What to Eat in Tuscany

food-in-tuscany

First-time travelers to Tuscany are typically initially surprised by the simplicity of authentic Italian cuisine.

-The food culture in Tuscany is well known for it’s simple yet delicious cold-cut dishes, says Matteo from Tuscany Tours.

Unlike American fare, where layers upon layers of flavors make a meal, the most popular Italian dishes served in Tuscany are simple. That’s done purposefully, to highlight the flavors of the real ingredients.

Tuscan Cuisine

Just like Italian food in general, Tuscan cuisine is based on using the freshest, most simple ingredients that are currently in season. According to Discover Tuscany, chefs also make good use of cheeses and legumes to create dishes out of what they are able to find locally. But despite its simple construction, a Tuscan meal is full of flavor and undoubtedly filling. Typically, each meal is served with bread meant to soak up all the leftover juices on your plate.

For some of the most popular dishes made fresh in Tuscany, you’ll want to stick to local places. If you see any of the following items on one of their menus, don’t think twice. Do yourself a huge favor and order it right away!

Panzanella

Panzanella is a Tuscan salad most popular in the summer. It’s made with pieces of soaked stale bread and tomatoes with olive oil and vinegar. It will sometimes include basil and onions. While many restaurants will put their own spin on panzanella by adding additional ingredients, you’ll want to enjoy the dish as it was meant to be, served by the people who first created it.

Ribollita

Italians love their soups, that’s no secret. According to Walks of Italy, ribollita is a vegetable and bread soup and one of the most popular dishes in Tuscany. It’s a classic comfort food that typically contains beans, cabbage, carrots, and onions and like most soups, it tastes best when made fresh in the winter months.

Pappa al Pomodoro

The Tuscan region is known for its creative uses of stale bread. To many people, that may not exactly sound appetizing, but if anyone knows how to put together an incredibly flavorful dish, it’s the Italians. Pappa al Pomodoro is a relatively simple dish made from stale bread and tomatoes with the addition of basil, garlic, and olive oil. The thick soup is usually topped with some sort of cheese-stuffed vegetable.

Pici Cacio e Pepe

You can’t talk about Italy without mentioning pasta. Pici are thick pasta hand-rolled into the shape of fat spaghetti. Cacio e Pepe means cheese and pepper but what makes this dish unique to Tuscany is the use of pecorino toscano cheese and pasta made right there in the region. You won’t find a better, more fresh pasta dish anywhere else!

There are many incredible reasons to visit Tuscany, but the food will certainly stay at the top of the list. There’s truly no where else in the world putting fresh, local ingredients to use the way the Italians do.

7 Reasons why traveling is good for your soul

Ever wondered why some people cannot get enough of traveling?

People have different hobbies. Some people like to play musical instruments on the side, while others prefer to play video games. Some people enjoy visiting online casinos, seeking Stargames bonuses online, or they prefer to take walks as a way of relaxing. And then, some people love to travel.

We all have those friends, or acquaintances, who always seem to be on the road. Planning trips and vacations months ahead, or sometimes even taking off with nothing more than a moment’s notice. You may call them free spirits, or wonder why they are willing to handle the hassle of traveling, especially since traveling is unpredictable and can be difficult. There are flight delays, hotel reservation problems, strange encounters with odd people, and yet, some people seem to enjoy it so much that traveling is paramount for them. A way of life, even.

While it might seem odd, and even unbelievable, traveling is beneficial for anyone. Below, you will find the benefits of traveling, and perhaps, they would help you see traveling in a different light, and embark on incredible adventures more often.

1.    Expands the mind

When you spend the days cluttered in your life, focusing on your personal problems, you often forget that there are other people out there. You miss out on many things in life by working too hard, too fast, and focusing only on the next project, the next day, and all the work that needs to be done. It is an approach to life that forces you to close your mind to new opportunities, makes you keep to your comfort zone as if it is a prison – and it does become a prison of your own design as a result.

Traveling, on the other hand, expands your mind, broadens your views through nothing more than just enabling you to see new sights, discover new places, and meet other people. You will start to see the world in a different way, but more than that, you will recharge, refresh, and renew your soul in the process, enabling you to see life itself in a positive manner.

2.    Makes you flexible

Traveling is unpredictable. In fact, this is one of the reasons why people prefer to stay at home or visit the nearby beach if they can and call it a vacation. While you can book your vacation with a travel agency and have someone else plan everything for you, you still need to leave space for delayed flights, transportation issues, and other problems so that you would be able to adjust quickly.

Thus, you will become more flexible during your travels, and the best thing is that you will be made more flexible in your daily life as well. Moreover, travel issues need patience, and when you return, you will be more patient with your everyday problems as well.

3.    Evokes happiness

When you plan a trip or vacation months ahead, you will have something to anticipate. Imagine biking around countryside on a sunny day. There are usually road bikes in the heart of the city you travel to.

It will make your overall mood genial, and improve your overall mental health as well. It is not surprising that even the act of planning a vacation can make you feel happy. From that point on, you would approach your daily life with the knowledge that eight, ten or twelve weeks ahead, you will be enjoying the sun on your face as you lie on a tropical beach, or explore the mountains in an exotic region.

The destination is not even that important – it is simply the knowledge that something is waiting for you, a new adventure on the horizon, and that can keep you positive and upbeat, and even help battle depression and improve upon lingering stress effects.

4.    Opportunity to immerse in a new culture

When you travel to a foreign country, you should stop and discover the culture, the language, and meet the people. When you are immersing yourself in a new culture, you are learning a lot of new things, which will keep your mind open and sharp. You will become better and faster at completing tasks and processing new information, and, together with flexibility and patience, you will be more efficient in your working environment.

In other words, traveling enables you to flex your learning muscles, and, as a result, you will finish your projects faster, you will not stress over them as much as before. In turn, being more active and productive will help you reduce work-induced stress, which will improve your overall health tremendously.

5.    Making friends and connections

Never underestimate the power and happiness that making new friends and connections can bring you. Even if you do not make new friends, if you are traveling in a group, you are together against every possible travel issue. You will help each other out, even if you are going with colleagues on a business trip. Thus, whenever you return from a trip, you will have either strengthened your current friendships and relationships or made new ones.

In fact, some people prefer to travel solo or with their significant other just for the opportunity to make friends with the locals. You would be surprised at how many friendships can spring up during a vacation and last a lifetime. Moreover, you will always have people to return to see when you are planning your next vacation.

6.    Teaches you to be mindful

sunset-midfulness

Traveling to foreign, distant, exotic countries can teach you to be present. Traveling can teach you to live in the moment, be aware of your surroundings, and immerse into whatever is happening to you, around you, and create strong memories. When you are in a strange place, you can learn to be aware of everything. If previously, you were apt to get lost in unfamiliar streets of your hometown, once you are in a foreign country, you might discover that it’s hard to get lost.

But, there are benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness is also about enjoying the moment, enjoying the time you are spending at the beach, and not thinking about problems at work, or how much work would be waiting for you when you get back.

You will become more open minded if you learn to enjoy everything that is being offered without comparing it to your life back home. Thus, each issue becomes a funny anecdote you will later relay to friends with laughter, and each delayed flight becomes an opportunity to explore even more. Traveling can teach you to take a different approach to life, where catastrophes are easily solvable problems and not devastations, and that approach will enable you to live better, wherever you are.