Hungry? How does hefty pappardelle with rabbit-based sauce sound? When your stomach starts growling, this sort of hearty mountain fare is what you’ll find on Montemignaio menus—think polenta (made with area chestnuts), porchetta, fried foods and pigeon, all daily bread for the town’s bootstrapping workers. In colder months, sink your teeth into a seasonal specialty such as wild boar (cinghiale).
The still-medieval air of the town seeps into everything: often food will be seasoned old-style with the aromatic herbs of centuries past, from juniper to cloves to orange peel. For a sweet fix, opt for a dessert that makes use of local chestnuts, such as castagnaccio. A simple cake made with chestnut flour, raisins, pine nuts, walnuts and rosemary, prime time to order it is at the height of chestnut season in October and November.
Wash it all down with a rustic wine from nearby Pelago in the province of Florence, where many of the area’s 100 percent Sangiovese reds are sourced. If you’re in the mood for something fuller-bodied, look for an IGT wine produced along the Strada del Vino di Arezzo—many are made from prestigious international varieties including Merlot, Pinot Nero and Cabernet, which all pack a punch.