On a recent trip to Paris I decided to stop by Florence for a couple days to see friends, and stay in my favorite hotel, the Torre di Bellosguardo. Even though it was winter, as far as I know Tuscany has escaped the Polar Vortexes and blizzards that have plagued my home in New York City this winter. So it was pleasant walking around the city, stopping in to museums, visiting friends, and sampling restaurants. But the highlight for me, once again, was the Torre. It is, quite simply, magnificent, with a view of Florence through the frescoed windows that still makes my jaw drop. This time the Torre had a new attraction: a cooking class and dinner with the warm, welcoming Baroness Ana Franchetti, wife of the Torre's owner Amerigo Franchetti. This class was no vanity project--Ana is a professional chef who ran her own restaurant back in her native Portugal. The class was held in the gourmet kitchen of the Franchetti's private villa on the Torre's grounds. Ana took us through all the Florentine classics, from crostini to risotto to steak fiorentino, and I even got a chance to make tagliatelle from scratch. Ana uses the Torre's own produce wherever possible, whether herbs, olive oil, or wine, with vegetables and fruits from the Torre's garden during season. I had fun cooking with Ana and learned a lot, then got to enjoy the results over dinner at their big farmhouse table. I walked off with a full stomach, lovely experience of dining in someone's home, and folder containing all the recipes so I can try to duplicate them for my friends back home.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 13th.century historical tower with extraordinary view of Florence, a stone's throw from the city, yet a country haven of peace and silence. Each room, very large, has its own character with antique furniture. Modern bathrooms and facilities. Vast garden with outdoor swimming pool. Extremely friendly staff. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Torre Di Bellosguardo Hotel Florence
- Torre Di Bellosguardo Florence