Day One, Saturday
7:00 – An aperitivo or glass of wine at our Villa in front of a roaring fire (depending on the season) followed by dinner giving us all a chance to become acquainted and discuss the itinerary for the week.
Day Two, Sunday
9:00 – Breakfast
10:15 – We leave for a visit to the Abbey of Mount Oliveto Maggiore in the Crete Senese hills. Mass with the monks singing Gregorian chant is at 11:00 a.m. and you can either attend the Mass or stroll around the lovely grounds.
12:30 – Lunch in Pienza, a beautiful hilltop town well known for its pecorino cheese. We’ll visit several of the shops and have a tasting of pecorino before having a typical Sunday lunch at a local trattoria.
4:00 – Following our visit to Pienza, we’ll visit Montalcino and have a tasting of a flight of Brunello di Montalcino.
6:00 – Return to the Villa where we’ll have a light dinner and then the evening is yours to relax.
Day Three, Monday
8:00 – Breakfast is available in the Villa.
10:00 – Our first class begins in the 900 year old mill close by to the Villa. Today we’ll be learning about the basics of Tuscan cooking, with an overview of what makes it special and typically Tuscan. We’ll make typical bread dishes like panzanella as well as braised meat dishes and cantucci. There will also be an olive oil tasting during class where we’ll taste different extra virgin oils.
1:30 – Lunch, followed by free time.
4:00 – Leave for a visit to an olive oil press (during the season of the olive harvest) where we’ll see the olives of a local estate being washed, mashed into pulp and then pressed to remove the oil. We’ll bring some wine and bread to toast on the open wood fire while we wait for them to press our olives!
8:00 – Dinner at a local trattoria.
Day Four, Tuesday
8:00 – Breakfast
10:00 – We’ll leave to visit two farms in the area, a goat cheese farm and a farm where they raise Crete Senese pigs. After the tour there will be a light lunch where we can taste the delicious products made on both of these estates.
1:30 – Back to the Villa where there will be an optional mushroom hunt after lunch for anyone interested in collecting our own mushrooms! In the hills surrounding the estate, the woods are filled with many different kinds of edible mushrooms like porcini, chanterelles, hedgehogs and black trumpets. Whatever we find will be used in the class Wednesday.
5:00 – Our second hands on cooking lesson will focus on making risotto, soups and/or roasted meats.followed by dinner paired with regional wines.
8:00 – Dinner following class, set in front of a roaring fire!
Day Five, Wednesday
8:00 – Breakfast
9:00 – We leave for the market of Siena. The market is filled with stalls selling everything from clothes, shoes, scarves, table linens, as well as accessories. We’ll show you where to purchase the best linens and must have kitchen items.
11:30 – Walking tour of Siena with guide
1:00– Lunch in Siena on your own, time to walk around and shop or sightsee. Return to villa at 3:30
7:30 – Depart for special dinner in local trattoria.
Day Six, Thursday
8:00 – Breakfast
10:00 – Leave for a day trip of wine tasting in Chianti!
1:30 – Lunch at a family owned local trattoria.
4:00 – There will be time to stop at the large grocery store to stock up on food items you may want to take home, then back to the Villa. Dinner and the evening is free time and you may want to relax at the Villa or catch a taxi out for dinner.
Day Seven, Friday
8:00 – Breakfast
10:00 – Our third cooking lesson begins for the final lunch together. We’ll focus on soups and will make cauliflower with rosemary, cream of winter squash, and the traditional Tuscan ribollita, followed by stuffed crepes for a second course and a traditional fruit crostata.
1:30 – Lunch with prosciutto tasting and prosecco, then naps all around!
7:30 – Depart for Siena for an aperativo in the Campo or last minute shopping and then into the Selva Contrada for their annual “Festa della Castangna” or Chestnut Festival. Held outside in a quaint corner of the city, the dinner includes dishes and desserts made with chestnuts, served with excellent local wines.
Day Eight, Saturday
Check-out at your leisure, taking with you lots of great recipes, new skills and ideas for your own Tuscan dinners at home!
All Inclusive Package
All classes begin Saturday evening. Cost is $3,800 U.S. for the full week inclusive of accommodations (based on double occupancy), tours, tastings, cooking lessons followed by lunch or dinner with wines, all meals while group is together.
Dates and prices subject to change. Single supplement is $600.
- 7 nights accommodation in historic countryside villa
- Full-time support by specialist guides, transportation to all events, plus all entrance and/or guide fees
- 3 hands-on cooking classes in the 900 year old flour mill or our villa
- All meals (except 1 dinner and 1 lunch while you are on your own)
- Regional wines with meals, tastings of wines, pecorino cheeses and local olive oils.
- $600 single supplement
- Our group stays in a beautifully restored villa on an estate in the Montagnola hills south of Siena (about 12 km south).
- 7 bedrooms with twin or double beds, en suite bathrooms
- Minimum number of participants: 8; maximum participants: 14.
- Other houses available for smaller groups
Cost does not include:
- Airfare, transportation to/from the estate on arrival and departure day, any meals or expenses incurred by you during shopping excursions and free time.
- A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your reservation in the culinary week, with the balance to be paid 60 days prior to the scheduled start date of the class.
Prices and dates are subject to change.