Join us in Cortona, where Chef Netta invites you into her home and teaches you her cooking secrets and how to transform fresh local ingredients and produce into delicious Tuscan fare. Her Villa is nestled on a hilltop in the Val di Chiana amid the lush fields of grain, sunflower and lavender gardens, olive groves and vineyards. Chef Netta’s Villa sets the mood for a healthy vegetarian cooking experience in charming Cortona!
Join Chef Netta in Cortona for an extraordinary experience of cooking, touring, sipping and swirling Tuscan wines while soaking up la dolce vita, sweet life.
Learn how to mix, roll and knead the perfect dough for pizza and pasta, while transforming organic vegetables and fruits into beautiful toppings and sauces. Step into Chef Netta’s kitchen and learn how to prepare Tuscan classics, while learning the importance of regional products and many different Tuscan and Super Tuscan wines. Chef Netta’s classes are vegetarian.
And when you are not in the kitchen, our English-speaking guide takes you on an enchanting tour of Cortona’s best-loved monuments, Teatro Signorelli, Piazza della Repubblica, the Diocesan Museum home Luca Signorelli’s masterpieces, the Santa Maria Nuova church, designed by Giorgio Vasari, and Santa Maria delle Grazie, along with wine shops, leather crafters and art galleries. And when you’re not cooking, food and wine excursions with your driver takes you into the beautiful Tuscan hill towns and to wine producers and artisan cheese makers.
Chef Netta is passionate about her cooking and shares techniques with you throughout your time in the kitchen. Her passion and energy for Tuscan cuisine will have you cooking like an Italian, so roll up your sleeves and tie on your aprons for an extraordinary experience making antipasti, fresh pasta, main courses and dessert.
Chef Netta also grows her seasonal fruits and vegetables in her garden and purchases from nearby purveyors, local markets and farmers from the Tuscan hills.
After each cooking class, everyone enjoys lunch or dinner with the foods that were prepared in class. Enjoy, relax and share your cooking notes around the table. Chef Netta also loves wine and has a wine cellar stocked with over 60 of the best Italian wines.
Chef Netta’s Tuscan Menu
Ribollita – The celebrated ribollita, is a hearty soup of the countryside.
Pappa col Pomodoro – Bread and tomato soup.
Cecina – A savory chick pea pie. Tortellini di Patate – Traditional fresh pasta stuffed potato.
Schiacciata alla Fiorentina – Tuscan flat bread.
Castagnaccio – sweet chestnut cake.
Cortona is a dreamy Tuscan village and offers something for everyone. Ancient churches, a pretty piazza, wine bars, gelato shops, shopping and artisan goods! Made famous by Frances Mayes in Under The Tuscan Sun, Cortona was once part of Umbria, then became part of Tuscany.
The prevailing character of Cortona’s architecture is medieval with picturesque narrow streets set on a hillside embracing the enchanting view of the Val di Chiana. It’s a town that also cherishes its tradition. Once a year in June, the locals celebrate Medieval Week, with a procession of over 300 people wearing traditional medieval costumes while horseback riders parade through the village. Weekly local markets comes to life in the village’s piazza with venders selling traditional products, wine and goods. And, you can always sit back in any one of the local caffès, sip an espresso or vino and soak up the Tuscan sun.
Tuscany! From art, architecture and history to the seaside, mountains and most importantly, spectacular Tuscan cuisine, there is something for everyone in Tuscany. From Florence the Magnificent to charming Montepulciano, there are endless towns peppered on narrow winding roads throughout all of Tuscany.
Your stay at the boutique B&B with Chef Netta welcomes you to this secret part of Tuscany, where in addition to your cooking lessons, you will have time to soak up the charm of your peaceful surroundings.
Chef Netta’s Villa property is set in the green hills of Cortona, near to Arezzo, Monterchi, Sansepolcro, Camaldoli, Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Siena, San Gimignano and the magnificent region of Umbria. The Villa’s rooms are warm and welcoming and tastefully furnished with antiques from the 18th to 20th Century. Each bedroom has a private bathroom with daily maid service each day. Breakfast is served in the elegant dining room including homemade cakes and jams, creamy cappuccino and delightful teas, fruits grown in the garden to start your day the Tuscan way!
When you’re not cooking and touring, stroll through the garden, soak up the sun and relax. There’s a sweeping view of Monte Amiata, rolling vineyards and a beautiful swimming pool.
