Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Options: Hiking, QiGong Classes)
Tuscany, Italy - 3 or 6 nights 
Available April to October 

 

If you are looking for breathtaking views of the Tuscan hillside, a tranquil environment in which to relax and "take it all in", a traditional Tuscan property with beautifully decorated rooms, hands-on cooking classes with the option of adding some hiking, massage or QiGong classes, look no further! This program features cooking classes that take place in your hosts' personal home with their professional chef, wine tastings at two small family run wine farms, a cheese tour and an organic pasta and coffee connoisseur tour. Choose from a 3 or 6 night itinerary. Already have accommodation in Tuscany? Consider this spectacular location for a special cooking class. This tour has it all!

 

   

 

THREE AND SIX NIGHT ITINERARY

 

Day One 

 

BENVENUTI A BELLA ITALIA!

 

You will be collected from the local train station with arrival to the property between 3pm and 7pm. (For different arrival times please inquire so we can arrange). Get settled into your home for the week and relax before enjoying a welcome aperitif with your fabulous hosts with a short briefing about the schedule for your stay.

 

Your hosts will share with you the history about your surroundings and welcome you the Italian way.

 

Dinner on your own this evening, perhaps down in the village at a typical local restaurant or to a nearby restaurant within walking distance. 

 

Day Two 

 

COOKING CLASS & WINERY VISIT

 

Enjoy a delicious organic breakfast from 9:00am-10:30am, a sweet and savory buffet, including homemade cakes, pies, cookies, bruschettas, vegetables, fresh fruits, jam, honey, 0 km cereals, yogurt, milk, ham & pecorino cheeses from local small producers, homemade bread and focaccia, eggs freshly prepared according to your choice by our Chef, fruit juice and a choice of teas, herbal teas, espresso, cappuccino, American coffee & latte. 

 

Today is your first Themed cooking class from 11am-1pm followed by lunch together with your hosts. The experience ends at 3pm. 

 

Theme of the class : “Tagliatelle & Ravioli”

 

Lunch Menu: 

 

~Starter : eggplant and pecorino tower with rucola salad, grana and cherry tomatoes
~Two (2) first courses (made during the class): tagliatelle with fresh tomato sauce, and ravioli filled with vegetables & ricotta cheese, in butter & sage sauce
-~Dessert : mousse al cioccolato 

 

Learn the secrets of Tuscan cooking where passion for food is the traditional first ingredient. You will discover “hands in the dough” authentic recipes, and all the rituals of our tradition, that will delight your guests back home. 

 

Time to relax followed by a wine tasting experience with abundant buffet at a TOP local winery (from 4pm-7pm): We visit the cellar and the vineyards - depending on the season. We are pleased to have you discover one of the best cellars for an amazing tasting session. We offer visits to small family run wine farms, to grant you the authenticity and excellence of the tasting experience. 

 

Dinner on your own this evening although you probably won't need it after this experience!

 

Day Three 

 

CHEESE TASTING & BAGNO VIGNONI

 

Organic Breakfast from 9:00am-10:30am.

 

Today you will enjoy a cheese tasting experience from 12pm-4pm at a local cheese farm, with a stop at Bagno Vignoni for an Italian coffee on the way back home. Your hosts buy their cheese from this small but awesome cheese maker which is no doubt one of the best in the area. They offer 30 different types of cheeses made with the milk of their 100 sheep. We will taste 8 different cheeses and freshly made ricotta (still warm) with bread, wine and ...optionally also water!

 

Later we stop to visit the little Roman-Etruscan jewel Bagno Vignoni, a fascinating village characterized by a superb medieval thermal bath in the middle of the main square, a profusion of restaurants and cafés in a delightful pedestrian environment, and hot springs with water cascading along the side of the hill, from outside the village at the top, to the woods at the foot of the hill. The water is used to treat rheumatism, skin problems, and to heal fractures. Free time and dinner on your own.
 

Day Four 

 

ORGANIC PASTA & COFFEE CONNOISSEUR TOUR & WINERY VISIT

 

Organic Breakfast from 9:00am-10:30am followed by check-out at 11am for those on the 3 night program. 

 

For those on the 6 night program, today you will experience an Organic Pasta & Coffee Connoisseur Tour with themed lunch from 11:30am-3:30pm. An organic farm with a long family tradition in the production of different types of grains and its own stone mill, awaits us in the heart of Valdorcia. We will witness grains turn into the most amber-colored and mineral rich pasta. At lunch, we will enjoy this tasty pasta together. 

