Tuscany Honey

Tuscany – ‘Il miele della Toscana’

Ten provinces: Arezzo, Florence, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa-Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena.

Tuscany is situated in central Italy and has Emilia-Romagna in the north, Martia and Umbria on the east and the western coast lies beside the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Arno river, second in importance only to the Tiber, flows through Florence, the regional capital, and Pisa before emptying into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Home to about 3.7 million people and encompassing 8,880 sq miles.

One of the largest tourist destinations in Italy, millions visit every year to the cities of Pisa, Florence, Sena and Orvieto; often stops on the grand tour. It offers something for all tastes. For some it is the fine art and architecture, and for others the experience of the rolling countryside, the coast and islands and mountain paths. Food lovers and wine buffs enjoy its cuisine and fine wines.

Tuscany has a rich heritage of beekeeping and honey production. Honey has traditionally used for centuries in Tuscan cuisine in the preparation of traditional sweets such as gingerbread, the nooks and Spongata honey cake.

City of HoneyHoney Cities:
Collesalvetti (Livorno)
Montalcino (Siena)
Mulazzo (Massa Carrara)
Pontremoli (Massa Carrara)

Honey Festivals:
Week of Honey Competition
Honey Fair in Arezzo

Types of Honey:

  • Lunigiana Honey – ‘Miele della Lunigiana’ from the province of Massa Carrara in the Mountain community of Lunigiana. Known for the first Italian honeys awarded EU DOP for Acacia and Chestnut honey. Limited industrial development and a natural environment combined with non-overlapping flowering periods contributes to these great honeys. The acacia blooms from April to May and the chestnut from June to July.
  • Elba Island Honey – ‘Miele dell’isola di Elba’ Located about 12 miles off the coast of Tuscany and 30 miles east of the French Island of Corsica. It has about 90 square miles of area. It is one of seven main islands that is protected as part of the Arcipelago Toscano National Park, a large marine park in Italy. It has a variety of natural conditions that support over 1209 types of plants, including some precious endemic species, the result of the island isolation and biodiversity. Elba is famous as the place of exile for Napoleon in 1814 for 300 days.
    • Chestnut Honey of Elba Island – ‘Miele di castagno dell’Isola d’Elba’ (Castanea sativa Mill)
    • Eucalyptus Honey of Elba Island – Red River Gum – ‘Miele di eucalpito dell’Isola d’Elba’ (Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh)
    • Forest Honeydew Honey of Elba Island – ‘Melata di bosco, Melata di metcalfa’ (Insect: Metcalfa pruinosa (Say))
    • Heather Honey of Elba Island – ‘Miele di erica arborea dell’Isola d’Elba’ (Erica arborea L.)
    • Lavender Honey of Elba Island – ‘Miele di lavanda dell’Isola d’Elba’ (Lavandula angustifolia)
    • Rosemary Honey of Elba Island – ‘Miele di rosmarino dell’Isola d’Elba’ (Rosmarinus officinalis)
    • Strawberry Tree Honey of Elba Island – ‘Miele di corbezzolo dell’Isola d’Elba’ (Arbutus unedo L.)
    • Thistle Honey of Elba Island (also Cardoon Honey from Artichoke Thistle)- ‘Miele di Cardo dell’Isola d’Elba’ (Carduus ssp. or Cynara cardunculus)
    • Wildflower Honey of Elba – ‘Miele millefiori dell’Isola d’Elba’ The honey comes from Mediterranean flowers such as rosemary, thistle, heather, chestnut, and strawberry tree.
