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Cooking Under The Tuscan Sun 2017-06-20T06:36:45+00:00

Explore Your Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun Experience!

Live Like a Local in Tuscany

Welcome to Tuscany!  Our host Villa is located in San Giovanni Valdarno and dates back to the 14th century and was known for its strategic position, set halfway up the hill separating the Valdarno and Chianti Valleys.  Plan to relax and have a fun filled week of daily hands-on cooking lessons from a menu we’ve designed exclusively for our Experience, truffle hunting, visiting a local market, an outdoor yoga class, painting lessons, pizza making with a local pizza chef, wine tastings at a local Castle and a day in Siena.  During your Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun Experience, you can also enjoy the swimming pool, solarium, tennis courts, Italian gardens, hiking and panoramic views at our host Villa for your unforgettable and relaxing week in the Tuscan countryside where you are surrounded by olive trees, rolling hills and the vineyards of Tuscany.

After you’ve taken it all in, we meet tonight around 6 pm for our welcome cocktail (aperitivo) in the outdoor courtyard surrounded by the beautiful hills of Tuscany and begin to sample some of the local wines and appetizers which can range from bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and local olive oil, to prosciutto and salami, while we socialize with our fellow guests and toast to travel!  After our aperitivo, we gather around our Tuscan dinner table for a meal specially prepared for us including fresh made risotto with mushrooms, filets of meat, fresh vegetables and possibly the most delicious and moist Tiramisu you’ve ever tried.  As we toast each other with our local Tuscan wine, we share with you all the exciting experiences in store for the week ahead.  Pace yourself, pace yourself!

Start your day with a delicious Tuscan country breakfast, for the sweet lovers, there are delicious cakes, tortes, brioches, homemade jams, for those who love the savory, local salumi and cheeses with many different choices of Italian breads to use to surround the taste of the meats and cheeses.  After breakfast, get ready because it’s time to hunt for Truffles!  We are guided by master truffle hunters and dogs as we hunt truffles to use for our cooking class later today.

Gathering our truffles freshly gained, we head to the kitchen to begin our cooking class.  Today, we will immerse ourselves in the art of making fresh, handmade tagliatelle and using the truffles from our morning hunt, we will make a delicious and mouthwatering sauce to top our fresh tagliatelle.  Our resident chef, Simone, will guide us each step of the way showing us how to mix, roll and cut our tagliatelle so that each strand of pasta is more perfect than the next.  Our sauce will envelop the tagliatelle with a mouth-watering perfection where each bite is more delicious than the next.  During today’s cooking lesson, we will also cook dishes we will eat at dinner so that you can fully immerse yourself in cooking various Tuscan dishes.  For our dinner later tonight, we will also cook a long standing Tuscan favorite, Stufato di Vitello (veal stew) and make one of the most beloved cakes—torta della nonna (or grandmother’s cake).  La torta della nonna has a long history in Tuscany and is a traditional Tuscan dessert.  Of course, let’s not forget to sit together and eat the lunch we cooked while sipping our Tuscan wine.

You can relax this afternoon either by the pool or in one of the beautiful garden spots and catch up on your reading.  At around 6 tonight, we meet in our host Villa’s underground wine cellar for a tour, a conversation about its history (including the wartime escape hatches that led residents safely into the surrounding woods) and of course, to sample local wines while noshing on tasty, Tuscan appetizers.  For dinner tonight, we shall dine on our creations cooked during the lunch cooking class and learn about the history of our host Villa while we meet members of our host family.  We know you will love them as much as we do.  You will never forget the way they live their lives, true examples of generosity, respect, love and kindness.

visit a Tuscan farmers market
Learn how to make fresh pasta in Tuscany

After breakfast, we meet for a trip to the local market where we can learn first-hand how locals shop for their bread, cheese, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables.  We will spend time in the market exploring all things local, including their love of great food and fresh, farm grown produce.  After the market, we’re back to the kitchen where local flavor is the key ingredient to Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun.  Today we are learning to make pappa al Pomodoro and gnocchi with a special sauce, a local favorite.  We immerse ourselves in the preparation of all ingredients needed to make pappa al pomodoro, a hearty tomato bread soup, with fresh tomatoes, bread, olive oil, garlic and basil.  Then, we begin to make our handmade gnocchi carefully shaping each piece into a delectable creation to be savored with our special, local sauce that our chef coaches us on how to make.  Now, a tavola!  It’s time to eat!

