Italian cuisine has long since been a favourite, but in recent years chefs in Tuscany have been scaling the heights of culinary excellence. Here’s an overview to 2020 Michelin-starred restaurants in Tuscany, which vaunts five new 1-star entries for the region: Santa Elisabetta and Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura, in Florence; L’Asinello, Senio Venturi, in Castelnuovo Berardenga; Virtuoso – Tenuta le Tre Virtù, in Scarperia; and Lunasia, in Viareggio. Poggio Rosso, in Castelnuovo Berardenga, and Winter Garden by Caino, in Florence, have both lost their stars this year. Enoteca Pinchiorri, in Florence, maintains its three stars, and Bracali (Ghirlanda, near Massa Marittima), Caino (Montemerano, in Maremma), Piccolo Principe (Viareggio) and Arnolfo (Colle di Val d’Elsa) all proudly continue to emblazon their chef’s jackets with two stars, while Tuscany now boasts 36 one-star restaurants, a hallmark of the region’s gastronomic vitality, ingredients, wine and wellbeing.
(The text in italics is the review by Michelin reviewers, for 2020.)
3* Michelin starred restaurants in Tuscany
For decades Pinchiorri has represented luxury and haute cuisine at the highest level in Italy. The restaurant has a number of dining rooms, including a historic room, which has an almost museum-like feel. Highly attentive service from the legendary owners, Annie and Giorgio, and an excellent menu featuring the best of Tuscan, Italian and international cuisine. The wine list is renowned across the globe.
Via Ghibellina 87, Florence
2* Michelin starred restaurants in Tuscany
This small, fairly ordinary district is home to an unexpectedly elegant restaurant which serves original dishes, some of which have little in common with local traditions. Two brothers, one front of house and the other in the kitchen, are responsible for this little gem in the Maremma. Accommodation is also available in the historic centre; the owners provide the transport.
Via di Perolla 2, 58020 Ghirlanda
Situated in a small, isolated medieval hamlet accessible via a network of narrow, winding country roads, this restaurant introduced the world to the cuisine of the Maremma, reinterpreted in elegant and contemporary fashion by talented chef Valeria Piccini. Her legendary dishes full of flavour have made Caino famous and established its reputation as one of the most inviting restaurants in Italy.
Via della Chiesa 4, 58050 Montemerano
On the fifth floor of the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte, a panoramic roof garden acts as a delightful setting for creative and sophisticated cuisine, which is expertly prepared and beautifully presented. Simple decor with a few contemporary features and an open-view kitchen.
Piazza Puccini 1, 55049 Viareggio
“This restaurant is situated in picture postcard Tuscany, surrounded by rolling hills, cypress trees and medieval fortifications. The cuisine is also typically Tuscan, made from the best local ingredients and reinterpreted with creative flair. Delightful panoramic terrace for summer dining. A small hotel of rustic elegance, a bonbonnière in terms of elegance, care and size.”
Via XX Settembre 50/52, 53034 Colle di Val d’Elsa
1* Michelin starred restaurants in Tuscany
Virtuoso – Tenuta le Tre Virtù – New for 2020
Just a few kilometres from Florence and yet immersed in rural landscapes, this restaurant pays tribute to Tuscany thanks to its chef, who has forged strong links with local producers while also showcasing modern culinary techniques. The same emphasis can be seen on the wine list, which prioritises regional wines – some not particularly well known – which are full of character.
Località Lucigliano 13, 50037 Scarperia e San Piero
Lunasia – New for 2020
The success of this restaurant’s modern and creative cuisine lies in its emphasis on excellent ingredients and careful preparation. After recent restoration work, the restaurant has returned to its ground-floor setting and now occupies an elegant space that is more than equal to its previous location.
viale Manin 4, 55049 Viareggio
L’Asinello – New for 2020
Situated at the entrance to a romantic village in the Chianti region, this former stable has been converted into a quiet, elegant restaurant by a friendly young couple. At the helm in the kitchen, the husband champions traditional cuisine which is minimalist in its choice of flavours and made from just a few well-balanced ingredients. Simple but welcoming service adds to the appeal. A real Italian culinary gem!
via Nuova 6, località Villa a Sesta, 53019 Villa a Sesta
La Tenda Rossa
An excellent selection of ingredients, all perfectly cooked and beautifully presented in either classic or modern style – the cuisine here has a strong contemporary influence with only a few dishes betraying traditional roots. The wine selection is also excellent, with a pleasing number of wines available by the glass.
Piazza del Monumento 9-14, 50020 Cerbaia
Ristorante Al 43
Simple yet meticulously prepared cuisine served in a small, high-quality restaurant where the chef takes his inspiration from regional ingredients and flavours. Attractive ambience, with lovely views of the Sienese hills.
Loc. Canonica-Lucignano 43, 53037 San Gimignano
A long-established restaurant in a beautiful 18C palazzo in the centre of Lucca, which has been brought back to life thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of three young chefs. Working together, the three share not only their friendship but also the same vision of modern cuisine with its roots firmly anchored in the region yet also with a hint of Japanese influence in some of the ingredients.
