Meet Select Italy Team: Francesca

Francesca and the Leaning Pisa Tower

Francesca and the Leaning Pisa Tower

1. Name and What do you do at Select Italy?

Francesca De Stefani, Production Manager

2. What’s your favorite Italian destination?

Just like most Americans, I love Tuscany, but unlike them, I was born there! If you drive from Florence to Siena, you’ll see lots of medieval borghi (villages) secluded in the surrounding hills. Every small borgo has amazing architecture just waiting to be discovered. Make a stop without planning it ahead and just walk up to the main piazza to have the best food & wine of your life.

3. Whom would you go there with?

I would go there with my boyfriend

4. Which 3 things should never be missing from one’s luggage when traveling to Italy?

I travel often, but packing is really not my thing. I try hard to pack light, but in the end I always have more than the airline allows and more than I really need! Anyway, I suggest making or downloading a good travel checklist so that you don’t forget: 1. your passport, 2. your credit card, 3. sunglasses.

5. What Italian food are you addicted to?

In Italy, but especially in Tuscany, everything is centered around food! What I really love is Filetto al Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – Chianina beef marinated in red wine. I also love minestra di pane and the crunchy schiacciata with uva. Both are seasonal dishes, so if you go to Tuscany in the fall or winter, these should be on your list! Instead, if you are traveling during the summertime, you should definitively try Panzanella, a bread salad that makes a refreshing and light meal! For dessert I really recommend the hard almond cookies of the region: Biscotti di Prato.  The best are produced in the town where I was born, but no worries; you will be able to find them in other Tuscan cities, too! Also try brutti buoni (ugly but good) – almond cookies made with candied fruit.

6. Reveal us a secret about Italy! Food, shop, unique view, restaurant, your favorite T4T…Whatever, we are really curious!

The small artisan shops are the real gems of Florence. Casa dei Tessuti is one of them; it is halfway between a museum and a store, and is where Sophia Loren and Cher had their costumes tailored. A small section of the shop is set aside to display brocades, wooden spindles, Singer sewing machines and other historic “tools of the trade.” If you like vintage stuff, you may want to stop by Ceri Vintage – a unique vintage shop where you can find 19th and 20th century clothes.

Do you want to ask something directly to Francesca? Leave a comment below and she will reply!

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