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Gregg Wallace shares favourite food spots in adopted home of Italy

The MasterChef star and cookbook writer has married into an Italian family. Lauren Taylor finds out where he loves most in the country

Portofino
Portofino
Piazza Navona
Florence
San Gimignano
Country flavour: Gregg and Anna Wallace at a market in Italy

By Lauren Taylor

It's no secret Gregg Wallace loves the food of Italy. He married his Italian wife Anna in 2016 and says he's learned a huge amount in the kitchen from her - as well as from her mum Rina, dad Massimo and her Roman nonna.

The MasterChef presenter has travelled extensively through Italy - "all of it" he proudly chimes - and now rents a villa every summer with Anna and her family in a different part of the country, cooking, eating and drinking Italian wine.

Inspired by Anna's family's cooking, London-born Wallace (54) recently brought out a new cookbook, Gregg's Italian Family Cookbook, packed with classic, homely recipes.

Here are his top five Italy holiday hotspots...

Portofino, Italian Riviera

"Me and Anna went there when we first started dating, we had a very, very romantic couple of days there, so we went back on our honeymoon, it's just special for us. It's an incredibly expensive place but it's a very, very beautiful place."

Florence

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"I think there should be a picture of Florence next to the word 'decadence' in the dictionary. Just stunning works of art. And (go) for the bistecca fiorentina (a huge cut of steak famous in Florence)."

Rome

"I'm an amateur historian, and in Rome you have the Etruscans, you then have the birth of Christianity and you then have the Renaissance. Well, it just doesn't stop giving - Rome is stunning."

Lecce, Puglia

"Because I love orecchiette tartufate (a truffle, cream and asparagus pasta) and Lecce is just such a mad baroque town."

San Gimignano, Tuscany

"Me and Anna love it there - it's like a medieval Manhattan. All the medieval families competed with each other on who can build the tallest tower, so now all you've got is medieval towers.

From half a mile away, it looks like a medieval Manhattan - it's amazing."

Gregg's Italian Family Cookbook by Gregg and Anna Wallace is published by Mitchell Beazley, £20

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