It is not a simple dog it is simply Chicco



Chicco is the dog of Bianchi Family. It was born in Tuscany in the winter 2012, exactly on 16th january 2012. The meaning of the name is SWEET. All guests of Cappannelle Holiday House love him. And they call him with a english accent and they pronounce its name “Kikko” or “kicco”. It is a true STAR and my second daughter Alice is its best friend.

There are many stories about him. In the summer 2012 while an english family from Bath was arriving for a dinner with us, it did pee, for the big joy, on the leg of the english madame…. we were embarassed for this.

In september 2012 when Karin, a painter from New York City, came for 2 months from us, Chicco found another friend. Every day they met for playing together.

And all little children loved and love him, You can see from the pictures:



Best Supporting Actor






Italy (I) Traveling Through Tuscany

Shoot 'N Go

Earlier this month we spent two wonderful weeks in Italy, where we visited Venice, Florence, Greve in Chianti, Montefioralle, Siena, San Gimignano, and Montalcino. We drove through the Tuscan countryside and Val d’Orcia all the way to Rome, where we ended the trip. It was a fantastic trip. Italy is a photographer’s paradise and I took thousands of photos. Starting my series on Italy, here’s a slide show of the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

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Top 10 herbs to cook Italian- 2. Rosemary= Rosmarino

Toscana Mia Blog


“An herb is the friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.” (- Charlemagne)

Rosemary better to be used fresh as desiccated leaves loose flavor.


To strip the leaves from a woody sprig, simply hold the stem in one hand and remove the leaves using the finger and thumb of the other hand, pushing against the direction of the growth


Rosemary’s pungent flavor complements fatty meats particularly well, When grilling, toss a sprig or two of fresh rosemary onto the coals to add a wonderfully intense smokiness to your meats.You can use a woodier branch from the plant as to brush oil on grilling meat. On grilling a lamb it’s compulsory as its aromatic smells eliminates the characteristic sheep smell.


Rosemary in marinades, or as an accent for Mediterranean vegetables. Great in some tomato sauces. Pay attention not to use too much especially in summer when it can be too…

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【超級 Tuscany】by Wylie


Wylie's blog_#57

上週末的一次聚會中,選擇了一支較特別的葡萄酒作慶祝,是來自意大利的 Super Tuscany。究竟為何叫做這個名稱呢?

話說舊世界的產葡萄酒國家都有一整套特定的條例,由葡萄品種到種植和造酒過程都有一定的規管,才能夠在酒標上用上某種特定的級數。如在意大利,就分 DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) 或 DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita)。如果不獲得認定的,就只能歸入次一等的 IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) 甚至不獲評級。

七十年代開始,有一班富冒險精神的釀酒師就偏偏要於意大利托斯卡納的土壤上栽種由外國引入的葡萄品種,例如 Cabernet Sauvignon。這些挑戰常規的酒,不可能被列入既有的評級中,但卻造得越來越出色,而且有價有市,所以除了被列入 IGT 等級外,也會被冠以 Super Tuscany 的外號,這並非任何官方等級,但在價格上反映了這些酒的江湖地位,因為一些被追捧的 Super Tuscany 分分鐘可以比法國的列級酒庄出品還要貴,有機會的話,記得要試吓。

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Dinner with French guests – Tarte tatin what a surprise!

Cappannelle Guests from Montpellier (France)Guess who came to dinner?

Last Saturday evening , on 22th march 2014, we offered a traditional Tuscan dinner to our guests of the Cappannelle Holiday House from Montpellier (France), a young couple very friendly and kind.

Every time is like to do a little trip in world. It’s a big opportunity to speak about the life of our guests and know their culture as well as our life in Tuscany

Marusca (my wife) and Graziella my mom) prepared a tuscan dinner for them. The menù was simple but at the same time amazing:

  • Crostini Neri (starters)
  • Homemade Macaroni
  • Roast chicken
  • Salad
  • Cantuccini and Vin Santo
  • ….. Tirami su!

Chianti Wine made from my Dad Renato and an italian coffee!!

……..but the real surprise was the gift of our guests …. infact they prepared a wonderful Tarte Tatin for eating together…….

And only in this moment we knew of the story of the sisters Tatin that for a mistake they invented one of the most famous french cakes.

The Tarte Tatin is a classic sweet French tradition was born at the beginning of the century, thanks to the inventiveness of his sisters Caroline and Stephanie Tatin albergatrici to Loret -Cher , France.

In fact it seems that , as usually happens , this delicious cake is born because (it would be better to say thanks ) of a mistake.
The two Tatin sisters , they had two different roles in the hotel , while the young Carolina was responsible for welcoming customers , Stephanie , cook, took care of the kitchen : Particularly appreciated was his delicious apple pie.
Legend has it that , on a day when the hotel was full of hunters who were waiting to have lunch , Stephanie noticed that you have not prepared her apple pie , without panicking ran into the kitchen , buttered and sprinkled with sugar a pan , put us in apples and it baked . Only after he realized he had not lined the pan with the pasta brisa ! Once again Stephanie took the situation in hand , covered the pan with a single layer of dough and put it in the oven . The story ends , of course, with a happy ending : in fact finished cooking , Stephanie threw the cake on a plate and brought it in the room where he was literally devoured . She was born as the tarte tatin . Subsequently , since the discrete success , the tarte tatin was adopted by the famous Parisian restaurant Maxim ‘s, which made ​​it one of its strong points . Today it is one of the most popular desserts in France and is inevitable in Brasseries and restaurants , from the most modest to the most luxurious .

Video of GialloZafferano:

Pasta e fagioli (pasta with beans)

Munich minutes

If you grew up in an Italian household, you will definitely have been faced with eating pasta fagioli at least once (if not more)! I have to admit, pasta e fagioli (pasta with beans) hasn’t really been a dish that has been present in my marriage meals with Steven. But, it does feature in March, so it was time I made it… And after the scrumptious dinner, I began to wonder why I hadn’t experimented with it previously? It is so yummy and such a great winter warmer! And not too hard either!

Pasta e fagioli (page 76)

Of course, I used dried beans soaked in water overnight. I cooked the beans the day before I actually made the pasta e fagioli. Reason being, was that I needed to work the next day. To anyone who wants to be organised – you can cook a whole heap of dried beans…

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