Whether you’re invited to dinner, it’s someone’s birthday or you’re celebrating an anniversary, wine often makes for a good gift. People often ask, “What is the best Italian wine for a gift?” and the answer to that question is: “it depends on the situation!”. Let’s take a look at a few occasions and what the best wine for a gift is in each case.

Best wine if you’re invited to a casual dinner

If a friend or colleague has invited you for dinner, perhaps a casual meal in his garden, you don’t want to overdo it by bringing a $200 bottle of age-worthy wine. Rather, aim for something like a light fruity white, which you can bring chilled and propose to drink together at the meal. The Italian region from which said wine ought to come will depend on what is being served, so try to ask ahead if you can. Dievole’s Bianco Le Due Arbie IGT Toscana, for example, is a well balanced mineral white, with very fruity flavours of yellow peach and passion fruit, so it goes well with appetizers or fish. If dinner will be pasta or a barbeque, you might try something from the Alto-Adige/Sud Tirol region, maybe a more complex Müller-Thurgau that will hold its own with the food.

Best wine for an important birthday

Podere Brizio's Brunello di Montalcino.

Podere Brizio’s Brunello di Montalcino.

If someone’s celebrating an important birthday, like a 40th or 50th, why not give them something to store and look forward to in a few years? Universally recognized as one of Italy’s great wines, a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino will surely be appreciated. A bottle like Podere Brizio’s Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010 – which was an exceptional vintage – will be good now but great in 10-12 years.

Best wine for an anniversary or graduation

If you’re attending an anniversary or graduation, bubbly is generally in order. French Champagne is unquestionably the standard gift, but if you’re looking for a good Italian alternative, the country makes numerous varieties of spumante (sparkling wine). A Franciacorta DOCG from Lombardy is something of a quality guarantee, made of Chardonnay, Pinot nero and Pinot bianco grapes. If you want to spend a bit more and impress with your knowledge, look instead for a Metodo Classico, made like French Champagne but in Italy, where it’s warmer – making for a wine with greater body. While the North of the country is more famous for bubbles (particularly Lombardy), some Tuscan producers have recently come up with excellent metodo classico vintages.

Best wine for someone who has a “library” in the house


If you’re invited to the home of a scholar or anyone whose house might contain a room called a “library”, play up their intellect by offering a meditation wine. This term usually refers to either a dessert wine or very aged reds. A brilliant passito comes in limited batches due to the way they are made – hung to dry for a few months, the yield is very low, and then many years are necessary for ageing (depending on the denomination in question). Blow your host’s socks off with an Amarone della Valpolicella – which they might have heard of – or surprise their taste buds with a refined Occhio di Pernice, like the one made by Dievole from 100% Sangiovese grapes. A one-off from 2007, there were only 1842 bottles made: they’ll be torn between drinking it and saving it.

Best all-round occasion wine

You can pretty much never go wrong with a bottle of Chianti Classico: even if your host doesn’t know anything about wine, they will have heard about this beautiful area of Tuscany! Chianti Classico wines vary between producers, years, and types (annata vs. riserva), but generally they have in common the presence of 80% or more Sangiovese grapes, and being pretty tannic, they tend to pair best with steak. There are plenty of exceptions to the rule, though, depending on how well balanced the vintage is – Dievole’s Chianti Classico 2014 is brilliant with risotto, for example, and is a good all-round wine that will be happily accepted as a gift.

Coratina olive oil is undoubtedly one of Dievole’s  most prized and successful extra virgin olive oils. Indomitable and creative, tasting this monocultivar is one of those experiences that one should try at least once in a lifetime. Here are five reasons why we think you should choose this specific type of 100% Italian EVOO – and if you love it there’s more where that came from: the 2016 harvest is looking really good!

It’s a real prize-winner

olio extravergine coratina

Coratina is widely appreciated among olive oil connoisseurs for its strong, persistent and spicy character. Known by many as the “purebreed” of olive oils, this cultivar has won many awards, including the “Il Magnifico” prize for the best olive oil in the world, confirming Dievole’s efforts and profound dedication to the project. The very essence of coratina olive oil lies in its ability to charm and bewitch the tastebuds with its perfectly balanced piquant elegance.

It’s good for your health

In the magic world of cultivars, coratina is the most nutritionally rich and long-lasting variety, since it is jam-packed with antioxidants. The mediterranean diet is renowned for its health benefits – well, coratina olive oil takes it to a whole new level. Its high polyphenol count can help prevent cardiovascular illnesses, lower blood sugar and hinder alterations caused by cell aging. Ancient Romans used this cultivar’s oil as a therapeutic ointment!