  • Wildflower Honeys of the islands of Capraia and Giglio – ‘Miele di Capraia o Nettare di Capraia, Miele di Isola del Giglio’ Capraia and Giglio are small islands (7 sq. miles & 9 sq. miles respectively) that form part of the Arcipelago Toscano National Park. Wildflower honeys from the archipelago are typical Mediterranean flowers such as rosemary, thistle, heather, chestnut, and strawberry tree. The honey has a fluid consistency, amber, aromatic and slightly floral. It tastes slightly bitter, with a mild taste of thistle. Visting Capraia. Visiting Giglio.
  • Wildflower Honey of Migliarino–San Rossore Park – ‘Miele di spiaggia del parco Migliarino-S. Rossore’ (Honey from wildflowers of Migliarino-San Rossore park, including camuciolo, rock rose, tamarisk, strawberry, pittosporum)
  • Acacia Honey of Tuscany – ‘Miele di Acacia Toscano’ (Robinia pseudoacacia L.)
  • Alfalfa – ‘Miele di erba medica’ (Medicago sativa L.) Produced in the province of Prato.
  • Blackberry & Raspberries (aka Bramble) – ‘Miele di rovo’ (Rubus spp.)
  • Chestnut Honey of Tuscany – ‘Miele di Castagno Toscano’ (Castanea sativa Mill)
  • Clover Honey of Tuscany – ‘Miele di trifoglio Toscano’ (Trifolium repens.)
  • Enula Honey – ‘Miele di enula’ (Inula viscose)
  • Eucalyptus Honey of Tuscany – ‘Miele di eucalpito della Toscana’ (Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh)
  • Fir Honeydew from Tuscany (Manna of Spruce) – ‘Miele di Melata di Abete Toscano (Manna d’Abete)’ (Fir: Abies alba and Red Spruce: Picea excelsa) (Insects: Cinara costate, C. piceae, Physokermes hemicryphus)
  • Forest Honeydew – ‘Melata di bosco, Melata di metcalfa’ (Insect: Metcalfa pruinosa (Say))
  • Forest Honeydew from Tuscany – ‘Melata di metcalfa della Toscano’ (From honeydew produced by the insect: Metcalfa pruinosa (Say) from a variety of trees such as Linden (Tilia platyphyllos Scop.), Smoke Tree -’Scotano or Albero della nebbia or Sommacco (near Trieste)’ (Rhus Cotinus), Oak and Roverella (Quercus ilex L., Quercus petraea and Quercus pubescens Willd.), Maple (Acer campestre L., Acer mospessulanum L., Acer saccharinum L.))
  • Hawthorn – ‘Miele di biancospino’ (Crataegus monogyna) Produced in the province of Grosseto.
  • Heather Honey of Tuscany – ‘Miele di Erica Toscano’ (Erica arborea L.)
  • Ivy – ‘Miele di edera’ (Hedera helix)
  • Melon Honey – ‘Miele di melone o popone’ (Cucumis melo) Produced in the Ombrone Valley in Arezzo.
  • Oak Honeydew – ‘Melata di quercia’ (Quercus robur, Q. petraea, Q. pubescens) (Insects: Lachnus iliciphilus, Lachnus roboris, Tuberculatus annulatus,Thelaxes dryophila)
  • Sainfoin Honey of Tuscany – ‘Miele di Lupinella della Toscana’ (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.)
  • Schiucciolo (aka Yellow Plug, Centaurea) – ‘Miele di schiucciolo, Spino giallo’ (Centaurea solstitialis)
  • Sulla Honey of Tuscany (aka Spanish sainfoin, French honeysuckle, Sweetvetch) – ‘Miele di Sulla Toscano’ (Hedysarum coronarium L.)
  • Sunflower Honey of Tuscany – ‘Miele di girasole Toscano’ (Helianthus annuus L.) Produced in the province of Arezzo.
  • Thorn (aka Christ’s Thorn, Jerusalem Thorn) – ‘Miele di marruca’ (Paliurus spina-christi) Produced in the southern province of Grosseto.
  • Tuscan Strawberry Tree Honey – ‘Miele di Corbezzolo Toscano’ (Arbutus unedo L.)
  • Wildflower Honey of Tuscany – ‘Miele Millefiori Toscano’ (Honey from trees, wildflowers, cultivated and ornamental plants from Tuscany)

Certified Traditional Food of Italy PAT – Honey certified as a Traditional Italian Food.
PDO Honey Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) honey
Slow Food Icon Honey identified and cataloged by the Arc of Taste (Slow Foods)
Further Reading & Other Resources:

Italian – Dr. Pescia Honey Farm – Tuscany

Italian –Pannacotta with honey and lemon jelly (English translated by Google)

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