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We can arrange for a chef to come and cook meals during your stay, please book well in advance as our local chefs are well thought of and much in demand. Cooking lessons can also be arranged (minimum 6 guests).
There is a kitchen herb garden with a wide variety of herbs including of course the Italian cookery essentials - basil, parsley and origano. In summer, our vegetable garden ('orto') is abundant with fresh vegetables including tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, aubergines, cucumber and beans. Tuscany's larder is famous throughout the World and where better to taste it but here at The Frantoio. Local shops sell the best fresh produce and just outside the village there is a farm where you can buy local fresh ricotta and pecorino cheese.
We can recommend local restaurants and organise reservations. Some of our favourites in the area are -
La Cantina di Alfredo, Colognora (15 mins) - traditional Tuscan cooking, never disappoints and is a legend in the area with local families of all generations.
Da Benito, Orentano (5 mins) - very popular with locals, good Tuscan food and atmosphere.
I Maggi, Buti (5 mins) - lovely converted olive mill in local hill village with individual terraces for outdoor dining. Good, reasonably priced food.
Osteria Taviani, Piazza Vittoria Emmanuele II, Bientina - small elegant dining rooms - very good modern Tuscan food.
La Rocca, Vicopisano - just outside this small medieval village - elegant fish restaurant with lovely gardens - good food.
Il Forino, Capannori (15 mins) - good classic Tuscan food, well prepared. Fish is the speciality but the Meat menu will not disappoint.
Il Vecchio Noce, Uliveto Terme (15 mins) - v.good food in lovely setting.
Il Foresieppe, Montecarlo (15 mins) - elegant restaurant outdoor dining and nice views - probably the best in this pretty medieval hill village with DOC wine status. Fish is the speciality but meat menu is also very good. (best to book)
Fattoria Le Torre, Montecarlo (15 mins) - lovely restaurant with outdoor dining terrace in one of the wineries just outside Montecarlo. Good, home cooking and you can sample their own house wine - we like their red wine - Stringao.
Punto, Lucca (20 mins) - in a street behind the anfiteatro, food is good (when the chef is 'on form'!)
San Bartolomeo (20 mins) - nice atmosphere - next to Punto.
Ristorante Giglio, Lucca, Piazza del Giglio next to the larger Piazza Napoleone - good traditional Luccese restaurant with outdoor dining terrace.
Celide, Viale Giuseppe Giusti, Lucca (20 mins) just outside the walls near Porta Elisa - Good fish restaurant, popular with the local Luccese.
Gli Orta di Via Elisa, Via Elisa, Lucca (20 mins) - local traditional Luccese restaurant - good food, nice decor inside and has a small outdoor eating area.
La Drogheria, Via Elisa, Lucca (20 mins) - probably the best pizzeria in Lucca, busy and bustling with locals.
There are many more good trattorias and pizzerias around. We enjoy our food and like exploring the local area, hoping to discover a new gastronomic gem. Speak to us when you are here and we will give you more local tips!
Tuscany is famous for producing good wine. We can arrange for our local sommelier to do Tuscan wine tastings in our wine room during your stay or she can accompany you on visits to some of the excellent local vineyards nearby including Montecarlo (15 mins), Colline Lucchese (20 mins) or Colline Pisane (30 mins). We can recommend and reserve vineyards for wine tastings and the famous wine areas of Bolgheri, Montalcino or Chianti can easily be reached in a day trip.
There is a selection of Italian wines in our cellar and it is available for guests to use on an honesty basis.
New Vineyard - In Spring 2015 we planted 500 vines, the grape variety is predominently Sangiovese with a few other cultivar Tuscan grapes including Vermentino,Montepulciano and Canaiolo to achieve the correct balance. We intend to produce our own wine in 2018.
The Lucca area, especially the Compitese Hills is famous for producing probably one of the best olive oils in Italy. We have 540 olive plants at the Frantoio. The main varieties are Frantoio, Leccino and Pendolino which make an excellent extra virgin olive oil. We have new oil from our olive harvests in late Autumn 2015 and guests will receive a tasting sample in their welcome packs. We take great care of the olive plants and do not use pesticides, the olives are hand picked and taken to the local mill to cold press within a short space of time.