Il Covo di Nina
Di Lagna Sabrina
Piazza Matteotti, 11
I always enjoy the 2 km walk from Villa Arceno to the medieval village of San Gusme, Castelnuovo Berardenga. I travel the cypress lined white road to get there.
It is a peaceful walk with birds chirping, various animal sightings and all while you breathe in the fresh Tuscan air. The views of the vineyards and olive groves never get tiresome. The only difficult part of the walk is at the tail end of the white road, which has a slow and gradual incline. As your thighs start to ache, remember, there is a reward of an espresso and excellent dolce at Il Covo di Nina waiting for you!
The proprietor Nina has a beautiful and expressive face which just illuminates when she smiles. Her curly red hair is usually pulled back as she goes about her work.
Her store is artfully and creatively decorated and Nina serves her food in the same manner, with style. It is very enjoyable to sit outside and watch the swallows swoop, as the neighbourhood cats lounge and the villagers go about their daily business.
Il Cove di Nina has a great selection of dolce, coffee, local wines, cheeses and various other items, great for take away. However, I would suggest seizing a reward for any recent good deed with a cup of espresso, a dolce or sit later in the day for a glass of wine and a charcuterie board.
The wonderful atmosphere and food will draw you in, however, it will be the human gem of San Gusme, Nina, whose warm personality will make you want to linger for a while.