One first word I learned when I joined the yacht in La Spezia was mangiare: to eat!!!

Eating is considered one of life’s great pleasure in Italy.
And what about eating somewhere above the Tuscan hills just outside Firenze (Florence)?

I spent my weekend off in Firenze. A long lost batch mate from my old school in the Philippines has been living in Florence for years. I first made a contact with her way back summer 2005 when I was based in Cannes.
Such a long way to visit her… but the boat I have been working on has been in La Spezia since October.

I checked the distance and I just realized its just over 2 hours train ride via Pisa. So I emailed Marietta wondering if she would like to meet up. Marietta and I have never been in the same class but we crossed paths.

My idea of going to Firenze was to see the Renaissance arts, shops and catch up with her. I did not think much of food really since I have been in Italy for the past 3 months.

But hey Firenze is Tuscany, where I am is Luguria where seafood and lots of pesto is the mainstay. Marietta welcomed me to her home up the hillls south of Florence. The night I arrived she prepared a soup which she said an experimentation of a Tuscan soup similar or was it ..fagioli all’ ucceletoo.. beans prepared with tomato.
She also made some mini quiche with leeks.

We spent our Saturday doing a touristy thing and a very lazy slow lunch right on the city centre (will blog about this). Sunday we decided not to go to the city at all. From her hills we went to the opposite side a place called

As you drive up the hills, elegant villas, cypressed lined driveways, dot the area. As Marietta said the well off Florentines live there.

We walked around the town then up to the monastery of S. Francesco on the crest of the hill, with the cells of St. Bernardine of Siena and seven Franciscan Beati. We really just ambled around when I suggested we should eat at the restaurant we passed as were coming up the hills.

Le Lance is ideally located for the great views of the city but on the day we sat there it was foggy. But we had so much to talk about anyway, imagine we have not seen each other for 24 years!

Marietta suggested anti pasti: TAGLIERE CON DI GOLOSI. I knew it a selection of Tuscan cold meat, including lardo, salami cinghiale (boar) and jellied tongue. There were 2 types of cheeses, pecorinno and a heavenly honey.

Then another plate with marinated artichokes, olives and cherry tomatoes stuffed with tuna.
The 3rd plate was bruschetta one with tomato and the other liver paste.

Marietta and I ordered main courses too: We were already feeling full from the starter alone such big generous portion.

I myself ordered UMBRICHITTE CON LA CREMA DI TARTUFO. Freshly made pasta with black truffles. I really savoured the grated truffles and I thought I could not finish it.
So heavenly….

Marietta had RIBOLLITA, thickened soup with cabbage, beans and vegetables. I joked to her that she should probably asked the left over to be packed. In a very low voice she said, “Sha we are not in the States we are in Italy they dont do such” hehe l know!

And we had a house wine (the night before this we had a fine dinner at the wine area of Greve Chianti).
I do not think if we could handle a dessert. We ended our meals with coffee and teas and Marietta drove me to the station where we seem could not let go of each other.

Le Lance
Cantina Toscana
Via G Mantelllini 2/B
50014 Fiesole