Siena’s yellowish-brown buildings are the embodiment of a gothic medieval city. Her golden age came to a screeching halt with the plague called the Black Death of 1348. Enlightened travelers will love this charming city in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone about 21 miles south of Florence.
The shell-shaped brick Piazza del Campo is one of Italy’s most triumphant piazzas, large enough to feature a medieval semi-annual 350-year-old summer bareback horse race called the “Palio delle Contrade.” The victor of the Palio celebrates with a massive town dinner (cena). Sometimes the horse wins without a jockey. The piazza’s surface is divided into nine segments by colored paving stones, symbolizing Siena’a original Council of Nine. Their members governed the city in her medieval heyday. The council met at the Palazzo Pubblico.
Throughout the centuries the residents preserved their city’s gothic appearance, acquired between the 12th and 15th centuries.
Recently, I took a cooking class at La Scuola di Cucina di Lella Cesare Ciampoi on Via Fonrebranda, 69.
400 gr. Flour, 250 gr. Sugar, 150 gr. Shelled Almonds, 3 eggs, 3 yolks, Baking Powder, Orange Essence and salt.
Whip 2 eggs and 3 yolks with sugar. Add flour, baking powder, some drops of orange essence and some salt. Lightly roast the almonds and when they cool, add them to the pastry dough. Roll the dough into a log. Place them into a buttered cookie sheet with a light dusting of flour and brush with whipped egg. Bake for 15 minutes. Cut baked cookie log into biscoti and rebake for 10 minutes. Enjoy!! To learn more about Tuscany visit www.vino-con-vista.com and