Podere Il Casale, Italy
Greg and I are really into food, and so we sought out a unique food related experience while we were in Tuscany last year. After doing some web research and posting on the forums on afar.com, we found Podere Il Casale, an amazing organic farm in Tuscany. You might recall my previous posts about it here, here, and here.
The farm accepts overnight guests in exchange for work, but it was all booked up so we asked Sandra and Ulisse if we could come out simply to see the farm. They make wine, cheese, sausage, olive oil, honey, raise pigs and grow vegetables - all things we love! If we could see even a small part of the operation while enjoying the Italian countryside, we'd be happy.
Sandra and Ulisse were kind enough to let us explore the whole farm. Ulisse showed us the cheese making facility and slaughterhouse, and we were allowed to explore the gardens and fields on our own. It was so beautiful and inspiring to see what an amazing production the two of them had built over the 20 years they'd been on the land. Even more impressive considering they didn't know anything about farming when they took it over!
Sandra treated us to an amazing lunch too, which I shockingly don't have any pictures of, at least not that I can find now. It included pasta, pate, veggies, persimmons, and cake. Equally delicious were the bottle of wine and brick of cheese we took back to Florence with us.
I really hope we can make it back there again someday. If you're looking for something a unique experience in Tuscany, considering sending them a note and seeing if you can stop by. Totally worth it.