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Provincia di Arezzo
Provincia di Siena
Regione ToscanaServizio Turismo - Provincia di ArezzoApt Chianciano Terme Val di Chiana

A cellar along the Sentiero della BonificaThe Val di Chiana land reclamation has totally transformed the marsh land into a fertile area, with enormous advantages for local produce that contribute to creating a strong feeling of identity in a land which, socially, economically and culturally, expresses itself by means of highly interesting specificities. Extra virgin olive oil and DOC (Registered Designation of Origin) wines are products of a daily life which has ancient and deep roots. The Roads of Wine “Terre di Arezzo” and “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano” offer a way to understand this area through its important wine productions, such as Valdichiana, Cortona, Vin Santo del Chianti Colli Aretini Occhio di Pernice, Vin Santo di Montefollonico but most of all, through its two D.O.C.G. (Registered and Certified Designation of Origin) wines, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the Chianti Colli Aretini.
Fruit growing - peaches, plums, pears and apples - is also important. And in particular, the mela rugginosa (rust-coloured apple) coming from the Val di Chiana and cultivated in the area around Arezzo (Civitella, Monte San Savino, Castiglion Fiorentino, Foiano), characterized by a special tastiness all of its own, by a particular firmness and by a long storability (more than two months outside the fridge). The Val di Chiana honey, instead, is characterized by the great variety of its different types, such as millefiori honey, acacia, chestnut, strawberry tree, medical herbs, sainfoin and sunflower. The chianina is extremely important in the field of meats, as it is undoubtedly one of the most valuable livestock  breeds, and which gives us the famous and legendary “fiorentine” (local T-bone steaks).The food of the “Quìnto Quarto” (the Fifth Fourth) makes extremely tasty dishes, like ‘Tripe with sauce’ or ‘Stewed grifi’ (hardened pieces of the animal’s muzzle); these dishes “speak the ancient language of the markets” still present in the Val di Chiana’s squares.
The “bove” (bue = ox) from the Chiana area was already known to the Etruscans and to the Romans who used it in triumphant parades or for sacrifices to the gods, thanks to its grandeur and elegance. It is, in fact, the largest bovine in the world, “the white chianina giant”, and its name gets its origins right from this ancient land. Constant genetic selection has in the long run produced the highest quality beef and nowadays the Chianina has the IGP stamp recognized by the European Union (Protected Geographical Indication of White Young Beef of the Central Apennines – Chianina). To obtain this certification, an essential condition is that the meat comes from bovines of the pure Chianina breed, of an age between 12 and 24 months and that have been fed with a natural and controlled fodder. At the butcher’s, the meat’s ‘identity card’ must be shown with details of where the breeding took place as well as its slaughter date. At a time when there are many indiscriminate meat products on the market to satisfy the global market, the quality and reliability of the ‘chianina’ meat of local breeding is an important point of reference. The ‘porchetta di Monte San Savino’ (roast sucking pig), is also specially delicious, and while staying in the field of meats, the cinta senese (particular breed of pig from near Siena) salamis are excellent, too. Oci and nane are the dialectic terms used for the male goose and for ducks. With their eggs (and also hens’ eggs), homemade pasta is produced, like ravioli, pappardelle, tagliatelle and “maccheroni” (slightly larger than tagliatelle). But the truly traditional pasta of the Val di Chiana (especially towards Siena) is made only out of flour and water: the pici, in fact, are handmade spaghetti usually  served with game sauces. The Val di Chiana has also vast plantations of cereals, such as spelt and barley, wheat and maize, mostly used for industrially made pasta. Amongst the cheeses, it is particularly worth mentioning the excellent abbucciato aretino, a sheep’s cheese (locally called ‘cacio’) made from raw milk (i.e. that has not been boiled), which has a balanced taste, suitable for maturing or to be eaten ‘fresh’. And finally, one of the most characteristic and typical foods of this area, ever since the Etruscans, is the traditional  “Brustico” from Chiusi: in other words, a sort of barbecue of fish caught in the lake. Generally, bass and rudd are used, roasted on the lake’s reeds, seasoned with aromatic herbs, oil, garlic and lemon.