(Options: Wine and Food Tours, Shorter or Longer Stays)
Tuscany, Italy - 3 nights
Available end of March to end of October for packages
Available year round (except week before Christmas) for Day Cooking Classes
If you want to learn how to cook true Italian food, then this cooking vacation is the one for you. You will learn traditional family recipes from Italians who have been giving hands-on cooking lessons for over 25 years. Classes are taught in English in an authentic country home, a beautiful stone farmhouse with an organic garden. We can suggest several lovely accommodations in quaint nearby villages.
Your cooking classes take place in a rustic 13th century "casa colonica" which is a typical Italian farmhouse in the Tuscan countryside with terracotta floors and chestnut beams. The house has been lovingly restored by the family which is one of the oldest noble families in Italy. There is an organic garden, vines, olive trees, roses, oleanders, geraniums, spices, fruit trees and other typical plants of the area.
In the area, you can discover the treasures of Chianti, an area well-known for its castles, its medieval "borghi", wine producers, skilled craftsmen, warm and hospitable people, restaurants, typical Tuscan food, Chianti Classico wine and olive oil. The Chianti region offers picture-book rural scenery, from fields to sunflowers to rows of ubiquitous pencil pines in the hazy distance. Smaller towns such as Radda in Chianti, Monteriggioni, Volterra, San Gimignano are all an easy drive away, with stunning atmosphere and scenery. Tuscany is centrally located and is well connected by highways and a fast rail network to the rest of Italy, so you can visit other areas after or before your stay.
THREE NIGHT ITINERARY
Welcome to Italy! Arrival at Montevarchi Train Station at 6:00 pm from Florence (or if you are arriving on your own you can arrive at 6pm by rental car.)
Transfer by private car to your chosen bed and breakfast or hotel (40 minute drive)
Time to mingle with the other guests and welcome dinner with the family around 7:30pm.
Breakfast at your accommodation.
Transfer by private car to the cooking school at 9:45am. At 10am you will have your first hands on cooking class. Together with your instructor you will prepare 5 different recipes followed by lunch of the recipes you prepared, accompanied by a delicious Chianti Classico wine
After lunch you will have a guided excursion in the Chianti area with a visit to a winery with wine tasting and extra virgin olive oil, tour of the beautiful ancient area along with meeting with locals in shops and coffee shops.
6:30 pm Back to your accommodation with dinner on your own.
Breakfast at your accommodation.
Transfer by private car to the cooking school at 9:45am. Hands on cooking class at 10am. Together with your instructor you will prepare 5 different recipes followed by lunch of the recipes you prepared, accompanied by a delicious Chianti Classico wine.
Transfer by private car to your accommodation at around 2:30pm. This afternoon you will have time to explore at your leisure
and we can give you many suggestions.
Dinner on your own.
Breakfast at the your accommodation and check out.
Transfer by private car to the cooking school at 9:45am. Hands on cooking class at 10am.
Together with your instructor you will prepare 5 different recipes followed by lunch of the recipes you prepared, accompanied by a delicious Chianti Classico wine.
2:30pm Transfer by private car to Montevarchi and train connection to Florence or Rome at 2:30pm. Take the train to Florence (arrival in Florence around 4:39 pm or Rome around 7:00 pm)
NON RESIDENTIAL DAY COOKING CLASS IN CHIANTI
Morning Hours (9:30 am -2:00 pm);
Afternoon Hours (4:00 pm-8:30 pm)
Description: The hands-on course covers traditional, home-style Tuscan and Italian recipes. Many people like this approach as they come away feeling they've had a real holiday, having enjoyed the wonderfully intense flavours and freshness of traditional Italian dishes cooked in an evocative stone farmhouse in the hills of Chianti, surrounded by vineyard and olive groves. The classes are held in a friendly atmosphere and you have the chance to make new friends and learn a few secrets from your instructors. Participants cook and eat dishes prepared using fresh, natural ingredients. A complete meal (5 recipes) such as appetizers, a pasta dish, a vegetable or meat dish and then a dessert is prepared and is accompanied by the wine which best complements it.
(Please inquire about large groups)
An example of our most popular menus:
Antipasto (Starter) Bruschetta or Crostini with Herbs
First Course: Fresh hand-made pasta or Potato gnocchi or Dry pasta with red or white sauces or pici (Tuscan "big" spaghetti)
or Pappa al pomodoro (Tuscan vegetable soup)
Second Course: Roasted meat (Arista alla Fiorentina) or stuffed vegetables, Turkey Breast with Balsamic Vinegar or Chicken cooked Tuscan Style or Stuffed vegetables or Savory Cakes with Zucchini
Dessert: Tiramisu' or Panna Cotta or Gelato
Many more menus are available - do you have a special request? Just ask!
A minimum of 1 participant is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 10 participants. (For special groups a maximum of 20/25 can be accommodated)
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest Airports/Train Stations:
Pisa Airport - 2 hour drive
Leonardo da Vinci (Rome) Airport - 3 hour drive
Malpensa (Milan) Airport - 4 hour drive
**We can also arrange from Rome airport, but it is quite expensive, about 300€. We suggest catching a flight or a train to Florence and we can organize a transfer from Florence.
