Author: Judy Witts

Judi Witts Francini, owner of Divina Cucina (, offers cooking classes and walking tours of Florence and Chianti. She has also developed the Chianti: Food + Wine app, available from the Apple Store.
December 29, 2005

Out With the Old

New Year’s Eve can be very dangerous in Italy; “out with the old” can mean broken plates and even larger items being thrown out of windows. So stay away from open windows! Italy is no different than many other countries in having foods which symbolise wealth
December 15, 2005

Over the Tuscan stove

My husband Andrea is the happiest when I make bollito misto for the holidays the dish that keeps on giving. I like to make it the day before the meal. We begin our meal with chicken liver crostini, serve tortellini in brodo as the first course, and the boiled meats
September 22, 2005

Over the tuscan stove – time to celebrate!

Depending on the weather, August and September bring the wine harvest. And, what would a harvest be without a festival? Italy is the only country in the world where every single region makes wine. So the whole country will be celebrating. I BRAKE FOR SAGRE! The local food festivals called
August 4, 2005

Over the tuscan stove – Notte di San Lorenzo!

August 10 is the feast day of the patron saint of the central market, San Lorenzo.  Patron saint of chefs, he was grilled to death and is often shown with the grill in his hands, and as in the photo, over open flames!   A festival is held in
July 21, 2005

Over the Tuscan stove – you say tomato

I adore tomatoes, in all their various forms, and what better place than Italy to enjoy them! When the tomatoes come into season, it is time to celebrate!   Caprese salad with large, sliced ripe tomatoes, served with the freshest Mozzarella di Bufala, and garnished with basil, only needs a
June 23, 2005

Over the tuscan stove – carciofi di leo

I adore shopping at Leo’s stand. He carries only a few products, all displayed as if at Tiffany’s, with each tomato shining, melons cut open for tasting, their perfume calling out “Assaggiami” (taste me), along with the rest of the season’s best. &
June 9, 2005

Over the tuscan stove – Homemade liqueurs

Raised in California, I’d never seen fireflies until I moved here. I’ll never forget the first night I saw them. What a miracle! I passed the Ferragamo Villa while driving into Florence from Fiesole. It looked as though they had decorated their fields with Christmas lights.
May 26, 2005

Over the tuscan stove – erbe toscane (tuscan herbs)

What gives the Florentine roast pork, Arista, that fabulous flavour?   Why are the roast potatoes here the best you’ve ever had?   Where can you get some of this magical and fragrant seasoning for your own kitchen?   The secret is right outside your garden door, or at your local vegetable vendor. Tuscan kitchen […]
May 5, 2005


Castellina is one of the three castle towns in the heart of Chianti. From its hilltop position, it dominates the area. The area is rich in barbaric, Roman, and Etruscan history. Deriving from the Latin fons Rutilus (“clean spring”), the small village of Fonterutoli is located on the
April 28, 2005

Restaurants of San Lorenzo

As you wander through Florence and visit the museums, churches and historical sites, take time to enjoy the city’s special eating-places. Following are a couple of my favorites in and nearby the San Lorenzo Market. Remember, the market hours are from 7 a.m.-2 p.m.