I'm Lisa!

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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Castagne is the Italian word for Chestnuts and you can’t walk far in this city without seeing them in some form or other.  Whether it is the Caldarroste roasting chestnuts in the streets or a visit to the local bakery where you will find the traditional Tuscan desert slice, Castagnaccio made with ground chestnut flour, pine nuts and sultanas.


Yesterday I went to the supermarket and was met with the impressive display below!  Chestnuts, Chestnut Flour and the special pan used to toast them over the fire.

Chestnut display

For those of you wanting to make Castagnaccio at home, it is really quite simple but you may need to experiment a bit to get the perfect result – not too dry, moist inside with a thin crust on the top.  Here is my recipe below.



400 g chestnut flour (the best quality is not available until mid November)

about 400 ml of warm water

½ glass extra-virgin olive oil

80 g pine nuts

200 g  walnuts (optional)

50 g raisins



Soak the raisins and pine nuts in warm water for about 10 minutes, then rinse.

Sieve the flour and mix with warm water until the mixture is smooth and the consistency of a thick cream.

Grease a baking tray with extra virgin olive oil

Pour the creamy mixture onto the baking tray

Top with rosemary, pine nuts, walnuts and a drizzle of oil

Cook in a fan-forced oven at 200°C for about half an hour until cracks appear on the surface.






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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.

Learn more

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’. 

Barberino di Mugello is a small town found an easy thirty minute drive along the A1 from Florence or 45 minutes from Bologna. For those of you that know me well, you’ll understand one of the things that I find special about visiting Barberino…….. Did someone say Designer Outlet?


A creative, food & fashion loving mamma of two boys with a passion for all things Italian. 


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