Authentic Tuscan Dishes

Authentic Tuscan Dishes

Authentic Tuscan Dishes

Crostini Toscani

One of the most famous antipasti in Tuscany is crostini (toasted bread) with fegatino. Fegatino is a chicken liver sauce spread over a warm crostino. I know chicken liver is not everyone’s favorite, wasn’t mine either, but it became a staple in my diet when I was a resident in Florence. The most delicious crostino to have in Tuscany. At least give it a try.



‘Pan’ is short for pane(bread) and ‘zanella’ is an old italian name for bowl. A refreshing bread salad in the heat of summer which seems filling but it isn’t. It gives you enough energy to get through the hot afternoon when the temperature could reach 115 degrees F. Day old Tuscan bread is soaked in water and then squeezed out of the bread so it crumbles out of your hands. Add in cipolla rossa(red onion), pomodori(tomates), salt, pepper, olive oil, vinegar. So fresh, so light!


Pappa al Pomodoro

A simple Tuscan Bread soup made with day old Tuscan bread, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil leaves. It can be eaten in winter or summer. This soup can be served hot, room temperature or chilled. So fulfilling and great eaten with more bread to dip with. 


Bistecca alla Fiorentina

My husband’s absolute favorite piece of meat is Bistecca alla Fiorentina. IN the states we could refer to it as the Porterhouse or T-Bone steak. But this particular piece of meat is A LOT thicker. Florentine T-Bone steak is taken from the loin of young calf and has a fillet on one side and sirloin on the other. It is normally 3-4 cm high (3- 4 fingers high) and weighs about 1.5 – 2 kg (3 – 4 lbs). The special cow to get this steak from is called Chianina. 


Lamprodotto Sandwich

This is a famous and popular local delicacy. One of the first food trucks I ever saw was in Florence, serving lamprodotto and the line went on forever. Lamprodotto is the fourth stomach of the cow which is cooked in broth and served with a spicy salsa verde. I have eaten this. It is suprisingly good. Give this one a try if it scares you. The scariest things usually turn out to be the best things.


Want to try more delicious dishes in Tuscany? Come with me to Tuscany in June 6-13th for our Self Love Yoga Retreat. We will indulge ourselves in all the typical and authentic dishes of the region.

A presto, Kate 

Italian Phrases

Italian Phrases

Italian Phrases

Italian Key Phrases

Here are some basic phrases to help you get through a meal, meet someone new or shopping around Italy.

Hi/bye (informal) — Ciao (chow) (informal)

Good Day/ Hello — Buongiorno (bwohn-johr-noh)

Good evening — Buonasera  (bwoh-nah-seh-rah)

Good night  — Buonanotte  (bwoh-nah-noht-teh)

Goodbye (formal) — Arrivederci (ah-ree-veh-dehr-chee) 


Let’s go — Andiamo (ahn-dee-ah-moh) 

Come on! — Dai (die) 

Yesterday — Ieri (ee-air-e) 

Today — Oggi (oh-jee) 

Tomorrow — Domani (doh-mah-nee) 


How are you? — Come stai/Come sta(formal)? (COH-meh STA-ee/ COH-meh STA)  

I am well, thank you. — Sto bene, grazie. (stoh BEN-neh, GRAH-tsee-yeh) 

Your welcome/May I help you?/ Please — Prego (PREH-goh) 

Please — Per favore/per piacere (pehr fah-VOH-reh/pehr pyah-CHEH-reh)

Nice to meet you.– Piacere (pee-ah-CHAIR-eh) 

Excuse me — Scusi (skoo-zee) 

See you soon — A presto (ah PREHS-toh) 

Good/ That’s fine — Va bene (vah BEH-neh) 

IMPORTANT questions!

Where is the bathroom? — Dov’è il bagno? (dov-EH eel bah-ngno)

How long does it take to get to…? — Quanto tempo ci vuole per andare a…? (KWAN-toh TEM-poh chee voo-oh-leh pair an-dar-eh ah…?

Do you speak English? — Parla inglese? (par-lah een-gleh-zeh) 

I don’t understand — Non capisco. (non ka-PEES-koh) 

I understand — Ho capito (oh kah-pee-toh)

Could you speak more slowly, please? — Può parlare più piano, per favore? (pwoh par-lah-reh pee-oo pee-ano, pair fah-vor-eh) 

I’m sorry — Mi dispiace (mee dee-spee-ah-cheh) 

Thank you — Grazie (grah-stee-eh) 



How much is this? — Quant’è questo? (kwan-teh kweh-stoh) 

How much does it cost? — Quanto costa? (kwan-toh co-stah) 

How do you say…? — Come di dice…? (koh-meh see dee-cheh) 

What does this mean? — Cosa vuol dire questo? (coh-za vwohl dee-reh kweh-stoh) 

I would like a glass of red wine — Vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso (voor-ray oon bee-kee-air-eh dee vee-noh ross-oh) 

Do you have a double room? — Avete una camera doppia? (ah-veh-teh oona kah-mair-ah doh-pee-ah)

