Along a country road and surrounded by Tuscany’s luscious rolling hills and vineyards lies Il Palagiaccio, an unassuming marketplace that is pure magic.
I wander into the store that is filled with all of Italy’s finest: it's a wonderland of prosciutto's, aged Parmesan wheels, sausages strung from the ceiling and peppery, aromatic olive oils. It is a blast to all of the senses at once, a Tuscan Willy Wonka Factory.
Step up to the counter and meet Gervasio, a fifty-something Italian with an apron, an Italian top hat of sorts and a warm smile. Communicate through mimework if you don't speak Italian, and let Gervasio build a masterpiece of cheeses, breads and meats custom-made just for you.
Take your tray out to the stone-tiled picnic area, shaded by a large tree and a vine-wrapped wooden terrace, and let the love-affair begin.
Whatever you do, save some room for the homemade gelato: with flavors like Fior de Ricotta, Amarena and beloved Stracciatella, Gervasio will dish up your selection of choice and put you in unadulterated culinary bliss.