Tuscany is an Italian region that feels plucked from a storybook. It feels like you’ve stepped into the pages of a story, with its ancient stone towns peppering the rolling green hilltops, kilometers of well-tamed vineyards, towering cypress trees surging up into the bright sky, and extensive fields of cheery, yellow sunflowers.
Few things are more enjoyable than a themed party, and there is no better theme than a Tuscan-themed party! You can replicate these ideas at home and transport your guests to the Italian countryside for an unforgettable party.
First and foremost, you must have a fantastic location. Choose a landscaped patio deck or a beautiful backyard with hints of lavender as your backdrop.
Look for lakefront property with a European flair. Hanging grapevines on the trellis above your outdoor dining table is a great place to start. Then, add in the view of the lake all you’ll need is some artisan cheese and a good Chianti to be practically there.
Table and Decorations
This is where creativity comes into play — think flowers, dishware, candles, and linens to decorate Tuscan style. Keep the Tuscan palette in mind — the warm harvest tones make this pop.
Under the table settings, dress the table with placemats, a tablecloth, or tea towels. Use tea towels and placemats if you have a lovely wood table; otherwise, find a lovely tablecloth. If you employ a neutral tablecloth, you can highlight the dishware and other accessories. Look for vibrantly colored, hand-thrown pieces of dishware.
Because Tuscany is all about simplicity, keep cutlery and glassware to a minimum. Use your imagination when it comes to place cards. Tuck a sprig of lavender into a burlap-wrapped napkin, or use a ripe red apple with name tags tethered by string. Make it enjoyable and interesting.
You can mount an amazing chandelier from the trellis for lighting. Make a floral rhapsody by intertwining some flowers all across the hanging light. Cover the area with lanterns, rustic bread baskets, and chunky candle holders. Use bright pillows, napkins, and throws to add color—nothing too complicated.
Flowers are among the few things that can make a place feel more special.
Mix your florals with harvest vegetables to create an unexpected medley. When kale, garlic bulbs, and zucchini are artistically combined with beautiful greenery and flowers, they appear completely different. This also emphasizes the farm-to-table theme.
Collaborate with a local supplier to obtain your beautiful, bright produce.
Think of quality and simplicity when you think of Tuscany. Bean dishes thrive; olive oils are used in place of butter. Tuscan cuisine is based on the concept of cucina povera, which translates as “poor cooking.”
Historically, numerous people in the region had to stretch food to feed their families, and menu options have remained largely consistent — now by choice rather than necessity.
You can approach your favorite Italian market to put together your Tuscan menu, or you can put together a menu using the following recipes:
Crostini are thin, crunchy toasts that are a Tuscan tradition for beginning a meal. They’re served with a cocktail or wine for aperitivo, an Italian take on the happy hour that consists of nibbles and drinks that don’t fill you up but rather stimulate or “open” your appetite. These walnut and pear crostini drizzled with honey will transport you to the rugged countryside in cold weather.
Ribollita (Tuscan Bean Soup)
This hearty Tuscan soup demonstrates how to combine white cannellini beans, vegetables, and pesto to make a delicious, nourishing soup similar to minestrone. Don’t be reluctant to double the recipe because this soup freezes well and improves with age.
Tuscan-Style Roasted Asparagus
This is especially delicious when locally produced asparagus is in season, and it’s perfect for parties because it can be served cold or hot. This is how you should cook asparagus.
Warm, Marinated Olives
Olives are a must-have ingredient in Tuscan cooking. Almost every dish begins with olive oil, and all aperitivi are served with a dish of olives. To add a Tuscan touch, dress them with aromatic herbs and olive oil before warming and serving.
Cucina povera, or Italian peasant cooking, is distinguished by brilliance born of necessity. A juicy, piquant dressing and tomatoes soak into day-old bread in this dish, making it a must-have for any summer table.
These beans, a dish found on most Tuscan tables, are unmistakably Tuscan. Beans were traditionally cooked atop ashes in the hearth within a sturdy glass bottle and were known as fagioli “al fiasco.” Tuscans nowadays cook their beans inside a pot on the stove, as in this recipe.
Tender, falling-apart ribs aren’t just for the south. This rustic Tuscan twist is an entrée ideal for hearty, cool-weather feasting.
Rosemary-Roasted Tuscan Chicken
As the Tuscans know, simplicity is best. When the family gathers, and you’re ready to grill, this Tuscan chicken with rosemary will bring everyone together.
Farro Salad With Oven-Roasted Greens and Grapes
Of course, a party menu would be incomplete without a salad. Farro, a Tuscan grain with a nutty flavor, is nutritious. It’s also lovely when combined with roasted baby greens and purple grapes for this filling salad.
Butternut Squash Cannelloni
This beautiful baked pasta (al Forno, as the Italians call it) is elevated comfort food. Butternut squash is an excellent substitute for Zucca, a vegetable resembling a pumpkin popular in Tuscany. The squash’s mild sweetness and dense texture in this rich casserole complement the walnut-cream sauce perfectly.
Tuscany is deeply ingrained in the culture and identity of this Italian region. Of course, a Tuscan-themed party would be incomplete without wine. Some of the best Tuscan wines for you and your guests are listed below.
After bursting onto the scene in 1968, the first Super Tuscan wine, made primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon, laid the groundwork for an explosion of modern-style blended wines. These wines have been designated as DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia.
When it was on sale in 1975, it was the first modern Italian red wine blended with non-traditional grapes, launching the Super Tuscan genre. This wine is a mixture of mostly Sangiovese, with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in for good measure.
Boscarelli Il Nocio 2016
This 100% Sangiovese is extremely tannic and bold, with tantalizing notes of plum, cherry, and blueberry on the first sip that evolve into earthy tones of oak, tobacco, and balsamic for an austere finish. This wine has an intense yet delectable sharpness that pairs well with poultry, red meat, or game.
Check out this guide on pairing food with wine for a better dining experience for your guests!