Others Insider’s Italy hotels and inns buy directly from local small producers — mozzarella, vegetables, meats and eggs all come from a distance that is walkable. And standards are exceptionally high.
The photo below show the kitchen garden of one of our most beloved properties, where over the course of the year more than 80 vegetable varieties flourish in arcadian organic conditions. The gardener, a wonderful cook, offers outdoor cooking classes in the garden, with guests watching, participating and feasting in the charming gazebo. Some vegetables are in the soil just seconds before you pop them into your mouth. Stefano the gardening cook prepares many varieties of bruschetta and pastas; makes pesto; marinates, grills, steams and sautés vegetables; and makes ample use of the estate’s own superb oils.
In Amalfi, our two favorite hotels source their own organic gardens for their lemons, tomatoes, herbs and salads. These are representative examples of how our hotels and inns are so connected with their land — and how one of the delights of a stay in each of them is tasting the wonderful things that that land brings forth.
A new favorite inn in Umbria typifies what we mean. The herb garden is at the center of the hotel. Lentils and farro come from a half hour away. Lamb and beef are raised sustainably and locally by farmers who are neighbors. Pork meat comes from a small sustainable breeder. Salumi, made with pork meat, are prepared traditionally by an artisan producer in the same town. Also in town is the cheesemaker whose year-old pecorino cheese, as well as salty and fresh ricotta cheese, appear regularly at the inn’s dining table.
Clients arriving in our Tuscany four-star inn often enjoy dinner on their first evening (and so good is the food, then elect to have further meals in coming days). They will enjoy the property’s own wines, olive oils and many succulent vegetables. The cheeses served here are made organically by good friends just a valley away.
Nearly all of our villas offer help yourself vegetable gardens too, as well as fruit trees where the apricots, peaches, plums and figs are all yours’ for the picking. Here our Maremma villa garden waits for you to pick herbs for use in the kitchen.