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Villa On A Tuscan Hill™

Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena ~ 7 Day

Cooking Tours
Prices & Dates

Join Signora Stefania in our Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena program set in an 18th century Villa on the hills of Montepulciano.  Once home to a noble family of Siena, the Villa is nestled between tall cypress trees, green gardens and an endless view overlooking the gentle hills of Val d’Orcia.

Delicious Tuscan food, wine and culture are featured in this tour that takes you through the countryside of Val d’Orcia, Pienza, Montalcino, San Gimignano, and the ancient village of Montepulciano.  Discover hearty cuisine in our hands-on cooking classes, sip and swirl prized Tuscan and Brunello wine while visiting vineyards and landmarks in beautiful Montepulciano.

The Food & Wine In The Land Of Siena program immerses you into the local lifestyle while you soak up the traditions of great Tuscan cuisine.  The entire villa and gardens have been fully restored with every modern comfort while keeping its Old World charm.

Signora Stefania welcomes each guest to her home and kitchen where she shares a little bit of history, cooking technique and conversation in this one-of-a-kind authentic tour.  Cook, tour and make new friends in dreamy Tuscany with Signora Stefania.  Her soft words for each guest are, “this villa is but a home that we wish to share with guests, where life is simple, the silence magical, and the daily pattern of one’s days follows the rhythms of nature.”  Step into magical Tuscany and let the cooking begin!

Tuscan Cooking Classes

Hands-on cooking classes focus on all ingredients being local – with vegetables and fruits from the garden property and Tuscan products from the finest purveyors including artisan cheese makers, butchers, bakers and wine makers.  In each cooking class you will learn how to prepare antipasti, fresh pasta and sauce, a main course and dessert.

Tuscan antipasti include: torta salata, a savoury flan; traditional crostini toscani, bruschetta toasted breads made with fresh tomatoes and herbs, olives; and fegatini, Tuscan chicken liver, along with regional capocollo, and artisan cheese.

Signora Stefania and Chef Massimo will guide you in the kitchen preparing fresh pasta and sauce such as pici all’aglione – Tuscan pasta and a special sweet garlic sauce Pasta recipes include ravioli nudi amd tagliolini alla frantoiana, pasta with olive oil and herbs, to name a few.

You’ll learn the secret recipe for ribollita Toscana, a slow-stewed soup made with a variety of fresh vegetables and toasted bread.  Ribollita, translates to re-boiled, and Tuscan cooks and chefs traditionally add vegetables and meat to the soup day after day.  Pappa al pomodoro, bread and tomato soup is another classic recipe that everyone loves to make.

Tuscan main courses include, bistecca fiorentina, a unique Tuscan cut of meat from the white cow called a chianina.  This breed of cows live in Val di Chiana, Tuscany. Another famous recipe includes cinghiale, wild boar, piccione, pigeon, and anatra, duck. There is also scottiglia, a traditional main course featuring an assortment of rabbit, chicken, veal, pork, pigeon, lamb and turkey.  Wild chicken served with local olives of Grosetto (olives that are cured in brine and marinated with grated orange zest, fennel and a little garlic) prepared with herbs is another typical Tuscan recipe.  Beans such as cici, all’uccelleto and pizelli novelli, and faro, are also a staple in the Tuscan diet and make delicious Vegetarian meals.

You’ll learn how to make lovely desserts including bongo, Tuscan chocolate profiteroles;  bomboloni, a Tuscan doughnut and cantucci, twice baked cookies, traditionally dipped in Vin Santo.  Tuscan desserts are endless: stracciata alla fiorentina, a sweet pizza, and pannello con l’uva, a brioche bread made with grapes and usually served during the time of the harvest, totra di mele, an apple flan and pinocchiati, pine nut crips to name a few. These are a small sample of Tuscan recipes that you will prepare – each recipe can easily be recreated in your home kitchen.

The Villa

Set on a crest above gentle rolling Tuscan hills, the Villa is a property of splendour.  Signora Stefania and her family renovated the 18th century property taking much care to keep every element of its Old World charm.  Spacious gardens spanning 15 acres, cypress trees peppering the property and green gardens filled with antique vases and marble fountains make the Villa a magical place.  An elegant breakfast room offers fresh cakes, biscotti, tarts and flans each morning.  Pecorino cheeses, Tuscan cured meats, eggs, farm bread, caffe, tea and fruit juices are also served.

The Villa’s rooms, ensuite with complete private baths, are bright, oversized and spilling with natural sunlight.  Rich tapestries, drapes, bed comforters – each made by hand for each room – will have you slipping back and relaxing.  Modern comforts including satellite TV, a safety strongbox, mini-bar, Internet and ensuite telephone, are included in each room suite.

Guests are invited to stroll the gardens and swim in the magnificent marble swimming pool decorated with Florentine statues and water fountains (weather permitting).

Conveniently located in the heart of Montepulciano, the Villa is a short distance to Siena, Florence, Perugia and Assisi, as well as Pienza, Monticchiello, Montalcino and Cortona making it the perfect location.  Guests who visit in autumn can try their hand at truffle hunting on the 15 acres of property.

