People don’t always associate steak with Italian cooking, but in fact, one of the glories of Tuscan cuisine is a simply prepared Porterhouse steak , grilled rare, over a wood fire: bistecca alla fiorentina, or literally Steak Florentine. The dish is so typical that if you ask for a fiorentina in a restaurant, without saying more, this is what you will be served.
However, this ‘steak’ is not just your ordinary cut of meat. Let’s start with the quality of the meat In Italy, a true bistecca alla fiorentina is made with Chianina beef raised in the Chiana Valley. Chianina cattle are huge white oxen raised in the Tuscany region's Val di Chiana valley, near Arezzo. The region’s Chianina breed are prized for their tenderness and flavor. In typical Italian style, simplicity rules; little more than olive oil, rosemary and salt are needed to highlight the rich flavor of the grilled meat. A bistecca alla fiorentina must be cut thick, at least 1-1/2-2 inches but even better at 3 inches thick. This allows a nice crust to form on the outside of the steak while the inside remains rare. A fiorentina is never, ever served well done.
Those who will be joining us next September for our Villas of Italy: Tuscan Adventure will experience bistecca alla fiorentina for dinner one evening at the villa. Buon Appetito!
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Tony Moglia's grandparents immigrated from Italy in the early 1900's. He's a dual citizen who has traveled extensively throughout Italy for 40 years. He's happily married to a vibrant dancer who together have two children and three grandchildren. Tony has dreamed of Villas of Italy since his first trip to Italy, and now he shares his dream with you.