Seeing autumn in the Appennini mountains is a must. Last week, we spent some time relaxing in the Appennini mountains, on the border that runs along Tuscany and Emilia – Romagna. It’s interesting how each region of Italy has its own unique flavours, typical foods and recipes. After days of hiking, we decided to eat lunch in Emilia and then ate dinner in Tuscany to compare how their mountain cuisine and wines differ.
Lunch – Miramonti (Emilia)
Roughly 30mins from the border of Tuscany and Emilia Romagna (from the resort town Abetone), La Santona, is a quiet town where people come from all over to eat at Miramonti.
The decor will take you back to the early 80’s, and don’t expect menus, the waiter will tell you what they have for that day.
Specializing in handmade tagliatelle, tortellini in brodo, local mushrooms and game, we ordered tagliatelle with ragù and tagliatelle with mushrooms as our primi, and then fried mushrooms and potatoes as our contorni.
Great for a hearty, mountainous lunch.
Wines we recommend
The typical wine of this area is Lambrusco – a slightly fizzy red wine. Try Villa Cialdini Lambrusco Grasoarossa DOC, the grapes are from land very near to the restaurant. The wine is only slightly fizzy, dark and bold. Or try a Vigna del Cristo Lambrusco di Sorbara from Cavicchioli e Figli, which has a lighter hue of red and is more crisp and dry.
Dinner – Da Silvio, La storia a tavola (Tuscany)
This is a great place to stop on your way up to the ski resort town Abetone. The Tuscan mountain cuisine is great to warm you up and get you into mountain mode.
This is probably one of my favourite restaurants in Italy, solely because they make the best white truffle gnocchi. They also offer a great selection of salumi, mortadella and fresh cheeses as an antipasti. Anything truffle at Da Silvio is great. The restaurant has a relaxed, traditional mountain vibe, making it a great place to relax to after a long day of skiing or hiking.
Great for an early autumn/ winter dinner.
Wines we recommend
Da Silvio has a classy wine list, but if you don’t feel like spending too much, they offer two wines by the glass, one is 100% Sangiovese, and another is a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. We love the blend paired with truffle pasta.
Where to go
Our favourite place to go in autumn in the Appennini is Lago Santo. It’s typically a popular summer/ spring hiking destination, but we find that at this time of the year there’s fewer people and the colours are beautiful. It’s located in Emilia-Romagna, 30 mins from Abetone, near the town of Pieve Pelago.