fbpx

Dreamy Tuscany™

Cooking in Montepulciano, Siena & Montalcino ~ 6 Days

Join us in dreamy Montepulciano on this 6-day cooking adventure at a luxury villa property set on a vineyard in the heart of Tuscany. Follow cypress-lined Tuscan roads through silvery green olive orchards as a gentle breeze fills the air.  In the near distance, you can almost reach out and touch Montepulciano. The location of the property make it an easy driver to Siena and Montalcino.

During your stay, learn how to cook classic Tuscan cuisine with Chef Maria while sipping wine made on the property. Tie on your apron in hands-on cooking classes making classic Tuscan pappardelle al ragù di cinghiale, pasta with wild boar, and pici con briciole di pane Toscano, pasta with toasted breadcrumbs. Chef Maria guides you through each class with food and cooking notes along the way while sharing her Tuscan recipes and hands-on technique.  Learn how to prepare full course menus with farm-to-table ingredients from the property.

During your stay in Tuscany, you will also discover three of the province’s most beloved medieval towns: Montepulciano, Montalcino, and Siena. Experience each town’s character and charm as you walk cobblestone streets, learn about culture, and meet the locals who welcome guests with open arms. Travel the gentle hills of the Siena province of Tuscany, stretching between the Arno River Valley and the Val di Chiana. The scenic countryside welcomes everyone with centuries-old food traditions, green vineyards, olive trees and warm Tuscan hospitality.

Tuscan Cooking Classes

Tuscan food is cucina povera, poor cooking, based on simplicity and genuineness with fresh, farm-to-table ingredients. These classes will pass along Tuscan recipes, including an antipasti, fresh pasta and sauce, a main course, and dessert. Enjoy the food made in the class as you sip and swirl a glass of wine from three important wine regions in Tuscany.

Tuscan antipasti include delicacies such as crostini toscani, toasted slices of bread topped with creamy chicken liver on toasted Tuscan bread, and Panzanella, chopped tomatoes and toasted Tuscan bread tossed with cucumbers, onions, basil, olive oil and white vinegar.  Stuffed and grilled vegetables and Tuscan soups made with vegetables and farro are another example of antipasti.

Learn how to make fresh Tuscan pasta such as: pici all’aglione, spaghetti-like pasta in tomato and garlic sauce; and pappardelle, thick noodle pasta with wild boar ragu, rabbit  sauce, and porcini mushroom sauce.

Tuscan main courses include Bistecca alla fiorentina, a special cut of steak from the Chianina cattle — an ancient Tuscan breed known for its precious meat and delicate taste grilled over red-hot coals and grilled rare. A true Tuscan grill includes cinghiale, wild boar, piccione, pigeon, and anatra, duck; fagioli con salsiccia, borlotti beans cooked with crumbled sausage meat, onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes, and chili. Also on the menu is polo toscano, wild chicken served with olives cured in brine and marinated with grated orange zest, fennel and garlic.

Learn how to prepare Tuscan castagnaccio, a sweet cake made with chestnut flour, walnuts, pine nuts, and rosemary.  You’ll learn to prepare Tuscan olive oil cake and biscotti di Prato, a twice-baked biscuit made with almonds – always dipped in Vin Santo, blessed wine. Prepare schiacciata alla Fiorentina, a sweet flat cake – looking more like focaccia – garnished with grape must. Discover bomboloni, Tuscan doughnuts made with an airy dough and sugar, and torta di mele, Tuscan apple cake brimming with sliced apples grown on the property.

During your stay, you’ll visit Montalcino, Montepulciano, and Siena with our driver.

Montalcino

The fortified hilltop town of Montalcino remains frozen in time. Overlooking the idyllic landscape of Val d’Orcia and peppered with ancient oak trees and yellow and red flowers, Montalcino is known all over the world for its precious Brunello red wine, produced with only Sangiovese grapes and aged in oak barrels. Take a walk through the town’s stone pavement streets and visit charming artisan shops – leather crafters, linen makers, pastry makers, caffès, restaurants, and wine bars, or discover Montalcino’s architectural treasures—the imposing fortress sits at the town’s highest point, where they hold festivals, concerts, and events, while the clock tower of the Palazzo dei Priori hovers over the main square Piazza del Popolo.

Montepulciano

Montepulciano sits atop a hill surrounded by countryside covered in vineyards. These vineyards produce some of Italy’s most acclaimed wines, Vino Nobile. The Medieval Renaissance town is full of elegant palaces like the Palazzo Comunale, its city hall, and ancient churches like the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, which houses a giant, gorgeous triptych by Sienese painter Taddeo di Bartolo. Stroll along the cobblestone streets and stop at the main square, Piazza Grande, the setting for the Bravio delle Botti, an annual barrel race through the town that dates to the 14th century.

Siena

Siena is one of Tuscany’s most famous medieval towns, set among Chianti’s olive groves and vineyards. The town’s original character has survived for centuries, with old buildings and palaces remaining unspoiled. Make sure to visit the heart of Siena, its unique shell-shaped central square Piazza del Campo. The piazza is famous worldwide for the Corsa del Palio; horse races run twice a year amid colorful festivities. The Campo also boasts the massive Palazzo Pubblico, the seat of civil government decorated with paintings and frescoes by Sienese art masters Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Simone Martini. Nearby is the Duomo di Siena, a striking example of Italian Romanesque architecture that was initially intended to be the grandest cathedral in existence. Narrow, winding streets lead visitors to artisan leather-makers, wine bars, and trattorias.

