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You've heard the hype: Tuscany, Italy is as beautiful as a postcard, the food is incredible, the landscape is breathtaking, the streets are vibrant and full of charm and history, and the wine is, arguably, some of the best on Earth. And it's TRUE!
Imagine spending the morning overlooking vine-covered hills of Tuscany as the sun peaks through the mist, cooking with the best of the best locally produced ingredients, enjoying meals al fresco with exquisite wines that we've discovered along the way. We'll explore the Tuscan culinary scene, visiting artisan cheese makers, olive mills and vineyards that produce some of the best wines in the world.
Just when we're ready to relax and take it all in, our meticulously renovated 16th-century villa awaits! And the best part of this extraordinary week is that I will be hosting this trip alongside my dear friend, Valentina Lizzo, proprietor of this lovely villa. You will be in excellent hands!
** Price based on double occupancy, single supplement charge applies for solo travelers. Limited availability for sIngle occupancy rooms. Airfare not included. Deposit of $2000.00 per person required to secure a spot. See tour Terms and Conditions here.
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We'll stay at the luxurious and beautiful Villa Vallentina, in the heart of the Chianti region just outside of Lucca- my favorite Tuscan city, famous for its incredible wine and the best olive oil in the world! This gorgeous 16thcentury renovated estate is situated among olive groves, cypress trees, vegetable gardens, grape vines and rolling hills. With its grand villa, tennis court, and swimming pool with incredible Tuscan scenery, our home for the week will make you feel like you're in an Italian paradise! Amenities abound, including Wi-Fi and spa services.
Each spacious room in our villa is beautifully furnished and features stunning views that look like a painting! There are two huge suites, with sitting rooms, bathrooms the size of my kitchen, and gorgeous frescos. There are also 3 deluxe rooms which are more spacious, grand, beautifully appointed, and have stunning views. Room upgrades are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please inquire upon registration.
Don't just take my word for it, watch this virtual tour!
This tour will include several hands-on cooking classes that focus on the best of Tuscan cuisine. We'll cook in the villa's gorgeous well-equipped professional kitchen using the freshest ingredients from outdoor markets and butcher shops in the village. Since we'll be there in time for spring, we'll be sure to create some dishes with the bounty of local fresh produce and of course, use plenty of the region's delicious olive oil and cheeses!
We'll make handmade garganelli pasta and top it with a tomato sauce finished with crispy shards of guanciale. And we'll make some of my favorite recipes such as spinach ravioli filled with ricotta and mint, creamy risotto, and decadent desserts like Caramelized Chocolate Almond Budino. Oh, and since we have a big wood-fire oven, we'll have to invite the best local pizzaiolo or master pizza-maker, to come to the villa and make pizzas with us!
In addition to our cooking classes at the villa, we'll explore the region together in comfortable touring vans. There are so many options for our excursions! I am sure we will visit a winery or two where we'll taste and learn about Chianti wine and the Sangiovese grape, Super Tuscan, and Brunello wines - some of the world's most exceptional wines.
Tuscany is also famous for its olive oils and pecorino cheese, so it would be fun to possibly visit an olive mill and cheese producer to see why! Then, we might head off to the town of Pistoia for the incomparable open-air market. Here, we can will find the best local produce we can gather for our evening class and dinner. On the way back to the villa from the market, we might visit the beautiful hilltop town of Montecatini Alto and enjoy lunch on the picturesque square. The options are limitless.
This journey begins on the evening of May 22 with a welcome reception and dinner at the villa and concludes after breakfast, with departure on May 28, 2022. Group transfers are available for a group pick-up at either the Pisa Airport or the Porta Santa Maria Information Center, at the corner of Via San Paolino, in central Lucca.
The price for this journey is $6200.00 US per person, based on double occupancy. A non-refundable deposit of $2000.00 US per person is required to register for the journey. Limited single occupancy rooms available and a single supplement charge of $1500.00 US applies for solo travelers. See the Terms and Conditions for more details.
Accommodations, cooking classes, excursions and day trips, transfers, transportation during the tour, wine and meals, with the exclusion of one meal, are included. Airfare is not included. Final payments are to be made by personal check or money order.
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance.
We are committed to following Federal, State and local health guidelines to the best of our ability during this tour.
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