What to eat in Versilia
Versilia’s cuisine is an unmistakable explosion of tastes and aromas, food that speaks of ancient flavours, genuine products and simple ingredients and that make Versilia the land of flavours. In this embrace between the land and sea we can find special products such as clams by the sea and local lard and mortadella in Gombitelli, the schiaccioni beans in Pietrasanta, honey both in the Apuan Alps and at the beach and the tizzone di Giustagnana (a sausage) in the town of Seravezza.
If you are still hungry, in Viareggio you can try the risotto with squid and beet leaves, trabaccolara or coltellacci spaghetti and fried cèe with garlic and sage, a dish that was originally prepared with the eel larvae (called “cieche”, cèe in dialect) that were once caught in the Burlamacca canal, where fishing is now prohibited, replaced today by farmed ones.
In Camaiore you can also sample the scarpaccia, a savoury courgette pie, which is different from the sweet version in Viareggio, and the Camaiore pepper cake.
If we move on to the mountainous area of Versilia (but in fact these dishes can be found almost everywhere) we find dishes such as black cabbage soup, frantoiana soup, pasta with chickpeas or beans, polenta with mushrooms, rabbit with olives and grilled meat.
There is also a variety of deserts from the befanini, a type of biscuit typical of the Epiphany, to the chestnut pancakes with ricotta cheese, the chestnut cake and the rice cake, also called cake con i pizzi or con i becchi, depending on the area. It is also called the Easter cake and is prepared with a dough made of rice, chocolate, milk and eggs. To experience a true local curiosity sample the Pupporina, a biscuit in an unmistakable shape!
Two other excellence products of Versilia are the extra virgin olive oil and the wine, celebrated during dedicated events such as Prim’Olio Primo Vino, which is held in early December in Camaiore, and Enolia, at the Medici Palace in Seravezza at the end of April. The area is part of the rural section of the Lucca, Montecarlo and Versilia Wine and Oil Trail.