Pasta i pici at restaurant La Solita Zuppa | visit Chiusi Tuscany

Pasta i pici at restaurant La Solita Zuppa | visit Chiusi Tuscany

I pici

Pici pasta are thick homemade spaghetti. In Italy it is a first course. The pasta is also known as Pici Senesi. They are originally from southern Tuscany around Siena. Hence the name Pici Senesi.

In Montalcino they are called “i pinci”. Montalcino is a hill town and comune in the province of Siena.

It is not difficult to make fresh pasta i pici. Still me, as a foreigner in Italy, I am not used working with flour and water. I don’t have the technique of pasta making, unfortunately. I prepare more easy, healthy and quick meals.

The ingredients of the pasta dough for i pici are simple: flour, water and olive oil.

With your hands flat you roll the pasta from the center outwards.

Pici is a fat and rough pasta. There are many varieties to choose among i pici:

Pici all’aglione –tomato and garlic sauce-
Pici ragù –meat sauce-
Pici al ragù d’anatra –duck sauce-

In supermarkets you can buy fresh pici. The pici from the supermarkets are delicious as well. I eat them often with “ai frutti di mare” (fish) or with fresh made Pesto Genovese.

Of course fresh pasta tastes better, but with a little creativity and flexibility you can make the best pasta dishes at home!

Restaurant La Solita Zuppa

The owners of restaurant La Solita Zuppa are Andrea with his wife Lorella Casagni. Andrea is a top chef and sommelier. La Solita Zuppa is a Slow Food restaurant in Chiusi città, the old town.

La Solita Zuppa offers traditional dishes. On the menu you can choose from many pasta dishes with typical and local ingredients.

Every morning they make their own fresh pasta. When I visited La Solita Zuppa Andrea had prepared the pasta dough for me to roll out.

It was a nice thing to do! For a moment I felt like an Italian “mamma” with many pasta making experience.

Having dinner at restaurant La Solita Zuppa is perfect for an evening of typical Tuscan plates. The atmosphere is cosy. The service is friendly and professional.

The dishes they offer are delicious and based on its long history and location. And if you love wine you should check out their wine list. Most of the wines are local and match excellent with the food they serve.

After weeks of lockdown they have opened their restaurant since May 27. It is recommended to make a reservation in advance. La Solita Zuppa is closed on Tuesdays.


La Solita Zuppa is famous for their Lampredotto sandwich. Lampredotto is a local Tuscan street food specialty. It is the fourth stomach of the cow. Tuscany has a tradition of eating internal organs. They use these organs to create delicious dishes with a strong and spicy flavor.

Personally I don’t like Lampredotto. It has a rich fatty texture.

But the tradition of food is important for the locals. It is a way of life and history. Most of the people in Tuscany love eating Lampredotto.

Chiusi (Siena)

Chiusi is near Montepulciano. In a relaxing countryside sits the ancient city of Chiusi. It is situated on a hill overlooking the Val di Chiana valley and the Umbrian hills.

Chiusi città is the old town and Chiusi Scalò is the modern area.

The story of the Tuscan town Chiusi is closely linked to the Etruscans. In every corner you can breathe in the Etruscan presence and there are many details that refer to king Porsenna.

The burial place of the legendary Etruscan king Porsenna would have been beneath the town of Chiusi. As we know now, the underground routs, the labyrinths, were part of a water supply system dug by the Etruscans.

Chiusi is an appreciated city by visitors. In the ancient town you find a number of historical and archeological sites. One of the most interesting museums to visit is the “National Archeological Museum”: Museo Nazionale Etrusco. The museum reconstructs the history of Chiusi and its territory through numerous finds from the Iron Age to the Lombard age.

It is one of the most important museums in Italy for its knowledge of Etruscan art.

How do I reach Chiusi

There are different ways to get to Chiusi. By car and by train. Chiusi Scalò is an important train station. Operated by Trenitalia, from Rome and Florence are several train services.

It is very easy to find a taxi in Chiusi Scalò. There are also busses that take you from the station to the centre of Chiusi.


One of my favorite gelateria in Chiusi Scalo is Green Bar in Via Cassia Aureli I, 107. This gelateria is at walking distance from the train station.

Lago di Chiusi

Chiusi’s Lake is only 5 minutes drive from the centre of Chiusi città. You can bike and hike in this wonderful nature area. For food lovers I recommend restaurant Pesce d’Orco. They offer traditional fish “pesce di lago brustico” from the Etruscan civilization. Yummy!

Every year in September is a run and walk around the lake: Giro Lago di Chiusi. It is a 18k run. A nice run experience! And if you don’t run you might participate to the organized walk.


Wine tour at Dievole

Wine tour at Dievole

Wine Estate Dievole

The wine estate Dievole is located in the Chianti Classico area, one of the most popular wine region of Tuscany between Siena and Florence. Dievole overlooks the wonderful vineyards and olive groves. It covers an area of 400 hectares within the Chianti Classico territory in Vagliagli.

