Tuscany, Italy - 7 nights
Available April to November - Sunday to Sunday
Learn to cook in a spectacular, recently restored villa set in the hillsides close to Arezzo. There is a truffle estate surrounding the villa, making it famous in the area and wonderful for seeing how truffles are found and of course how to prepare these in many wonderful dishes.
The original villa dates back to before 1700 and over the centuries pieces have been added on as the community grew. The owners have incorporated twenty first century luxury such as top class finishing, beautiful floors with marble inlay, marble bathrooms and all the modern comforts without damaging the beautiful original Tuscan charm. The villa is very secluded with a view that seems to go on forever. Yet it is close to Arezzo (15 minutes) and Cortona (30 minutes) with Florence and Siena being about an hour away. The villa lies on an estate of about 120 hectare and is surrounded by truffle land which grows under Hazelnut and Oak trees. Apple orchards and a Deer farm are also part of the estate and make walks around the area truly beautiful. Behind the villa is a lake with breathtaking views of the surrounding hills.
The villa has 12 double bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms. In the “Torre” (tower) part of the villa there are five bedrooms all en-suite with bath and shower and a large communal lounge with a computer, internet access area, kitchenette and television.
In the west wing there are three apartments each with two or three bedrooms en-suite and each with a lounge area for communal use. The accommodation has been comfortably furnished with great attention for detail. All the romantic bedrooms have adjoining stylish marbled bathrooms with bath and shower.
Living areas all have fireplaces and a kitchenette. The large private outdoor area has many different possibilities. The "piazza" is set up between the Torre wing and the west wing of the villa and the two wings are connected with an arch where breakfast will be served and dinners if weather permits.
The cantina, bar, dining room and lounge open out in this square making it a wonderful space to meet and dine together. The view will make you speechless! From the Piazza you can walk 20 meters down to the swimming pool and sauna/fitness areas. The pool has been built on a plateau. Down here is the solar heated swimming pool (15 x 8m) with baby pool, Jacuzzi, hydro massage and jet stream features.
Other features include a hot tub made out of a wine barrel, a sauna, steam room and fitness area. The pool area is equipped with garden furniture and a barbecue. This breathtaking spot looks out on the hills and valleys and extensive woods and is the ideal place to relax and enjoy nature.
Your Cooking Lessons
Your chef, Franco, will choose dishes that you can easily make at home using ingredients that generally can be found in most specialty or general stores. You will have cooking lessons on four of the days with enough time to relax and enjoy the surroundings or to do some sight seeing in the area. Learn to make complete four- course Italian dinners covering all the basic Italian cooking techniques. You will make a wide range of antipastas including crostinis, bruschetta and torte verdura, to mention but a few.
You will make your own gnocchi and roll out your own pasta - the authentic way with typical Tuscan fillings and delicious sauces. On top of that you will learn to make pizza which is baked in our own wood burning pizza oven. Meat dishes include Wild Boar with polenta, Tagliata with green pepper sauce and baked vegetables and much much more. Desserts include Franco’s warm lemon pie with Italian meringue.
Franco believes that the only way to learn to cook is to do it yourself. While he will demonstrate the techniques, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and put what you have seen into practice. The lessons are informal and your chef is flexible and willing to add those special dishes you always wanted to learn to make.
It is also possible to bring along a non-participating partner who can spend the day enjoying the surroundings, sightseeing or playing golf and could then join the group at dinnertime and join in the excursion.
Arrival at Florence airport. Transfers can be arranged from Florence airport on request so please inquire.
Check in at the villa is from 4pm onwards
Enjoy a welcome dinner at 8pm.
Enjoy breakfast with the morning to relax and enjoy your new surroundings at the villa
A light lunch will be served for those guests that are present
Partake in your first cooking lesson starting at 3pm.
Dinner follows the cooking lesson.
Buffet breakfast followed by a morning free for sightseeing or relaxing or booking a massage
Light lunch for those who are present
Your second cooking class starts at 3:00 followed by dinner
Breakfast followed by departure for your full day culinary excursion with a tour leader who speaks English fluently and will guide you to the source of Tuscan culinary specialties.
You will get the opportunity to explore the charming town of Arezzo for some shopping and sightseeing, pay a visit to a wine estate for a wine tasting and make your way to Anghiari by driving through the breathtaking Tuscan countryside to an olive oil mill, complete with olive oil tasting and lunch. You will visit a sheep and goat farm that makes fragrant pecorino cheese.
Back to the villa after an exciting, fun-filled day to have a light, informal dinner.
Breakfast followed by a morning free for sightseeing or relaxing at the villa
Light lunch for those who are present
Your third cooking lesson starts at 3pm
Today is a free day and on this day only breakfast is served. After breakfast you have the day to yourselves to do some sightseeing or just enjoy the peaceful surroundings. This is an ideal day to take a trip to Florence or Siena for shopping and sightseeing
Our guide can organize and accompany your group on excursions in the area. You also have the option to stay at the villas and relax at the pool or take a dip in the Hot Tub.
Lunch and dinner reservations can be made at a restaurant of your choice.
Breakfast followed by a morning free for sightseeing or taking a walk in the countryside.
Light lunch for those who are present
Your final cooking lesson will start at 3pm
You prepare an elaborate dinner covering all the cooking techniques you have learned during the week and more. Presentation of food will be demonstrated.
Breakfast followed by check-out around 10:00am
*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
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 12 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
Florence Airport - 1 hour and 15 minutes
Pisa Airport - 2 hours and 15 minutes
Rome Airport - 3 hours
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
Non-participating guest/US$2600 (double occupancy for accommodation)
Non participating guests are welcome on the excursion and can use all the facilities at the villa and join in all the meals.
**All bedrooms have private bathrooms
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 30% deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. The balance must be received in full 75 days before the course commences.
Please inquire regarding available dates
*Breakfast daily, lunch and dinner as presented in the itinerary
*Seven (7) nights' accommodation and use of all facilities of the villa
*Four (4) cooking lessons of approximately 4 hours each
*Full-day culinary excursion including lunch and dinner
*Cookbook, apron and certificate after completion Italian cooking holiday
*Superb Tuscan wines during dinner, liquors for after dinner
*House wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee are freely available
*Email, Internet and Telephone facilities available
*Transfers to/from the airport (can be arranged)
**We can arrange transfer to and from airport on request; however we recommend car hire, because if you do not want to relax around the pool, you do have time to explore the area. We can help you with suggestions as there are many places with great historical value and beauty in the area. The villa is an 8 minute drive from the closest village so quite remote.
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Furnished upon request.
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.