Tuscany is known for many things, but most of all for its Chianti Classico, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the Brunello di Montalcino and the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. During your stay enjoy a wine tasting at the property with some of the finest vintages that the wine cellar has to offer.  Sip and swirl Barolo – Porta Rossa, Chianti Classico – Borgo Pretale, Pinot Grigio – Gaierhof, Prosecco – Banear, Amarone – Corte Vecchia Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi – Bonci and Vernaccia di San Gimignano – Signano to name a few.  

Check in, relax and feel at home.  The exclusivity of the Villa keeps all activities – including cooking classes and dinners – for guests of the property only.  Cooking classes are also kept to small groups with a minimum of four people to eight guests.

Tuscany

Tuscany has been the cradle of the arts and banking throughout time from the Etruscans to  the Medici Family.  Discover the landscapes and history of this region as you visit and tour the nearby town of Montepulciano, called “Jewel of the Renaissance.”

Visit Pienza, a small town known for its artisan cheese, quaint caffes and small shops with handmade crafts. There’s also Chiusi, which offers its history, open-air museum with tombs.  Montalcino, also an interesting town to visit,  is known for its great Fortress.  A must see town is Montalcino, known for its famous Brunello di Montalcino.  During your stay, we encourage you to visit the nearby towns of Arezzo, Cortona, Siena and San Gimignano.

Itinerary: 7 days, 6 nights

Day 1: Arrival & Welcome Dinner

  • Pick up at the Chiusi-Chianciano train station.
  • Arrival to the Villa, check-in, relax.
  • Welcome aperitivo on the terrace overlooking the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia.
  • A Chef’s Welcome Dinner featuring Tuscan cuisine with wine included.

Day 2: Visit Montepulciano & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Transfer to Montepulciano with your driver.  Take a stroll through the beautiful cobblestone streets before staring your cooking class.
  • Cooking class 1, tie on your apron and get cooking your Tuscan menu.
  • Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class along with a toast of red or white wine.
  • After your cooking class, take time out to visit Montepulciano.   Later, return to the Villa with your driver.
  • Relax at the villa.  Suggestion:  later in the evening opt for a dinner at any one of the local restaurants or sit back and enjoy a bottle of Tuscan wine with cheese at the Villa.

 Day 3: Tour Val d’Orcia, Lunch  & Wine

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Set out in the morning for a full day tour of Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site through the Tuscan countryside with your driver.
  • Transfer to Montalcino. Lunch is included with wine.
  • Return to the Villa in the late afternoon.
  • Relax at the villa.  Suggestion:  later in the evening opt for a dinner at any one of the local restaurants or sit back and enjoy a bottle of Tuscan wine with cheese at the Villa.

Day 4: Avignonesi Wine Tour & Tasting, Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served.
  • In the morning enjoy a wine tour and tasting at the famous Organic & Biodynamic Avignonesi in their ancient cellars in the hills of Cortona – Montepulciano followed by a Chef’s Tasting Lunch and a wine tasting in this traditional trattoria overlooking the vineyards with your driver.
  • Return to the Villa.
  • In the afternoon, Cooking Class 2  where you will learn prepare a Tuscan meal.
  • Dinner follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class along with a toast of red or white wine.

Day 5: Visit to the Crete Senesi & Siena

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Excursion through the Crete Senesi, the clay hills of Siena with a driver.  Following we visit the city of Siena.
  • Lunch on your own in Siena.
  • Return to the Villa with your driver.
  • Relax at the villa.  Suggestion:  later in the evening opt for a dinner at any one of the local restaurants or sit back and enjoy a bottle of Tuscan wine with cheese at the Villa.

Day 6: Tour to Cortona & Cooking Class 3

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, your driver takes you to Cortona, the small town made famous by Frances Mayes in her book, “Under The Tuscan Sun.”
  • Lunch at a local Trattoria is included.
  • In the afternoon, return to the Villa for your Cooking Class 3 where you will prepare a Tuscan dinner.
  • Dinner follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class along with a toast of red or white wine.

Day 7: Departure

  • Breakfast.
  • Check-out and transfer to Chiusi train station.

*This schedule may vary due to weather, feast days, market days, openings and closings of vineyards, etc.  If you happen to have a specific private activity in mind, please let us know so we can check your final itinerary.

Program Includes:

  • 7 days, 6 nights accommodations, based on double occupancy. Click To View!
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Transportation to and from the Chiusi-Chianciano train station
  • Welcome dinner with wine included.
  • 2 Tuscan dinners with wine.
  • 3 cooking classes followed by lunch or dinner with wine included.
  • Wine tour with tasting and lunch at Avignonesi with driver.
  • A tour of Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with driver.  Lunch in a local trattoria, wine included.
  • Tour of the Crete Senesi & Siena with driver.
  • Visit of the beautiful town of Cortona with driver, made famous by the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun.” Lunch included in a local tattoria.
  • Welcome Bag with Chef’s Apron.
Program Prices

$3,895 per person, based on double occupancy in Deluxe Double room.
$300 supplement per person per program for Junior Suite.
$400 supplement per person per program for Superior Suite.

Please call us for single pricing so we will suggest an existing group with private room accommodation.

 

Check Availability

2020 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. Check-in is on Sunday, but other days may be available on request. 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.

This program is designed for those travelers who do not want to drive, and includes all transfers and excursions listed.

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