The Unplugged Collection - Tuscany™

Cooking & Spa In The Chef’s Villa~8 Day

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Join Executive Chef Salvatore at his 18th century Villa for hands-on cooking in enchanting Tuscany.

This elegant property will sweep away into a dreamy world of food, wine and cooking.  Set in a natural ridge that separates the Chiana Valley, the Villa is surrounded by green hills and the sound of nature that were celebrated by Dante.  Luxurious and charming, cozy and warm describe this one-of-a-kind property. The countryside setting in the heartland of Tuscany makes it a short ride and easy drive to Siena, Cortona, and Montepulciano.

Chef Salvatore is your teacher, and this Executive Chef will show you how turning Tuscan traditions into new renditions with a twist.  In each hands-on cooking class you will prepare an antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert.  Known as the great Chef with a great heart, you will learn how to slice, dice, mix, knead and plate classic traditions that can easily be recreated in your own home kitchen.  Our Chef is a native of Grosseto, and therefore his knowledge on local produce and his relationships with purveyors, adds a special touch to all the foods you will prepare.  Join Chef Salvatore in his hands-on cooking paired with award-winning Tuscan wines, olive oils at the Villa.

Cooking Classes

Executive Chef Salvatore leads you through hands-on cooking classes from appetiser to dessert in classic Tuscan traditions. Lunch or dinner follows on the foods prepared in class. Local wine, water and caffè included.  Cooking classes include foods of the season with sample menus such as:

Classes focus on traditional recipes and foods of the season with menus such as:


Country Eggplant Fattoressa-style
Malfatti homemade pasta with vegetables
Roasted stuffed coniglio
Panna cotta flavored with vanilla or orange flavor or apple cinnamon

Spelt salad with baby vegetables &
Pienza Pecorino cheese & Balsamico
Pici, handmade Pasta with fresh tomatoes & basil
Fillet Chianina Beef with Scalogno and new Chianti DOCG wine
Zuccotto Fiorentino with wild berry sauce

Fegatini Tuscan Croutons
Two-colored Cappellacci handmade pasta with Ricotta & spinach
Hunter’s-style Cinta Senese, pork, from the Sienese Hills

Menus vary and are based on the season’s best local flavors. Menus may be tailored to accommodate any type of diet restriction or food allergy, including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan.


The estate is located in the heart of southern Tuscany, south of Siena. Traveling south from Siena you come to the Crete Senesi, the lunar landscape of exposed clay and craters, among the lush greens of the olive groves producing DOP olive oils, vineyards and cypress trees. Neighboring is the dormant volcano Monte Amiata, the Chiana Valley, famous for its white breed of cattle, the chianina, Montepulciano, home to Italy’s famous award-winning wines and the Val d’Orcia.


Tuscany, The Villa ~ Accommodations

Step into the 18th century Villa and relax.  Private bedroom and bath rooms look out onto the ridge overlooking the Chiana valley. The estate has been carefully restored to reflect the ancient splendor of the rural surrounding villas enveloped by cobbled streets, flower gardens and olive groves. Take a swim in the outdoor swimming pool, hydro-massage tub (in season), or take to the courts for a little tennis.  Horseback riding is available on the property, as well as bikes for peddling through the Tuscan hills.

Each room is furnished with fine bed furnishings and has a private bathroom. Tuscan style furniture adorns each room, along with artistic details that add a warm charm. Each room’s bedroom windows open onto sweeping views that overlook the rolling hills of Montalcino, Monte Amiata, and the Crete Senesi. The morning sunrises filled with a hazy mist and touching upon the green land surrounding grounds look like a Michelangelo painting. If you need to keep in touch with the real world, there is an Internet point & meeting rooms.

Itinerary: 8 Days, 7 Nights

Day 1: Arrival and Welcome Tasting Dinner

  • Arrival and check in.
  • Meet your hosts and relax.
  • In the evening, your Chef’s Tasting Welcome Dinner featuring a Tuscan Tasting Menu. Dine on Tuscan cuisine with wine, water and caffè included.

Day 2: Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Meet Chef Salvatore for your first hands-on cooking class where you will prepare an antipasto, pasta, main  course and dessert.
  • Lunch follows and everyone dines on the foods that were prepared in class. Local wine, water and caffè included.
  • The afternoon is free to relax by the pool, take a stroll along the olive groves and woods, try your luck at sport fishing in the lake or pick up for a match of tennis.
  • Dinner served in the evening in the restaurant at the estate, with a seasonal soup as your first course. Local wine, water and caffè included.

Day 3: Val D’Orcia~ Brunello di Montalcino & Abbazia di Sant’Antimo

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Spend the day in the Val d’Orcia starting after breakfast with a transfer to the Bagno Vignoni. This spa town has a medieval swimming pool in the town piazza.
  • Continue to Montalcino to visit the fortress, the Piazza del Popolo, the Town Hall, with time to enter the museums if desired, and of course, a visit to the cellar of Brunello wine, the best of Tuscany.
  • Light lunch in a traditional Montalcino ristorante, raise your glass and fill it to the rim with Brunello wine with lunch.
  • After lunch, visit the Abbazia di Sant’Antimo, a 12th century abbey set among the olive groves. French, Lombard and even Spanish influences are visible in the façade and interior of the abbey. The alabaster columns date from the 9th century and monks fill the abbey with resounding Gregorian chants throughout the day.
  • Return to the estate in the afternoon take time to relax, take a swim or walk the gardens.
  • Dinner served in the evening à la carte from the restaurant at the estate. Local wine, water and caffè included.

