Cooking & Brunello Wine Lovers’ Adventure Tour in Southern Tuscany
Fall in love with the cooking and beauty of Tuscany, drink some of Italy’s top reds like Brunello, stroll on magnificent country paths, explore ancient hill towns. Experience the sweet life as you cook, eat and laugh with a wonderful variety of fun loving, local Tuscans, like chefs, olive oil producer, pecorino cheese producer, and winery owners, who soon feel like your new friends. In quaint, little walled hill town of Pienza, stay at a lovely hotel, formerly a monastery, with gardens, pool and amazing views of Val D’Orcia. It’s right in town so you step out into local life.
Experience cooking Tuscan specialties with a charming restaurant owner/chef in a small mountain hamlet and an artisan olive oil producer who shows you his exotic, organic gardens and how he makes olive oil with his traditional granite wheel. Learn about Brunello in a private tasting at a wine estate. Discover Vino Nobile di Montepulciano with a winery owner in his 14th century wine cellars. A Tuscan buffet for your senses and soul!
Read about the “Italians you will meet” on this Italy cooking school tour.
- 6 nights at hotel, with private bath and breakfast
- 3 cooking classes with full menu meals
- all lunches & one dinner
- excursions in the Italy cooking school tour itinerary
- private transport with a driver & a guide (2 staff)
- pick up and drop off at Chiusi train station
- 5 dinners
- wine with meals so you can choose which Tuscan wines you’d like
- If you’d like a private driver to Rome, Florence or beyond, we’re happy to arrange it for you.
6 Night Italy Cooking School Tour Itinerary
Via private transfer from Chiusi railway station, (about halfway between Florence and Rome ) you’ll arrive at your lovely historic hotel in the medieval heart of Pienza. Once you’re settled, if you wish, walk through the pristine countryside of rolling vineyards and olive groves. That evening, sit down to a jovial dinner with your group in a renowned local restaurant.
Drive to an organic farm, abundant with exotic trees and plants where the smiling and proud owner, Alberto still makes olive oil like others before him using the granite wheel. You’ll be enraptured as he tells how they made olive oil in the old days and why he sustains those practices today.
He’s a fabulous cook too! In your cooking class in his cozy farmhouse kitchen, he’ll share how he has resurrected the art of cooking traditional Tuscan dishes—with the farm’s olive oil—that were vanishing from the local cuisine. You’ll dine on your delicious creations around a wood table in his cozy olive oil production room.
Down the road from Alberto, visit a family’s Brunello winery where they welcome your warmly to walk through their cellars, discover what makes Brunello so special and taste their Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino.
With your guide, stroll through medieval hill town, Montalcino, home to Brunello wine, browse in shops, admire the vast country views. At the enoteca (wine shop) in a medieval fortress, enjoy learning about Brunello with a knowledgeable staff member as you taste a variety of Brunellos.
Drive home and enjoy a light dinner on your own in one of Pienza’s many good restaurants or wine bars.
From Pienza take a two hour optional walk along the beautiful and winding country roads on a lovely ridge with valley views all around you from Pienza to the walled hill town of Monticchiello. Your van will follow you, so you can walk or ride in the van.
Enjoy a leisurely, light lunch in pristine little Monticchiello. Time to relax in Monticchiello.
Visit a winery in a 14th century palazzo in little Montefollonico. The hospitable winery owner will take you on a tour of the cellars and lead you through a wine tasting. Enjoy tasting his Rosso di Montepulciano, Vino Nobile and Vin Santo and chatting about life on his garden terrace with fabulous views across the valley to Montepulciano.
Drive to a family of cheese makers who show you where and how they make pecorino cheeses and ricotta. Taste their cheeses with some local foods.
Drive back to Pienza for dinner on your own.
Drive to hill town of Montepulciano, famous for its Vino Nobile, another top Italian red, and its lovely Renaissance palazzos and stunning views. Relax over a morning cappuccino in a beautiful 19th century cafe with period style decor.
Cook with the chef in an excellent restaurant in Montepulciano where their Tuscan dishes have a creative flair. Lunch of your creations at the restaurant.
Take a guided walk through walled hill town, Montepulciano and admiring the splendid views over the vast countryside. Visit a local winery’s shop to taste more wonderful Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Free time in Montepulciano to browse the amazing array of stores selling tablecloths and ceramics, leather goods and art. Lots of wine shops offer you free wine tastings of the famous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Dinner on your own back in Pienza. (not included) After your abundant lunch, you’ll want to eat light, perhaps at a wine bar.
Drive to Siena. Morning walking tour with a Siena guide in the historic centre to learn about Siena’s history, art and architecture. See the beautiful, striped cathedral and imposing town hall, both with lovely fresoces and towers you can climb for top views.
Light lunch together in Siena. Afternoon free to shop, explore or just hang out.
Return home. Dinner at a nearby typical Tuscan restaurant.
Take a scenic drive up into the hills of Monte Amiata to a tiny hamlet with lots of chestnut trees to a restaurant well known for its outstanding cuisine, especially its mushroom dishes, praised in many guidebooks.
You’ll cook beside chef and owner Roberto, our most popular chef. He is the epitome of warm hospitality, an excellent cooking teacher and a charming man passionate about food and wine.
Dine on your creations with wines specially chosen by Roberto.
If you wish, visit a nearby park of intriguing, fun modern sculpture, managed by Roberto.
On the way back, visit the 1000 year old Romanesque Sant’Antimo church. Set in an absolutely idyllic valley, you’ll stand in awe, admiring a quintessential Tuscan view of cypresses zigzagging up hills, olive trees, vineyards and fields
Drive back to your hotel to relax in the garden with a book or enjoy a leisurely walk.
Light dinner on your own. After your bountiful lunch at Roberto’s, you’ll want to eat light!
Checkout after breakfast and return to the Chiusi train station, marking the end of this unforgettable food, wine and cultural immersion, sparkling with tales of good times you shared with wonderful local people.
Note: The Italy cooking school tour itinerary is subject to minor changes. We will do our best to keep them to a minimum.
If you’d like to start this Italy cooking school tour on another day, not Monday, just let us know and we’ll change the order of events.