Pistoia will please the palate

I’d never even heard of Pistoia before, and suddenly I found myself spending two days there. All in the quest of tasting the finest chocolate in Italy!

the Romanesque style of architecture is prevalent in Pistoia

Pistoia is a small Tuscan village highlighted by Romanesque buildings of the 12th century. That’s about all I’m going to tell you about the history of Pistoia, as everyone who knows me knows I’m not a history buff. I’m there to meet the people and to taste the local specialties: the food, the wine, and of course … the chocolate. I was not be disappointed!

We ate some of the best meals of our journey while in Pistoia, thanks to the culinary talents of Renzo and Laura, the charming couple who run the Toscanelli Ristorante, where we enjoyed two sumptuous meals. Having grown up indulging in the best of Italian cuisine at the home of my dear friend, Maria (and the homes of her extended family members in Winnipeg) I really knew my Italian favourites, and I can assure you, Laura and Renzo did not disappoint.

Renzo welcomes you to Toscanelli’s with a complimentary champagne cocktail

At Toscanelli’s, we enjoyed fabulous wine and olive oil made by the owners at their nearby home. We ate local porcini mushrooms that had been picked that day. And squealed at the flourless chocolate lava cake (called chocolate pie on the menu.) We were truly in heaven.

Laura’s attentive service and bounty of fresh produce are two more reasons to visit Toscanelli’s Ristorante

Our friendly and knowledgeable guide, Paulo Bresci, also referred us to Aoristo Ristorante on Via De Buti, where we had a fabulous view of the historic skyline, personalized service by one of the partners and top-notch Tuscan cuisine paired with some amazing local wine. In totally chic surroundings. What’s not to like?

Pistoia may not be Venice, Florence, or Milan, but it provided us with an authentic taste of Tuscany without the crowds, the high cost or the crime associated with larger centres. Many thanks to Rosy of Verde Paradiso B&B who hosted us during our stay. Although we couldn’t converse too deeply due to a language barrier, we knew we were truly welcome, and felt very safe and comfortable during our stay.

Verde Paradiso B&B is a clean, friendly and safe place to stay while in Pistoia.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

10 Responses

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  4. Pat Bodman says:

    I would love to go there! Your description of the town, the people and the food makes me want to pack my bags!!!!! I have always wanted to go to Italy and feel that your description of Pistoia would make me feel right at home!!!! Great article!!!!

    • Thanks so much, Pat. Knowing how much you love great food, wine and camaraderie, I know you’d love Italy, and Pistoia provides a safe, clean and collegial place to become immersed in the local culture. Maybe you’ll join us there for the launch of Chocolatour later this year! Cheers, and great to have you joining the conversation on the blog.

  5. It’s hard to believe I’ve never been to Italy but when and if I do go, Pistoia looks like a great place to begin.

  6. Yes, I loved Pistoia, too, Virginia. Meeting warm, vibrant people, eating great food, drinking terrific wine and eating unique chocolate creations with a good friend. What could be better? I hope we’ll return for the launch later this year!

    And thanks for the comment on Twitter, Veronica. It has shown up here as a Trackback. Cool!

  7. I’m still savouring the olive oil Renzo gave to us. Alas, his “Vin Santo del Chianti” is a distant but fond memory. I think we had a unique experience, Doreen, landing in a small Tuscan town where everyone embraced us. Sensuous is the adjective that comes to mind. And because our senses were aroused to such an extent, Pistoia came home with me in a way that the other destinations did not (though poor Rosy’s still got my laundry!).

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