In February the tradition of Carnival takes place in Italy with parades, parties and events; discover some very typical products that you can taste in Siena during Carnival, it’s a way to enjoy this charming location.
This year the Fat Tuesday will be on 7th February, while Mardi Gras will be on 12th February, the last day of Carnival. We give you some tips about typical Tuscan sweets because during winter are a great partner for your historical itineraries: we are sure that your holiday will be more rich if you taste the Senese specialties, at the restaurants or at the local stores both.
For example the “frittelle di San Giuseppe” (donuts of Saint Joseph) are very typical during Carnival and until the 19th of March, day of Saint Joseph, you can find some stands at Piazza del Campo. This sweet is a donut made of rice with sugar, a lemon or orange blend, very crunchy, ideal to eat while you walk along the alleys of Siena. Another sweets are tied to feasts but you can find them all along the year, like the cavallucci, biscuits with honey, anise, walnuts and candied orange, which origins date back to XVII century, when the Consistory distribuited to its members the “berriguocoli”, now called cavallucci, a sweet that keep intact its flavor for a long time.
The ricciarelli are a must, you can also choose these biscuits as a souvenir, because is one of the most authentic faces of Siena. The ricciarelli are marzipan biscuits with a mixture of almonds, cinnamon and candied fruits, to get along with wine, possibly with Moscadello di Montalcino or Vin Santo.
Is the first Italian sweet that got the European protection and is one of the most famous of Siena, together with panforte.
The copate senesi are less known but as much delicious: it’s a small cake with honey, walnuts and anise, pressed between two hosts. There are some variations, the classical is white copate with almonds, while the black copate has dried fruits and chocolate.
Finally, some advices about shops where to buy these specialties: Nannini, pastry shop founded in 1931, the historical venue is Conca d’Oro but there are many stores in Siena; Pasticceria Le Campane at via Caduti di Vicobello 37 (Porta Camollia area) and Pasticceria Bini in Via Stalloreggi 91. If you are planning a stay in Siena, don’t forget to taste these products, also the sweets have a long tradition!