Later this afternoon and as a special treat, we gather near the terrace of our beautiful host Villa where we will take a painting class overlooking the beautiful valley.  Relax and feel all your tensions melt away while being guided by a local instructor on water painting techniques with the Tuscan hills as your landscape.  The outdoor beauty of Tuscany and its rolling hills can inspire even the most reluctant of us to channel our inner Leonardo da Vinci!

Later tonight, we have another special treat in store.  We will visit a local restaurant to delight in and taste various dishes for which Tuscany is famous and eat like a local.  And no dinner is complete without sampling more local Tuscan wine.  The rest is history, folks.

After breakfast, start your day at our host Villa with a relaxing, outdoor yoga session led by a local instructor who will guide us through stretching and relaxing techniques all the while surrounded by the beauty of Tuscany.

After, let’s meet again for more hands-on cooking lessons.  Today, we will learn how to make a local favorites, bruschetta for starters and then, fresh handmade ravioli with bolognese sauce.  Using only the finest ingredients, we immerse ourselves in our lunch menu and of course, sit together sharing all that we’ve learned as we enjoy our lunch with Tuscan wine.

After lunch, you have time to play tennis, relax by the pool, go on a hike or even visit our host Villa’s museum and see for yourself gardening tools and antiques used by farmers of yesteryear.

Around 5 this evening, we gather to be transported back in time as we venture out to a beautiful Tuscan winery for a tour of the historic grounds, an apertivo and dinner together (with Tuscan wine, of course).  Your breath will be taken away by the natural beauty, the history thousands of years old and the delicious meal that awaits us.  We will spend the evening sharing all the exquisite cooking techniques we’ve learned and the recipes we can’t wait to tell our friends about.  You will be the talk of the town!

Cook Like a Local in Tuscany
Hands on Pizza making class

Our day begins with a hearty breakfast as today; we are spending the day in Siena!  Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site and it’s a must see.  Siena is famous for its art, museums, medieval cityscape and of course, the Palio, a horse race held twice a year.

Around 10 am, we travel to Siena where we will be guided by a local on a walking tour of Siena visiting its most important sites and learning about its rich history and culture.  Siena is not to be missed!  You will have free time for lunch on your own in the afternoon and we are happy to provide you with a list of restaurants where the locals eat.  Feel free to enjoy your afternoon visiting, shopping, or simply drinking a coffee in one of the famous town squares.  The guided tour lasts about 2 hours and you will have about 2 hours on your own to enjoy Siena as the local do.

Later tonight and back at our host Villa, we have yet another special treat!  We’ve invited a local personality to come and spin pizza for us and entertain us while we learn how to make authentic Italian pizza.  We will learn to make the dough and have several different toppings to choose from.  As we work together as a group, we are entertained by our local pizza chef with all sorts of “pizza entertainment.”  Choose your toppings and let’s bake our pizza!  We will have our cooking experience outside (weather permitting) and sample all the great pizzas we’ve made.  No pizza dinner is complete without some homemade gelato after all.  You’ll have many flavors to choose from for dessert tonight as Simone is busy preparing our dessert!  Prego!

After breakfast, we come back together again to cook for the last time during our Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun Experience.  Today, we start by learning how to make pappardelle pasta and a typical and delicious local sauce, pappardelle al cinghiale.  This sauce, cinghiale or wild boar sauce, is one of the locals’ favorites and our resident chef, Simone, will share his secrets on how to make and perfect this delicious sauce—shhhhh, it’s a secret.  We will also make the dessert for our dinner tonight, Semifreddo.  Semifreddo is a lush creamy frozen Italian dessert.  As a special treat, we are also going to learn how to make various Italian cookies which you can enjoy anytime you’d like.  After we’ve learned more about the Tuscan cuisine, it’s time, of course, to enjoy our lunch together with some Tuscan wine so we can really enjoy La Dolce Vita!

