Archive | 4:26 PM

Tacconi Trattoria and a Surprise

24 Jun

A few mornings ago, we happened into a very small trattoria just down the street from us for cappuccino. I noticed a sign that said they were only open for lunch. I introduced myself, and asked the lady for a menu. In Italian, Graziella said there was no menu, just what she was cooking each day.

This morning after coffee, I told her we’d be back for lunch. She took me in the small kitchen to see what she was making…the scents were already divine. As  you can see in the pictures, there was tomato sauce with meat already simmering and another pan heating on the flame with olive oil, garlic, sage, and just added cannelini beans.

We returned later for lunch and had the best pasta with meat sauce ever! And I don’t even like meat sauce! Before the pasta, she surprised us with just fried zucchini blossoms. And of course, the Florentine Bistecca, which they cook over an open flame and fan the charcoals to obtain the perfect heat and flame height. (That’s two steaks more than I have had in a long time!)

And here’s the surprise. As I took pictures, Graziella asked if I was a writer. I explained that I had a blog and would feature her restaurant. She then told me she had a friend that’s a writer, and then she went to a glass cabinet to pull out some books. Three books in Italian… all autographed to Graziella by none other than Frances Mays.

I have mentioned in an earlier post that I have read Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany. Frances Mays clearly put Cortona on the radar of many a traveler to Italy. That said, however, we did not come here looking for her nor have we ascended the hill to find Bramasole. In fact, unlike the real Julia Childs in Julie and Julia, most people don’t even know what Frances Mays looks like…They often imagine her as Diane Lane, from the movie, as shown in many posters around Cortona.

Graziella and her husband Angelino have a collage of pictures hanging on the wall. She took me over and pointed to one of her and Frances Mays. She then told us we were sitting at the table where Frances somtimes comes to write. A fortunate stroke of serendipity for me! And now you and I know what she actually looks like!

Ciao, Ciao,


Some Cortona Photos

24 Jun

Went back to the two Cortona Piazzas to take some photos. Also, the street cleaner went by this morning…a pretty interesting vehicle!

We took a bus ride to Arezzo yesterday and really had an opportunity to see small towns along the way. Perhaps the best part was being with the natives, especially the very friendly bus drivers. It is obvious that for them, maneuvering through the hills of the Cortona region is a profession they take seriously. They are proud of their skills and it shows! We sat in the front seat and were wide eyed as we wound around the curves with ease. We also were able to pick their more than friendly brains!

Ended the night with an interesting dinner…but for now, off to a very special lunch!



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