Villa O™

Tuscan Cookout! Cooking, Spa & Scenic Tours ~ 6 Day

Cooking Tours
Prices & Dates

Join Terenzio and Chefs Mara, Maria & Ilia in the Tuscan Cookout cooking tour.  This tour has been designed for those who want to enjoy the Tuscan countryside learning about the local food culture and participating in excellent hands-on cooking classes!  The cooking tour brings you into the kitchen with Chefs Mara, Maria and Ili were you will how to prepare Tuscan classics.  Dinner follows each cooking class and everyone eats the foods prepared in the class; wine, water, caffè and dessert included. Tour Le Crete, Montepulciano and San Gimignano, and leave the driving to us.

Cooking Classes

Classes are held a professional kitchen with Chef Mara, Marie & Ili in Montepulciano at The Villa. The Villa is a beautiful farmhouse that was built in the 17th century and has recently been restored. The renovations kept the original character and transformed the farmhouse into a five-star luxury accommodation. Each suite is decorated with exquisite antiques, maintaining the traditional feel of old-world charm in the heart of Tuscany

Chef Maria’s Tuscan Cooking Class Menus

Regional appetizers are endless and will include: crostini toscani, assorted bruschetta appetizers made with unsalted Tuscan bread slices seasoned with fresh tomatoes and herbs, or fegatini, regional cold cuts including capocollo, prosciutto, pancetta and lardo di colonnata.

Chefs Mara and Maria will guide you to making homemade fresh pasta with different types of seasonings such as pici all’aglione. Chefs Mara and Mara and Maria will never let you go without teaching you how to prepare homemade fresh pasta, and there is nothing more traditional than pici. Pici is a traditional Tuscan favorite-like spaghetti- but longer and thicker and twisted into neat little coils before drying. When the pasta is cooked, it separates into individual strands. Aglione is the typical roasted garlic and fresh tomato seasoning used on pici. You may prepare the world-famous ribollita Toscana, a traditional soup made with day-old unsalted Tuscan bread and fresh vegetables cooked in a big clay pot. Ribollita, meaning re-boiled, gets its name because the dish is always re-boiled before being served the first time, and is often saved for the next day and boiled again.

Secondo, or second courses follow, and in “Tuscany means meat!” The Villa is located in the heart of Montepulciano, which lies between two valleys famous for bistecca fiorentina, a unique Tuscan meat. Bistecca fiorentina is a big steak, similar to the American T-bone, which comes from a unique white cow, chianina, which lives only in Val di Chiana, Tuscany. Tuscany is also a land of hunters, so we will suggest different dishes of game such as cinghiale (wild boar), piccione (pigeon) and anatra (duck). The scottiglia is a traditional main course of southern Tuscany which includes rabbit, chicken, veal, pork, pigeon, lamb and turkey. Of course there is always chicken, but Chef Mara and Maria’s pollo con olive is delicious. The chicken is sautéed with local olives of Grosetto (olives that are cured in brine and marinated with grated orange zest, fennel and a little garlic) for a unique Tuscan flavor.

Chef Mara and Maria’s desserts are seasonal including Tuscan traditional cakes and biscotti like the world famous tiramisu and cantucci (hard biscotti, traditionally dipped in Vin Santo, a unique dessert made in Tuscany). Another time-honored cake is the stracciata alla fiorentina, a sweet pizza made for the religious feast of Carnivale. The traditional pannello con l’uva is a sweet bread made with fresh grapes and usually served during the time of the harvest.  All of the recipes are just a sample of what Chef Mara and Maria are cooking! Please join us in Tuscany for an emotional and delicious new experience – with recipes that you can recreate at home in your own kitchen!

The Villa

The Villa is a beautiful farmhouse that was built in the 17th century and has recently been restored. The renovations, while keeping the original character, transformed the farmhouse into a five-star luxury accommodation. Each suite is decorated with exquisite antiques, maintaining the traditional feel of old-world charm in the heart of Tuscany.

The Villa is privately by Terenzio and after several years in the hospitality industry and wine making business, he created exclusive programs with Lauren at Cooking Vacations. Lauren’s long-term friendship with Nicola ripened the idea for hands-on cooking classes that explore the regional cuisine of Tuscany while staying at the gorgeous Villa. The property is surrounded with the family’s vineyards, vegetable gardens, Tuscan sunflowers and a private swimming pool. The ancient town of Montepulciano can be seen in the distance.