This afternoon, you’ll have time to relax at our host Villa either by lounging by the pool or taking a walk through the gardens.  Optionally, we can arrange transportation for you to visit the Mall, a famous outdoor shopping mall filled with various well known Italian designer outlets.  For others, we can arrange transportation to a golf course where you can spend a few hours perfecting your swing.

Tonight, our last night together, we will have a farewell apertivo in the courtyard recounting highlights from our Experience and enjoy an exclusive dinner menu we’ve created including an additional pasta and a unforgettable cut of meat for our farewell dinner.  Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the  Semifreddo we made at lunchtime either!  Finally, after dinner, we’ve invited a famous local musician to perform international music so we can celebrate our time together.  Shall we dance?

Authentic Italian cooking classes
Beautiful Tuscan Experience
*Menu will be shared with guests prior to arrival.  Please let us know of any food allergies, food sensitivities and/or dietary restrictions so that where possible, substitutions can be made in advance.
*Itinerary, menu and dates subject to change.

After breakfast this morning, don’t forget to take your final photos of the very beautiful Tuscany, our host Villa and all the new friends you’ve made.  Take a last stroll in the gardens, visit the olive trees, smell the fresh Tuscan air, smiling into the sun for it’s not farewell but until next time….

For those extending their Experience, we have several optional add-ons for you to choose from.  We are happy to arrange a day in Florence with a local guide who can guide you on a city tour or a museum tour.  We also have preferred hotel partners too.  Seeking more relaxation?  Well, we can also help organize a day or weekend at a local spa where you can enjoy the thermal pools, spa treatments and massages.

Just remember, you may leave Tuscany but Tuscany will never leave you.  Once you’ve experienced Tuscany, you will never forget La Dolce Vita.  Besides, after having lived like a local for the week, you are now part of the family.

Optional

  • Airport Transfers
  • If you plan to arrive before or leave after you Experience, additional Villa nights
  • Extended, customized days before or after your scheduled Experience (including if you want to spend a day with us during our Tuscan Wine and Culture Experience)
  • Apartment Upgrade-1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments available
  • Day trip to Florence with optional local guide
  • Spa experience (Thermal pools and baths, thermal mud treatments, day spa treatments and couples treatments)
  • Italian designer outlet shopping
  • Golf