Wine tasting

Dievole is an old winery founded in the 11th century. This Italian winery has a thousand year history. Today Dievole is owned by an oil tycoon from Argentina Alejandro Bulgheroni and is part of a network of wineries in Tuscany: Chianti Classico, Bolgheri and Montalcino.

The winery Dievole produces elegant wines such as Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Vin Santo and IGT white wine. But they make also other Italian great wines: Bolgheri DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.

Wine tour

During the wine tour we discovered the history and the taste of Dievole wines. We were with a small group of 9 persons (it is necessary to pre-arrange this wine experience).

Our guide waited for us at the wine shop. She started with a brief introduction to the wines and the history of Dievole. After a small talk we walked through the vineyards, the historic wine cellars and tasting rooms. After the tour we started with individual tastings of the quality wines including good cheeses and local meats.

Our guide was really knowledgeable and she answered all of our questions. It was a great wine experience at Dievole. The complex Dievole looks really amazing with good manicured gardens and great views over the vineyards. The is tour is about 2 hours long and we tasted 6 wines.


Everything from the wine, food pairings and lunch were top quality. We brought some bottles home. It was a wonderful experience.

Therefor… I will be back for sure for an other wine tour!

Not only wine experience

Not only wine experience

The nicest part I love of the Wine and Food Experience is meeting people and sharing my passion for wine. I love tasting wines in good company.

All my guests come from everywhere: America, South Africa, Holland, Belgium, Italy… The Wine and Food Experience always starts by telling the history of Montepulciano and the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Montepulciano is situated in the center of an area rich in history, art and wine. The village is only at a stone’s throw away from Pienza and 40 minutes drive from Siena.


Did you know that the locals call themselves “Poliziani”? Which was the former Roman name of the town? And that Poliziano also the name was of a local humanist and famous writer (Angelo Ambrogini) living in Florence and born in Montepulciano?

Some identification detail of the Vino Nobile

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a precious product and was the first classified wine as DOCG. It is the “King of all Wines” : F. Redi 1685.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano with homemade pasta

The local economy in Montepulciano is mainly agriculture and tourism. The wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a symbol of the village Montepulciano. Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile) is the grape that gives the wine an identity. A wine that achieves an unmistakable taste, after 2 years of aging in wood.

Food is also an important item while drinking tannin wines. Tannins provide texture and structure in a wine. The flavors that appear in the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are mostly plums and cherries.

A pairing principle of the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano with food is that it interacts with rich, fatty and salty dishes, like wild boar, meat, pasta with ragù and old cheeses. They diminish the perception of tannins, making a wine like Vino Nobile more smoother.

Local pasta

In Montepulciano, Montichiello, Pienza and Montalcino is the most renown dish “I Pici”. A thick handmade pasta of local flour water and few salt.

In the Cantina of Gattavecchi the restaurant offers a wide choice of Tuscan specialties. I love the local pici, especially the Pici all’aglione. The “aglione” is a spicy garlic tomato sauce… yummy!

Yesterday I had a lovely group of American guests who had the chance to do an amazing experience with chef Lilian. She showed us how to make home made pasta.

Homemade pasta
Cook Lilian

La maratonina del Campanile

Deze halve marathon in Perugia had ik nog nooit gelopen. Tot op de dag van vandaag. Maratonina betekent halve marathon. Ik train (veel), en zo nu en dan loop ik in de weekenden wedstrijden om mijn conditie, en ritme op pijl te houden. Op 20 maart a.s. loop ik de halve marathon in Ferrara, waar ik een nieuw PR probeer te lopen. Onder de 1.31.

startnummer hardloopwedstrijd

maratonina del Campanile

Dat zal niet makkelijk zijn, want dat betekent dat ik het tempo van rond de 4:15/km 21,0975 km lang moet volhouden. Vandaag was een zwaar parcours, dus met een gemiddelde van 4:28 moet ik tevreden zijn. Ik ben rustig begonnen, en na 7 km ben ik harder gaan lopen. Dat werkt goed een negatieve split, althans dat hoop ik. Ik heb altijd de slechte gewoonte bij de start gelijk te sprinten, en dat moet ik afleren. Want aan het einde van de wedstrijd zit ik er doorheen en haal ik niet mijn doel. Ok, het is ook mentaal, maar als je benen niet meer kunnen dan houdt het snel op.

Dit weekend is carnaval, en dan worden er allerlei lekkere gefrituurde dolci gegeten. De buurvrouw tegenover heeft mij een bakje huisgemaakte castagnole gebracht. Dat zijn gefrituurde deegballetjes met poedersuiker. Je kunt ze vergelijken met oliebollen zonder krentjes, maar dan net iets anders. Lief en lekker!


