The wonderful Franciscan Santa Croce church proudly sits at the head of the same name piazza, in the historical centre of Florence. A Pantheon of great Tuscan thinkers, philosophers, painters, artists and architects like Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante and Machiavelli, men who have each helped make Tuscany the most recognised region of Italy outside the country.
We’re here for a very special occasion, a historical moment, a celebration of Tuscan excellence in true Italian style, and what better place than the great halls of Santa Croce.
After a tour of the wonderful church, we’re led through a garden and seated in a beautifully lit room off to the side of the main hall. Behind the huge walls sits a small chapel built by the great Tuscan Medici family - a fitting nod, after all, tonight’s celebration is all part of recognising a 450-year-old Tuscan Medici’s historical estate, a place where the Acqua Panna spring is found.
The event, on top of the anniversary, will also celebrate another important recognition as the local Region rewarded Acqua Panna with the Tuscan Taste logo, a special mark created for 100% Tuscan products of excellence - a seal of Tuscany reserved usually reserved for wine producers.
After the signing of an official document that sees the first ever water receive the Tuscan Taste stamp, we’re shown the new bottle designs from Acqua Panna containing the special logo and a beautifully redesigned label that reflects the classical renaissance look associated with Florence and the renowned Tuscan skyline. Then it’s time to taste Tuscany with a highly creative and engaging tasting menu from chef Marco Stabile - another Tuscan pillar of taste and one who surely didn’t disappoint. Firstly: the menu came with a pair of scissors, used to add your own garnish to a plate of perfectly poached egg with creamed potato and freshly grated lime.
Then a soup of vegetables with mushrooms served alongside a small vial of Tuscan olive oil, to be poured by each guest according to taste, an orchestra punctuating the background. It was immersive, playful, tasty, stylish, excellent and fun. All of the things that make Tuscany a one-of-a-kind region with distinct products, people and places.