ANDREA GORI, Florentine, IT expert sommelier
If you should describe yourself briefly, how would you introduce yourself?
I’ll try to make a list: sommelier, host, journalist, writer and event planner of “God save the Wine” and blogger. I have a BA in Biology and I’m found of IT. If I should have to sum up what I am, I would say that I’m an “IT expert sommelier”.
Tell us what it means to you to be a scrambler rider.
Do you remember when you counted minutes until the end of the work shift to go out around the streets? Or do you remember the last time you were on a sunflower field just to see the sunset? To have a Ducati Scrambler in your garage or out of your work place makes you feel like this. One of the most beautiful aspects to have such a motorbike is that you know that it is patiently waiting for you outside. In summer too, at the temperature of 40°C, there are always many reasons to get on it and ride without a destination … It’s a bit like to drink Champagne: If you don’t have reasons for celebrating, just the fact that you open a bottle of Champagne makes that moment special.
Which are your favourite routes when you ride your motorbike?
The route starts from Cerbaia, a farm, where you can drink a delicious Chianti, and where I had a meeting at Frantoio to try the new Agriosteria (the restaurant in the farm). To get there I made a detour so that the trip could become more similar to an endure race. Then you see a sunflower field yellow like the sticker on the tank: An irresistible call. On the route there are stones and rocks and it is a dirt road with grass: You feel the power of your motorbike but not its weight, and after some unneeded accelerations, there you are! In front of a maybe too much beautiful sunset to share with other people and you allow yourself a moment alone in the silence, switching off the motorbike. Then you get on your motorbike again and after four bends you reach the Agriosteria. There you can find Gionata that welcomes you outside the restaurant, where there are tables just near the kitchen. A full-scale pit stop among young olive trees in vases. There you can eat two classical dishes as starter, namely crisp Panzanella (moistened bread with vegetables) and Pacchero (a sort of pasta) with buffalo mozzarella and capers. While you are waiting for your street food, a hamburger is served just as your grandma can cook it: A lot of juicy and delicious meat with a big frittata with vegetables. You can eat it sitting at the table but soon after you get on your Ducati because from there you can enjoy the gentle breeze that has just risen. At dusk you say goodbye and then you try to have a look at La Tenda Rossa, a gourmet restaurant that has already become historic and that you can always rely on. Here you find two families, Salcuni and SantAndrea, that put together Romagna, Tuscany, Apulia and Germany. This country is represented by Maria Probst, the chef that has been giving her mark on the restaurant during these last years and that took up the challenge to start serving street food to customers directly on their motorbikes. The street food gourmet style is called Scamerita run by Grigio del Casentino. There you can eat Peschiole (small peaches) with truffle or BBQ sauce with Paola's cherry tomatoes, all this served on a soft bread slice but at the same time so resistant that it doesn't crumble after the first bite, really a miracle of balance and taste.
Among the beautiful things that you can experience living in Florence there is the possibility to reach Chianti in 10 minutes, and that is never to undervalue… You leave from Impruneta or Galluzzo, from Bagno a Ripoli or San Casciano, all routes that from Florence go to San Casciano are wonderful and you can stop in very beautiful places spread all over the way. We decided to drive along the motorway Firenze-Siena and to find out what you can meet there: The first stop is the splendid underground wine cellar of Antinori al Bargino, where you can find a Tuscan public house with a wonderful and high-class atmosphere as well as a rapid service. We continue to drive along the motorway until San Donato, where there is Palazzo Pretorio, the pizzeria run by Giovanni Santarpia, where you can find the best pizza in the Tuscany. After Chianti and San Donato we get to Castellina in Chianti. It's easy to park here on the gravel of Albergaccio di Castellina, a starred and high-classed restaurant where there is also a bistrot-café suitable for everybody. Then, the next stop is in the extraordinary town of Monteriggioni driving through Castellina Scalo. Among the most beautiful vineyards of Chianti Classico we drive through Bibbiano, Casale dello Sparviere and Rocca delle Macìe (where there is also the resort Riserva di Fizzano and an art exhibition ).
In the restructured lodge of Villa Cerna with a prosciutteria (ham shop) they are waiting for us. There you can have a rapid sandwich typical of Tuscany or a more relaxing diner in the garden. The landscape and the motorbike parked in front of the portico, through which you can get in, are worth the trip and the stop with the sun going down behind the vineyards of Villa Cerna. All this is invaluable. At the gate they welcomed us serving a “cup” of caprese (mozzarella, tomato, oil, salt and basil) and nowadays that is street food. Then at the restaurant table -in that case we cannot really speak of street food-, the beef brain baked in foil with salvia and aromas is indescribable, fine, complex though really simple.
Taste of Joy: Where are street foods (restaurant, booths, pubs, holiday farms) that you have to know?
Gelateria Roberto in via Mariti, Firenze
Gelateria de’Medici in via dello Statuto, Firenze
Gelateria Triangolo delle Bermuda in via Nazionale, Firenze
Gelateria Carapina in Piazza Oberdan, Firenze.
Chiosco di Mario e Manola, Porta Romana, Firenze.