It all started for a motorcycle... when I was 15 years old and with the only desire to travel around the world riding, the only obstacle separating me from that dream ... was the motorcycle itself!
So, for fun, I started working during the summer as a waiter in a restaurant in Santa Fiora, a small town on Mount Amiata, which has now been officially included in the guide “Borghi più belli d’talia” (The most beautiful ancient villages of Italy). The aim of course was to put a little money aside.
I found the experience so fascinating that I decided to continue my studies at the Hotel and Catering School of Chianciano Terme, alternating studies with seasonal jobs in the various bars and restaurants of the area. I tried to learn as much as I could by carefully observing the work of the people around me and began to realize how important it was to know ingredients and to create traditional dishes with unique flavours.
Once completed my school pathway, after a season as barman, my first experiment was an Irish Pub, a fabulous journey into the Irish world to the discovery of dark and craft beers of all kinds, however, I missed the authentic part of the kitchen.
My first real experience in a kitchen was out of Italy, as “assistant to the assistant to the assistant cook” in a restaurant in Thailand where I learnt the power of spices, how to use them while cooking and how to combine them to Italian dishes.
Maybe this was why, on my return to Italy in 1997, I was called for the Siena cuisine festival organized by a restaurant with a Michelin star in our area.
It was clear by now that my future rested on Catering!
So, one morning, while looking for the right place, walking from one venue to the other, I came across a square in Montenero d'Orcia, 15 km from my house and I saw it! A beautiful stone building was being restored. I entered. Its lounges and its terrace facing Val D’Orcia… it was love at first sight!!
In the end I didn’t by the motorcycle… but I found my life, Antica Fattoria del Grottaione.
It was March 9, 2002.