I have found through my travels that the best places you see are always suggested to you by the locals. A couple of days ago Jenny’s son, Nicholas, told Kara and I about this place where they sometimes go for lunch on top of a mountain.
The restaurant is called Chiassia and was near a town called Loro Ciufenna, which was about a 20 minute drive from Rendola. The drive was mostly climbing a mountain and swooping through back country roads. The ancient village that the restaurant was in was extremely small, so small that we were unsure if we were in the right place at first. We got out of the car and wondered around for a few minutes before a lady came out of a building and said “Chiassia?”
She lead us to a building where the inside looked like a tiny deli. The deli had all sorts of meats, sauces, fresh vegetables, cheeses, and sauces. But most importantly, it had what is called Schiacciata, which is a thin type of bread that reminded me of Chiabatta (but better). Chiassia is known for making sandwiches out of all of the ingredients in the deli. Kara got a sandwich with mozzarella and tomato.
I ended up getting a sandwich with fino corna (a salami type meat with fennel – a huge Tuscan tradition), bufalino mozzarella (made from buffalo), and crema fungi (mushroom sauce), with the Schiacciata scaldereo (warmed). A bite of the fino corna filled my mouth with flavor, while the crema fungi and bufalino mozzarella complimented it, and the crunchy , yet fresh bread added the perfect combination of textures. Every ingredient was incredibly fresh and you could tell that they were made or grown within the village. Remember how I told you that I had the best sandwich ever when I arrived to Italy and Luca made me a sandwich? It has been outdone by Chiassia – the new best sandwich ever!!! My mouth is watering thinking about it.
The village was extremely peaceful, as we were the only people really there, other than the lady who served us. We were located on top of a mountain and surrounded by a panoramic view of the mountains and Tuscany. All we could really hear was the wind whistling through the trees and the birds singing. I felt so at peace, relaxed, and happy.
The lady ended up giving us free samples of the fruit tart that she had made.
So other than this amazing restaurant, life has been the same here in Tuscany – amazing, yet tiring. I am mostly very exhausted, but it is good for me because I like to be busy, rather than bored. I even stayed in and relaxed on my day off. Yes, I relaxed, believe it or not! Today I jumped Packita for the first time. She did wonderful and has an incredible jump! I feel so accomplished. =)