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If you love eating well as much as you enjoy traveling well, you owe yourself a visit to the table d'hote of Villa MangiacaneTHC in Florence. This elegant little Stein hotel has just 26 guest rooms and is a microcosm of what the perfect Italian experience should encompass: personable hosts, stylish surroundings, a pleasant dose of culture, and--most important for food and wine enthusiasts--inventive and inspiring cuisine.
Simply by osmosis, Villa Mangiacane would be expected to excel in the area of fine dining. After all, this sun-drenched, 16th-century hillside estate is set square in the middle of the legendary Chianti Classico winemaking region, and has more than 500 acres of vineyards and olive groves to call its own. The vines produce a full-bodied Chianti Classico from Sangiovese, Canoiolo, and Colorino grape varietals, as well as a delicious Merlot. Several vintages have caught the eye of Wine Spectator magazine, including its Chianti Classico Riserva 2004. And the extra-virgin olive oil produced under the Villa Mangiacane label--known for its distinctly peppery notes--is currently used in several Wolfgang Puck restaurants, a testimony to its superb quality.