while looking out from the window to check out the awful weather conditions, I tried to establish ex post what the Best Wine was for me. My answer was: “Il Sagrestano”, “Le Palaie”, Peccioli. I visited this charming house farm in Peccioli weeks ago and I was very satisfied with the tasting of its 5 Top Wines. All the 5 Top Wines were fantastic, but “Il Sagrestano” had a “particular” something. That same “particular” something that gained it the “I Pisani più Schietti 2017” Prize and made me buy a bottle of it !
I went running straigth to a nearby supermarket . While I was looking for some bacon for my “Carbonara dinner” , a beautiful lady promoting the Awarded Red Wine “Cuore Perduto” fell under my eyes. She was Nadia Pesce, owner of the “Ricciardi Toscanelli Estate “ in Pontedera that produced that special wine. I congratuled her for the Prize, but she didn’t know anything yet! It was so nice to read her happiness in her big green eyes! She was there to share her products with common people in a ordinary day while shopping at a local supermarket rather than with the presumed cream of Wine Conosseurs! Actually Nadia , the fashionable entrepreneur of Veneto Region, admitted she always snobbed Wine Events, because Wine belonged to the hands of farmes ! We went on speaking about her personal history. Her family moved 20 years ago from Veneto Region to Tuscany to manage that historical plot of land in the heart of Tuscany that today goes by name “Ricciardi Toscanelli Estate “ . In addition to the cultural historic value of the “Ricciardi Toscanelli Estate “ , the scenic and environmental significance of the area is also notable, which combines the rural character of the agricultural plain and the rich vegetation of the wooded areas of the hills. It has been a great satisfaction to see that Tuscany has a huge heritage in wine-making sector that attracts entrepreneurs from every part of Italy! If Tuscany is a land of great wines, the province of Pisa is no exception. Pisa is magical, but there’s much more to it than the “Leaning Tower” and its rich art history: there are loads of hidden places and a fabulous Wine & Food side that should not be overlooked! The wine region around Pisa is called the “Chianti Colline Pisane”. Pisa Wine Production has been appreciated ever since the Etruscan period. The Wine Tradition of this area has very ancient roots: references to the wines produced in this hills have been found in fifteenth century writings. Here agriculture and wine-growing were encouraged under the “Grand Duchy of Tuscany” and, according to written testimonies, the excellent wines produced reached the markets of Florence where they had a very good reputation. According to some written sources Pisa’s “White San Torpè has been produced here since 110 AD. It became a “D.O.C. Wine” (Registered Designation of Origin) in 1980 and this name was chosen to remember a Christian Martyr from Pisa, “San Torpè” . He was a Nero’s soldier , who for his conversion to Catholicism . His body was abandoned on a boat with a dog and a rooster . After a long sailing, the boat landed at a village on the French coast, which was then named for him: “Saint Tropez City”. San Torpè’s head is still kept in the Pisan Church dedicated to him. Pisa’s “White San Torpè D.O.C.” is typical of several municipalities in the province of Pisa and in one municipality in Livorno. It is produced from “Trebbiano Toscano Grapes” (minimum 75%) and it is also produced in the two versions of “Vin Santo ” and “Vin Santo Riserva”.
The Cuisine in Pisa and its Province offers lots of variety and taste. It is famous for grain, olives.
There restaurants in the historic center of Pisa . They offer typical dishes and products: “Monte Pisano Olive Oil”, “Pecorino Cheese”, “Parco di Migliarino Lamb”, “Pisan Beef”, “San Miniato Truffle”, “Pine Nuts”, “Pisanello Tomatoes” and so on. Pisa’s Cuisine varies from fish (eel, octopus) and seafood specialties to game dishes. As far as desserts, a particular mention goes to “Torta con i Bischeri”, a pastry based tart filled with rice cooked in milk and flavored with lemon, vanilla and nutmeg with the addition of chocolate pieces, candy fruit, raisins and maraschino liqueur. Vegetables grow in abundance here, given the mild climate of this part of Tuscany, and are used mostly to make quiche and frittatas. Beans are widely used. Pisa is famous even for its “Chocolate Valley” a place located between Pisa, Pistoia and Prato where you can find some of the best Italian chocolatiers. Starting from the Pisa Province, in Pontedera, there is the historic “Amedei” chocolate maker, winner of numerous awards, including the “Golden Bean Award” from the “Academy of Chocolate in 2013” while in “Cascine di Buti” you can find “Torrefazione Trinci” and its great chocolate tablet. Travelling around Pisa you can find a very Special Kind of Honey: it’s an organic honey with its unique seaside aroma. It’s produced in the coastal park of Migliarino di S. Rossore Massacciucoli. The bees are kept in wooden beehives, which are spread out across the sand and naturally protected by the dunes. The area surrounding the hives is uncontaminated and rich in Mediterranean vegetation.
I’m starving now by dint writing about Food & Wine! Now I leave you with an easy Tuscan Recipe “Pappa al Pomodoro” (made of stale bread, peeled tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil) that you could combine for example with one of those incredible Tuscan Wines already mentioned! Try to guess which one is the best ! Now it’s your turn!
Enjoy it !