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Italy, Tuscany – Cooking Week in Italy

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From AUD: $3,699

Duration: 8 Days

Offer Expires: Dec 31, 2020

Short Description

Immerse yourself for a week long cooking experience of Tuscan cuisine. Explore the best if region's hilltop towns and medieval villages, from the base of your charming villa.

This culinary program has been designed for lovers of Tuscany and all that it represents – the charming medieval towns, the centuries old traditions, the people and their culture, the art, and of course, the great food and wine!! We have spent time with our chefs to create a week dedicated to the secrets and traditions of Tuscan cookery and participants will spend many hands on hours perfecting the skills of Tuscan cooking in the original kitchen of the 14th
century 'Villa Pandolfini'. During the week you will have a wonderful 'Introduction to Tuscan Cuisine'. We will discuss the history of the Tuscan diet, typical dishes, Tuscan bread, peasant foods, and how the gastronomy has changed throughout the medieval and renaissance periods until modern times.

Day 1 Saturday
Arrival to the Villa Pandolfini Estate in the afternoon
Settle into your accommodation. Welcome dinner with the organizers and villa owners in the main estate kitchen. A fun and easy way to get to know everyone including your hosts and chefs.

Day 2 Sunday
Full Day Excursion Southern Tuscany
Breakfast at a local pastry shop , visit to magnificent medieval hill top towns such as Pienza/Bagno Vignoni -thermal bath /lunch in a typical trattoria/ short visit to Montalcino/a Brunello wine tasting and cellar tour. Back for a real Italian pizza in the local Pizzeria.

Day 3 Monday
Cooking Day # 1 at 3pm
Free morning to relax, enjoy the grounds and pool or go to Florence. Afternoon cooking class finishing with a 5 course dinner.

Day 4 Tuesday
Florence market & historical tour, lunch and then free time / museums. Dinner at the local 'Villa Caruso' First stop - breakfast at the local bakery - Cappuccino and fresh pastries galore!! . Off to Florence to meet your guide for a historic tour before the tour of the central food markets where you will witness a real part of Florentine history. The Florentines have been enjoying this market for centuries and it is the best way to see so much fresh produce, meat, fish all at one time and have the opportunity to also taste and purchase products. Lunch at a charming little Osteria. Free time to shop and explore the city or to visit the Uffizi Gallery. Driver transfer back to the villa and then a memorable dinner at the 'Villa Caruso' where Enrico Caruso, the opera singer lived. It is a stunning property located 5 mins from Villa Pandolfini where you can enjoy the gardens and lovely grounds and feel like you are being taken back in time.

Day 5 Wednesday
Cooking Day # 2 at 9am
Free afternoon to do additional tours such as Chianti & San Gimignano/truffle hunting (from Oct – Dec), a day trip to Rome/Cinque Terre/Venice/Lucca & Pisa/Siena & San Gimignano/Florence.

Day 6 Thursday
Cooking Class # 3 at 10am
You will have a free evening to relax , enjoy the pool or take an excursion, make a light dinner / platter and have a glass of wine and laughs with your new friends in your villa.

Day 7 Friday
Local tour of one of the Medici Residence's in Poggio A Caiano, Artimino a medieval
hamlet and a Ceramics Factory. If you prefer we can do a local wine tasting instead of the villa or the ceramics. We will leave around 9am to have coffee & pastries then to a nearby ceramic factory to see how they paint and produce the beautiful Tuscan ceramics. We will then drive through the countryside of Carmignano to Poggio A Caiano where will will do a tour of a Medici Villa, the villa was built for Lorenzo the Magnificent and was an architectural triumph for the period late 1400's. Lunch will then be at the picturesque hamlet of Artimino which overlooks an imposing Medici Villa, originally one of their hunting lodges. The menu here is wonderful and it really is one of the prettiest spots in all of Tuscany. Back to villa to pack and freshen up for the cooking class.
Cooking Class #4 - The class will start at 5pm. Tonight you will enjoy your last cooking class but you are also tasked with the preparation of the farewell dinner for the group including your hosts and the villa owners. Everyone will be dining together in the villa's kitchen and there will also be musical entertainment.

Day 8 Saturday – 'Checkout'. Often we have cooking classes on Saturday if you would like to do an extra one before you go OR do a extension with further activities and classes.

Please bear in mind that the program outlined is a guide and the order of the days may change due to seasons some cooking classes may start in the afternoon instead of the morning which will provide you dinner and also leave you the most part of the day free to relax or enjoy additional activities.

Four x 5 hour immersion cooking classes with our Italian/English speaking chefs
Seven nights at Villa Pandolfini Estate with maid service everyday but Sunday
Welcome basket containing fruit, yogurt, cereal, bread, prosciutto, cheeses, juice, coffee, tea, wine etc.
Welcome dinner by the estate's chef in the 13th Century Villa Pandolfini with your fellow participants
Full day Southern Tuscany villages & wine excursion
Most lunches & dinners each day at excellent restaurants and well researched trattorias
Florence day with historic guide, food market tour, lunch & dinner
Full day culture tour ceramics/ Medici villa tour / Artimino
Signature 'Villa Pandolfini' apron
150 page Tuscan recipe book in English

Transfer to the estate, tips and gratuities, rental car, personal items purchased during your stay, phone calls, additional maid service, wine and oil purchases, occasional meals and then any of the optional activities listed above.
Internet keys are also available for hire at €15 per week plus usage which is based on a per hour rate. We can
normally also arrange a cell phone hire for you.

Additional Activities
Extra cooking classes
Art classes – Water colour or oil
Painting, drawing, egg tempera
Horseback Riding
Italian language lessons
Additional wine tastings
Additional cultural & guided tours
A day in Rome with a guide
A day in Cinque Terre
A day in Venice with a guide

Additional activities will of course depend both on availability and if you have enough free time


Departure Date
Each Saturday May to October
Outside of these months it's possible to be flexible - just check with us for availability

$3599 per person twin/double share room with private bathroom
$3065 (for non-cooking participant)
$485 single supplement for own room but not necessarily own bathroom

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