Listen to music, read a book from the library or simply enjoy a glass of wine by the fire in the sitting room – once the Villa’s ancient horse stable.
Itinerary ~ 6 days, 5 nights
Day One~ Arrival
- Pick up at the train station – Check in, introduction and welcome tea.
- Chef’s Tuscan Welcome dinner at the Villa – wine and beverages not included.
Day Two~ Food Lover’s Tour of Cortona & Cooking Class
- Breakfast is served.
- Transfer to Cortona and meet your guide at 10am for a Food Lover’s Walking Tour through the historic town’s center. Visit the pretty piazzas of Piazza delle Repubblica and Piazza Signorelli, then follow the ancient Etruscan city walls, and admire the sweeping views down over Lago Trasimeno. Along the way, you’ll stop in an artisan bakery learning and tasting cantucci, ricciarelli and brutti ma buoni. The tour continues with your guide and you’ll learn about Tuscan pasta such as pici. And of course, no food lover’s tour would be complete without a glass of Tuscan wine.
- Return to the Villa.
- In the early evening, get ready to mix and roll out the dough for your hands-on pizza-making class, followed by dinner. Everyone dines together and enjoys the pizzas that were prepared in class, along with other local foods. Wine and beverages are not included.
Day Three~ Visit To A Tuscan Vineyard & Cooking Class
- Breakfast is served.
- Your driver will pick you up for a visit to Tuscan vineyard just a few miles from Montepulciano. You’ll enjoy a wine tasting tour and experience a 3-course lunch.
- In the afternoon, return to the Villa for your hands-on cooking class followed by a Tuscan dinner including the foods that were prepared in class. Wine and beverages are not included.
Day Four~ Montepulciano, Pienza & Artisan Cheese Maker
- Breakfast is served.
- At 9:30am, your private driver picks you up for a full day trip through the Tuscan hills and countryside surrounding Cortona. Admire the local scenery and take photographs along the way. First stop is the artisan cheese maker where you will learn how the local cheeses are made including Pecorino cheese. Discussions and tastings included.
- Following your cheese visit, your driver continues on to Montepulciano. Explore this gorgeous Tuscan town brimming with wine shops and wine bars. Take time out to shop, visit the museums or churches.
- Following Montepulciano, your driver continues onto a Tuscan winery for a tour and tasting, learning about harvesting, winemaking and ageing techniques that make the famous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Discussions, wine tasting and light lunch are included.
- Following lunch, we head to the delightful town of Pienza with its curious trapezoidal piazza, Palazzo Piccolomini, and the Duomo. Pienza is known for its artisan cheese and cheese makers, along with artisan shops selling Italian linens and hand-painted ceramics. Return to the Villa in the afternoon.
- Dinner is on your own.
Day Five~ Explore Cortona & Arezzo
- Breakfast is served.
- Explore Cortona on your own for the day. Chef Netta offers complimentary transfers to and from her property to town. As an alternative, you can also take the train from Cortona to the beautiful town of Arezzo, Visit the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria della Pieve, the imposing Vasari Loggia and the unique, sloping Piazza Grande. This town was also featured in Roberto Benigni’s award-winning film Life Is Beautiful.
- Return to the Villa in the afternoon and dinner on your own.
Day Six~ Departure
- Breakfast is served.
- After breakfast, check out and arriverderci!
- 6 days, 5 nights accommodation.
- Daily breakfast and maid service.
- Welcome dinner including a Chef’s Tasting Menu with Tuscan fare. Wine and beverages not included.
- 2 hands-on cooking classes. Following each cooking class, lunch or dinner follows and includes the food that was prepared in the cooking class. Wine and beverages not included.
- Visit to the center of Cortona with round trip transfers with time to explore on your own.
- Wine Tour including a visit to the vineyard, cantina with wine tasting and lunch included. Driver included.
- Full-day excursion through the Tuscan countryside visiting an artisan cheese maker with a guided tour and tastings included. During the tour, take time out for lunch, included.
- Food Lover’s Tour in Cortona with English-speaking guide, discussion and food tastings included.
- Arrival and departure transfers to and from local Camucia-Cortona Train Station to the Villa.
- Cooking Vacations’ Welcome Bag with chef’s apron and recipe book.
$2,895 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room.
$3,095 per person, based on 2 guests in a suite with terrace.
For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.
*An Italian visitor tax may apply in some cities and must be paid directly on site at check out.