I love exploring the Italian countryside during the winter months; it is the perfect time for discovering new locations, getting to know interesting people, and slowing down to enjoy rural life. Today we are off to Villa Ferraia, which has been a self-sustaining farm for over 200 years. In medieval times iron was extracted here, so the name, “Ferraia”, comes from the Italian word for iron, “Ferro”. Hidden away in the midst of an ancient forest ,Villa Ferraia is an idyllic country resort, but is also still a working farm. While at this country residence you are treated to a perfect example of the Slow Food (Kilometro Zero) movement, which promotes the use of high-quality, locally sourced, seasonal products, and the art of cooking and eating them at the “tempo giusto”. The combination of resort and farm creates an ideal retreat where you can connect with nature and restore body and mind.
Upon arrival, you are greeted with stunning views of the multi-colored forest, the grey-green of distant olive groves, and the soft light reflecting from the infinity pool. A glance down into the valley reveals the many animals kept on the farm, the beautifully kept garden and greenhouse which provide a wide selection of fresh vegetables and herbs for the kitchen – artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, lettuces, tomatoes, etc. The care and hard work of the owners, Vittorio and Patrizia, are evident everywhere you look. Don’t shy away from asking this lovely couple for a guided walk around the property or a cool horse ride down to the Abbey of San Galgano!
But a visit would not be complete without a trip to the kitchen where the chef, Stefano, transforms the bountiful local products into a traditional Tuscan lunch, featuring the dishes typically requested for the perfect Tuscan wedding menu. I only wish I could adequately describe the aroma!
Can you imagine a better treat for your wedding guests (or for yourself!) than a traditional Tuscan feast prepared from seasonal and locally produced ingredients? And in such a beautiful and exclusive Tuscan environment! [Tweet “Villa Ferraia offers a very special and intimate wedding venue”] strategically positioned in the heart of Tuscany (conveniently only a half-hour drive from majestic Siena).
P.S. Stefano tells me that the secret to an excellent vegetable lasagna lies in the fresh ingredients and the creamy “besciamella” – bechamel sauce, so we followed him while he was busy cooking away.. see his secrets for yourself
Have a taste of our menu for today :
Starter : Crostino con insalatina dell orto / Tomato crostini with salad
Primo: Vegetable lasagna
Secondo: Arista alle erbe / Tuscan herb infused roast pork
Dolce: Tiramisu alla fragola / Fresh strawberry Tiramisu
What would you add to this menu? Please let me know and, please, share this article with anyone who would love to celebrate in Tuscany!
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And I must say, I’m very lucky to work on this project “ Olive branches&food” together with a talented Italian photographer Riccardo Pieri, whose work I really like and I hope you will enjoy our reportage delivered to you from the beautiful Region of Tuscany, Italy!
For any request or questions, please get in contact with me here, I am always glad to help in any way I can.
Venue: Villa Ferraia
Photography: Riccardo Pieri