Paradise in Volterra, Toscana

The beautiful Agriturismo Podere San Lorenzo

The beautiful Agriturismo Podere San Lorenzo

We spoiled ourselves a bit on this trip.  As Ry said we were only going for two weeks so that meant we could spend more money!  Well, not exactly.  But after such a hectic year working on a big project, I needed the first leg of our trip to be very relaxing.  So we thought the hills and olive groves of Toscana would do the trick.  We found the lovely Agriturismo Podere San Lorenzo by a top recommendation by none other than our go to Lonely Planet.  We rented a car specifically so that we could get to this gorgeous hideout.

There were so many wonderful aspects of the Agriturismo: peacefulness, beautiful views and secluded.  But one of the biggest draws was the food.  We had a kitchen in our apartment and it was so nice being able to cook breakfast and lunch and then bring it outside to eat on the gorgeous grounds.  There is nothing more enjoyable than a lazy afternoon lounging under a big umbrella in a field of olive trees laughing over pecorino, Milanese salumi and a bottle of local wine.  Our first night there we cooked pasta with olive oil, tomatoes, onion and zucchini with a side of caprese salad and ate it outside on the terrace.  It’s so nice being able to always eat outside.  Fresh air complements food so well.  We even got a sample ¼ L of the Agriturismo’s homemade olive oil from the olive trees on their property that we used for the rest of our trip.

One of many picnic lunches on the gorgeous grounds

One of many picnic lunches on the gorgeous grounds

Our homemade pasta dinner and caprese salad

Our homemade pasta dinner and caprese salad

Part of the appeal of staying at Podere San Lorenzo was that they offered cooking classes.  They could even do a gluten free cooking class upon request.  I’ve always wanted to do a cooking class in Italy so we had to sign up.

The only negative aspect of staying at the Agriturismo with its amazing multi-course meals was that I was tempted too often to try food that I knew had a high likelihood of having soya in it.  I typically steer clear of any food with soya and guar gum as ingredients, but something came over me here, I’m a bit ashamed to admit.  During our first dinner, they served a gluten free chocolate cake for dessert.  I knew it was gluten free but I could bet that chocolate was used in the recipe so soya would be a culprit.  For some reason desire got the best of me and I decided to try the cake, well wouldn’t you know I ate the entire damn thing.  Did my stomach ever turn that night!  Never again I told myself, the benefit of eating something delicious does not outweigh the cons of stomach turning for hours and hours on end.

Eggplant tomato and fresh mozzarella appetizer

Eggplant tomato and fresh mozzarella appetizer

Me eating my gluten free pasta with a delicious pepper walnut sauce

Me eating my gluten free pasta with a delicious pepper walnut sauce

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