Food will be flocking to Pontassieve for Cookstock on September 9–11. Now in its third edition and following last year’s runaway success (more than 35,000 visitors in three days), the much awaited food festival has become a firm date on Tuscany’s culinary calendar, bringing the region’s top chefs and food lovers to the picturesque Tuscan town, just 30 minutes from Florence and easily reachable by train.
This year’s cooking shows will take place on Pontassieve’s medieval Medici bridge featuring top chefs from all over Tuscany, including The Florentine columnist Simone Cipriani (whose new restaurant Essenziale is opening shortly in Florence), Andrea Campani of Il Borro (Loro Ciuffiena), Arturo Dori, former chef di Ditta Artigianale, Nicola Schioppo of Osteria Cipolla Rossa, Alessandro Liberatore of Villa Cora, Beatrice Segoni of Konnubio and Deborah Corsi of La Perla del Mare (Viareggio). Pontassieve also welcomes a chef from overseas: Ariel Hagen Chef of Osteria Romana, a favourite Italian restaurant in Brussels.
Ruffino winery open
World-famous winery Ruffino will open its doors to the public, with guided tours around its headquarters sine 1877. A stroll across the famous raised walkway, movie posters starring Ruffino and the beautifully hand-carved wooden barrels simply cannot be missed. No need to book – just turn up.
The best of Italy’s food trucks will take over the piazza in front of Pontassieve’s town hall: Chianina beefburgers by La Toraia, stuffed fried olives by Ape Scottadito, Florentine classic lampredotto by Ditta Eredi L.Nigro, fish and seafood panini by Pescepane, sweet treats by Eskimo Pastry Food Truck, Tuscan street food by DanSi – Rinascimento Culinario and panzerotti savoury turnovers by Panzero.
Art and culture
Check out the Nautical Maps: Archipelago of the Imagination exhibition by Antonio Possenti in the vaulted Sala delle Colonne halls next to the town hall. In the same square, the Museo Geo Centro Studi opens, on September 10, a new exhibition titled The Markets of the World. #WorldWidePaintOut2016 will take place during Cookstock, the international day dedicated to outdoor painting. Music is a major draw of the food festival with local bands playing jazz, rock and blues throughout the town.