Tuscan Cuisine, Bistecca alla Fiorentina

During your stay, experience an authentic Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Learn the cuts, the preparation, and how to grill. Like other parts of the region’s cuisine, grilling prime cuts of meat is a rustic tradition. Tuscans have built a culinary tradition around grilling and preparing the finest cuts of beef, pork, chicken, game, and assorted vegetables over an open fire. The tradition is about letting the food’s flavors speak for themselves, using little ingredients rather than an abundance of marinades or heavy sauces.

Tuscany’s Luxury Villa Accommodations

Set on a working vineyard in the heart of Tuscany, the property is a dreamy destination and just a short distance away from Montepulciano. Acres of luscious green fields blanket the land while silvery-hued olive groves and an organic fruit and vegetable garden copiously provide seasonal produce for the kitchen.
Meet Signor Mario, your host and wine sommelier. Along with his professional staff, you will be pampered as you check into this luxury villa resort. The villa’s design offers private fully furnished suites – complete with island cooking areas, fine china, cutlery, and a well-stocked with every Chef’s utensil – not to mention compelling views of the Montepulciano. Luxurious beds and bedding with Italian linens, private ensuite baths and ample space make your stay comfortable. Amenities include an infinity swimming pool, a whirlpool, a complete fitness center, a nature’s walking trail, playground equipment, and a full-service spa, along with yoga classes and volleyball activities. Breakfast is served daily and includes, homemade Tuscan cakes, quiches, fresh jams, honey, marmalade, Prosciutto, salami, artisan cheeses, farm-fresh eggs made to order, fresh fruit, veggie juices, cappuccino, expresso, and tea. The property is 100% organic including fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and wine produced on the property.

Itinerary: 6 Days, 5 Nights

Day 1: Day 1: Arrival & Welcome Dinner – Chef’s Tuscan Dinner Experience

• Arrival Transfer from Chiusi Train station.
• Check in relax and enjoy your Cooking Vacations’ Welcome bag and Prosecco on the terrace.
• Later, enjoy your Welcome Dinner featuring a Chef’s Tasting Menu including a four-course menu with Tuscan fare.

Day 2: Cooking Class 1 and Montepulciano with Food Lovers’ Tour

• Cooking Class 1, tie on your aprons and get cooking preparing your Tuscan menu.
• Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking classes 1. Local red or white wines are also included.
• Following your cooking class, join our English-speaking guide for a tour of Montepulicano – Discover the Medieval town set high on a ridge dividing the Val D’Orcia from the Val di Chiana, and filled with artisans, art galleries, small shops, and trattorias along the way.
• Following your day in Montepulciano, return to the villa with your driver.
• Dinner is free and on your own with suggestions provided.

Day 3: Montalcino and Brunello Vineyard and Wine Tour Tastings

• Breakfast is served.
• Visit Montalcino, the ancient town high on a hill and known for Brunello wine with your driver. Walk the ancient cobblestone streets, visit the Fortress, and discover the magic of this small town filled with artisan leather makers, wine boutiques, linen shops, and gelateria shops.
• Take time for lunch at our favorite trattoria.
• After you visit Montalcino, continue to a famous Brunello winemaker. Tour the vineyard and cantina, and then enjoy a wine tasting with Tuscan snacks.
• Following your excursion, return to the property.
• Dinner is free and on your own with suggestions provided.

Day 4: Cooking Class 2

• Breakfast is served.
• Cooking Class 2, tie on your aprons and get cooking preparing your Tuscan menu.
• Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class 2. Local red or white wine included.
• Following your cooking class, take the afternoon to relax and enjoy the spa.

Dinner on your own at the property or at any one of the nearby restaurants with suggestions provided.

 

Day 5: Siena, Home of the Paleo

• Breakfast is served.
• Full-day excursion to Siena. Discover this beautiful medieval city – home to the Paleo – and endless artisan food shops, leather makers, wine shops, art galleries, and the church of Saint Catherine.
• After your tour, stop for lunch on your own with suggestions provided.
• Following the tour, return to the Villa.
• Dinner at the property with a Tuscan BBQ and Wine Tasting at the property included.

Day 6: Departure

• Breakfast is served.
• Departure transfer to Chiusi train station.

Program Includes

• 6 days, 5 nights accommodations in the luxury villa with swimming pool and spa, based on 2 guests.
• Daily breakfast and maid service.
• Welcome aperitivo and Welcome Dinner featuring a Chef’s Tasting menu featuring a Tuscan Dinner Experience with Bistecca alla Fiorentina,Tuscan steak, handmade fennel sausage, farm-raised chicken, garden grilled vegetables, dessert, and the property’s wine.

• 2 Hands-on cooking classes preparing Tuscan fare followed by lunch or dinner including the foods that were prepared in the cooking class. Local red or white wine included.
• Full Day excursion to Siena with driver and English-speaking guide.
•Food Lover’s Tour in Montepuliciano with tastings along the way with English-speaking guide and driver.
• Full-day tour with our driver to Montalcino for an exclusive Brunello wine tour featuring a visit to the vineyard and cantina with a wine tasting accompanied by Tuscan bites.
• Round trip transfers to and from Chiusi train station.
• Cooking Vacations Welcome Bag with Chef’s apron and recipe book.
• A copy of Lauren’s cookbook, It’s A Dream Place, Stories & Recipes of Food, Love and the Amalfi Coast.

Program Price

$4,995 per person based on two guests

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.  Prices include a classic room.  Superior rates apply.

Check Availability

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the entire 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.