I have a tradition of strolling down Via San Paulino on my very first day in Lucca. Two of my favorite shops are located here-Caniparoli Cioccolateria-the chocolate shop I simply adore and Officina delle Pelle-a lovely family owned shop selling leather goods made right in town. There’s no doubt that I will make a purchase at the chocolate shop and eventually l find something at the leather store that I can’t live without. Imagine my surprise when I spotted a new shop selling cheese directly across from Caniparoli!
I’m a huge fan of cheese and can’t pass by a cheese shop without stopping in for a taste or two. I’m especially fond of pecorino, a sheep’s milk cheese. You can read about the Panini Girl group’s experience with making pecorino here. Forme d’Arte (which has locations in other Tuscan towns) is a recently opened shop selling mostly pecorino, although it does carry a selection other cheeses made from the milk of goats and cows and a variety of salumi.
The shop is nicely designed and the cheese is well displayed, but what really caught my eye were the jarred toppings that compliment the cheese. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of these products, but I did make a purchase-a spicy topping made with peppers called Confettura di Peperoncino and another-Mostardina with apples, pears and mustard. I can’t wait to open them up and serve with the pecorino I brought home. Yes, you can bring hard cheeses which have been vacuum sealed back into the US, but don’t even think about any meat products!
I have to admit that I didn’t purchase any cheese here. I am loyal to La Cacioteca which is located on the northern end of Via Fillungo and has been in business for many years.
There’s another new shop in town that was located just a few steps from our apartment on Via Santa Croce just past Piazza Santa Maria Forisportum. This is a panetteria selling mostly focaccia and a few other breads and some biscotti. The shop is tiny and one Sunday when I went there was a crowd of about 15 waiting to get in. I don’t even know its name as they didn’t have a sign up yet, but the photo below is of the shop. They will also make a sandwich for you with mortadella or prosciutto on their focaccia. I tried the classic focaccia, one topped with tomatoes and another with thinly sliced potato. All I can say is that I wish I had a piece now!
Via San Paolino, 27 Lucca
Via Fillungo, 242 Lucca