Email us at info@atoasttotravel.com for more information

Welcome to Tuscany!  Our host Villa is located in San Giovanni Valdarno and dates back to the 14th century and was known for its strategic position, set halfway up the hill separating the Valdarno and Chianti Valleys.  Plan to relax and have a fun filled week of daily hands-on cooking lessons from a menu we’ve designed exclusively for our Experience, truffle hunting, visiting a local market, an outdoor yoga class, painting lessons, pizza making with a local pizza chef, wine tastings at a local Castle and a day in Siena.  During your Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun Experience, you can also enjoy the swimming pool, solarium, tennis courts, Italian gardens, hiking and panoramic views at our host Villa for your unforgettable and relaxing week in the Tuscan countryside where you are surrounded by olive trees, rolling hills and the vineyards of Tuscany.
After you’ve taken it all in, we meet tonight around 6 pm for our welcome cocktail (aperitivo) in the outdoor courtyard surrounded by the beautiful hills of Tuscany and begin to sample some of the local wines and appetizers which can range from bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and local olive oil, to prosciutto and salami, while we socialize with our fellow guests and toast to travel!  After our aperitivo, we gather around our Tuscan dinner table for a meal specially prepared for us including fresh made risotto with mushrooms, filets of meat, fresh vegetables and possibly the most delicious and moist Tiramisu you’ve ever tried.  As we toast each other with our local Tuscan wine, we share with you all the exciting experiences in store for the week ahead.  Pace yourself, pace yourself!
Start your day with a delicious Tuscan country breakfast, for the sweet lovers, there are delicious home- made cakes, tortes, brioches, homemade jams, for those who love the savory, local salumi and cheeses with many different choices of Italian breads to use to surround the taste of the meats and cheeses.  After breakfast, get ready because it’s time to hunt for Truffles!  We are guided by master truffle hunters and dogs as we hunt truffles to use for our cooking class later today.
Gathering our truffles freshly gained, we head to the kitchen to begin our cooking class.  Today, we will immerse ourselves in the art of making fresh, hand-made tagliatelle and using the truffles from our morning hunt, we will make a delicious and mouthwatering sauce to top our fresh tagliatelle.  Our resident chef, Simone, will guide us each step of the way showing us how to mix, roll and cut our tagliatelle so that each strand of pasta is more perfect than the next.  Our sauce will envelop the tagliatelle with a mouth-watering perfection where each bite is more delicious than the next.  During today’s cooking lesson, we will also cook dishes we will eat at dinner so that you can fully immerse yourself in cooking various Tuscan dishes.  For our dinner later tonight, we will also cook a long standing Tuscan favorite, Stufato di Vitello (veal stew) and make one of the most beloved cakes—torta della nonna (or grandmother’s cake).  La torta della nonna has a long history in Tuscany and is a traditional Tuscan dessert.  Of course, let’s not forget to sit together and eat the lunch we cooked while sipping our Tuscan wine.
You can relax this afternoon either by the pool or in one of the beautiful garden spots and catch up on your reading.  At around 6 tonight, we meet in our host Villa’s underground wine cellar for a tour, a conversation about its history (including the wartime escape hatches that led residents safely into the surrounding woods) and of course, to sample local wines while noshing on tasty, Tuscan appetizers.  For dinner tonight, we shall dine on our creations cooked during the lunch cooking class and learn about the history of our host Villa while we meet members of our host family.  We know you will love them as much as we do.  You will never forget the way they live their lives, true examples of generosity, respect, love and kindness.
After breakfast, we meet for a trip to the local market where we can learn first-hand how locals shop for their bread, cheese, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables.  We will spend time in the market exploring all things local, including their love of great food and fresh, farm grown produce.  After the market, we’re back to the kitchen where local flavor is the key ingredient to Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun.  Today we are learning to make pappa al Pomodoro and gnocchi with a special sauce, a local favorite.  We immerse ourselves in the preparation of all ingredients needed to make pappa al pomodoro, a hearty tomato bread soup, with fresh tomatoes, bread, olive oil, garlic and basil.  Then, we begin to make our hand-made gnocchi carefully shaping each piece into a delectable creation to be savored with our special, local sauce that our chef coaches us on how to make.  Now, a tavola!  It’s time to eat!
Later this afternoon and as a special treat, we gather near the terrace of our beautiful host Villa where we will take a painting class overlooking the beautiful valley.  Relax and feel all your tensions melt away while being guided by a local instructor on water painting techniques with the Tuscan hills as your landscape.  The outdoor beauty of Tuscany and its rolling hills can inspire even the most reluctant of us to channel our inner Leonardo da Vinci!
Later tonight, we have another special treat in store.  We will visit a local restaurant to delight in and taste various dishes for which Tuscany is famous and eat like a local.  And no dinner is complete without sampling more local Tuscan wine.  The rest is history, folks.
After breakfast, start your day at our host Villa with a relaxing, outdoor yoga session led by a local instructor who will guide us through stretching and relaxing techniques all the while surrounded by the beauty of Tuscany.
