Casanuova, Tuscany

Sometimes you just have a find a wee bolthole and escape with the family and that just what this trip was all about. That and great Tuscan food of course

We flew into Florence and hired a car and headed north to a province in the tuscan hills for a couple of weeks of R&R at Casanuova, near Firenzuola , which let us enjoy the country life north of Florence. We had a rustic villa Ville Betulla e Gelsomino with private pool which is a necessity when the mercury is tipping the 40’s most days. Our other prerequisite was a BBQ and bar which was the only amenity the village had.

Bahia cafe at Barberino di Mugello

bahia cafe is near Barberino di Mugello on lago de Bilancino and the perfect waterhole for hot energised kids to spend the day, whilst their parents can relax and read a few books.

Santerno River

Santerno River is a great spot for wild swimming in shallow water with some light rapids. Pack a picnic and plenty of sunscreen and spend the day chilling out.


As it was so hot during the day we didn’t tend to venture where much walking was required until the early evening. We can across Lago Di Montelleri, Vicchio which was a nice park and lake for a stroll before dinner at the Ristorante L’antica Porta di Levante, Vicchio. This area is famous for its truffle and its not used sparingly! The picturesque hills that run to the north of Florence is home to the white truffle. The tartufaie (truffle hunters) find them near the river beds of The Sieve

We ate here, Il Sagramoso Ristorante, Firenzuola. The antipasto with fried polenta and cured meat followed by their signature Beef Florentine was a thing of beauty for all carnivores.

Agriturismo La Fine, Firenzuola

Some of these places are quite remote, and not on the tourist trail. The lovely owner quickly sorted the table and next to us was some local people also about to eat, but instead they got a pizza from the local town, so I had a feeling we ate their dinner. There was no menu here just a selection of beautifully cooked local dishes brought out for us to eat. A perfect place to chill and watch the beautiful sun setting.

It truly is a perfect place to get away from it all. No wifi, gorgeous views and lovely locals. Every evening the local bar was packed with the local villagers all playing cards and catching up on the days news

Azienda Agricola Calcinaia

We were recommended to come here by the local bar owner. We wanted an authentic italian evening and this was like being asked for dinner with the family. They made a house menu for us. The menu featured antipasti (appetizers), primi (lots of pastas), secondi (generally meats), contorni (vegetables and salads), formaggi (cheese course), and dolci (desserts). Everything you eat is grown or raised by them and it was the best experience the whole trip. Eating is a leisurely experience, and it has to be, there was so much food we couldn’t quite believe they kept bringing dishes. All washed down with some excellent grappa, just left on the table. Here you really eat the best Mugello tortellini! and pasta and there must have been about 7 types and that was only primi. Roe deer fillet which my daughter devoured and Florentina were the secondi. Il cibo era delizioso!

Until our next adventure in Italy, farewell

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