7 Tuscan Christmas sweets and where to find them
The guide to the best sweet treats our region has to offer
When the holidays arrive, Christmas sweets are the most popular. From Prato to Siena, from Arezzo to Florence is a real triumph of cookies and cakes of dried fruit.
Here are our 7 favorite addresses to buy delicacies all year round, but at Christmas even more so (For artisan panettone, we have a special article, click here!).
Biscottificio Antonio Mattei dal 1858
Via Bettino Ricasoli, 20/22 - Prato
ph. +39 0574 25756
Tuscany was still a Grand Duchy when in Prato, in Via Ricasoli 22, the cookie factory of the confectioner Antonio Mattei opened its doors. It was 1858 and his recipe for cookies with almonds was destined to become history, so much so that those sweets are called "Traditional Biscuits of Prato". Try the new almond, cicciolato and pistachio variants as well.
Cialde Di Montecatini di Bargilli
Via Pietro Grocco, 2 - Montecatini Terme (PT)
ph. +39 0572 79459
Cialde di Montecatini are a delicious, light and nutritious cookie. Handcrafted by the Bargilli family since 1936, unique and inimitable for their recipe, Cialde di Montecatini are absolutely genuine cookies, free of added fats, colorants and preservatives. A unique wafer cookie, which contains the most healthy and tasty Tuscany can offer. The originals, are produced only at the laboratory of the Bargilli family.
Pasticceria Gelateria Sinatti
Via Fiorentina, 99 - Siena
ph. +39 0577 51406
The Copate are a typical Christmas sweet in Siena, prepared based on a mixture of sugar, almonds or walnuts chopped and toasted, honey and egg white enclosed between two white wafers. Today they are a refined delicacy for the mouths of ... connoisseurs.
Pasticceria F.lli Bonci
Via A.Vespucci, 101 - Montevarchi (AR)
ph. +39 055 981225
When tradition meets innovation. Born from an original idea of Pasticceria Bonci, the Panbriacone is washed down with sweet raisin wines, which meet with the softness of a natural leavening and the fragrant flavor of Uva di Corinto. A Christmas classic.
Antica Drogheria Manganelli 1879
Via di Città, 71/73 - Siena
ph. +39 0577 280002
Black Panforte or Panpepato has its origins from the first centuries of Middle Ages, but its success takes off from the thirteenth century when the famous spices of panforte are added to its recipe, including black pepper. The recipe made of almonds, honey, candied fruits and spices is handed down in the years until, starting from the nineteenth century, the first panforte factories were established. The only production remained in activity since those times is the Antica drogheria Manganelli which is today the only one to have preserved the original recipe, keeping the traditional mixture of spices secretly handed down from generation to generation.
Via Salvatore Quasimodo - Diecimo (LU)
ph. +39 0583 838051
Pasticceria Bini has been one of the institutions of Sienese pastry making since 1944. For years, the laboratory was near the Duomo in Via dei Fusari, with a window overlooking the street from which one could admire the preparations in progress. Now the pastry shop has moved near Pian dei Mantellini, and it is still possible to see from the window how the pastries are made and in particular the ricciarelli: those of Bini are an institution, soft, fragrant and perfectly flat, laid side by side on a tray without overlapping and packaged with blue paper as in the past.
Via del Ponte di Mezzo, 20 - Firenze
ph. +39 055 364034
It was in 1990 that the first Torta Fondente di Cioccolato was created, in the Florentine restaurant where Claudio Pistocchi worked as Executive Chef. A large, soft and creamy chocolate, handcrafted, without the addition of sugar and without using eggs, butter or flour. Only extra dark chocolate, bitter cocoa powder and a little milk cream.