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Villa On A Tuscan Hill™

Romance In The Vineyard~Cooking & Super Tuscan Wine Tour~6 Day

Join us on a culinary adventure in our Romance In The Vineyard cooking tour designed for guests who are eager to discover the art, countryside and cuisine of Italy.  Join Signora Stefania for an entertaining week of hands-on cooking classes, visits to artisan markets, trips to some of the most important romantic Tuscan towns, and of course, ample opportunity to sample Tuscany’s heartwarming cuisine and world-famous wine. Signora Stefania is your charming host and owner of the Villa.  Tie on your aprons for a delicious week of Tuscan food & wine in romantic Montepulciano!

During your stay, discover Tuscan vineyards of Val d’Orcia, Montepulciano and Cortona while sipping and swirling Super Tuscan wine.  Our cooking classes are reserved for guests of the villa only and are limited to small groups from two guests to eight.

Signora Stefania welcomes each guest to her home and kitchen where she shares a little bit of history, cooking techniques and conversation in this one-of-a-kind authentic tour.  Cook, tour and make new friends in dreamy Tuscany.  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 your cooking tour 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’uccelletoand 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 crepes 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 Luxury 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 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 the Villa.

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The Garden Villa

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 – and Vin Santo, blessed dessert wine. 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.

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 caffès 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: 5 nights and 6 days

Day 1: Arrival & Chef’s Tuscan Welcome Dinner

  • Pick up at the Chiusi-Chianciano train station.
  • Enjoy a Prosecco on the terrace overlooking the rolling hills of Val d’Orcia.
  • Welcome Dinner featuring our Chef’s Tasting menu featuring local fare with local red or white wine included.

Day 2:  Cooking Class & Montepulciano 

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Transfer to Montepulciano with a driver.
  • Tie on your aprons for our hands-on Tuscan cooking class where you will prepare a full course menu.  Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class along with local red or white wine included.
  • In the afternoon, explore Montepulciano and visits artisan shops, wine bars and galleries while you soak up the Italian culture.
  • Return to Villa with your driver.
  • Relax at the villa.  Later in the evening, enjoy a light Tuscan dinner bite with artisan cheese, salumi, and bottle of Tuscan wine, included.

Day 3:  Artisan Gelato Making Class & Food Lovers’ Tasting Tour Montepulciano 

  • Breakfast is served
  • Following your breakfast, tie on your aprons and learn how to make Tuscan gelato.  This morning gelato class is dedicated to the art of making creamy gelato with local, seasonal fruits and vegetables with natural ingredients – think vanilla bean and Italian chocolate, along with spices too.  Our artisan maker explains the history of gelato making and its importance in the Italian culture.  Following the artisan gelato making class, plentiful tastings follow.
  • After your gelato class, join our English-speaking guide for a Food Lovers’ Tasting tour of Montepulciano.  Learn about Tuscan cheese, wine, salumi and desserts while immersing into the history and food culture with tastings included along the way.
  • Dinner is free and on your own.  Suggestions are provided.

Day 4: Visit Cortona & Super Tuscan Wine Tour and Lunch 

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Following breakfast, meet your driver for a day in Cortona, the small town made famous by Frances Mayes in her book, “Under The Tuscan Sun.” Visit the town, take in artisan shopping, stop in a wine bar for a glass of red or white or a cappuccino and sweet.
  • Following your visit to Cortona, your driver continues through the Tuscan hills, with a tour to the vineyard and cantina with a Super Tuscan Wine lunch.
  • Later in the evening, sit back at the Villa and enjoy artisan cheese, salumi, and bottle of Tuscan wine, included.

Day 5: Cooking Class 2  

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Transfer to Montepulciano with a driver.
  • Tie on your aprons for our hands-on Tuscan cooking class where you will prepare a full course menu.  Lunch follows and includes the foods that were prepared in the cooking class along with local red or white wine included.
  • In the afternoon, take time out on your own to visit the village of Montepulciano.  Return to Villa with your driver.
  • Relax at the Villa.  Later in the evening, enjoy artisan cheese, salumi, and bottle of Tuscan wine, included.

Day 6: Departure

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

Program Includes:

  • 6 days, 5 nights accommodations, based on 2 guests.
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Welcome dinner including a Chef’s tasting menu featuring Tuscan fare.  Local red or white wine included.
  • 2 Hands-on Tuscan cooking classes including a full menu followed by lunch or diner with wine included.
  • 1 Artisan Gelato Making Class with tastings included.
  • Food Lover’s Tour of Montepulciano with our English-speaking guide and tastings included.
  • Tour of Cortona, with Super Tuscan Wine Tour visit and lunch, included.
  • Arrival and departure transfers to and from the Villa to Montepulciano with your driver.
  • Cooking Vacations’ welcome bag with chef’s apron, Prosecco and recipe booklet.

Program Prices:

The Luxury Villa

$3,595 per person, based on 2 guests in a Cassic room at the Luxury Villa.

$3,795 per person, based on 2 guests in a Superior room at the Luxury Villa.

The Garden Villa  

$2,995 per person, based on 2 guests in a Superior room at the Garden Villa.

From the Garden Villa guests walk to the welcome dinner and cooking classes.

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.

Check Availability

2023 Dates: This program is available throughout the year.  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.