Piazza del Giglio 2, 55100 Lucca
The introduction of works of art to this restaurant adds extra elegance to the decor, providing a stylish setting for the carefully prepared, top-quality cuisine served here. The regional ingredients used in the dishes are locally sourced from small producers, or even come from the restaurant’s own farm. Full of flavour and resolutely creative, all the dishes are beautifully and carefully presented.
Borgo Maestro, 74, 53023 Castiglione d’Orcia
Discover top-quality cuisine in this small, rustic-style restaurant with just a few tables. Creative and original dishes made from mainly Tuscan ingredients.
Via S. Martino, 17, 53037 San Gimignano
Young, talented Stelios Sakalis, originally from Greece but now very much at home in Tuscany, took over as chef in this restaurant in 2019. After gaining huge experience in restaurants in Italy and abroad, the chef has now been in the Chianti region for ten years, combining Greek and Tuscan cuisine with real character. If you want an example, look no further than his panzanella Toscana hidden in a Greek salad!
Località Spaltenna 13, 53013 Gaiole in Chianti
Enclosed by large windows, this restaurant is full of natural light, which perfectly complements its elegant, modern and minimalist-style decor. The open-view kitchen allows diners to observe the chef as he creates his imaginative dishes, which are the result of careful research, both in the culinary techniques used and in the selection of the best ingredients.
viale A. Morin 67, 55042 Forte dei Marmi
Meo Modo, Borgo Santo Pietro
Allow yourself to be pampered in the elegant, individual-style dining rooms or under the 13C portico in this restaurant, which boasts a romantic ambience enhanced by dishes featuring seasonal herbs, spices and early vegetables, most of which are grown in the restaurant’s own biodynamic garden. In summer, the restaurant is perfumed with the scent of flowers.
Località Palazzetto 110, 53012 Chiusdino
Fans of Tuscan cuisine will be in their element in this restaurant. It offers the full range of local meat specialities, herbs and spices, as well as fish dishes. An elegant choice, perfect for special occasions.
Località San Martino, 52044 San Martino (near Cortona)
A splendid summer terrace with views of rural landscapes of vineyards and olive trees fringed with woodland acts as the setting for delicious regional cuisine at this restaurant. Although the focus is on meat specialities, the menu also features a few fish and seafood options.
Strada Spicciano 7, 50028 Tavarnelle Val di Pesa
Osteria di Passignano
Enchanting location: beside the abbey, in the late nineteenth-century cellars of the Marquises of Antinori; on a par with the modern-style cuisine firmly rooted in the past.
via Passignano 33, 50028 Badia a Passignano
Housed within the legendary hotel of the same name, Il Pellicano is one of the most romantic addresses in Italy thanks to its spectacular terrace overlooking the sea, the scent of aromatic plants all around, and the delicious cuisine prepared by a famous chef who has returned to his roots after working at other Michelin-starred restaurants. A stunning setting for Michelino’s cuisine which is essentially Italian, alongside a few international dishes.
località Lo Sbarcatello, 58018 Porto Ercole
Located in a quiet spot, this is an old inn which has been renovated over the years. Elegant dining hall with nice furniture. Traditional cuisine and innovative dishes.
località Pescina, 58038 Seggiano
You even have to park on the sand to reach the restaurant, which is almost built over the water. The sea permeates the dishes served raw, prepared either with a tomato sauce or more classically.
Via dei Cavalleggeri Nord 27, 57020 Marina di Bibbona
Bistrot, an elegant restaurant on the seafront, has long been a reference for fish-lovers, with its wide selection of fish in all its guises, from marinated raw dishes to grilled options. Spring 2019 has seen the arrival of a new chef, Andrea Mattei, at the helm.
Viale Franceschi 14, 55042 Forte dei Marmi
“Enjoy fine dining at this legendary 30-year-old restaurant. It has superb service and famous mayonnaise made in front of guests in the dining room. Fresh fish is the highlight here, the quality of which is guaranteed by the Lorenzo name.”
Via Carducci 61, 55042 Forte dei Marmi
La Magnolia, Hotel Byron
Having gained experience in many well – known restaurants, the chef at La Magnolia demonstrates his ability to collect and develop traditional Mediterranean recipes, while adding his own authentic, distinctive and original touches. In summer, lunch and dinner are also served by the pool.
Viale Morin 46, 55042 Forte dei Marmi
One of the most talked about and controversial chefs in Italy, thanks to his creative dishes and original combinations, Tomei has made his home in the former stables of the 17C Pfanner palazzo-museum. Here, guests choose the number of courses they want, let the chef know if they have any allergies and then sit back and enjoy whatever surprising dishes he creates for them.
Via della Fratta 38, 55100 Lucca
Terracotta and exposed beams combine to create an elegant ambience in this 19C country house surrounded by a well-tended garden. This is a family affair, with the mother front of house and father and son working in the kitchen to serve up elaborate and carefully presented fish and meat dishes.
