29 December 2013

Under the Tuscan Sun - Fattoria il Poggio (Montecarlo Lucca, Italy)

I have to admit that we had slight hopes that we would have a similar experience like Diane Lane's character in "Under The Tuscan Sun" when she found her true love in Tuscany--of course minus all the drama that led up to that experience!  Unfortunately, we did NOT find Raoul Bova (a.k.a. Marcello) look alike but we did fall deeply in love with our meal at Fattoria il Poggio!   Here are our highlights:
(Photo from Beautiful in Italy:
Note:  If you haven't seen the movie then I highly recommend it because it is very good and will  be referenced throughout this post!


This little Tuscan farm sits in an area called Montecarlo Lucca.  It is just what I would imagine a Tuscan farm to look like.  When we arrived we were given a very animated tour of the olives and learned a little bit about the farm.  'Helena' our crazy guide told us to forget about finding the hot men that we saw in the movie because the only men in Lucca are fat, hairy and have missing teeth!  The other thing we learned from 'Helena' is that the fine people of Lucca really do not have warm feelings for Pisa.  She was so passionate about it that I decided it was best to not ask why--I can always google it later.  
Who would not like Pisa?!

The farm produces both extra virgin olive oil and wine and both are delicious!  We had to buy extra luggage to bring it back home.



I had no idea that olive oil could be so complicated.  I knew it can be quite expensive depending on various factors but 'Helena' made sure we understood that under no circumstances are we to buy any olive oil that isn't cold pressed and unrefined.  Below are some the machines that are used at the farm for there delicious olive oil.

Remember cold pressed and extra virgin

If you are interested in learning more about olive oil you can read more about it at Olive Oil Times.  


The wine, the wine, the wine!  The wines produced here are from both Montecarlo DOC and IGT Toscana.  They specialize in both red and white and they are quite good.  My two favorites are:
  • Vin Santo del Chianti - delicious dessert wine which is perfect for dipping biscotti
  • Otium Montecarlo Bianco - refreshing white

My faves
If you stay for lunch or dinner just note that the wine keeps flowing and everyone gets louder as the meal goes on!


Other than meeting wonderful new friends and learning all about olive oil, the most memorable part of our visit to Fattoria il Poggio was the food.  There are several areas to eat and you will learn what Italian "family style" really means after this experience. 

We have been back for just over two months and we are still thinking about it!  We are actually trying to figure out how we can squeeze in a quick visit in the next month or so!  


They serve the traditional Italian first course items: cured meats, cheese, olives, etc.  All were quite good.


This was eyes roll back in your head and slap the table good.  We had seconds, thirds and some even fourths!  
Marcello on a plate

Pappardelle Braised Beef Ragu.  Yes, this is my Marcello on a plate!

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