Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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Tuscany, Italy - 7 nights
Available March to November - Saturday to Saturday


This culinary program is perfect for those who are lovers of all that is Tuscan – the charming medieval towns, the centuries old traditions, the people and their culture, the art and of course, the great food and wine!! You will enjoy hands-on cooking courses learning the art of Tuscan cuisine from our wonderful English speaking professional Italian chefs in an original kitchen of a 14th century villa. We also offer vegetarian, vegan, celiac and organic cooking vacations so please inquire. 


During your Tuscan week you will have a lesson on the history of the Tuscan diet featuring typical peasant dishes and will learn how the gastronomy has changed throughout the medieval and Renaissance periods up until modern times.


Your cooking days will teach you how to prepare a five course meal, including "primi piatti' - risottos, soups, gnocchi and fresh handmade pasta. We will discuss different pasta making techniques, stuffed pastas, colouring and flavouring pastas, different sauces and how to match them with different types of pastas. 


Next you will learn about salads and soups. There are many dishes in Tuscany that focus on soups in the winter and salads in the summer using old bread and the wonderful variety of vegetables in season. Now, 'Secondi and Contorni' which are the meat, fish and game dishes accompanied by vegetables and flans.


And onto antipasti and desserts. The secret of all Italian cookery are the fresh products used. Fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables are the base of all tasty dishes and frozen products are almost never used. During the year the menu's in all restaurants change, adapting to the produce available and we will discuss the various dishes popular for each season.








Day One - Saturday


Afternoon arrival to the villa for a welcome dinner with your chefs and hosts. 

You can arrive after lunch and settle into your home for the week, with time to relax and explore the grounds. The welcome dinner with take place in the villa's historical 14th C kitchen featuring the original stone fireplace, marble sink and vaulted ceiling. 

The kitchen will be the heart of this gastronomical adventure. Participants will receive their recipe books and course guidelines. Partners are also welcome to join the welcome dinner where you will feast on traditional Tuscan fare of the season and enjoy the estate's wine. You will meet your chefs who, by the the week's end, will become your lifelong friends!!


Day Two - Sunday 


Today is your first cooking class from 10am to 3pm.


After enjoying the lunch that you have prepared, you will have free time in the afternoon.


The group can relax or opt to choose additional activities and tours offered in our ' Additional Activities' program. 



Day Three - Monday 


Today is your second cooking class from 10am to 3pm.


After enjoying the lunch that you have prepared, you will have free time in the afternoon. 


The group can relax or opt to choose additional activities and tours offered in our ' Additional Activities' program.



Day Four - Tuesday 


This morning is your third cooking class from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.


 After enjoying the lunch that you have prepared, you will have free time in the afternoon. 


The group can relax or opt to choose additional activities and tours offered in our ' Additional Activities' program.




Day Five - Wednesday


Today is your fourth cooking class from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.


After enjoying the lunch that you have prepared, you will have free time in the afternoon. 


The group can relax or opt to choose additional activities and tours offered in our ' Additional Activities' program.


Day Six - Thursday 


Today starts with a Market Tour in the morning by 8:00 am at the Florence PIAZZA MERCATO CENTRALE 26R 


Once you return to the cooking school you will start your fifth cooking class from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.


Optional Tour activities in the morning after the Market Tour followed by an evening class depending upon group’s preference. 



Day Seven - Friday


Evening Cooking Class from 4pm to 8pm  with dinner following.


The purpose of today's culinary program will be the preparation of the farewell dinner for the entire group - partners welcome of course! You will also learn an interesting presentation of an 'apperitivo'.


At the grand finale dinner participants will be presented with a certificate of attendance. 


Day Eight - Saturday - Arriverderci!


Buon viaggio! Check out by 11am.


*Please note that the program outlined is a guide and the order of the days may change due to seasons, weather, public holidays, etc. Some cooking classes may start in the afternoon instead of the morning which will provide you dinner and also leave you much of the day free to relax or enjoy additional activities. 


*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc.


*Menus are samples and may vary according to the season







Cooking classes usually begin at 9:00am or 10:00am with lunch as your meal but please inquire if you would be interested in an afternoon class instead with dinner as your meal (class beginning at 4:00pm or 5:00pm).


GENERAL " Classes are held nearly every weekday and then weekends upon request. The classes are held in one of the two kitchens on the estate -  there is a kitchen in the villa and the other in the medieval castle of the estate in the Torre. The chefs are all native Tuscans who speak very good English. The classes are a mix of hands on and demonstration and run from 3-12 people. As there are two kitchens on the estate we can cater to larger groups, up to about 28 people.We have two levels for our single day classes – Introductory & Full Immersion. Both the classes include a HUGE lunch and wine all day.


We can also provide transport to and from the villa estate from a central meeting point in the center of Florence for the cost of 10€ per person round trip to be paid in Italy. NOTE – PICK UP IS NOT FROM HOTELS


The 4 hour Introductory Class is an introduction to Italian foods with a focus on Tuscan cuisine. You will make antipasto, first course (usually fresh pasta with a sauce), second course with a side dish, and dessert accompanied by coffee. All participants receive a 150 Tuscan recipe book.


The 5 hour Full Immersion Class takes this a step further, it is a 5 course class and focuses on stuffed pastas such as ravioli, coloring pasta, more sauces, how to make a perfect risotto beginning with making the broth, second courses of meat/game with one or two side dishes and of course dessert. We also include a 150 page cookbook for the full immersion class and apron.


You don't have to be an advanced cook to take either of these classes. You will spend more time learning how to prepare more complex dishes but the chefs will guide you through the entire program.




If you wanted to participate in a multiple day class we can also offer those and really customise the menu to suit the groups likes and dislikes. These are always Advanced classes, so we can cover much more in the extra time. We can customize the program to really suit what you would like to learn and each days' menu is completely different.






 'Mezza Luna' with zucchini and pesto

Eggplant  Parmesan

Pasta fresca – tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms

Baked pork loin marinated with oranges and cooked with scallions and fennel

Ricotta Cake   



 Crostini Toscani

Parmesan baskets filled with a seasonal salad

Risotto with Zucchini and Fresh Zucchini Flowers

Veal broth

Potato gnocchi drizzled with truffle oil

Etruscan Chicken

Individual tiramisù    



 Stuffed & Fried Zucchini Flowers & Sage

Panzanella Summer Salad

Ravioli filled with grilled eggplant & walnutsgarnished with butter and fresh parsley

Cinghiale in Umido – Wild Boar Stew

Tuscan White Beans

Crostata Autunalle- Autumn tart    




Pear & Gorgonzola

Risotto Gnudi

Chicken Breast rolled in pancetta and sage, stuffed with artichokes & cheese

Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce


*Photos Courtesy of Jennifer D'Angelo Swain





A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 14 participants.


(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)






Closest airports and train stations:
Pisa Airport: 45 minute drive to villa
Florence Airport: 15 minute drive to villa


*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.




*Program subject to modification according to the season and by personal request.






For further inquiries or to register, click here.

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Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.




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This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE



*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.

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"Dear Jo-Ann - We just had the most amazing week. It was everything we could have hoped for and more. We are already planning a "make your own pasta party" at our house to introduce friends to the very unique flavours we tried and made! Jo-Ann, the others who came through Active Gourmet - Ed, Cathy and Kelly were all very complimentary about the service they had received from you, as were we. I was hugely impressed with your immediate attention to every detail and I will certainly recommend friends to your website if they are considering similar trips to ours." - Joneen and Ray S., Auckland, New Zealand

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