Monday, February 25, 2019

Natura Arte e Sapori

I am pleased to announce a wonderful day-long event:  Natura, Arte, e Sapori [Nature, Art, and Flavors] on the 10th of March 2019, a Sunday.

Typically in March, the village above my home hosts the festival of the chestnut pancake [sagra del neccio].  We have loads of chestnut trees [Castagna] in the hills of Valleriana and the fall harvest time features the Sagra delle Frugiate [festival of roasted chestnuts].  One can often buy the flour and other products from chestnuts at these events.  They are fun!

The neccio [neh-choh] is traditionally cooked by heating many flat round stones [about 1 inch thick and maybe 8-10 inches in diameter] in the fire.  Then one makes a stack... stone, castagna leaf, ladle on some batter [just the chestnut flour, water, and perhaps a wee bit of olive oil], leaf, stone, leaf, batter, leaf, stone, etc.  The heat from the stone cooks the pancake in a short time.

Nowadays, some people use a long-hinged iron paddle.  Open the long arms, and place the batter on the inside of the round end, near the hinge.  Close it up and the hot iron cooks the pancake on both sides.

The neccio is then served with ricotta or another cheese or Nutella.  Rolled up inside.  Delicious!

So, then, my friend Danilo Giusti, is offering a tour of three of our ten castled villages of Valleriana that morning.  The villages are Aramo, Castelvecchio, and ending up in San Quirico for the sagra that starts at 2 p.m.  Meet up with him at 9 a.m. in Pescia, our nearest large town with train and bus station.

They will pass by La Pieve Ristorante in Castelvecchio, run by my friend Lara Matteucci and her parents for over 25 years now.  She asked me to put on a solo art show and demonstrate, as well.

So, we have a fun day planned for those who would like to get a taste of Tuscany!
Look at the other pages on this blog to learn more about the area, including where to stay, where to eat, what to do :

Thank you,
Kelly Borsheim, artist

Monday, May 28, 2018

Alessandro Sansoni - Photographer da Valleriana

     Recently, I had the pleasure to meet photographer Alessandro Sansoni.  I love many of the images I have seen of his on Facebook and want to encourage this man and his eye [and brain].  He says this is just a passionate hobby of his, but aren’t we lucky to have this talent in Valleriana to capture her beauty?

     Here is just a taste of his work and I hope to show you more in the future.

     Thank you for reading and for sharing this site!
Saluti da Toscana,
Kelly Borsheim

Images by Alessandro Sansoni:

Pontito under a full moon. Valleriana Tuscany
Pontito under a full moon.

San Quirico, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy photo by Alessandro Sansoni
Above:  San Quirico, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy

River Scene, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy photo by Alessandro Sansoni
River Scene, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy

Sorana in the hills, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy photo by Alessandro Sansoni
Sorana in the Hills, Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy

Thursday, March 1, 2018

San Quirico Sagra del Neccio

Sagra del Neccio - Festival of the Chestnut pancake San Quirico Valleriana Tuscany

posted from March due to constant raining [what an odd year we have had with the weather!]

Sagra del Neccio - Festival of the Chestnut pancake San Quirico Valleriana Tuscany

Neccio is a pancake made from locally harvested chestnuts ground into flour.  They are cooked between either hot iron plates or hot stones. [And this requires an article all to itself.  Give me time.. this is a brand new site!]

     They are normally served with your choice of ricotta cheese or Nutella and are delicious.
The festival [sagra] starts at 2 p.m., but note there are two other optional things to do either of these two Sundays, coordinated with the festival, Sunday, 11 March and Sunday 18 March, 2018.

This is the 50th year!  Whoa.  In the main piazza of San Quirico,, you guessed it:  in Valleriana!

Neccio cooked in the traditional way between chestnut leaves and fire-hot stones
Roberto Dingacci of "Ristorante / Pizzaria Da Carla" cooks neccio in the traditional way between chestnut leaves and fire-hot stones.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Welcome to Valleriana!

Valleriana - Map of Ten Castled Villages in Tuscany
Valleriana in Tuscany

Welcome to Plein Air Valleriana!

     Valleriana is the collective name of the ten castled-villages in the hills north of Pescia, in the district of Pistoia, in Tuscany, Italy.   Its older name is Svizzera Pesciatina, because a man named  Jean Charles Leonard Simonde de Sismondi saw a resemblance of these hills to his native Switzerland.

     We hope that you enjoy perusing this site to become acquainted with this section of paradise and that you will come visit our area soon!

     We welcome feedback, questions, submission of related photos, and stories of your visit to Valleriana.  Thank you!

The Ten Villages are:

  • Pietrabuona
  • Medicina
  • Fibbialla
  • Aramo
  • San Quirico
  • Castelvecchio
  • Stiappa
  • Pontito 
  • Sorana
  • Vellano