Day 4: Monte Oliveto, Tasting & Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, transfer to Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Visit the 14th century abbey, founded by Benedictine monks. To reach the abbey, pass through the heart of the Crete Senesi. Inside the abbey, don’t miss the cloister, painted with frescoes by Sodoma and Signorelli, the church, the library and the presepe, nativity scene.
  • Return to the estate for a tasting of typical Tuscan products from Pecorino cheese straight from the Crete to local salami and cured meats. Beverages included.
  • In the afternoon, meet Chef Salvatore for your second hands-on cooking class where you will prepare an antipasto, pasta, main  course and dessert.
  • Dinner follows and everyone dines on the foods that were prepared in class. Local wine, water and caffè included.

Day 5: Visit Siena~ Home Of The Palio

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, transfer to Siena, traveling through the Crete Senesi, and its diverse and wonderful landscape.
  • Visit the city of Siena, the Piazza del Campo, home of the famous medieval horse race, the Palio, held every July, the Cathedral and museum.
  • Light lunch in a typical restaurant in the Piazza del Campo, with a complete visit of Siena in the afternoon.
  • Return to the estate in the early evening.
  • Chef’s Tasting Menu is served with red wine, Rosso di Montepulciano wine, water and caffè included.

Day 6: Noble Wine of Montepulciano & Cooking Class 3

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, transfer to Montepulciano the town of Vino Nobile, the noble wine. Visit the Tower of the Town Hall, the Temple of San Biagio and the beautiful landscape from the Val D’Orcia to the Val di Chiana and Lake Trasimeno.
  • Visit to the vineyards and the cellar of the traditional Nobile wine for a wine tasting and typical products, salami, cheeses, olive oils.
  • Return to the estate in the afternoon.
  • Meet Chef Totti for your third hands-on cooking class featuring a traditional & seasonal menu, from appetizer to dessert.
  • Dinner follows on the foods prepared in class. Local wine, water and caffè included.

Day 7: Cortona and Cooking Class 4

  • Breakfast is served.
  • After breakfast, transfer to the city of Cortona, on a hilltop overlooking the Val di Chiana. This small town was featured in Diane Lane’s ‘Under the Tuscan Sun,’ with its steep cobbled streets and sun-filled piazza.
  • Light lunch included at a local restaurant in Cortona.
  • In the afternoon, meet Chef Salvatore for your third hands-on cooking class where you will prepare an antipasto, pasta, main  course and dessert.
  • Dinner follows and everyone dines on the foods that were prepared in class. Local wine, water and caffè included.

Day 8: Departure & Arrivederci!

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Check out and departure. Arrivederci!

*Note: This schedule may vary due to inclement weather, saint days or festivals. All activities, in the event of rescheduling, are always included during the program.


Program Includes:

  • 8 days, 7 nights in class rom, based on double occupancy.
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • 4 hands-on cooking classes with lunch or dinner following, local wine, water & caffè included.
  • 4 Dinners with wine, water & caffè included.
  • Excursion to Val d’Orcia, lunch included in Montalcino.
  • Excursion to the Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore, with tastings & light lunch.
  • Excursion and guided tour of Siena, with lunch included.
  • Excursion to Montepulciano with a visit to Nobile vineyards and cellar, tastings included.
  • Morning excursion to Cortona & light lunch.
  • Cooking Vacations’ welcome bag with chef’s apron and recipe booklet.
Program Prices

$3,995 per person based 2 guests.

Superior Suites are available, please call for pricing.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. You can check in and start your cooking program any day of the week. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers, are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.


Add On Cooking Classes, Horseback Riding & More:


Horseback Riding

  • Morning departure for a half-mile country walk toward Villa dei Boschi.
  • Saddle up and start your ride through the olive trees, woods and pastures of the Tuscan countryside.
  • Return to the estate around lunchtime.
  • Lunch in a nearby trattoria.
  • In the afternoon, enjoy free time by the pool, tennis or fishing on the lake.
  • Dinner at the restaurant on the estate with a Traditional menu.

Spa Rapolano Terme

  • In the morning transfer to a luxurious Spa in Rapolano Terme. Comfort program includes Turkish bath, relaxing massage, bath in the thermal Spa pool (39-40 degrees C).
  • Light lunch at the Spa.
  • Return transfer in the late afternoon.
  • Dinner at the restaurant on the estate with a typical Tuscan menu including the famous Bistecca Fiorentina, thick Tuscan steak from the Chianina beef. Brunello di Montalcino wine, water and caffè included.

Tuscany By Bike & Cooking Class

  • Early morning departure by bike in the direction of Trequanda. Stop for a visit to a local wine cellar for a short wine tasting, then continue to the historic center of Treguanda with its fantastic church and the surrounding suburbs.
  • Go on to Chiusure to visit a small village with incredible views of the Monte Oliveto Maggiore abbey.
  • Continue toward Asciano and return to the estate. (Total ride is about 30-40 miles)
  • Light lunch included at the estate, wine, water and caffè included.
  • Afternoon cooking course with dinner following on the foods prepared in class. Wine, water and caffè included.

Olive Oil Harvest

 (Available Autumn – Dates By Request)

  • After breakfast, head to the oil mill for a day focusing on the art and harvest of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Taste typical bruschetta, toasted bread seasoned with the new olive oil fresh from the mill.
  • Return to the estate for a light lunch, included.
  • In the afternoon enjoy an olive oil tasting with a selection of D.O.P Extra Virgin olive oils. A trained olive oil expert leads you through tastings, while offering information about the olive trees, the components of the soil, and the organoleptic analysis (the acidity, peroxides, color, etc).
  • Dinner at the restaurant on the estate based on tasting the new Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, truffles of the Crete Senese, and other specialties of Autumn Tuscan cuisine.