Join Fabrizio at the family estate, a beautiful farmhouse villa located in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. The Tuscan cooking classes, held in the villa’s private kitchen, feature typical recipes from the Florence area under the direction of Chef Melina. She will lead you through making Tuscan antipasto, pasta, main course and dessert. Melina’s energetic personality, along her talented cooking skills make this class our best seller for Tuscany. The entire staff, along with Fabrizio and his family, welcome you for a fun-filled cooking experience in the heart of Chianti!
Cooking Lessons & Excursion to Certaldo & Lucardo
Experience the delights of the traditional Tuscan lifestyle, while attending fun-filled cooking classes and enjoying relaxing excursions. You will learn to prepare all the essential components of a Tuscan meal: appetizers and breads, soups, homemade pasta, meats, vegetables and desserts.
Tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and pepolino, wild thyme, artichokes and tomatoes stuffed with herbs and cheese, gnocchi with ragù, Chianti Etruscan sauce & beans all’uccelletto, Vin Santo & cantuccini, traditional Tuscan almond cookies, tiramisù, schiacciata con l’uva, Tuscan cake made with red grapes and rosemary, are just a sample of Melina’s excellent recipes that you will learn. Recipes will vary depending on the seasons.
The kitchen is the classroom, in which our Chef Melina leads hands-on cooking classes, featuring traditional Tuscan cuisine. The estate’s country-style kitchen is located in the main villa and in what used to be one of the family’s wine cellars.
You will learn the secrets of making gnocchetti verdi di patate con pomodorino fresco e basilico, green potato gnocchi with fresh tomatoes and basil, filetto d’orata al gratin di patate, fish with potato gratin, and semifreddo alle nocciole con cioccolato fondente, ice cream cake with dark chocolate and nuts. Following the class, everyone eats the fruits of their labor together, accompanied by wine from the estate. In addition, you will learn to prepare dishes such as Seafood Risotto, Tenderloin with Black Truffles, Porcini Mushrooms, and dolci. Dolci, desserts in Italian, include: bavarese alla frutta fresca, Tuscan cake with fresh fruit and the famous cantuccini, almond biscotti.
Those interested can add on our Market Tour. Experience a visit to the vibrant marketplace as the aromas of just baked bread, artisan cheese, and morning picked produce from the nearby rolling hills stir your senses. Listen to the sounds of sellers calling out their daily catch, prime cuts and specials. Shop along rows of passionate purveyors who have kept the old world way of protected food and wine. The sleepy Tuscany towns are a sharp contrast against the lively marketplace.
Then we continue on through the quaint town of Certaldo. Step along cobblestone paths lined with small cafes brewing up perfect brews of espresso & cappuccino, fresh pasta shops turning out hand made pici, pappardelle and ravioli along with open doors of pretty churches welcoming you for a peak of the stained glass windows. Visit the home of great Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio who penned Decameron and On Famous Women in a Medieval Tuscan town set on a hill. A stop in Lucardo beckons for small shops showcasing vino, farro, spelt and all things Tuscan.
The family has operated its vineyards, specializing in the Chianti wine since the 19th century. The wines are long-lived and are examples of the best in the Chianti wine region, thanks to their knowledge and appreciation of wine. Tradition and old family customs merge with modern winemaking technologies, which yield production totals of nearly 30,000 bottles a year. The award-winning wines boast the Silver Label, awarded at the Tuscan Gastronomic Show in New York City 2005 & 2006, and earned honorable mention at the VIII edition of the Tuscan Wine Selection in 2008.
The Villa Accommodations
The private villa has recently been restored, respecting its old-world charm, while adding modern comforts. Set on a working vineyard, the property is surrounded by rolling green Tuscan hills in the heart of Montespertoli. The estate has a vast olive grove and an organic vegetable garden, which produces beautiful olives, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini and a bounty of seasonal produce. Guests are invited to pick the fruits and vegetables, which are then used in the cooking classes.
The accommodations are large apartments and oversized superior rooms, traditionally furnished and newly renovated with modern conveniences; most with air-conditioning. Each room has a private bathroom, telephone, full kitchenette, refrigerator, satellite TV, and a private garden or spacious terrace.
Stepping outside your door is a colorful garden with a café-style terrace for eating, reading or painting. There is an outdoor wood-burning brick oven for pizza parties, an over-sized swimming pool and terrace on the property grounds. Majestic Murgesi horses are bred on the premises. If you like to ride, tell Fabrizio and he can arrange for horseback riding in the beautiful surroundings.