Coratina has a long shelf life

Rich in antioxidants, coratina is the stablest among monocultivar olive oils. Scientifically speaking, coratina has the highest polyphenol count and its solid lipidic structure assures the highest quality. Balance and longevity are the result of Dievole’s dedication and constant attention all throughout the production process. If treated properly, a bottle of coratina extra virgin olive oil can maintain its fresh and lively flavour  up to even 18 or 24 months.

Each drop instills creativity

Our signature panna cotta with coratina extra virgin olive oil!

Our signature panna cotta with coratina extra virgin olive oil!

Coratina’s vegetal undertones constrast and softens the oil’s bittery edges. Tasting this olive oil you will experience hints of fresh grass, rucola salad and artichoke. In the kitchen, these persisting flavours represent both a chance to go beyond your culinary confort zone, testing your horizons and experimenting with some of Tuscany’s most typical dishes.  Our signature panna cotta pudding with coratina oil, for example, started off as a joke but turned into one of the staple desserts of our restaurant. In this combination of sweet and slightly peppery flavours, the result is a perfectly balanced treat suited for all. This monocultivar extra virgin olive oil pairs well with carpaccio and fish and meat tartares, vegetable soups and legumes. During the colder months, use it to enrich your hearty menus and make homemade fettunta – drizzle an ample supply of olive oil on a simple, toasted slice of unsalted Tuscan bread (you can also add a hint of garlic by rubbing it on the bread’s surface). Interesting results can be obtained by pairing this monocultivar and dairy products giving way to unprecedented new nuances in flavour and consistency.

It will get you hooked!

Coratina extra virgin olive oil spurs contrasting reactions, ranging from obsessive love to repulsion. Nevertheless, one thing is sure: once you go Coratina you never go back. Coratina lovers would drizzle it everywhere – even where it doesn’t belong! – and nurtures this exclusive relation a daily basis. This is a monocultivar extravirgin olive oil without compromise – you have to really get to know it, interpreting and accepting its pros and cons. So will you love it or will you hate it? Without trying, there’s no knowing.

Italy is a safe haven for food and wine lovers from all over the world and we take pride in our continuous strive towards culinary excellence. If you’re planning a trip to central Italy, you’ll find your share of options, but here’s our list of Best restaurants in Tuscany that might come in handy – especially if you’re looking for some Dievole wine to pair with our region’s must-try delicacies.

Get ready to add a hole to your belt – it’s gonna be a delicious and unforgettable trip!

Ristorante Enoteca Giovanni

Meet Giovanni himself, serving food and wine at your table!

Meet Giovanni himself, serving food and wine at your table!

Since 1967, this restaurant/wine bar offers both seafood and steak menus paired with an amazing winelist (which naturally includes our Chianti Classico wines!). Its relaxing ambience makes it a great place for families and couples after an intense day of SPA treatments at the world-renowned Montecatini thermal waters. Homemade cookies and coffee are said to be the perfect finish to a delicious meal. Giovanni’s wife and staff will make you feel at home

Via G. Garibaldi 25/27 – 51016 Montecatini Terme (PT)

Tel. 0572-71695 – closed monday


Ristorante La Lancia d’Oro

A beautiful setting for an al fresco lunch in the heart of Arezzo

A beautiful setting for an al fresco lunch in the heart of Arezzo

Nestled in the centre of Arezzo, shielded by the Vasarian Loggias of Piazza Grande, one of the city’s most beautiful squares. La Lancia D’Oro is renowned for its high quality cuisine. Each dishes is prepared with local seasonal produce and ingredients. White tableclothes, floral decor and elegant interiors make this a great place for candlelit dinners. Both bread and pasta are handmade on a daily basis. We suggest trying their pappardelle with ragù sauce paired with a glass of our Chianti Classico!

Piazza Grande, 18 – 52100 Arezzo

Tel. 0575-21033


La Taverna di San Giuseppe

If you want to venture towards the area of Siena, this is one of those Tuscany Restaurants you don’t want to miss! La Taverna di San Giuseppe offers the unique experience of dining inside a centuries-old hand-sculpted tuff cave. Succulent aromas of truffle and meat flutter about this lovely and unpretentious inn located just a few steps away from Siena’s picturesque Piazza del Campo, open every day at lunch and dinnertime. The owners, Marco and Matteo, are long-time clients of Dievole and their wine-cellar is considered one of the best in town (over 600 labels!). The courteous and attentive staff offers superb pairing advice and the menu blends tradition and creativity.

