Neccio (pl. necci), also called niccio, ciaccio, or cian, is a galette made with chestnut flour, typical of some mountain zones of Tuscany and Emilia, in Italy, and on the island of Corsica, in France.

A plate of necci from Tuscany

Today people tend to consider neccio a dessert, but peasants once used to eat it with savory food.[1]

The Italian government has declared neccio a Prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale ("traditional Italian regional food") of Tuscany.[1][2]


Neccio is typical of Pescia and the Pistoia Mountains, the Lucchesia, the upper Versilia, the Garfagnana, the Frignano and the upper Reno valley.[1] It is also prepared on the French island of Corsica.[1]


In Garfagnana, a region of Tuscany, "neccio" is a term that designates the chestnut nut[3] and its derivatives.

Other names used for neccio are ciaccio (in Versilia, upper Garfagnana and Frignano),[4] cian (in Lunigiana),[5] caccìn (in the province of La Spezia),[1] panèlla (Sestri Levante and surroundings),[1] castagnaccio or patolla (having a more consistent dough)[1] or nicciu (in Corsica).[6]


Ferri with cooked neccio

The dough is made with chestnut flour, water, and a little salt.[7] In the Pistoia area, chestnut flour is stored in special chestnut wood containers called bigonce or bugni, or in wooden crates called arconi, from which the flour flakes are taken and strained through a sieve, then chopped by hand.[2] Cooking is difficult and requires both a considerable expertise and either special discs called testi, made of fire-quenched sandstone, pre-heated on the fireplace fire,[7][8] or iron discs with long handles, named ferri or forme, which must be placed on the surface of the wood stove.[1] Today the testi are more used on the Bolognese side of the Apennines, while in the Pistoia mountains the most-used tools are the ferri.[1]

Cooking with testi is particularly complex. Chestnut leaves are harvested in summer during waning moon and left to soak in lukewarm water.[2] They prevent the necci from sticking to the testo and transmit their aroma and taste to them.[2] After the testi have been heated in the fireplace, three to four leaves are laid on a testo, then a ladle of dough is put on them, then three to four more leaves and another hot testo, and so on, until a pile (named "castellina") is formed.[8][9] The testi's pile is framed by an iron holder tool which stabilizes it.[8] Usually one would pile up one of more rows of testi for 10-20 necci per row, with decreasing diameter from bottom to top.[8][2] After two to three minutes the necci are ready and the pile is dismounted. [8][2]

Stuffed neccio

Neccio filled with ricotta

After cooking, the necci are generally stuffed with ricotta cheese (sometimes enriched with dark chocolate chips and/or candied fruit) and rolled up to take the shape of a cannolo.[1]

Neccio can be consumed in these ways:

  • a biuscio, a dialectal term that stands for "without seasoning";[1]
  • guercio ("one-eyed" in Italian), with the addition of a thin slice of pancetta before cooking or as a filling.[10] In the second case a few round slices of Tuscan Rigatino (a salumi akin to pancetta) can also be used.[1] They are typical of the Bolognese mountains;[11]
  • incicciato ("with meat" in Tuscan dialect), with the addition of salsiccia paste, used as filling or directly in the dough.[1] This version is typical of the Pistoia mountains and in particular of the village of Pracchia;[1]
  • con nutella, stuffed with plenty of chocolate cream. This is a non-traditional version, but appreciated especially among young people;[1]
  • con ricotta cheese, with the addition of sheep or cow ricotta.[1] This variant is often used in the area of the Pistoia Apennines;[12]
  • con stracchino cheese, with the addition of stracchino, typical of Lunigiana.[5]


  1. "I necci" (in Italian). Pesciantica. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  2. "Neccio toscano". Prodotti Agroalimentari Tradizionali della Toscana (in Italian). Regione Toscana - Agricoltura. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  3. "Farina di Neccio della Garfagnana: tradizione millenaria". (in Italian). Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  4. "Ricette tipiche - i ciacci di castagne" (in Italian). Comune di Fanano. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  5. "I cian della Lunigiana" (in Italian). Associazione Operatori Turistici della Lunigiana. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  6. Schapira (1994) p. 107
  7. "I Necci" (in Italian). Museo del Castagno. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  8. Alberto Gherardi (7 June 2007). "Vita rurale in Valdinievole" (in Italian). Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  9. "Come si facevano i necci di castagne nei tempi passati" (in Italian). Lucca italian school. 16 January 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  10. "Neccio guercio" (in Italian). CASA BONI—Comune di Granaglione (BO). Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  11. "Necci della montagna pistoiese" (in Italian). Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  12. Giovanni Capecchi (2008). Guida letteraria della montagna pistoiese (in Italian). Pistoia: Gli Ori. ISBN 978-88-7336-328-6.


  • Schapira, Christiane (1994). La bonne cuisine corse (in French). Paris: Solar. ISBN 2263001778.

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