 

After lunch we will sip the real artisanal coffee at a selected Torrefazione nearby, smelling the roasting of coffee and tasting the best pairings with pastries and chocolate. The best way to learn the tricks to prepare a coffee for every occasion with the moka, the napoletana, shaken, corretto, cappuccino...

 

Wine tasting experience at another TOP local winery (from 5:00pm-8pm). We are pleased to have you visit the cellar of another awesome producer for a new unforgettable tasting session.  

 

Dinner on your own this evening.

 

Day Five 

 

COOKING CLASS & FREE TIME

 

Organic Breakfast from 9:00am-10:30am.

 

Themed Cooking Class from 11am-1pm followed by lunch together. The experience ends at 3pm. 

 

Theme of the class : “Focaccia & the Art of Frying”

 

Lunch Menu: 

 

~Starter : caprese
~3 types of fried dishes, made with different batters
~2 Types of focaccia 
~Dessert : cantucci cookies & vin santo (a traditional liquorous dessert wine)

 

Relax with free time and dinner on your own.

 

Day Six 

 

COOKING CLASS & FAREWELL DINNER

 

Organic Breakfast from 9:00am-10:30am

 

Free time to relax or explore the area on your own.

 

Classic Cooking Class from 4:30pm-7:30pm followed by Farewell Dinner together with your hosts.

 

Dinner Menu: 

 

~Starter : Vegetable Pie on a bed of Pecorino (=sheep cheese) Cream
~First Course : Pici w/ragù (meat sauce) of the Chef
~Second Course : Oven roasted pork loin, roasted potatoes with laurel
~Dessert : Tiramisù

 

Day Seven 

 

Organic Breakfast from 9:00am-10:30am

 

Check-out by 11am.

 

Buon viaggio with hopes you had an experience of a lifetime in the Tuscan countryside!

 

 

 

*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

 

NON RESIDENTIAL COOKING CLASS

 

We will also organize cooking classes for non-residential guests (guests not staying at the villa) who wish to have a unique experience, at one of the most breathtaking places you might visit in Tuscany. The magnificent view over the ancient Crete Senesi landscape and the village of Montalcino complement the perfect silence which only the harmonious sounds of nature make even more magical along with the colors that lighten the sky like a painter’s strokes.

 

The cooking classes are held in the large, elegant and comfy kitchen in the property owners' private part of the villa, a 300 year old former farmhouse which was completely restored in 2005 respecting the local taste and local traditions. 

 

The lesson starts at 10:30 am and ends at 1pm. The whole experience concludes with everyone having lunch together, as you savor the product of your own new acquired expertise, and if you wish you will accompany the owners to their wine cellar to choose some excellent wines to accompany your meal, with the experience ending around 3pm. Note: Wines are not included in the cooking class. There will be a small introduction about the area's wines (Rosso and Brunello from Montalcino). Wines by the glass are also available.

 

This “slow travel adventure” is a fun and informal hands-on experience, which allows the participants to experiment with the different processes and to discover the “real deal” tricks from traditional Tuscan (and Italian) cuisine. The lesson is enthusiastically led by the villa owner and villa Chef, an insanely talented cook who has culinary creativity in her genes.

 

All the ingredients used for the cooking classes are healthily grown, from small local producers, and are sustainable food, with some of the vegetables coming right from the villa's own organic garden. 

 

The repertoire of the menu you will be taught to cook varies from handmade pastas (traditional Tuscan pici, filled ravioli in different sauces), easily prepared starters, frying secrets, the ideal seasoning and preparing of succulent cuts of meat, the best use of Mediterranean herbs, spices and extra virgin olive oil (produced by the owners), to the art of making the most popular desserts like panna cotta, tiramisù and cantucci cookies.

 

This culinary event takes you way beyond your common tourist experience. It opens the doors to a real Tuscan private home and delivers invaluable insider secrets on how to create delicious, authentic Italian dishes yourself, while having lots of fun in a stunning venue.

 

 

 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES (PLEASE INQUIRE IF YOU'D LIKE TO ADD ANY OF THE FOLLOWING TO YOUR PROGRAM)

 

(*) 50 min Shiatsu Massage

(*) 50 min Deep Tissue Massage

(*) 50 min Ayurvedic Massage

 

(**) Tai-Chi-Qi-Gong session 45 min : Energy rebalancing. It consists of health-improving movements based on ancient Chinese medicine. Through breathing and movements we harmonize the flow of QI (energy) in the body, thus boosting and obtaining peace of mind, emotional balance and physical strength. It works on all body levels: muscles, lymph, blood and inner organs. This practice suits people of all ages because it can be adapted to individual needs.