In the farmhouse’s spacious dining room, breakfast is served daily, featuring breads, cold cuts, cheese, homemade jams, biscotti and cakes baked each morning by Melina. Traditional Tuscan lunch or dinner is also available; reservations must be made in advance.
Itinerary ~ 4 Days, 3 Nights
Check in and start your program on any day of the week.
Day 1: Check In
- Check in, relax. Welcome aperitivo and introduction. The evening is free and dinner is on your own. The villa will serve dinner in the dining room; a reservation must be made in advance and not included.
Day 2: Vineyard Tour & Cooking Class 1
- Breakfast is served.
- Tour the property’s olive grove and vineyard. After the tour, you will visit the wine cantina, where their wines are produced – Premium, Reserve and Grappa, too! Discussion and tastings included with Fabrizio, our award-winning “Super Tuscan” wine producer and olive oil maker.
- In the afternoon, meet in the kitchen for your Cooking Class 1. This hands-on experience, led by Chef Melina, teaches you her Tuscan family recipes. The menu includes a first course, second course, contorno, side dish, and dessert. Dinner follows with everyone eating the foods prepared in class. Wine is included.
Day 3: Half-day excursion to Certaldo and Lucardo & Cooking Class 2
- Breakfast is served.
- Enjoy a half day excursion to the medieval towns of Certaldo, the hometown of Renaissance poet and author Giovanni Boccaccio, and Lucardo, touring the back roads of Tuscany. Step along cobblestone paths lined with small cafés serving up perfect brews of espresso & cappuccino, fresh pasta shops turning out hand made pici, pappardelle and ravioli along with open doors of pretty churches welcoming you for a peak of the stained glass windows. Visit the home of great Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio who penned Decameron and On Famous Women in a Medieval Tuscan town set on a hill. A stop in Lucardo beckons for small shops showcasing vino, faro, spelt and all things Tuscan.
- Return to the kitchen for your Cooking Class 2. Lunch or dinner follows with everyone eating the foods prepared in class. Wine and dessert included.
Day 4: Departure & Arrivederci!
- Breakfast is served.
- Departure, Ciao & a presto!
*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.
- 4 days, 3 nights in a superior double room, based on double occupancy. Click To View!
- Daily breakfast.
- Two cooking classes, followed by lunch or dinner with wine included.
- Vineyard tour on the estate & wine tasting with the estate’s award-winning products.
- Half-day excursion touring the back roads of Medieval towns of Certaldo & Lucardo.
- Arrival & Departure transfers to and from Florence train station or airport
$1,450 per person, based on double occupancy. Includes all taxed and Italian VAT.
$845 Single Supplement.
ROUND TRIP GROUP TRANSFERS
*Round trip group transfers from Florence Airport/Train Station to the property are included in your program.
ARRIVAL – Arrival group transfers from Florence Airport to the property are scheduled 12:30pm; and from Florence Train Station to property at 3pm.
DEPARTURE – Departure group transfer from the Estate to Florence Airport/Train Station is at 11:00am.
If you cannot make the scheduled group transfer time, a special transfer can be reserved. The new transfers are not part of the included Group transfer and are not included in the program price. New transfers can be ordered by Cooking Vacations or guests may take a taxi on their own.
2019 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.
Must be organized prior and are an extra cost.
Morning visit to the local Farmers’ Market. Visit the local producers of vegetables, fruits, fish, game and olive oil. Piled high are baskets of the season’s freshest produce. Markets in Italy are wonderful, vibrant affairs with sellers keen to attract the attention of sharp-eyed locals on the look-out for the freshest produce. Along with Fabrizio, select the ingredients that will be used in class, then head home to the kitchen.
$155 per person, based on double occupancy.
Full Day Tour ~ Siena & San Gimignano
A private 7-hour excursion through the Tuscan Hills, to visit Chianti and “la strada di vini”, the street of wine country, touring through San Gimignano~ Italy’s wine country & Siena~the Medieval City of Art & Romance, in a private car with our driver/guide. Giovanni your driver will bring you to our favorite Tuscan trattoria (lunch and wine not included). This excursion is optional, and is an extra charge.
$430 per person, based on double occupancy. All taxes and Italian VAT included. Lunch and gratuities not included.