Last weekend we went to Mugello, the green valley north of Florence, near to the border with the Appennine that divide Tuscany from Emilia Romagna. We had already been there in December, a few days before Christmas, since we always enjoy this peaceful and authentic area, place of origin of famous Tuscan artists such as the painter Giotto, and had the idea to eat something nice at the House of Ham (Casa del Prosciutto) in the village of Vicchio, but unfortunately it was closed.
Things went differently last Sunday, when we went to the place and happily found it open and busy! What is the House of Ham? It’s an old house on a bridge on the river Sieve hosting something in between a delicatessen and a typical Tuscan restaurant where you can eat where ad how the locals eat. The delicatessen offers plenty of Tuscan dishes and products such as Tuscan ham and other cured meats, typical crostini and other entrées, vegetables, mushrooms and cheeses. There is a small dining room inside, and also tables outside both under the trees next to the bridge and on a large terrace. You can order entrées from the delicatessen, but also add some pasta, main courses and delicious cakes. Some practical info: don’t expect a menu list, what they have is directly told by the staff (the family that direclty runs the place), don’t expect so much conversation in English, and if you eat outside, no table service is offered: you have to take your packed food and bring it to your table, that you may share with other guests. So what?? you can ask, why should I go eating there?
Because it’s an authentic Tuscan experience, where you can deeply breath the local the atmosphere, taste fresh and typical dishes, get friendly welcome and company. You can also buy typical local products in very nice packaging, like honey, marmalades and jams, biscuits or pasta, a nice idea for your souvenirs. If you wish to eat in the small dining table inside, where you will be served, reservation is warmly advisable, and to order some basic Italian or just a dictionary will be of help: it will take a little effort, but you’ll be totally rewarded!!!