5 Great Tuscan Hotel Breakfasts
For a great Tuscan hotel breakfast try starting your morning with dessert. It’s a decadent Tuscan norm that I thoroughly enjoy. At Florence’s Hotel Il Guelfo Bianco, the chef’s freshly baked crostata is a sensory delight. A sweet flat bread cake, the jam explodes in your mouth at the first forkful while the crust crumbles onto your tongue. Manager Antonella Rocchini says the chef can be heard humming and whistling while preparing the breakfast cake for the hotel’s morning buffet. She adds that of all the things on their menu, these cakes are the best. After devouring too many pieces of the lattice masterpiece I must agree.
Driving east to Montalcino I find two locally-owned hotels to enjoy my morning java. Hotel Vecchia Oliviera small breakfast room overlooks the rolling hills of the Val D’Orcia. The sweeping views are enough to take your breath away. Owner Sandro makes fresh cappuccino or espresso for each client.
Tuscany is a land where gastronomy and culture are synonymous. No where is this more evident than at the upscale Catiglion del Bosco. The decadent breakfast buffet features traditional Tuscan salami and cheese products that are personally selected by the Executive Chef. “From the artisanal Pecorino di Pienza to the delicious cold cuts, only found in this part of Tuscany,” guest will experience an explosion tastes and textures” says manager Azzura. She suggests pairing these foods with their extra-virgin olive oil and organic honey all made on the property. I was captivate by the breads made from natural and homemade yeasts rather than commercial yeast. I am told that relying on ancient Tuscan methods of break making increases the digestibility of the food.
Driving past the towering cypress trees and going south from Montalcino, you arrive in Cortona, the city made famous in Frances Mayes “Under the Tuscan Sun.” My number one pick here is the breakfast lovingly prepared at Relais Corte dei Papi. Owner David Papi says that it’s the chef’s “careful attention when baking, his knowledge of how and where to choose the best produce – always fresh and of excellent quality – the use of original recipes of Tuscan tradition, and his great passion, that makes all the recipes very special” At Corte dei Papi, the chef even makes his own yogurt. The most important element he adds, “is good milk, and we use milk from local producers.”
Time to return to Florence for an incredible treat at Il Paradisino. This Renaissance property just outside the city limits has been in the Filliponi family for more than 200 years. All the jams and olive oils are made fresh from organic crops grown on the property. Chef Costanza in charge of making fresh breads and selecting the perfect cheeses from a nearby farm.
When choosing a hotel in Tuscany, do ask about their breakfasts. It will transform your holiday from a good one, to a great one.