Via Duprè, 132 – 53100 Siena

Tel. 0577-42286 – closed Sunday


Osteria Le Logge

Once a pharmacy (it still displays some of the original medicine cabinets!), this restaurant is located in Siena’s piazza del Campo and is one of the best restaurants in Tuscany. First owned by spouses Gianni and Laura Brunelli – who opened it in 1977 – its management has now been handed down to Mirco Vigni who forwards Gianni’s legacy with passion. A personal favorite among star-spangled actors (You can spot portraits of George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise on the walls), their open kitchen gives a modern touch to the traditional Tuscan ambience. Indulge yourself in their 100% Italian menu that changes on a daily basis and overpasses regional boundaries offering not only Tuscan specialities but also cheeses from Val D’Aosta, fragrant saffron risotto, fresh fish and an international wine list. The chef, Nico Atrigna, has been working at the Osteria since 2002 and playfully mixes western and eastern flavours in his exquisitely arranged dishes. Osteria Le Logge is the perfect setting for a romantic candle-lit dinner.

Via del Porrione, 33 – 53100 Siena

Tel. 0577-48013

Ai Vinattieri

They have a whole altar dedicated to wine! Now that's what we call devotion!

They have a whole altar dedicated to wine! Now that’s what we call devotion!

Located in front of the sanctuary of Santa Caterina, patron saint of Siena, this is a true gem and one of the best restaurants in Tuscany. Taste typical Siena cuisine in a cozy ambience that combines rustic and modern feel. Perfection is assured, from the hors d’oeuvres to the wine-list, where our Chianti Classico wines are included.

Via delle Terme, 79 – 53100 Siena

Tel. 0577-236568 – closed on tuesday


Locale Firenze

There are so many reasons why you should visit Florence – and food is one of them. Located in the ancient Palazzo delle Seggiole, in this restaurant and finely refurbished wine bar you can enjoy a unique atmosphere magically suspended between Middle Age and Renaissance. The dining room is located in a former 1200s kitchen, with a wonderful stone fireplace that will send you spinning back in time with the help of a hearty glass of wine and a plate of delicious food.

Via delle Seggiole, 12 – 50122 Firenze

Tel. 055-906718

La Bottega del Buon Caffé

live brick walls and soft seating: the keys to creating a wonderful cozy ambience

live brick walls and soft seating: the keys to creating a wonderful cozy ambience

La Bottega del Buon Caffé is all about quality. Conceived by renowned international designer, Jeanette Thottrup, the restaurant interior seamlessly combines the very finest elements of both classic and contemporary design. Michelin starred Chef Antonello Sardi and sommelier Vito Angelilli will make sure that your experience is superb, with astute pairings and beautifully executed seasonal dishes prepared with self-produced fruits and vegetables. When the weather allows it, la Bottega del Buon Caffè also offers al-fresco dining beneath the magical shadows of the medieval tower of San Niccolò. If you’re looking for a lunch menu with a twist, try their three-course special. If you want something more intimate, private dining can also be arranged.

Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini, 69r – 50125 Firenze

Tel. 055-5535677


Borgo San Jacopo

Who could resist such a wonderful view?

Who could resist such a wonderful view?

Luxury ahoy! Perched over the Arno river, this fine dining restaurant offers a unique vantage point of Ponte Vecchio and is definitely one of the best restaurants in Tuscany. Michelin-starred Chef Peter Brunel offers fresh cutting-edge inventions on a daily basis that you can pair with one of the 800 labels of their wine cellar. Keep an eye out for their special events -monthly themed dinner event “Spoon” is the talk of the town!

Borgo San Jacopo, 62/r – 50125 Firenze

Tel. 055-281661


Cucina Torcicoda

One of the best restaurants in Tuscany indeed!

The colors, the décor… One of the best restaurants in Tuscany indeed!

Just a few steps away from the awe-inspiring Santa Croce Church in Florence, Cucina Torcicoda is a multifaceted food hub where you can find everything, from pizza to gourmet cuisine, artisanal ice-cream and traditional meals. Excellence stands at its very foundation and this is why Dievole wines are included in the restaurants select wine – list.

Via Torta, 5/r – 50122 Firenze

Tel. 055-2654329 – Closed mondays


La Petite Cuisine

Carrara is a lovely town renowned for its marble quarries which supplied the materials to build Michelangelo’s David and the breathtaking Duomo of Siena. La Petite Cuisine’s speciality is seafood – their tartare and risottos are to die for! They also serve deliciously fresh raw fish filets, beautifully displayed on translucent salt plates. We suggest pairing these delicacies with a glass of Dievole White wine Le Due Arbie.

Via Verdi, 4 – 54033 Carrara

Tel. 0585-70226 – Closed sundays


What to do in Tuscany when it rains

It’s true, Tuscany is one of the sunniest places in the world and that is why it produces the best wines of the world. But of course it rains even here. Walking the streets and visiting outdoor monuments it is not exactly the perfect thing to do during a rainy day. But it is definitely not wasted time, but a perfect occasion to do something different or unexpected – and it is way better than getting bored in a hotel room. So here is a list of what to do in Tuscany when it rains.

