Italy: A Food History Lesson with the Pisa Explorer

Whilst checking out TripAdvisor and gaining advice from other bloggers etc about food tours in Pisa, we couldn’t get away from the strong recommendation of the Pisa Explorer. Unfortunately they were fully booked for the date we planned to visit, but that didn’t stop the explorer himself, David, from getting in touch and offering a couple of hours of his time to show us around his glorious city.

What a guy!

With him already running his usual 4 hour-long tour earlier in the day, we expected a couple of bites and a nice chat. We certainly had the latter, with not only him but all of the restaurant owners that we stopped at, but we also left incredibly full and left feeling like we’d completed one of the largest food tours we’ve been on (nine and counting).

We began with a glass of D.O.C.G Tuscan white alongside pecorino cheeses, one seasoned with curry. The valerian salad and fruit compote to go with gave an enormous kick of extra flavour and tickled every taste bud as it went down. It was a light start to proceedings, but perhaps one of our favourites along the way – the cheeses were unbelievable and like none than we’ve had before.

We sheltered from the only rain we had in our entire time in Italy and stayed put at the first stop for typical tuscan aperitifs and appetisers. The first photo shows one of many glasses of wine we had along the way, this time a Vernaccia which went perfectly with the crostini – one vegetarian with fresh tomato and sweet pepper, the other with liver.

Next up was something we’ve never had before – Cecina. La Cecina Toscana is a Tuscan chickpea flatbread made with only chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt. It was topped with marinated egg and followed by Pizza Pisana which on the face of it just looks like a classic Margherita. You’d be almost right if you think so, however this has both buffalo and cow mozzarella with extra parmesan on top. The crunchy base and copious amounts of cheese made it one of the simplest but also best pizzas we had in our two weeks in Italy.

After Pappa al Pomodoro, homemade lasagne and a glass of Chianti red wine (very apt considering our day in that region the day before), we ended our time with David with four different cold cuts and fresh local bread. With bellies full of the most incredible food and an equal amount of wine, we headed back to Florence ready to move up to Venice the next morning.

Should you be in Pisa any time soon, make sure you make time for more than just the leaning tower and check out one of the Pisa Explorer’s tours. The food tour will allow you to understand the traditions and culture behind what you’re eating and see the city from a different angle. David had absolute amazing knowledge and we left feeling like we’d made a new friend. A massive thanks to him and his insight into everyday life of the people living in Pisa.

Disclaimer: we were given a complimentary tour in exchange for a mention in this blog post and coverage on social media. However as always, all pictures and views are our own.

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  1. A L R E
    August 12, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    You know me, combining food with history is always a winner! And such lovely was it of David to take you around in his own time as well? That's a really kind gesture! The cecina flatbread sounds really intriguing, not something I've even heard of before but I'm now dying to try it! That lasagne looks totally mouth watering too, sign me up for a big plate of that! I'm so glad that you enjoyed your tour so much, I'd definitely be booking a place on one if I ever found myself in Pisa!Abbey xxx

    • A L R E
      August 12, 2018 / 5:24 pm

      And how lovely was it** – apparently I can't type today!

    • Food and Baker
      September 5, 2018 / 11:47 am

      It was so lovely of David to do this for us, especially when he didn't need to! It was great learning more about Pisa than just the tower!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💕

  2. Bethany Jane
    August 17, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    This sounds like an incredible experience. I think so much of a location's culture can be expressed through their food, so it sounds like a really delicious way to get to know Pisa. I'm honestly so hungry after looking at your photos!Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    • Food and Baker
      September 5, 2018 / 11:48 am

      We're so glad to have learnt more of the history about Pisa than what everyone else has said about it!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💕

  3. Charlotte Clark
    August 20, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    This is so cool! I’d looove to go to Italy for the history and the food, so combining them both is perfect!

    • Food and Baker
      September 5, 2018 / 11:48 am

      Def the perfect combo!Thank you for reading and commenting☺️💕

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