Can I pay with a credit card? — Posso pagare con una carte di credito? (pohs-soh pah-gar-reh coh-nn oona kar-teh dee creh-dee-toh) 

What time do you open? — A che ora apre? (ah keh or-ah ah-preh) 

What time is it? — Che ore sono? (keh ohr-eh soh-noh) 


Meals of the day

Breakfast — Colazione (coh-laht-see-yo-neh)

Lunch — Pranzo (prahn-zoh)

Dinner — Cena (cheh-nah)


Dining out

Do you have a table for two? — Avete un tavolo per due? (ah-veh-teh oon tah-voh-loh pair doo-eh)

I would like to reserve a table for 8:00pm. — Vorrei prenotare un tavolo per le 20. (voor-ray preh-noh-ta-reh oon tah-voh-loh pair leh ven-tee)

Menu vocab

Dish of the day — Piatto del giorno (pee-ah-toh dell jor-no)

Fixed price menu — Il menù a prezzo fisso (eel meh-noo ah pret-soh fee-soh)

Starter/appetizer — Antipasto (an-tee-pass-toh)

First course — Il primo (eel pree-moh)

Main course/second course — Il secondo (eel seh-kon-doh)

Side dish — Il contorno (eel kon-tor-noh)

Dessert — Il dolce (eel doll-cheh)

Cover charge — Il coperto (eel koh-pair-toh)

Tip — la mancia (lah mahn-chyah)

The bill, please — Il conto, per favore (eel cohn-toh, pehr fah-VOH-reh)

Wine list — La lista dei vini (lah lee-stah day vee-nee)


Meat — Carne (car-nay)

Rare — Al sangue (al sang-gweh)

Medium — Al putino/medio (al poon-tee-noh/meh-dee-oh)

Well done — Ben cotto (ben kot-toh)


Glass — Il bicchiere (eel bee-kee-air-eh)

Bottle — La bottiglia (lah bot-teel-yah)

Knife — Il coltello (eel kol-tell-oh)

Fork — La forchetta (lah for-ket-tah)

Spoon — Il cucchiaio (eel koo-kee-eye-oh)


Enjoy your meal — Buon Appetito (bwon ah-peh-tee-toh)


I am vegetarian — Sono vegetariana/o (soh-noh veh-jeh-taree-ah-noh/nah)

I am vegan — Sono vegana/o (soh-noh veh-gah-nah.noh)

I don’t eat gluten — Non mangio glutine (non mah-joe glue-tee-neh)

Is this gluten free? — Questo è senza glutine? (kweh-sto eh sehn-zah glue-tee-neh)

I am allergic — Sono allergica/o (soh-noh ah-ler-gee-cah/coh)


Hope this helps! I recommend using the app Duolingo to help with pronouciation. My husband used it when he moved to the States without knowing any English. 


Our Winter Sale for our Yoga Retreat in Tuscany ends on December 31st. Get $250 off when you use code WINTER at checkout. Need more info, check out our Self Love Yoga Retreat.

A presto,


Italian Culture Norms

Italian Culture Norms

Italian Culture Norms
October 2, 2019

Italians are known for style, class and speaking with their hands. Here are some things you might not know about the Italian culture.

Greeting an Italian

When you are introduced to an Italian, you should greet them with ‘Buongiorno’ (good day) and ‘piacere’ (nice to meet you) and shake hands. Among close friends and young people, they usually use ‘ciao’ (hello) but it isn’t considered polite if you address a stranger.

Times of day

‘Buongiorno’ is said in the morning before 12:00 pm. ‘Buonasera’ is said from 12:00 pm until late in the evening. ‘Buonanotte’ is said when you are leaving someone’s house after dinner or going to bed.

Kissing in Italy

Kissing among friends is common greeting. There are usually two kisses — first on the right cheek, then on the left. Italian families usually kiss when they meet, male and female. Members of the opposite sex they kiss high on the cheek, never on the mouth(except between lovers). It usually isn’t a kiss, more like a delicate brushing of the cheeks accompanied by kissing noises.

Dress code

You and I both know how well Italians dress, it seems to be a birthright to have style, class, and elegance. A first impression is very important to Italians which is referred to as ‘La Bella Figura‘ (beautiful presentation or figure). Bella figura exemplifies not only the way you look, but how you act and what you say. Alluding to how to be seen in the best light. Italians pride themselves on being the best version of themselves.

Italians rarely wear comfy clothes in public, like flip flops, shorts or sweatshirts. They dress how they want to be treated with class, elegance, and style. This doesn’t mean you have to buy or wear fancy clothes while walking around Rome, but be aware of how are you dressing while in public. Also a fun game, people watch while having an espresso in a cafe. Take time to notice how Italians carry themselves and how they dress.

That’s it for now, more tips coming on the next post.

When you confirm your spot on our Self Love Yoga Retreat, be sure to check out all the blog posts that will give you some insight on how to get around Italy.

A presto, Kate

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