(**) Hike to Monte Oliveto Maggiore, difficulty: medium, 2hrs. Breakfast at 8:30. Departure at 9:30am. We visit the Abbey, a magnificent monastic complex with splendid Renaissance frescos immersed in the peace of the breathtaking landscape of the Crete Senesi, and then have lunch in the nearby village in a small family-run vintage bar which offers homemade pasta and cold cuts in a Fellini-ish fifties style setting. Back home at 3pm. 

(**) Siena Tour, guided by our officially appointed guide (to be booked in advance), or independent. Siena can be reached by train or with your own car.

 

 



GROUP SIZE

 

A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 8 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.)

 

 

 

HOW TO ARRIVE

 

Closest airports and train stations: 

 

AIRPORTS


Florence - 90 min
PIsa - 120 min
Rome - 180 min
Perugia - 120 min
 
TRAIN STATIONS


Buonconvento - 5 min
Siena - 40 min
Florence - 110 min

 

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

 

     

  

BOOKING INFORMATION

 

2020 Fees Per Person

 

THREE NIGHT PROGRAM

 

Double Room/US$975
Single Occupancy/US$1325
Suite Supplement on Double Occupancy/US$110 (depending on availability)
Suite Supplement on Single Occupancy/US$195 (depending on availability)

 

SIX NIGHT PROGRAM

 

Double Room/US$1975
Single Occupancy/US$2725
Suite Supplement on Double Occupancy/US$195 (depending on availability)
Suite Supplement on Single Occupancy/US$375 (depending on availability)

 

 

NON RESIDENTIAL COOKING CLASS/US$235

 

*Please inquire about lower pricing for parties of 4 or more

   

*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation

 

Deposit

After availability is confirmed, a 30% per person deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date. 

2020 Dates

 

Available April 9 to November 2 based on availability. Dates may be flexible. Please inquire.

Included

THREE NIGHT PROGRAM

 

*Arrival and departure transfer from/to local train station
*Three (3) nights' accommodation with en-suite bathroom
*Daily breakfast
*One (1) hands-on cooking class with meal
*Guided excursions/visits as per itinerary with transport

 

SIX NIGHT PROGRAM

 

*Arrival and departure transfer from/to local train station
*Six (6) nights' accommodation with en-suite bathroom
*Daily breakfast
*Three (3) hands-on cooking classes with meals
*Guided excursions/visits as per itinerary with transport

 

NON RESIDENTIAL COOKING CLASS

 

*Hands- on cooking class with villa chef
*Lunch of your creations with water and apertif (sparkling prosecco)

NOT INCLUDED

 

Airfare, personal expenses and purchases, drinks (except for wine at wine tasting), transfers, car rental, any tips, any lunches/dinners on your own that are not mentioned as included in the above itinerary, any entry tickets, optional activities not listed in itinerary (i.e. hike to Monte Oliveto Maggiore, QiGong, Siena guided tour, massages). Wine is also not included for the lunch non-residential cooking class.


 

 

For further inquiries or to register, click here.

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CANCELLATION POLICY

 

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

 


CLIENT REMARKS

 

Andrea C., Fargo, North Dakota

"Our entire group had a fabulous time. From the hosts, to the chef, to the accommodations, we could not have been more satisfied. I would do it all over again, in a heartbeat. A truly memorable trip was had by all!"

 

Laura G., Buffalo, New York

"I contacted Active Gourmet Holidays to help coordinate a cooking class in Tuscany for a group of twelve friends as part of a week long trip to Italy. Jo-Ann found the most beautiful location - a restored villa near Montalcino. After driving up their cypress lined driveway, our hosts greeted us with prosecco and taught us how to make seven different dishes in their own authentic Tuscan kitchen under the guidance of their personal chef and assistant. As we were finishing preparing the meal, our hosts invited us to their wine cellar to choose wines for our outdoor lunch. We dined with our wonderful hosts on their terrace with a view of the rolling hills and Montalcino in the background. It was one of our favorite days - one that we'll never forget. Thank you, Jo-Ann, for connecting us with our hosts and making this day so special.

 

 

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MAP*

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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A TASTE OF PERU FOR FOODIES

"Thank you so much for organising what turned out to be the holiday of a lifetime. Everything was first class from the luxury accommodation and transportation to our fantastic tour guides and spectacular excursions. While we went without a true understanding of Peruvian cuisine, we were blown away by the variety and quality of the produce and techniques used in the restaurants selected for us. We are already looking on the website for our next destination!" - Brenda A. and Lynne A., Glasgow, Scotland

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