|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.
|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 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)
article and pics by Luca Centoni