Visit a museum or an exhibition

What to Do in Tuscany - Photo by Bas Wallet on Flickr (CC)

Photo by Bas Wallet on Flickr

Even though it sounds kind of obvious, visiting a museum during rainy days can be very interesting since you will have more time to take a look around, focus on the works of art and enjoy your visit without crowds. In Tuscany there are many interesting museums to visit. Siena has some incredible galleries and frequent temporary exhibitions. The Siena Cathedral is another perfect place to spend the day since it contains so many incredible works of art and sculptures. From here Florence is just one an hour drive and there are a lot of enticing options. You can start with the Uffizi Gallery and continue with the Accademia Gallery. You can even visit smaller museums, like the Bargello or San Marco Museum; both contain an impressive collection of works of art. Every town in Tuscany has a museum, you just have to decide what you would like to see and choose the right one for you.

Take a cooking class

What to Do in Tuscany - A cooking class held by Linda of Il Chiostro Workshops at Dievole.

A cooking class held by Linda of Il Chiostro Workshops at Dievole.

A definite must, when you’re choosing what to do in Tuscany, is enrolling in a cooking class. Our region is famous all around the world for its delicious and genuine food and a private class is a fun way to spend a rainy day and learn to cook staple dishes of the Tuscan tradition, like ribollita or handmade pici pasta. Imagine how fantastic it would be to prepare a full Tuscan meal once you get back home – your guests will be very impressed (and their tastebuds too). 

Take a hot thermal bath

Tuscany has the highest number of thermal centres in Italy and there is no better way to spend a rainy day than relaxing with a thermal bath or a SPA treatment. The weather outside may not be the best, but it is definitely not your problem. Here is a list of thermal baths and SPAs in Tuscany. 

A wine and olive oil tasting tour

What to Do in Tuscany - justpressedevoo

Freshly pressed Dievole EVOO – soak the bread in and lick your fingers to enjoy at the fullest!

A lot of vineyards in Tuscany organize wine tastings. Here you can learn all the secrets about winemaking, taste various types of wines and know more about our rich culture and tradition. Each wine has its own very personal story that needs to be told. Just make sure to have a designated driver or at least someone that can get you at your hotel room safe and sound. You can also plan a visit to an olive press and then try out the different types of olive oil. The best period is early fall where you can taste olio nuovo – which is the extra virgin olive oil that has just been harvested and pressed. If you are keen on tasting this spicy deliciousness of freshly pressed EVOO – Dievole has just launched its project Primo Raccolto – where you can order fresh oil from olive grove to table.

Visit an artisan shop

Tuscan artisans are able to create wonderful objects with their hands. You can learn how to make ceramic vases, shoes, paintings, jewellery and especially discover the techniques and secrets of these arts passed from generation to generation.

When wondering what to do in Tuscany: never worry! There is always something to do here, you just have to choose which activity is perfect for you. Enjoy!


I felt the Winter chills down to my roots, and stored up my energy for you. I endured the driving rains of Spring, knowing that rebirth was on the horizon. I enjoyed the longer days of early Summer, and sweltered under the heat of the Tuscan sun in July and August. Headlong into September, I knew my end was near, but that this is the natural process of things, the turning of mother Earth on her axis.

My short life is at an end, but it’s been a good one, full of respect and love for what I do and for what I represent to my territory. By mid October, by the end of the month at most, I will be forced to evolve into a new state.

But understand this: I am not complaining. Hear me out, for I feel that you should be aware of all this. One tends to see me, the olive, or the wizened old tree, or directly the sleek bottle of olive oil. Few think about me, and all the work over the years that has brought me to my mature state. Yet, I can still be of so much good to you.

I can hear them coming. Snip. Snip. Branch by branch, my natural umbrella is being delicately taken away from me. A soft bed, my brothers beside me. It’s suddenly cool and I know I’m being protected. Hush, it’s okay, I’m going to a better place.

Everything I have worked towards this year comes down to this moment. Like an Olympic athlete training for her one moment of glory, her swan song; my dive is the moment of sublimation. I emerge like a butterfly, pure flavour captured in liquid form.

Only you can release me. If I have only one purpose in life, it is in this moment. Close your eyes. Here I am; the tip of your tongue curls at the spicy sensation. You know the experience is only temporary: not long from now I will be more sedate. Both my liquid and my tree form will calm down for the Winter. But right now, I am new life; I am olio nuovo.


