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A Tuscan-Style BBQ at an Italian Villa

My first night in Montepulciano, Italy I found myself sitting at the train station in the glow of the setting sun, watching the local gang of old men assemble at cafes and under trees for their evening ritual of chit-chat with their mates.

My family arrived just as the sun disappeared and whisked me off to a stunning old villa rented by our friend Pia. She had invited us all over for a Tuscan BBQ to celebrate our first day in Italy.

It is a splendid place hidden far down a maze of gravel roads so twisty and turny that we couldn’t actually find it until Pia rode out on her bike to lead us in. It was well worth our haphazard journey though. Peaceful, secluded and so welcoming you really felt like you’d arrived home.

We were entranced by the splendid old wood-fired oven that was just perfect for grilling plump sausages, pork chops, chicken breasts and steaks. My brothers, Ryan and Dana, were grill masters for the evening, churning out massive platters of succulent meats that smelled heavenly.

We sipped glasses of Prosecco and nibbled on marinated beans and crisp potato chips while Pia and the others whipped up one delicious veggie dish after another: raw fennel drizzled with olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper, fresh tomato salad, fresh cucumber salad, oniony steamed spinach, pasta with sausage, green salad with radicchio, on and on it went.

When everything was ready we piled our plates high and sat outside to eat by candlelight under a moonlit sky, marveling that we were really, truly in Tuscany.

After thoroughly stuffing ourselves, the makers of our feast relaxed with Prosecco or played wild games of Foosball while the rest of us clustered around a couple sinks to wash up mounds of dishes and wrap up leftovers.

It was a grand evening, a splendid way to get acquainted with new friends and soon-to-be family members as we started our week of wedding festivities.

What is your favorite must-have dish at a BBQ?

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Rajasthan Tours - wonderful story . so beautiful pictures great … thanks for sharing

Jeanne @ CookSister - Wow – what an introduction to Tuscany!! ย Looks absolutely fantastic – that fennel sounds positively divine – my Italian sister-in-law makes something similar ๐Ÿ™‚

Stevie - What a wonderful story. An dI always really adore your gorgoues photos.ย  You make your life seem so grand.ย 

As to BBQ, I’m not sure what my favoirte thing is.ย  Perhaps aside form red wine, obviously, grilled eggplant is right up there for me.ย  I really enjoy the flavor.

Katie@Cozydelicious - What a feast!ย  Such a wonderful Italian welcome!ย  I love fresh veggie salads at a BBQ, an it sounds like you had wonderful dishes – that fennel sounds amazing!

hila - I basically just want your life at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚ such an amazing adventure.

Krista - I’m so glad to hear that, Jenny! ๐Ÿ™‚ Mmm, I love asparagus too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Isn’t it lovely, Vanessa? I was in awe. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for your comment. Sending you a big ol’ hug. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - Mmm, I love that too, Anna. ๐Ÿ™‚

Krista - It sure was, Val! I loved it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your pepper sounds absolutely fantastic. ๐Ÿ™‚

jenny@atasteoftravel - What a perfect first night. Your great photos and description make me feel as though I am there.The villa looks stunning. Grilled asparagus is always a winner for me at BBQs

Vanessa@Luxuria - Wow! that feast looks delicious and the villa………..whaty can I say?What a lucky girl you are taking in so many of Europe’s jewels
this summer. Thank you also for your lovely comments on my blog. I left you a littleย  reply xx

Anna - Grilled zucchini drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with a little salt.

bellini - Wnat a great way to be introduced to Tuscany! My favourite barbecued dish is half a pepper stuffed with bocconcini and perhaps basil or pesto trapanese.

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