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
THREE NIGHT PROGRAM
*NON RESIDENTIAL DAY COOKING CLASS/US$$225
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a deposit of 30% per person and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
Dates of day cooking classes take place every week except the week before Christmas. Three night program takes place April to October.
THREE NIGHT PROGRAM
*Three (3) Italian hands-on cooking classes with accompanying meals and wine and water
*Snack with drinks and wine during the lesson
*One (1) dinner with various typical Italian products i.e. cheeses and salami with the Italian family
*One (10 guided excursion
*Transfer at the beginning of the program from Montevarchi to the accommodation and at the end of the program from the school to Montevarchi station by private car (Montevarchi is connected to Florence and Rome by train)
*Transfer every day from/to your chosen accommodation to/from the cooking school
*WIFI free connection at the school
*Cooking school apron and recipe leaflet
NON RESIDENTIAL DAY COOKING CLASS IN CHIANTI
*Hands on cooking class (5 recipes)
*Meal with wine, snack with drinks and wine during the lesson
*One (1) English speaking instructor
*Apron and recipe book
Airfare, transfers from airports or train stations (except Montevarchi), and personal expenses are not included.
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Danielle and Ashley P., Ontario, Canada"We had an absolutely amazing time during our cooking holiday. The hosts, the location, the food and the whole experience was a dream come true. I have prepared some of the dishes since coming back home and they always remind me of our fantastic trip."
Szilvia B., Budapest, Hungary
“It was one of my best experience in my life. The house, the surroundings, and of course, the delicious, but simple homemade fresh dishes!! Living with an italian family, with so much caring and kindness - was so touching. And the course so much fun, that it was incredible! Thank you!!! "
Erin S. and Flor V., New York, New York
“Hi Jo-Ann - We wanted to let you know that we had an AMAZING time at the cooking school. My mother and I could not have had a better time. .. wonderful hosts and teachers. We were treated like family. The house and property were beautiful. The hands-on cooking classes were so much fun...we learned so many great recipes that I cannot wait to test on my friends back home. I will definitely be recommending this experience to all of my friends and colleagues. Thank you so much for all of your help in setting up this once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. It is something neither one of us will ever forget!"
Janet and Doug W., Vienna, Austria
“This ranks as one of our top holidays. The area was beautiful, the trip relaxing and the cooking was fun. We enjoyed the other guests and our hosts...and their family made us feel welcome in their home. A great experience!”
Vickie C., Cedarburg, Wisconsin
"Dear Jo-Ann - The course was everything we hoped and more!! We felt a true part of an Italian family. Everyone was as gracious and welcoming as they could possibly be. From Luigi to the little girls, we found them all delightful. The food was great, the instruction was great, the ambiance, the wine....everything was great. We visited Radda, a winery, and Greve with Simonetta. She was so knowledgeable and willing to share that we thought it was very enriching experience. Thank you so much for all of your help in arranging it. It's a little scary to just pick a site off the Internet and trust that all will go well. From the first email and your quick response, I was put at ease. Needless to say, I would have no hesitation in recommending your services."
Teri S., Brick, New Jersey
"We had a fabulous time!! The four of us were very happy. My friends have never had the experience of eating in a true Italian home (my husband and I have since my husband has family there) and the experience for them was priceless. I have already told so many people about you.. I will keep in touch with you since I am sure I will be booking more through you. Thank you again!"
"I just wanted to thank you for the truly inspirational and wonderful time I had at your home and the cooking school. I had such a lovely holiday in Italy and the highlight was definitely my stay with you. Thank you for welcoming me into your home, for the chance to have fun with real Italian cooking, for driving me around sightseeing and for delicious meals with the family. I am working my way through the menus we made while they are fresh in my mind, and my children are enjoying the results. Thank you once again for a magical Italian experience."
"Just a quick message from me to thank you for a wonderful week in Tuscany, I haven't stopped telling everyone. I have cooked your recipes every night I'm so pleased with everything I learnt and brought back."
Joanne and Gord F., Canada
"I thought the trip was very well planned and the experience was amazing. I thought the gift package we received before we left was a really nice touch, and got us excited about our trip. The hosts were amazing and they did everything possible to make us feel welcome and comfortable. Their English was very impressive and it was very easy to communicate with them. We really enjoyed the authentic experience and had a blast staying with the family. We had such a great experience that I would consider booking with Active Gourmet again and would definitely recommend Active Gourmet to my friends and family."
Nancy W., US
"The photos bring back memories of the smells, the tastes, the friendship and the wines. I'm sharing your information with others who want to experience a real Tuscan cooking school."
David and Jan L., Cincinnati, Ohio
“It was spectacular! The hosts were eager to accommodate our every need. They went out of their way to make us feel comfortable even though we did not speak their language.”
This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE.
*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.