Each suite has been named after the eight districts of Montepulciano, created by the City Stature in 1337. They are San Donato, Voltaia, Poggiolo, Talosa and Gracciamo. All of the bedrooms have been furnished with great attention to functionality and elegance. Interior decorators have carefully selected the colors, paired the cloths and blended the various antique pieces with simple Tuscan handicrafts. The rooms are magical and each one has a private bathroom. In the three suites, guests can enjoy a tonic Jacuzzi sipping a glass of the best Spumante Classico. All the rooms are equipped with TV, refrigerator and telephone.


The Wine Cellar

The Villa estate boasts a well-furnished wine cellar where you will discover the thousands of flavors in the Italian oenology. The underground wine cellar in the farmhouse, which keeps it well protected from light, vibrations and changes of temperature, guarantees that the selection of wines are kept in perfect condition.  And best of all, you can taste the family’s wine produced on site.

Tuscany is noted for its Chianti Classico, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the Brunello di Montalcino and the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, offering 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

Itinerary: 6 days, 5 nights

Sunday: Arrival & Dinner At The Villa

  • Arrival Transfer from Chiusi train station
  • Check-in, relax, aperitivo and introduction to the cooking program
  • Tuscan BBQ dinner at The Villa.

Monday: Cortona, Lake Trasimeno & Cooking Class 1

  • Breakfast is served
  • Tour of Cortona and Lake Trasimeno with lunch and wine included
  • Return to The Villa after lunch to relax
  • In the afternoon, meet Chef Maria and head into the kitchen for Cooking Class 1, featuring a seasonal menu from appetizer to dessert
  • Dinner follows on the foods prepared in class, wine included

Tuesday: Montepulciano & Spa

  • Breakfast is served
  • Transfer to Montepulciano for a visit at your leisure and lunch on your  own
  • Meet at Crociani for wine tasting
  • Light lunch at the Villa
  • Transfer to the Terme di Montepulciano for well-being program for 2. Relax and enjoy the spa treatments at this world-class spa
  • Transfer to dinner at Le Logge del Vignola, return to the Villa

Wednesday: Tour Of Valdorcia & Lunch

  • Breakfast is served
  • Tour of Valdorcia with lunch in Sant’Angelo in Colle with the famous Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino
  • Visit the Poggio dell’Aquila estate and wine tasting
  • Transfer to dinner a the Corte Medicea restaurant

Thursday: Market Visit & Cooking Class 2

  • Breakfast is served
  • The morning is free: visit the weekly open market or go back to Montepulciano for the final shopping or just enjoy the sun by the pool
  • Lunch in town on your own
  • Return to The Villa in the afternoon
  • In the afternoon, Cooking Class 2 with Chef Maria brings you back into the kitchen for your second hands-on workshop on Tuscan cuisine
  • Dinner follows on your creations, local wine included

Friday: Departure

  • Breakfast is served.
  • Departure 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:

  • 6 days, 5 nights accommodations, based on double occupancy. Click To View!
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Welcome aperitivo and BBQ.
  • 2 cooking classes followed by dinner with the recipes prepared in class; wine, water, cafe & dessert included.
  • 2 outside dinners, wine included.
  • Tour of Cortona and Lake Trasimeno with lunch in Terenzio’s favorite local trattoria, wine included.
  • A full day guided tour of Valdorcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with full lunch in a local Trattoria, wine included, and visit to the winemaker in Montalcino.
  • Wine tasting at the Cantina Wine Cellar in Montepulciano.
  • Well-being program at the Terme di Montepulciano.
  • Light lunch at The Villa.
  • Round trip transfers to and from train station and to all restaurants.
  • Transportation to/from Montepulciano for the self-guided Tour, and to all the guided Tours.
  • Welcome Bag with Chef’s apron & recipe book.
Program Prices

$2,795 per person, based on double occupancy in a Deluxe Double room.

$50 Supplement-one time charge per week for an extra bed in the room if you are a double and want two beds or if you have a small child 10 years and under want to have them in the same room.

$200 per person, supplement for Junior Suite.

$300 per person, supplement for Superior Suite.

Single Occupancy Price

$3,895 per person, based on single occupancy in a Deluxe Double room.

All taxes and Italian VAT included.

Check Availability

2017 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.