20190514

Coletti in Roggio Garfagnana the Hidden Pearl of Tuscany

Gemma and Andrea Coletti

Andrea Coletti and his mom Gemma, of Ristorante "la Capannina" Coletti, are a legend in Roggio, a pretty small but quaint village in that part of Tuscany less known by the majority of the visitors; the Garfagnana. We have been there for decades since we used to live in Tuscany, therefore we knew exactly what to expect from them, They are indeed great workers and all because the happiness of their guests. We arrived in the late afternoon and we found them right where we expected they would have be, in the kitchen of course. They were preparing a delicious dinner for a group of Danish and for us too.

Roggio among the Tuscan mountains of Garfagnana
The sun slowly goes down and we reach our special room. It is like that because e true pope stayed in there in the past centuries. It is nicely decorated with ancient furniture.







In the years the family has builded and expanded its restaurant and rooms in order to let their guests to be more comfortable using this village as an excellent starting point for visit this fantastic area of Tuscany famous for its genuine food, affordable prices, white marbles, berries, cheese, porcini mushrooms , healthy water and more. Not to mention other famous locations to visit around like Lucca, Forte the Marmi, Versilia , Viareggio, Pisa and of course all those quaint villages in between.

Andrea and Gemma have welcomed lots of celebrities as well during the filming of movies in the area. Among them the American actor Harvey Keitel and the singer David Bowie. Also the book writer Karen Brown dedicated them some pages of her charming travel guide to Italy. But the most incredible thing is that some of the people born in this place lived their lives so far away in the world before finally coming back here to enjoy the life quality they might have lost along their path.

The dinner at "la Capannina", as it always been, was so good and genuine because all made with local ingredients of the mountains and prepared personally by Gemma meanwhile Andrea was serving at the tables together with the girls.

Antipasto Variety
Crostini Medley

Deliciousness Plate

Risotto with local Porcini mushrooms

Tordelli (Ravioli with butter and sage)

Necci (chestnut pancakes) with local Ricotta
Sgroppino (lemon sorbet drink) at the end of the dinner
The Coletti's cellar has some of the best super Tuscans labels to be paired with their great food.



Also in the morning they serve a wonderful natural breakfast with all local products, including their home made yoghurt and you just can relax before to get out and discover the magnificent surroundings.



We went to hiking at Campocatino a plateau located at 3300 feet where you can visit the old stone village, once the movie set of the "Il Mio West" ("Gunslinger Revenge") of the Italian director Giovanni Veronesi and starring Leonardo Pieraccioni, Harvey Keitel, David Bowie. You can find there nice berries crostata which will give you energy before to walk, through the forest, to the Eremo of San Viviano (San Viviano Hermitage) a wonderful grotta (later completed as a rocky stone chapel) that undoubtedly will remain lifetime in your memories.


the forest path to the hermitage of St. Viviano








In the evening we came back to our beautiful historic room after a farewell to the mountain that has the shape of a man's head profile.






Andrea Coletti
Andrea Coletti waits for you to let you have a unique Tuscan experience different from the ordinary paths of the traditional travels. Indeed if you want to see how Tuscans people really eat and live, well this is the place you should never miss or...you didn't see Tuscany.


Ristorante Coletti (aka la Capannina)


AddressVia S. Bartolomeo, 7-52, 55030 Roggio LU, Italy
phone: +39 331 805 0069
 



article and pics by Luca Centoni

20190405

Luciano Monosilio and his Cucina Italiana in Rome Italy

April 6th is "Carbonara Day" and we decided to publish this highlight about Michelin Starred Chef "Luciano Monosilio" who is actually the king of "Pasta Carbonara" which he proudly shares his own signature recipe. We have been in September 2018 to his brand new restaurant in Roma, Italy. It's simply called "Luciano Cucina Italiana" and he opened it few days before our visit. Location is in the middle of the eternal city in Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo 18, very close to Campo de' Fiori and not distant from Piazza Navona. He was waiting for us to show this unique and authentic place and concept that he intends to spread around the world. He left the life of the Starred Chef and lots of accomplishments just to go back to the real authentic pasta recipes starting from the Roma's tradition. Of course he made it in a lighter and modern style that his clients love. The pasta is all daily made on site with proud and quality, and you can immediately feel the difference, but you have to eat it properly, in other words "al dente".





He had the brilliant idea to go back for what people craved more; simple, good made food, fresh and healthy, with that special touch that only a great chef is able to add. Prices though are very reasonable and convenient too for the quality and the experience offered. So we had a tasting dinner just for us on one of the outside "al fresco" tables. It was still quite early before lots of people were going to pack it therefore we had the time to enjoy the menu. The dinner started with his fun box that you will find right on the table where you get all you need to dine... forks, knives, spoons, glass, etc.


We then tried his signature "Carbonara" that he serves with its attached recipe, followed by "Cacio e Pepe and Amatriciana pastas. We also had an amazing "Carpaccio d'Agnello" (Raw Lamb Carpaccio in Brine Pecorino Cheese, Cooked Must and Crunchy Seaweed) and one of those very good pizzas made by the awarded and young rising star Elio Santosuosso, pizzaiolo contest winner in 2015 (though since 2019 his pizza isn't in Luciano's menu anymore). All was paired by a nice local draft wine and we finally ended up with a great dessert: A special original version of "Tiramisù" where the espresso coffee is inside a ball of chocolate that you crush with the spoon and then all the delicious mix drowns the underneath cookies.

Luciano Monosilio Signature Spaghetti Carbonara with its attached recipe
Mezze Maniche Amatriciana
Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe

Carpaccio d' Agnello (Raw Lamb Carpaccio in Brine Pecorino Cheese, Cooked Must and Crunchy Seaweed)

Pizza Costiera by Pizzaiolo Elio Santosuosso (not in menu anymore)




Tiramisù
This tasting experience was from September 2018 and by then Luciano introduced other new dishes and he cut the pizza area to have more room for the new menu. He is doing really great and our final score is 20/20. We first met him at 2014 edition of "Girotonno" in Carloforte, Italy and already there he prepared a wonderful red tuna dish. We truly hope to see him opening soon a branch of his restaurant and concept here in USA. Until then Happy Carbonara Day!



















Michelin Starred Chef Luciano Monosilio




AddressPiazza del Teatro di Pompeo, 18, 00186 Roma RM, Italy





Highlight and Pics by Luca Centoni