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Tuscany, Italy

Staying in Stigliano: A gourmand’s guide to Tuscany

Posted by Luci Ackers on Oct 12, 2015
Food in Tuscany
Food in Tuscany

Italian food is enjoyed across the world, in a thousand different forms. Whether it’s take-out pizza with a trashy movie or one of the finest pasta dishes in a Michelin-starred eatery - it seems we can’t get enough.

This love is a big part of what draws almost 50 million international tourists to Italy every year. It’d be wrong to lump all of the country’s cuisine together, though – every region has its own preferences and specialties. 

Tuscany, for example, has a gastronomic identity of its own, and those visiting Stigliano are in prime position to sample it.

What to expect

Contrary to popular belief, there’s a lot more to Tuscany than great wine – although there is plenty of that to accompany your food. 

It’s fair to say people in these parts love bread, fresh vegetables and cured meats. Olive oil is a big deal here too, so expect to find it in a lot of what you eat. With some of the world’s best olives at hand, this isn’t exactly surprising.

Below are a few examples of great dishes to look out for.

Fettunta (bruschetta) – You might have had bruschetta before, but probably not like this. Tuscans take pride in this simple dish, which is a staple on appetiser menus across the region. Order it to start and expect a toasted slice of quality bread garnished with olive oil, garlic and salt. Perfect.

Panzanella – Bread very rarely goes to waste in Tuscany. Once it does start to get stale, it can be used to make panzanella, a summer salad which also comprises sun-ripened vegetables, vinegar and, of course, olive oil. Some will include meat, with tuna particularly popular.


Scarpaccia di Camaiore – A lot of Tuscan dishes are inspired by the idea of cucina povera, or “poor cooking” – essentially people making the best of the basic ingredients they could get their hands on. Scarpaccia di Camaiore is a great example. It’s a crispy tart made with courgettes, onion, flour and olive oil. 


Pappa al pomodoro - Soup is a popular thing in Tuscany, and there are many types. Pappa al Pomodoro is one variety and, as you might have guessed, it includes bread and olive oil. The other main ingredients are tomato and garlic. This is Italian comfort food at its best.

Tortelli di patate – Well, it wouldn’t be a list of Italian food without pasta, would it? Potato-filled tortelli is a rich meal with origins in Tuscany’s mountainous areas. It tends to be served with a hearty tomato sauce.

Where to eat in and around Stigliano

Armed with the recommendations above, you’ll want some restaurants to try. Thankfully, despite its relatively small size, Stigliano is home to some fantastic eateries. You also have the option to venture a little further if nothing takes your fancy in the village itself.

La Sosta del Cavaliere

Situated just outside of Stigliano’s centre on Piazza dell’Abate, La Sosta del Cavaliere offers diners a selection of traditional dishes in a beautiful setting. In fact many of the tables offer views of the surrounding greenery. As for the food, expect delicious pasta and fresh meats, as well as some tempting vegetarian dishes.


Ristorante Cateni

Situated just south of Stigliano in Orgia, Ristorante Cateni is something of a hidden gem. Saying that, it does get busy, as it’s the town’s only restaurant – it’s worth getting there early or booking if possible. Weather permitting, the outdoor patio is a wonderful place to be.

Steak is a speciality here, but you’ll also find great seafood. Top it off with some wonderful desserts for the perfect dining experience.

Vecchio Tinaio

Think you know good pizza? Wait until you try one of Vecchio Tinaio’s incredible offerings. This place, a short walk south of Stigliano in the small village of Brenna, specialises in creating what is arguably the country’s most famous dish. If pizza isn’t your thing, though, you’ll find a whole host of traditional Italian dishes to sample, from classic bruschetta to prosciutto and steak.

Whatever it is that you fancy to eat, it’s well worth taking a wander around Stigliano and its surrounding towns and villages – the region is full of hidden gems to discover, so who knows what you’ll find around the next corner?

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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