Strada statale 12 dell’Abetone, 55014 Marlia
With a history dating back over 50 years, Romano is a real culinary institution both in Versilia and Italy, offering a warm family welcome and truly professional service. Top-quality fish takes pride of place on the menu, alongside other dishes which are full of flavour.
Via Mazzini 120, 55049 Viareggio
Atman a Villa Rospigliosi
Igles Corelli has moved to Rome and left his experienced sous chef at the helm at this restaurant, where the cuisine continues to combine tastes and flavours from all over Italy, while also introducing the occasional international touch. The first floor of this splendid 17C villa is home to four suites, all of which are spacious, charming and decorated in vintage style.
Via Borghetto 1, località Spicchio, 51035 Lamporecchio
“Although Signora Mariva still keeps an eye on things in the kitchen, it is now the very capable Maurizio (Bardotti) who is at the helm. He continues the tradition – started many years ago – of creating updated traditional dishes with humility, enthusiasm and imagination.”
Strada provinciale 27 Casole d’Elsa-Cavallano, 53031 Casole d’Elsa
La Bottega del 30
On the 30th day of every month a travelling salesman used to stop in this delightful village. In the meantime, a young French chef arrived here and fell in love with Chianti and its cuisine. He named his restaurant after the travelling salesman and so the fairytale continues today, 30 years later.
via Santa Caterina 2, località Villa a Sesta, 53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga
I Salotti, Il Patriarca
This excellent restaurant with an elegant ambience and just a few tables offers two tasting menus. One that focuses on Tuscan traditions (meat only) and another that is equally balanced between meat and fish dishes.
Località Querce al Pino, Strada Statale 146, 53043 Chiusi
Castello di Fighine
A dirt track leads to this magical setting where a medieval castle offers views of the surrounding hills. Situated in the hamlet surrounding the castle, the restaurant has a beautiful terrace shaded by a wisteria for alfresco dining in fine weather. The cuisine here is the result of a successful partnership between a fine young chef from Campania and the three Michelin-starred Heinz Beck. Two apartments (run by the restaurant) are also available in the Casa Parretti.
Località San Casciano dei Bagni, 53040 San Casciano dei Bagni
La Trattoria Enrico Bartolini
Chef Bartolini has brought a breath of fresh air to this charming restaurant with a rustic yet elegant feel. While remaining true to regional traditions and cooking methods, such as charcoal grills, the cuisine also demonstrates the occasional modern twist.
Localita’ La Badiola, 58043 Castiglione della Pescaia
Santa Elisabetta – New for 2020
Thought to date back to Byzantine times, the Torre della Pagliazza has had many uses over the centuries, including housing a women’s prison in the 12C. Today it is home to one of the city’s most famous gourmet restaurants, where the chef from Campania creates fresh, Mediterranean cuisine which is elaborate and imaginative in style.
piazza Santa Elisabetta 3, 50122 Florence
Gucci Garden Osteria – New for 2020
The cuisine of theatrical chef Massimo Bottura has arrived in Florence, demonstrating an openness to the rest of the world, with influences and reinterpretations of dishes from other countries, as well as Italy and Modena in particular. A visit to the Gucci Garden, an elegant museum on the upper floors dedicated to the famous fashion house, is highly recommended.
piazza della Signoria 10, 50122 Florence
La Leggenda dei Frati
Things start well and only get better… Once you have entered the beautiful Villa Bardini not far from Palazzo Vecchio, you are plunged into an elegant and welcoming ambience. This serves as the perfect setting for delicious creative and modern cuisine. There is an additional treat: anyone who dines at the restaurant can also choose to visit the museum accompanied by the restaurant owner who has a set of keys. A truly multi-sensory experience!
Costa San Giorgio 6/a, 50122 Florence
Il Palagio, Four Seasons Hotel
The magnificent decor of one of the most impressive palazzi in Florence has been given a more contemporary feel in this restaurant. It offers delicious and carefully prepared reinterpretations of traditional Italian cuisine.
Borgo Pinti 88, 50121 Florence
This restaurant behind the Uffizi comprises a basement room surrounded by walls dating back to Roman times, which is used for evening dining or as a private room, and the main ground – floor dining room which faces the open-view kitchen, allowing a continuous exchange of dialogue between chefs and diners. The cuisine focuses on mainly Tuscan produce served in dishes that blend traditional skill with contemporary style.
Via dei Georgofili 11R, 50122 Florence
La Bottega del Buon Caffè
Situated on the Lungarno, this elegant restaurant with a charming outdoor area and open-view kitchen combines an urban-chic atmosphere with Florentine style. The dishes here focus on top – quality products from various regions and traditions, which are intelligently prepared with creativity, spontaneity and expertise. Excellent wine list with a choice of over 1 000 wines.
Lungarno Cellini 69R, 50122 Florence
Borgo San Jacopo
Housed in one of the most charming hotels in the city, this restaurant boasts the same elegant and exclusive style as the hotel itself. Having had experience working in top-quality restaurants, this is a return home for the new chef who creates refined fish and meat dishes from carefully chosen Italian ingredients.
Borgo San Jacopo 62R, 50125 Florence