It seems that this March will be very rainy this year in Tuscany, and Spring won’t arrive as quickly as we always desire in the last days of Winter. My grandmother would say it depends on Easter Sunday: since it will fall on March 31, the entire month is in the season of Lent, traditionally characterized by bad and rainy weather.
Anyway, the temperatures are not so cold as in midwinter and if you feel like going out, Cortona is always a very nice place to visit. Even a simple walk through its streets, lanes and squares is a great way to spend the day, and in case of rain, you can visit the Etruscan Academy Museum of the City of Cortona, where the exhibition “Restoring History: the down of Etruscan princes” can be admired till early May. Also, last Sunday we discovered a very nice place where to spend some relaxing time and have a delicious tea: the Caffè degli Artisti. It is an elegant bar located on the main street Via Nazionale, just a few steps away from Piazza della Repubblica, the most famous square of the town with the beautiful Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall).
Caffè degli Artisti offers snacks and light lunches, but we went there for the “merenda”, the Italian mid-afternoon snack. We were attracted by a small blackboard at the entrance, mentioning a big selection of leaf teas available inside. As we really love teas, we decided to go in this very nice bar, with off-white leather sofas, many objects of former days, the walls adorned with black and white pictures, and a Belle Epoque style I’m always fascinated by.
We read the list of teas and realized that the choice would be very difficult: more than 25 blend of different black, white and green teas with several aromas, and also some infusions. The exotic and intriguing names of the blends, and the descriptions of their aromas invited to taste all the suggestions on the list! In the end, I opted for a “chocolate storm” and Marco preferred an “apple delight”. Immediately after our order, the two jars with the leaf teas arrived on our table. We opened them and a fantastic experience for our sense of smell started: the scent of leaves mixed with the aromas of chocolate, apple and cinnamon were simply divine. Also the taste was very good! The waiter brought us some cookies and honey, but we preferred not to sweeten our teas, to fully taste their delicious flavours.
We spent a very nice and relaxing time there. We have never had lunch or a snack at the Caffè degli Artisti thus we can’t say if meals are also good, but if you wish to find an elegant place for very good and uncommon teas, this is definitely the right one! I’ll be back there soon…I still have more than 20 teas on the list to try and I want to taste them all!