A Taste of Tuscany
Join us on a culinary and cultural adventure to the Chianti and Brunello regions of Tuscany and experience the real thing in Italian food and wine. Sample classic Tuscan dishes, take a cooking class from a local chef, walk the streets of medieval towns, visit a unique cashmere goat farm and learn about the production of Tuscan olive oil, arguably the best in the world.
We encourage members of our group to arrive in Florence a few days before the actual week in the villa starts - to relax & get over your jet lag. Debra and I will be in Florence for three nights starting on Wednesday the 10th, and can coordinate some unique things to do on Thursday and Friday for those interested. Our contacts can provide some private tours (for the Uffizi, the Acadamia, and the Vasari Corridor), and we can all meet for dinners at some of our favorite Florence restaurants.
September 10 - 17, 2016
- 7 Nights in a villa
- Breakfast each day
- Seven Dinners
- All Transportation in Tuscany
- Cooking class w/tuscan meal
- Guided trips to Tuscan towns
- Olive Oil Seminar
- Visits to area wineries and shops
Saturday – You’ll be picked up at the Florence airport around noon and driven to our villa. Once everyone has checked in, we'll make a trip to the COOP where you can stock your kitchen for the week. In the evening we’ll enjoy a group dinner at an area restaurant.
Sunday – After everyone has had breakfast, we’ll make the short drive to the village of Panzano. On the first Sunday of each month, the weekly town market held in Panzano is expanded to include artisan wares of all sorts. Basket weavers, honey producers, hand embroidered linen makers, boutique wineries and antique dealers set up booths to market their handmade goods. We’ll visit L’Antica Macelleria Cecchini, the butcher shop of the renowned Dario Cecchini. After lunch, we'll visit the town of Greve for the 2014 Chianti Classico Expo - an annual wine festival. In the evening, we’ll have dinner in the villa prepared with market purchases.
Monday - In the morning we’ll visit the village of Radda in Chianti, followed by a tour and lunch at the Chianti Cashmere goat farm. In the afternoon, we'll visit a medieval castle near Gaiole for a special wine tasting and tour. In the evening, we’ll have dinner in an area restaurant.
Tuesday - In the morning we’ll visit the village of Castellina in Chianti, followed by an olive oil tasting and lunch at Pornanino olive farm. In the afternoon, we'll visit the 13th center fortified village of Monteriggioni. In the evening, we’ll have dinner in the villa prepared by a Tuscan chef.
Wednesday – We’ll depart after breakfast for Siena, where we’ll wander the streets of the medieval city, see the Duomo, watch the world go by at a cafe in the Piazza del Campo, or explore the shops. Lunch will be on your own, followed in the afternoon with a wine tasting in a private castle. In the evening, we’ll have dinner at an area restaurant.
Thursday – We’ll get an early morning start and head to the kitchen of a Chianti chef for a cooking class and meal. The hands-on course covers traditional, home-style Tuscan and Italian recipes cooked in a friendly atmosphere. Participants prepare a complete meal (5 or more recipes) including appetizers, a pasta dish, a vegetable or meat dish and dessert, using fresh, natural, local ingredients. Each course is accompanied by the wine which best complements it. Then we all eat together! In the evening, we’ll make a light dinner in our villa.
Friday - We’ll depart after breakfast for Montalcino, where we'll have a light lunch and wine tasting at a local Brunello winery. In the afternoon, we'll tour the village of Pienza and have an exclusive pecorino cheese tasting. In the evening, we’ll have dinner at an area restaurant.
Saturday - After an early breakfast at the villa, we’ll pack up and leave for the Florence airport around 7:00AM.