Are you heading to Tuscany this fall? Curse you!
But just to show I’m not bitter, here’s a tip that is going to make your trip a whole lot better. Judy Witts Francini, a well-known cooking teacher who has lived in Florence, Italy, for 30 years, has just released an app for tourists in Chianti.
Francini’s Chianti app covers her favorite hidden and not-so-hidden places in the Tuscan countryside. You’ll find wineries, pizza and pastry chops, gelato, parks, ceramics, butchers … even her favorite Mailboxes Etc. for shipping things home (just north of Poggibonsi).
Sites are arranged by topic, or by location (it’s GPS-sensitive) and descriptions are filled with lots of telling detail. She praises the hilltop village of Lamole, for example, as a place to view the Chianti valley while escaping its heat (“there is always a cool breeze”).
She notes that you’ll pass the winery Vignamaggio on the way up -- that Mona Lisa was born there, that Kenneth Branagh’s “Much Ado About Nothing” was filmed there, and that you can rent rooms in the villa or the farmhouse down the road for a nice stay.
Oh and by the way, there’s a handy little dirt road leading to Panzano that makes a great hike.
Cruelly, she also notes that it’s “about 11,973 km from you.” But I won’t hold that against her.
Chianti Food & Wine is available at the Apple Itunes store for $3.99.