Castagnole dolce tipico

Nu bijkomen, die halve marathon hakt er best in. 21 februari loop ik de halve marathon in Scandicci, Florence, en dan moet het in maart in Ferrara gebeuren. Scandicci is de grote test!

Fettuccine alla Papalina

Wat ga ik vanavond eten? Zat ik me zo te bedenken. Pasta, perché no?
Een pastagerecht met de ingrediënten die ik al in huis heb. Ik heb maar een kast vol met verschillende soorten pasta dus waarom niet: fettuccine, penne rigate, paccheri, tagliatelle, rigatoni, spaghetti en..

Daarnaast vind je in mijn ijskast gedroogde ham in vacuüm verpakt, een capocollo en een cacciotta kaas… Hoezo? Dit zijn producten samen met de pasta gewonnen en/of gekregen bij hardloopwedstrijden in Toscane en Umbrië.

Prijzen hardlopen

Sindsdien koop ik dus nooit meer pasta in de winkel of gedroogde ham bij mijn delicatessenwinkel. Non c’è bisogno.

Krijg ik alles op? Dat is een uitzichtloze taak voor mij, nog uitzichtlozer misschien dan een marathon lopen. Ik was net van de vorige capocollo af, nu heb ik er weer één. Ufff..
De verpakte hammen liggen maar in de koelkast te liggen. Dat is ook niet zo gek. Zo nu en dan geef ik wel eens wat weg, maar ik kan je garanderen dat ik bijna elke dag “affettati” eet. Het komt bijna mijn oren uit.

Maar goed, zo gezegd zo gedaan. Ik zou vanavond pasta eten…

Op de verpakking van de pakken Fettuccine pasta stond een gemakkelijk recept die ik kon uitproberen met alles wat ik al in huis had: Fettuccine alla Papalina.
Dit is geen Umbrisch gerecht maar een gerecht uit Emilia Romagna. Ik had het nog nooit gegeten.


  • Fettuccine (eierpasta)
  • geklopt ei
  • room
  • doperwten
  • gedroogde ham in stukjes (prosciutto di Norcia)
  • ui
  • parmezaanse kaas
  • pepe en zout
  • boter

Fettuccine alla Papalina

Eerst zet je water op voor de pasta. De pasta moet ongeveer 5 min al dente koken.

In de tussentijd doe je in de koekenpan de boter (geen olijfolie), en bak je de ui samen met de doperwten en gedroogde ham (in stukjes gesneden). Je voegt er peper en zout naar smaak toe.

Zodra de pasta al dente heeft gekookt doe je de pasta in de pan bij de doperwten, ham en ui.  Daarna voeg je het geklopte ei toe en een scheut room. Je roert even totdat het ei een beetje gestold is. Je schept de pasta op je bord, parmezaanse kaas erover, en …. voilà! Buon appetito.

Fettuccine alla Papalina

En het toetje: “Struffolo e Chiacchiere”. Niet zelf gemaakt, maar vandaag gekocht bij de locale bakker. Dat zijn gefrituurde dolci die in heel Italië gegeten worden met carnaval. Yummie!

Struffoli e Chiacchiere

Shoppen in Foligno


Naast hardlopen en werken, is shoppen een van mijn favorite bezigheden. Zeker als er uitverkoop in Italië is “i saldi“. Die zijn altijd in januari en eind juli begin augustus. Met saldi krijg je in schoenen,- en kledingwinkels flinke kortingen. Soms wel tot 50-70%.

Zo was er ook in Stefanel uitverkoop. Stefanel is een franchise kledingwinkel waar ik graag kom. Die vind je bijna overal in elke stad van Italië, en dus ook in Foligno. Ik had niet de intentie om er wat te kopen, maar als kleding zoveel afgeprijsd is ben ik makkelijk te verleiden .. Dus ja, ik heb het e.e.a. ingekocht.


Een middagje in het centrum van Foligno doorbrengen is leuk. Je hebt er authentieke winkeltjes, barretjes en restaurants. De Duomo is ook een bezoek waard. Voor een espresso in de namiddag vind je genoeg gezellige hippe locaties om even “al banco” wat te drinken. Bijvoorbeeld Central Bar op de Piazza della Republblica in Foligno. Dat is een leuke plek voor een aperitief, koffie, ijsje of dolce.

Foligno Umbria

Foligno is absoluut niet toeristisch. Het is een gezellige stad. Je ziet veel mensen op de fiets, wat vrij uitzonderlijk is in Umbrië. Foligno is plat, en dus ook rolstoelvriendelijk.

I primi d’Italia

Jaarlijks is er het pasta evenement I primi d’Italia. Je kunt dan verschillende soorten pasta,- en risottogerechten uit heel Italië proeven. Ik heb hier ooit een blog over geschreven.

Foligno ligt in centraal Umbrië, ideaal om ook andere plaatsen te bezoeken.

Shoppen kun je ook in de Valdichiana Outlet in Bettole.