* * *


This Fall, get ready for an engaging olfactory experience like no other. Dievole, the winery, oil producer and resort in the Chianti Classico territory of Tuscany, presents an innovative olive oil project called Primo Raccolto. Olives like this one, that have received love and care throughout the year, are ready to be pressed and immediately bottled for you. You choose the day, we’ll do the rest.

To visit Siena or Lucca, that is the question.

For all of you facing this dilemma, Dievole offers a list of pros, cons and secret tips on how to survive this oh so difficult turning point in your journey. Sure, Siena is closer to us… but we’ll try to be as impartial as possible.

Visit Lucca


Lucca is a maze of hidden piazzas and winding alleys so if you’re not keen on getting lost, perhaps you should carefully study your sight-seeing itinerary before entering the city walls. But remember: if authenticity is what you’re looking for, walking off the beaten track is always a good idea. October and November might be tricky months, given the enormous number of visitors that crowd the streets during the annual Lucca Comics & Games Festival.

Visit Siena or Lucca_Dievole

The beautiful Cathedral of San Michele – Ph. Miquel González Page (Flickr CC)


Located at the foot of the Apuan Alps, Lucca is strewn with beautiful gardens, archeological ruins and renaissance villas. It is also known as “the city of 100 churches”, all stemming from different eras, last but not least the amazing gothic-style cathedral of San Martino. You can enjoy an amazing scenic promenade treading the city’s ancient walls, where you can peer over the ramparts and admire the surrounding countryside. The Giunigi Tower is a world-renowned attraction because of the small tree garden that grows at the summit of its romanesque-Gothic structure.

If you’re a fan of Opera Music, your ears will find paradise in Lucca, birthplace of famed composer Giacomo Puccini, to whom the city dedicates several events all throughout the year. Lucca is also home to the Lucca Comics and Games Festival, a fun-packed event which takes place annually during the months of October and November, and music sensation Lucca Summer Festival. If you want to put your tastebuds to the test, grab a bite of “Buccellato”, one of Lucca most renowned local sweets. This ring-shaped shortbread cake is available all year round, while if you want to enjoy a steaming bowl of typical “Garmugia” or “Farinata” soups, keep in mind that they tend to be seasonal… and pair wonderfully with a glass of Dievole Chianti Classico!

Lucca is easy to reach by train and is well connected with the other main Tuscan cities. If the weather suits, Lucca is also close to the sea – take a 30-minute train ride to enjoy a nice day of fresh seafood and sun on the Versilian coast.

Visit Siena


Siena is far more well known than Lucca, so get ready to deal with some serious tourism overflow that might threaten the tranquillity of your day-trip, especially if you visit Siena during the Palio di Siena in July and August. The right timing is key when it comes to visit Siena. Although it is reachable both by bus and by train, it does feel quite isolated – it would probably be best to travel by car in order to not have to depend on fixed time schedules – this way you can also freely explore the Chianti Classico countryside and the surrounding wine regions! Parking can be quite expensive – and keep an eye out for jacked up prices and tourist traps. We suggest sleeping outside the city walls and coming to town extra-early in order to enjoy the city as it slowly awakens.


Siena’s breathtaking cathedral at sunset – Ph. Sean X. Liu (Flickr CC)


Siena has so much offer: stunning façades, breathtaking views, awe-inspiring churches and riveting works of art. Once you have visited the historical Piazza del Campo, the Duomo or the 87-meter high Torre del Mangia, you will fully realise that there’s nothing quite like this Tuscan city (So much for us being impartial… oh well!). Food-wise, you’re really bound to be spoilt by choice! Fresh handmade “pici” pasta with boar meat sauce and, naturally, famed “panforte” fruitcake are a must (the latter tastes even better with our Vin Santo sweet wine!). Siena is also literally surrounded by wine producing regions (Chianti Classico, Montalcino, San Gimignano) so you can take your pick and set out for a tasting session among the vineyards or simply sip some quality red in an Osteria. Siena is the perfect setting for sunset promenades – a space where time seems to have fled, leaving an allure of medieval rapture and poetry. Visit Siena and you’ll understand what we’re talking about.

So whether you’re looking for the walled romanticism of Lucca or the hillside perfection of Siena, hopefully we’ve helped you make your mind up – if not, you can always try to visit Siena AND Lucca, planning a pitstop in the heart of our verdant Chianti Classico! One things is sure: there are no wrong choices here!

On September 17 a busful of Italian food bloggers set out from Rome for a two-day retreat in the heart of Tuscany’s Chianti Classico. The destination? You guessed it: Dievole.

Setting foot on the estate, the 12 food & wine lovers were greeted by the welcoming smiles of our staff and although the sky was clouded by the grey menace of rainclouds, Dievole was brimming with warmth and abundance.

