Alessandra’s
recipes

Alessandra has always been attracted to the kitchen, the most beautiful room in the house, she says. From an early age, she followed her mother, grandmother and aunt carefully whilst preparing traditional Tuscan dishes. “Especially from Prato, my hometown” he stresses. Then the choice to make his passion a job, in restaurants and big hotels, where she also made nouvelle cousine, reinterpreting traditional Tuscan cuisine

At Villa Zelma, on the other hand, he expresses himself in what is his greatest wisdom: rediscovering the good smells and flavours of traditional home cooking, bringing back to life the old recipes cooked following the secrets of kneading and mixing seasonal ingredients, with the products of the garden of the Villa and nearby companies that she personally selects. Popular dishes of the Tuscan tradition, some simpler, others very complex, but all slow cooked for the long hours that they used to be cooked for, which, as Alessandra says, restaurants today can not afford.

One of its specialties are the “sedani alla pratese” a very complex popular dish from Prato, which, when done according to the rules of tradition, takes a very long time and for this it is almost impossible to find it elsewhere. But Villa Zelma is a place to take back time. Even for Alessandra.

 
Aldo’s
secrets

The Pistoia area was already famous in the Middle Ages for the quality of fruits and vegetables and for the lushness of vegetation.

In 1859 the Faculty of Agraria in Florence began to grow some flowering plants for important Florentine villas. It was immediately noted that the plants of Pistoia had a superior quality and vigour. In a short time, the Pistoia area became a large single nursery-garden with thousands of cultivated species and varieties.

Stefano Zelari, entrepreneur operating in different business areas, always with a passion for hospitality, decided, with the wise help of his family, to carve out a corner of relaxation in his beloved Tuscany in a place fruitful of the values with which he directs his companies: tradition and innovation.

Aldo Angiolini worked for many years in the Zelari Nursery, first learning and then passing on to the young people the ancient secrets of cultivation. A life spent with plants and for plants, a passion, he says, more than a job. Today Aldo expertly takes care of the property of the Villa, looking after the olive trees, the vineyard and the vegetables garden. Every day he prunes, plants, collects. And he brings the fruits of his land directly to the table of the guests of the Villa, never failing to tell them the secrets of the cultivation while accompanies them proudly to visit its fields.

Aldo’s
secrets

The Pistoia area was already famous in the Middle Ages for the quality of fruits and vegetables and for the lushness of vegetation.

In 1859 the Faculty of Agraria in Florence began to grow some flowering plants for important Florentine villas. It was immediately noted that the plants of Pistoia had a superior quality and vigour. In a short time, the Pistoia area became a large single nursery-garden with thousands of cultivated species and varieties.

Stefano Zelari, entrepreneur operating in different business areas, always with a passion for hospitality, decided, with the wise help of his family, to carve out a corner of relaxation in his beloved Tuscany in a place fruitful of the values with which he directs his companies: tradition and innovation.

Aldo Angiolini worked for many years in the Zelari Nursery, first learning and then passing on to the young people the ancient secrets of cultivation. A life spent with plants and for plants, a passion, he says, more than a job. Today Aldo expertly takes care of the property of the Villa, looking after the olive trees, the vineyard and the vegetables garden. Every day he prunes, plants, collects. And he brings the fruits of his land directly to the table of the guests of the Villa, never failing to tell them the secrets of the cultivation while accompanies them proudly to visit its fields.