La Botte Piena

 La Botte Piena is one of my favourite restaurants anywhere. In May 2011, we had rented an apartment for a week in the little Tuscan village of Montefollonico.  The drive from Florence took longer than expected. We arrived at about 1:30 pm and the shops had closed for the afternoon and would only re-open at 4 pm. We hadn’t eaten since early morning and the restaurants were getting ready to shutter for the afternoon. La Botte Piena was less than 100 metres from our apartment and we asked if they would let us get a quick bite to eat.

Elena with a village resident


They too were getting ready to close but they set a table for us. We had a simple lunch. I can’t remember what we ate but I do remember that it was so good that we made reservations to eat there in the evening. We ended up going back six of the seven evenings we stayed in that tiny hilltop village. We got to know the owners, Simone and Elena, a husband and wife team, and have stayed at their nearby Bed and Breakfast l’Orto di Panza  on several occasions. Every time we go back to Tuscany we dine at La Botte. 

Elena is the executive chef and selects the seasonal menu. Simone is the sommelier and looks after the front of house. The menu is seasonal and rooted in tradition. Pasta con Briciole  is a typical Tuscan dish that we have eaten in many places but it is most delicious at La Botte. However, you can eat sautéed sweetbreads with artichoke as well. The wine list is just spectacular. Simone carefully selects every wine in the cellar and he has excellent pairing skills. 

You can find Osteria La Botte Piena in the Michelin guide and you can make reservations on The Fork

Lisbon – A City on the Rise?

March 7, 2023

Lisbon’s seven hills and waterfront make it visually spectacular. The second oldest capital in Europe, the city has energy. Busy streets and squares, full restaurants, and vibrant night life – the city pulsates. And, the population seems young. All signs of a city on the rise? Earthquake A 1755 earthquake destroyed 85% of the city […]

Cities and Towns, The Affordable Housing Problem

February 8, 2023

People living on the street have come to symbolize the global housing crisis but they are only the tip of the iceberg. While the examples of Finland and Houston demonstrate a focussed plan pursued diligently can resolve the housing situation for the chronically homeless, addressing the affordable housing problem is much more complex.  Defining Affordability […]

I Love to Dance

January 29, 2023

I love to dance. This is not something new for me. I can’t remember when I didn’t like to move to the music. My first memories of watching others dance come from my childhood in Cape Breton where I would watch the adults square dance. Then, there were the step dancers who would often accompany […]

Cities and Towns 8, A City is About People

January 19, 2023

Kings Cross, once a thriving industrial and transport centre in London, was effectively closed  off  to the public by the end of the 20th century.   Then in 1996, the decision was made to move the British terminus for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link from Waterloo to St-Pancras. The landowner saw a re-development opportunity for […]

NEOM - the Wall

Cities and Towns 7, Cities and Towns Evolve

January 8, 2023

I have postulated that cities and towns evolve. That towns and villages first grow in areas where the basics to support life were plentiful. Typically, that means good agricultural land and good access to water. Other valuable considerations include safety, and resilience. The bonus – access to trade routes.  Walt Disney and the Fully Formed […]

Christmas Poem 2022

December 22, 2022

A Visit from Saint Nicholas A Poem by Jonathan Potter – December 2022 ‘Twas the first mask-free Christmas, when all through the stores  The vaccinated children were spewing their spores;The shoppers were eagerly starting to riotAs the introverts longed for some quarantine quiet. The public healthcare workers were tracing the pathOf the flu and RSV, […]