After enjoying a relaxing glass of rosé wine in the green tranquillity of our Tasso garden, lunch was served…and it was spectacular! For the occasion we prepared our grand “tavolo dei maestri”, the historical wooden table that once hosted the evening laughter of Dievole’s winemakers who would gather here after a long day spent working amongst the vines.

Our chef Monika wowed our guests with the increasingly nuanced flavours of her creations. The entrée was a delicious pair of petit hamburgers, one filled with ribollita vegetable soup, the other with flavourful tripe, followed by a plate of pappardelle with meat ragout topped with delicate juniper air.

The remainings of a tuscan #lunch #pappardelle #DievoleExperience #chianticlassico #italianfood @dievole

A photo posted by Rossella Di Bidino (@rossdibi) on

The instagram star of the meal was a Tuscan delicacy unknown to many of our Italian food blogger guests: Monika’s marinated “Tonno del Chianti” pork laid on a bed of chickpeas and beans, drizzled with Dievole coratina olive oil.

Sated and satisfied, with the sweetness of Monika’s must sorbet on the tip of our tongues, we took a walk among the vines of our Progetto Fidelio, explaining the special philosophy behind this amazing collection of 30 grape varieties, a sort of wine-making DNA databank meant to preserve the diversity of our territory’s indigenous vines.

#Dievole #DievoleExperience #blogtour #Chianticlassico

A photo posted by sabrina (@sabrymomi) on

After this comfortable stroll, the group headed over to the wine-tasting room where Dievole wine expert Giovanni Alberio accompanied their tastebuds on a lush sensory journey,  starting with fresh Rosato Le Due Arbie, then savouring Dievole’s tannin-laden Chianti Classico 2014 and finishing on the tangy caramel notes of our Vin Santo.

The #DievoleExperience Italian food bloggers were then ready to take a break and discover the rooms of our Villas and Borgo, where they found precious gifts awaiting them, accompanied by personalised welcome cards!

Qua mi si coccolano in maniera indecente #dievoleexperience #chianticlassico

A photo posted by Vissia – Lingegnera (@amarituda) on

After a well-deserved rest, we all reunited around the table, once again ready to feast both eyes and mouths on Dievole’s unpredictable culinary creativity: ricotta flan with figs and Tuscan “rigatino” bacon, green sauce risotto with calf’s cheek and anchovy powder, tender beef with swiss chard and onions. As the guests plunged into the flavourful realm of Monika Filipinska’s cuisine, the story of Dievole and its products unraveled, spawning interested conversation and questions amongst our guests.

The evening couldn’t have enjoyed a sweeter closure: panna cotta with coratina olive oil and powder, garnished with sugar-coated fennel blossoms.

After a rainy night, the sky opened up in streaks of blue on the morning of September 18th. The #DievoleExperience Italian food bloggers awoke to find the joys of our rich breakfast buffet, unleashing their creativity and appetite.

It was then time for an intense lesson on Olive Oil tasting lead by oil-expert Piero Palanti, who explored the whole range of Dievole Oils together with its Chianti Classico vinegar, the company’s most recent product to be released on the market (we can’t wait for the Olio Nuovo to be ready!).

After this immersive experience in the world of Dievole Olive Oils we caught our guests off-guard with a surprise contest! They were put inside a room full of delicious cheeses, vegetables, fruits and meats. The question: what dish would you create to best enhance the flavours and use of our extra virgin olive oils?

But these Italian food bloggers were true experts and weren’t phased by the sudden request – in the blink of an eye they were selecting ingredients, chopping herbs and testing their creations. The winner was a delicate and balanced salad where marinated pork meat, wild herbs, sangiovese grapes and a swirl of nocellara olive oil.

After this riveting experience, the true prize for all was a delicious final three-course lunch in the dim lights of our historic wine cellar: bean and black chickpea purée with confit cod and pine-nut/red pepper pesto, pici pasta with tarragon pesto and a delicious wine and dark chocolate cake topped with Chianti Classico caviar.

Cantina storica Dievole.. pranzo in una atmosfera antica #DievoleExperience #anticheatmosfere #cantinestoriche

A photo posted by Elena Castiglione (@chezentity) on

The #DievoleExperience weekend was now drawing to an end. After a quick pitstop at our Wine and Oil shop, the lovely dozen were ready to travel back home – but we could tell that they were taking a piece of Dievole with them.


Dievole would like to thank all the Italian food bloggers for their wonderful company.



One of the best way to eat in Italy is to shop at a local market. From North to South, every city or small town has its own weekly market where you can buy seasonal fruit, vegetables, cheese, fresh fish and meat but also cheap clothing, shoes, bags, kitchen supplies and more!

