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I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.


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Arezzo – Città di Natale

Last week we decided to take advantage of the public holiday and travel to Arezzo to meet some friends for lunch and explore the ‘City of Christmas’ as Arezzo calls itself during the month of December.  With Christmas market, nativity scenes on show and even a special place where the children could write a letter to ‘Babbo Natale’  and give it to him personally.

Our first stop was Il Borro, a Medieval village that has been lovingly restored by the Ferragamo family.

Established more than one thousand years ago, Il Borro has ancient and mysterious origins,  but what is certain is that Il Borro was a lookout point on the Roman road Cassia, and that they built a fort there, presumably due to its strategic location.

Records show that the Mascagni family owned the castle until 1254, when Marchese Borro Borri, a Milanese nobleman, bought the property. He later became the Mayor of Arezzo. By1512, the property had passed through his family to Girolamo del Borro, but it was under the patronage of his son Alessandro, that the Il Borro we know today was established.  Alessandro dal Borro, visionary and an important figure in Tuscan politics, is the true “father” of Il Borro.

The Il Borro family eventually sold the domain and were succeeded by some of the most famous and revered families in Europe: the Medici of Florence, Tornaquinci, the Torriani of Milan, the house of Waldemburg Hohenlohe, and since 1904, the Savoy dynasty. Finally in 1993, and having visited the property many times, Ferruccio Ferragamo bought Il Borro, determined to restore the estate to its former glory.

The Medici dynasty, the Savoia family and now the Ferragamo family have safeguarded and preserved this precious oasis, making this place, suspended between past and present, a sanctuary dedicated to wellbeing and the art of hospitality.

We ate a lovely lunch at the Osteria del Borro and they were extremely patient with our rowdy kids (Two five year olds and two toddlers) who on the whole behaved very well.  The decor has a modern Tuscan look with a subdued colour palette.  The Christmas decorations were gorgeous!  In fact, I think we need a tree like theirs!

Our large group sat at the large oval family-size table which was really perfect and intimate for a big group of people.  The food was good but I have to be honest and say that I expected more from such a well-known location.







Keeping an eye on everything in the Village.

These stores below are actually real but the village was deserted, maybe due to the time of year.

A beautiful Persimmon tree bursting with fruit.

After spending the night in Arezzo, we wandered around the historic center admiring the Christmas markets and attractions spread around the various piazzas.  We were unsure where to go for lunch and luckily stumbled across the Teorema del Gusto, as Thomas had fallen asleep in our arms, we had no pram with us and this little restaurant was perfectly set up for families of young children!  Firstly they had a little couch where Thomas continued to sleep while we ordered our lunch and enjoyed a glass of wine.  Secondly, the had a box of toys which kept Matteo happy and occupied and thirdly, they even had a custom built changing tabe in the bathroom so as a parent, you really couldn’t ask for more!

Food was delicious, our hosts were a very sweet couple and we would definitely seek this place out when returning to Arezzo.

Tomas enjoying a little sleep……


Matteo having a little play………..


And Mum & Dad are enjoying a quiet glass of red!


Teorema Del Gusto

Via de Cenci 17
Arezzo, Italy
Telephone : 0575 182 0460

Enjoying the Arezzo Christmas Market





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  1. Seth Barnes says:

    Wonderful pics! We loved Arezzo too!

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Ciao, I'm Lisa B,
I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.

I created This Tuscan Life blog, magazine and experiences to share everything I love about Florence & Tuscany, one of the most popular and visited regions in Italy.   Add a splash of watercolour & you've got a creative mamma of two who wants to show you the true & authentic side of Tuscany.

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These delicious soft square pillows of ravioli filled with mashed potato, cheese, garlic and parsley are more commonly known in Tuscany as Tortelli Mugellani, the famous Tortello from Mugello! If you haven’t tried these yet, then add them to your list of ‘must-taste’ when you next travel to this region known as the ‘Green Valley of Tuscany’.