|CONSORZIO AGRARIO SIENA - foodie's paradise!|
Some people visit Italy to shop madly for shoes and clothes. Others go ballistic in a food store. Siena obviously has it all. But don't get tricked into buying your Cinta Senese prosciutto in one of the touristy shops. Go straight to the Consorzio Agrario di Siena. The farmer's association of the province of Siena has a fantastic selection of all things Tuscan; plus you'll be sure that your Sienese salami wasn't produced in Naples or China.
Bring a big bag. The shop assistant at the cheese stall normally tries to make my choice easier by offering little bites of a selection of Pecorino cheeses. And I obviously end up buying them all.
If you have a sweet tooth, start your foodie's tour at the Consorzio and then get down on it at NANNINI's. Panforte, panpepato, cavallucci, ricciarelli,... you name it. Siena's famous sweets will blow you away. Unless you travel with an arrogant Swiss like me, who only does prime dark chocolate (almond sweets and candid fruit? Only over my dead body).
However a coffee at Nannini's is a must. No Italian visiting Siena would skip it. Not just because of their famous pastries and coffee. The Nannini family also deals in famous pop rock singers and Formula 1 car race drivers.
|Nannini bar, via Banchi di sopra, near piazza del Campo|
Consorzio Agrario Siena - Via Pianigiani, 9, 53100 Siena, phone
Other Nannini bars can be found out of the historic town center in Viale Toselli 94/A and in via Massetana Romana 42, the ugly but useful shopping area close to the Florence - Siena highway (I'd still like to meet the architect who designed the car park for it. Or rather who forgot to do so...).