These markets are usually set up in the main piazza with trucks and wagons displaying the goods. Prices are generally very convenient and some stall holders produce their own products, which are often fresher and better than those sold by big supermarket chains. Experiencing Siena’s food markets is the best way to really get in touch with local culture, meet and talk with Sienese people and indulge in some treats that will make your tastebuds scream “thank you!”.

Here are some suggestions. 

Wednesday Morning Market


Photo by Harvey Barrinson on Flickr

Spreading around Fortezza Medicea and the Artemio Franchi Stadium, this is one of the largest markets in Tuscany and it is very focused on locals and not geared to tourists. This is not necessarily a bad thing since visitors can get a glimpse inside the daily life of one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Although you can also find clothes, antiques and any kind of kitchen supplies, the food section here is extensive and very varied: fresh fish, meat, cheese and the most coloured and fragrant fruits and vegetables you will ever see –  the Tuscan sun works wonders! The market tends to be very crowded and you will probably lost your sense of direction if you are not used to this kind of situations. Here’s a tip: be clever and follow the old ladies pulling their groceries carts as they are probably headed to the best butcher or fruit seller in town. It could be considered stalking, but at least you will eat the best meat on the market for dinner!

If you are visiting the Val D’Orcia area, the weekly markets of Asciano and San Quirico d’Orcia are very well appreciated by locals, and you will probably find some of the same vendors of the Siena market. 

Antiques Market

Photo by Kotomi_ on Flickr

Photo by Kotomi_ on Flickr

The Antiques market takes place in piazza Mercato on the third Sunday of every month selling old items, second-hand clothing, carpets and antiques. It is small, intimate and the majority of the sellers are Italian. Some of them also have a warehouse to visit if you are very interested in buying or repairing something in particular. But since we really love food here, you will also find stands with local produce, fruit jams and any type of street food. 

Consorzio Agrario

The secret behind buying fresh products at the weekly market is to wake up very early and start shopping even 10-15 minutes before the official opening; everything is already set up and vendors won’t mind to sell a few things in this moment of calm before the storm – this is a very useful secret my grandmother and my mother passed on to me when I left my hometown and moved to Tuscany.  If you are not a morning person, you can go to the Consorzio Agrario – in the heart of Siena – where you can find a fantastic selection of all things Tuscan: Pecorino cheeses, chocolate, handmade fresh handmade pici pasta and the famous (and delicious) Cinta Senese prosciutto.

In Italy, food shopping is not just something you need to do every once in a while to feed your family, it’s something more. Going to buy groceries at the local market, walking through the stalls, touching, tasting and feeling the intense smell of fresh food is not just a necessity, it’s the realest expression of our culture.

The more time you spend in Tuscany, the more you’ll hear the word Sangiovese. Well that is, if you love wine! The most popular grape in this region, one we call the King of the Tuscan vineyard, is at the base of numerous Sangiovese wines with the Tuscany DOCG seal of approval.

The Sangiovese grape has long been the dominant vine in central Italy. Given the vast variety of terroir in which it grows, Sangiovese wines may have a range of flavors: from cherry to forest fruits, from violet to thyme, from vanilla to liquorice, from truffle to pencil lead, it’s got firm tannins and high acidity.

Sangiovese can be used to make a pure 100% Sangiovese wine, or blended at different percentages, usually with European vines like Cabernet, Merlot, Colorino, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo etc. The extent to which it can be blended depends in part on the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) to which the winemaker must submit. So what are the different Tuscany DOCG that make up the best Sangiovese wines in Tuscany?

Sangiovese Wines DOCG


Brunello di Montalcino

Must contain 100% Sangiovese grape grown in the area near Montalcino, south east of the city of Siena.

Terroir: marl, limestone

Flavors: mature (jammy), blackberry, spices, earthy, tobacco

Minimum Aging Requirements: 4 years for the vintage, 5 years for the reserve



Must contain 90% Sangiovese grape from the Maremma area south west of Siena, grown on the other side of the Amiata mountains from the more famous Brunello di Montalcino.

Terroir: stony, mineral-rich soil

Flavors: cherry, strawberry, jam with notes of herbs

Minimum Aging Requirements: 1 year for the vintage, 2 years for the reserve


Morellino di Scansano

Must contain 85% Sangiovese grape grown near Scansano, a town in the province of Grosseto in the hilly part of Maremma that borders on the sea.

Terroir: sandstone, clay and shale

Flavors: pomegranate, spice

Minimum Aging Requirements: 8 months for the vintage, 2 years for the reserve



Must contain 75% Sangiovese grape grown in the large part of Tuscany designated “Chianti” – see this article to better understand what and where is Chianti.

