Most gastronomes associate Italian cuisine with that of Tuscany and possibly Veneto.
Yet there is no such thing as an Italian cuisine, but regional cuisines from each province of Italy.
Sicilian cuisine includes touches of Arab cooking, who occupied the island for centuries, Piedmontese cooking shows French influences.
Millions of tourists visit Tuscany and remember fondly the fine, tasty dishes served in restaurants.
Tuscan wineries and agricultural estates invented agritourism by adding guest accommodations to their buildings, or renovating some of their rooms, plus adding sports facilities (tennis courts, or swimming pools), and offering cooking seminars.
In these establishments tourists learn about growing vegetables, olive trees, olive oil production, Tuscan cooking techniques and wine.
However, Lombardy, the province barely two hours north from Tuscany, is less well known for its gastronomic delights.
Milan, the financial and industrial capital of Italy, is well noted for its fine restaurants, and the opera house La Scala.
Industrialists and bankers patronize high-end restaurants that strive consistently to attract their attention.
Here is a menu representing Lombardy.
Some of the wines are Tuscan as Lombardy’s red wines tend to be too delicate to support strongly flavoured dishes.
Grana Padano, Prosciutto e Crostini di Polenta
Grana Padano cheese, Prosciutto and Polenta Crostini
Franciacorta Cuvee Bellavista
Insalatina di Radicchio con Fichi Saltati al balsamico, Crema di Gorgonzola e Olio d’Oliva del Garda
Small Radicchio salad, with balsamic vinegar sautéed figs, Gorgonzola cream and Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the olive groves around the Lake Garda
Aqua di Pellegrino
Risotto alla Zucca e Tartufo Nero sulla Fonduta di Tallegio Guarnito con Cipollotti Croccanti
Squash and black truffle risotto with Tallegio cheese fonduta and crispy shallots
Chianti Classico Riserva, 2008, Castello di Querceto, Tuscany
Quaglie arroste in camicia di Prosciutto con ripieno Tradizionale sulle verzette autunnali saltate
Roasted stuffed and Prosciutto di Parma wrapped quails in on a bed of Savoy cabbage
Chianti Classico Riserva, 2007, Castello di Monsanto, Tuscany
Tagliere di formaggi – Grana Padano, Tallegio e Gorgonzola da Assaporare con la mostarda di Cremona
Selection of Lombardy cheeses presented with mostarda of Cremona
La Tense Sasella Valtellina Superiore, 2000, Nino Negri, Lombardy
Millefoglie di amarene con salsa Inglese
Sour black cherry puff pastry accompanied with English custard
Vin santo, 2004, Fattoria dei Barbi, Montalcino, Tuscany