Cooking Vacations in Italy
This is an excellent way to combine travel with a chance to explore the delights of the table in this land of fine wine and food. Enjoy six nights in a country home in the lush countryside of Tuscany, high in the hills overlooking the picturesque valley below, serene and tranquil, surrounded by olive trees and vineyards. Check in once and enjoy the comforts of home with an Italian flavor. Learn firsthand about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet rich with seafood, pasta, fresh vegetables, olive oil and garlic. Partake in hands-on instruction by a culinary expert and renown English-speaking chef. Courses are designed for enthusiastic amateurs, gourmets and anyone who appreciates food, wine and cooking. Immerse yourself in the lifestyle and culture of the warm Italians as you learn easy-to- prepare signature dishes from bountiful Tuscany. What makes this culinary vacation so rewarding is it is taught in English by a chef who is familiar with American tastes and lifestyles. Her insights in the foods and culture of this intriguing region are invaluable.
Day 1 Montecatini, Italy
Arrive in Montecatini, the famous spa town in the heart of Tuscany. Meet other participants and enjoy a welcome dinner of regional specialties. (D)
Day 2 Farmer's Market & Cooking Class
Stroll among the locals at the weekly Farmer's Market of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Visit the spa town of Montecatini renowned for its therapeutic waters, parks, boutiques and funicular. Afternoon class of vegetable preparation and antipastos for our evening meal. (B,D)
Day 3 Pasta Class, Cheese-making and Vinci
Morning class on history of pasta and regional sauces resulting in a variety of dishes made by participants. Afternoon visit to Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo Di Vinci and the popular museum of his inventions. Visit to local cheese maker to see traditional way of making mozzarella and ricotta. Taste fresh samples. Dinner at the Villa. (B,D)
Day 4 Ceramics, Spa Visit and Creative Cooking
Visit to famous ceramic workshop and showroom of the Taccini family that has been creating works of art since the 1200's. Afternoon visit to the Grotto Giusti Spa to relax in the stalagmite caverns. Optional mud baths, massages and facials available too. Back at the villa we will challenge our creativity by making quick, simple, and nutritious dishes for the evening dinner. (B,D)
Day 5 Chocolate Factory & Dessert Class
Morning visit to Slitti, first prize winner of the International Chocolate Competition in Paris 1996, for chocolate demonstration and famous coffee blends. Lunch back at the villa followed by making Italian desserts using Slitti's prize winning chocolate and fresh made ricotta. Dinner at villa. (B,D)
Day 6 Fish & Meat Class and Wine Tasting
Morning class on easy fish, meat and baked pasta dishes using the wood burning oven. Lunch at the villa followed by afternoon visit to local winery for Chianti wine tasting and discussions with local vintner. Farewell dinner of our favorite dishes. (B,D)
Day 7 Reviews and Farewells
Following breakfast a short review of the basics covered during the week before our farewells. Transfer to the Montecatini rail station for your onward connection. You may choose to extend in another city or perhaps visit the Italian Lakes or Riviera.(B)
Accommodations: The villa provides old country charm and comfort with modern amenities. All rooms are decorated with antiques and queen or twin size beds. TV, phones, fax services available. Pool on the premises, golf and tennis nearby.
Rates Include: All cooking instruction, sightseeing, special tours, comfortable accommodations, two meals a day, entrance to Grotto Guisti, transportation to & from all scheduled activities and Montecatini train station. Taxes and service charges.
Excluded: Golf, spa treatments, fax and telephone charges, personal items.
Transfers: There are easy 30 minute train connections to and from Montecatini and Florence or Pisa airports. Transfers provided to and from rail station to the villa. Private transfer from airport to the villa can be arranged in advance at a cost of $25 per person each way.
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Class is limited to 14. Book early.
Dates available on request!
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