Terroir: chalky, calcium-dominant soil

Flavor: tangy cherry, floral notes of violets

Minimum Aging Requirements: 4 months for the vintage, 2 years for the reserve


Chianto Classico

Must contain at least 80% Sangiovese grapes grown in the Chianti Classico area of Tuscany (which is a part of the Chianti area). Dievole’s Sangiovese wines fall under the Chianti Classico denomination.

Terroir: alberese, galestro, limestone

Flavors: tart cherry, floral notes of violets, licorice, vanilla, earthy

Minimum Aging Requirements: 10 months for the vintage, 2 years for the reserve


Nobile di Montepulciano

Must contain 70% Sangiovese grape produced in the vineyards that surround the charming town of Montepulciano in Tuscany.

Terroir: clay-rich soil

Flavor: black cherry, soft spices

Minimum Aging Requirements: 2 years for the vintage, 3 years for the reserve



Must contain 50% Sangiovese grape from vineyards in the Carmignano area, which is north west of Florence in the province of Prato.

Terroir: limestone

Flavors: black currant, plum, meaty

Minimum Aging Requirements: 2 years for the vintage, 3 years for the reserve

Dievole recently fully restored an annex to our main villa that was once a limonaia, a greenhouse building traditionally found in on important Italian properties and used to store citrus plants, in their large terracotta pots, away from the elements during the winter. They are sometimes called an orangerie or winter garden, terms more frequently used by our northern neighbours – think of the Orangerie in the Jardin des Tuilleries, for example.

The restored Limonaia building at Dievole

The restored Limonaia building at Dievole

These structures are usually characterized by large windows and arched openings, and often they are adjacent to the stall in order to take advantage of the heat produced by animals; in fact, at Dievole, next door you can find our breakfast room which used to be a horse stable!

Lemons and other citrus plants – as well as farm animals! – are long absent from the interior of the limonaia at Dievole, which now houses a spacious suite upstairs, and two light-filled bedrooms downstairs. But in our recent renovation, we wanted to remember this part of the building’s history. Our architect and interior designer teamed up to develop a charming solution: these spaces would be decorated with a discreet citrus theme.

Bartolomeo Bimbi, citrus of the Medici (source: wga.hu)

Bartolomeo Bimbi, citrus of the Medici (source: wga.hu)

Still lifes of citrus plants of all types – lemons being the most common, but far from the only ones – abound in early modern Italian painting. But the man to take citrus painting to a high art is Bartolomeo Bimbi, who was commissioned by Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici to represent his collection of 116 citrus varieties in four huge canvases intended to decorate the country lodge at the Villa della Topaia (a few kilometers outside Florence), where they were documented in October 1715.

Paintings and maiolica in the Limonaia suite are inspired by the Bimbi images

Paintings and maiolica in the Limonaia suite are inspired by the Bimbi images

Cosimo III was not the first Medici to say “if live gives you lemons… collect them” (okay, he never said that, but it’s nice to imagine it). Before him, Cosimo I collected citruses between 1554 and 1568, and Francesco I also contributed to the family’s acidic wealth. Pietro Leopoldo, who became Duke in 1765, saw the scientific value of the collection for the education of the masses: he made lifelike wax and plaster models of all the citrus in the Medici collection and put them in a museum he founded (La Specola in Florence).

The Medici kept their ever-growing assortment of citrus plants first in the upper garden at the Villa at Castello, then in the famous Florentine Boboli Gardens – though not in the extant limonaia of that garden, which was a commission of the Lorraine family in 1777. Like the precious art the family collected, the lemons also have been handed down through history, and can be visited during special openings of the limonaia of Palazzo Pitti, usually in the springtime.

The limonaia structure at Dievole maintains the light and airy structure that helped grow plants in the past

The limonaia structure at Dievole maintains the light and airy structure that helped grow plants in the past

At the height of the Medici citrus collection, Cosimo III had Bimbi – already well known for his still-lives – detail dozens of citrus varieties on one fantastical plant, which, as if by magic, simultaneously produces fragrant flowers and fully formed fruit. Each is numbered and corresponds to a legend below. The citrus paintings are part of a larger project in which Bimbi documented all the flora and fauna of Tuscany, which served the purpose of glorifying the Tuscan ruler and his rich and “fruitful” (pun intended) territory.

This fruitfulness is exactly what we wish to recall by ornamenting our limonaia rooms with paintings that derive from the famous ones by Bimbi. Given the importance of both patron and topic, the four major canvases by Bimbi spurred hundreds of versions by other artists, a trend that continued even into the 19th and 20th centuries. Hence, we scoured antique shops and were able to find many good paintings of this type, all of which have been lovingly restored and given a new home here at Dievole. So when you set foot in our limonaia rooms, perhaps you will be able to almost smell the fragrant citrus flowers, remnants of a time long past, made alive again through painting.