After, let’s meet again for more hands-on cooking lessons.  Today, we will learn how to make a local favorites, bruschetta for starters and then, fresh hand-made ravioli with bolognese sauce.  Using only the finest ingredients, we immerse ourselves in our lunch menu and of course, sit together sharing all that we’ve learned as we enjoy our lunch with Tuscan wine.
After lunch, you have time to play tennis, relax by the pool, go on a hike or even visit our host Villa’s museum and see for yourself gardening tools and antiques used by farmers of yesteryear.
Around 5 this evening, we gather to be transported back in time as we venture out to a beautiful Tuscan winery for a tour of the historic grounds, an apertivo and dinner together (with Tuscan wine, of course).  Your breath will be taken away by the natural beauty, the history thousands of years old and the delicious meal that awaits us.  We will spend the evening sharing all the exquisite cooking techniques we’ve learned and the recipes we can’t wait to tell our friends about.  You will be the talk of the town!
Our day begins with a hearty breakfast as today; we are spending the day in Siena!  Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site and it’s a must see.  Siena is famous for its art, museums, medieval cityscape and of course, the Palio, a horse race held twice a year.
Around 10 am, we travel to Siena where we will be guided by a local on a walking tour of Siena visiting its most important sites and learning about its rich history and culture.  Siena is not to be missed!  You will have free time for lunch on your own in the afternoon and we are happy to provide you with a list of restaurants where the locals eat.  Feel free to enjoy your afternoon visiting, shopping, or simply drinking a coffee in one of the famous town squares.  The guided tour lasts about 2 hours and you will have about 2 hours on your own to enjoy Siena as the local do.
Later tonight and back at our host Villa, we have yet another special treat!  We’ve invited a local personality to come and spin pizza for us and entertain us while we learn how to make authentic Italian pizza.  We will learn to make the dough and have several different toppings to choose from.  As we work together as a group, we are entertained by our local pizza chef with all sorts of “pizza entertainment.”  Choose your toppings and let’s bake our pizza!  We will have our cooking experience outside (weather permitting) and sample all the great pizzas we’ve made.  No pizza dinner is complete without some homemade gelato after all.  You’ll have many flavors to choose from for dessert tonight as Simone is busy preparing our dessert!  Prego!
After breakfast, we come back together again to cook for the last time during our Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun Experience.  Today, we start by learning how to make pappardelle pasta and a typical and delicious local sauce, pappardelle al cinghiale.  This sauce, cinghiale or wild boar sauce, is one of the locals’ favorites and our resident chef, Simone, will share his secrets on how to make and perfect this delicious sauce—shhhhh, it’s a secret.  We will also make the dessert for our dinner tonight, Semifreddo.  Semifreddo is a lush creamy frozen Italian dessert.  As a special treat, we are also going to learn how to make various Italian cookies which you can enjoy anytime you’d like.  After we’ve learned more about the Tuscan cuisine, it’s time, of course, to enjoy our lunch together with some Tuscan wine so we can really enjoy La Dolce Vita!
This afternoon, you’ll have time to relax at our host Villa either by lounging by the pool or taking a walk through the gardens.  Optionally, we can arrange transportation for you to visit the Mall, a famous outdoor shopping mall filled with various well known Italian designer outlets.  For others, we can arrange transportation to a golf course where you can spend a few hours perfecting your swing.
Tonight, our last night together, we will have a farewell apertivo in the courtyard recounting highlights from our Experience and enjoy an exclusive dinner menu we’ve created including an additional pasta and a unforgettable cut of meat for our farewell dinner.  Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the  Semifreddo we made at lunchtime either!  Finally, after dinner, we’ve invited a famous local musician to perform international music so we can celebrate our time together.  Shall we dance?
After breakfast this morning, don’t forget to take your final photos of the very beautiful Tuscany, our host Villa and all the new friends you’ve made.  Take a last stroll in the gardens, visit the olive trees, smell the fresh Tuscan air, smiling into the sun for it’s not farewell but until next time….
For those extending their Experience, we have several optional add-ons for you to choose from.  We are happy to arrange a day in Florence with a local guide who can guide you on a city tour or a museum tour.  We also have preferred hotel partners too.  Seeking more relaxation?  Well, we can also help organize a day or weekend at a local spa where you can enjoy the thermal pools, spa treatments and massages.
Just remember, you may leave Tuscany but Tuscany will never leave you.  Once you’ve experienced Tuscany, you will never forget La Dolce Vita.  Besides, after having lived like a local for the week, you are now part of the family.
*Menu will be shared with guests prior to arrival.  Please let us know of any food allergies, food sensitivities and/or dietary restrictions so that where possible, substitutions can be made in advance.
*Itinerary, menu and dates subject to change.

Optional

  • Airport Transfers
  • If you plan to arrive before or leave after you Experience, additional Villa nights
  • Extended, customized days before or after your scheduled Experience (including if you want to spend a day with us during our Tuscan Wine and Culture Experience)
  • Apartment Upgrade-1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments available
  • Day trip to Florence with optional local guide
  • Spa experience (Thermal pools and baths, thermal mud treatments, day spa treatments and couples treatments)
  • Italian designer outlet shopping
  • Golf

Email us at info@atoasttotravel.com for more information