6 Days Active Gourmet Walking & Cooking in Tuscany

  • Hotel Il Borgo di Vescine, Radda in Chianti, Siena 53017, Italy

6 Days Active Gourmet Walking & Cooking in Tuscany

  • Hotel Il Borgo di Vescine, Radda in Chianti, Siena 53017, Italy

Cooking and Walking Tours in Italy

Discover the joys of the Tuscan table as you learn the secrets of Italian cooking from our charming local friends. Celebrate fresh seasonal ingredients prepared with passion, yet minimal manipulation. Slow down and let food be the focal point of the day; savor this journey that nurtures both body and spirit.

Highlights

  • 5 walking trips
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Olive oil tour, olive oil tasting
  • Wine tour, wine tasting, honey tasting
  • Farm visit, truffle hunting, cheese tour
  • Specialty cookery shop, restaurant trips
  • 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 4 days with instruction
  • Italian, English
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Casual inns

Albergo le Terme, Bagno Vignoni (2 nights)

This charming family-owned hotel overlooks the town's central piazza, whose ancient pool is fed by underground thermal springs. (pool, spa)

Il Borgo di Vscine, Radda in Chianti (2 nights)

A 13th-century hamlet handsomely restored as a welcoming hotel with unsurpassed views of the Tuscan countryside. (pool, tennis)

Palazzo Leopoldo, Radda in Chianti (1 night)

Located in the heart of the Chianti region, this elegant 14th-century manor house features spacious guest rooms with original frescoes. (pool, spa)

Day 1

  • Meander through vineyards, woodland and Renaissance hill towns.
  • Welcomed by local amici along the way.
  • Get a taste of the region's undulating terrain as you stroll from Castellina to Vescine.
  • Homer once called olive oil "liquid gold" - you'll call it delicious during your exclusive degustazione (tasting).
  • Sip Chianti and prepare a home-style Italian meal alongside locals in the cucina of their cooking school.

Day 2-3

  • Explore picture perfect Panzano, home to Tuscany's best known butcher and numerous fine Chianti wineries.
  • From the tiny church of San Giusto in Salcio, amble from one unbelievable vista to the next, stopping for lunch at a local home for a one-of-a-kind alfresco feast among the grapevines.
  • Tonight's culinary theme is pizza! Join Backroads' friends, Ciro and Umberto, to learn how to let the dough fly.
  • High ridges and peaceful forests lead the way to your lunch spot in the home of a local friend - a one-of-a-kind experience!
  • In Radda, enjoy a private wine talk and pour - and balsamic vinegar tasting - with Backroads' friend, Fabrizio.

Day 4-6

  • Follow the strade bianche (white roads) of southern Tuscany's Val d'Orcia.
  • Head south to the crete senesi (chalk hills) to hunt for truffles.
  • Wander in Renaissance-style Pienza, Pope Pius II's utopian village.
  • Vibrant green in springtime, rich gold in autumn, the surrounding hills are a joy to explore in any season.
  • Lunch takes place at an agriturismo (working farm) and dinner is a hands-on affair as you prepare piatti tipici Toscani, typical Tuscan dishes.
  • Say arrivederci to Tuscany with a leisurely walk to the village of San Quirico d'Orcia.

Follow the strade bianche (white roads) of southern Tuscany's Val d'Orcia

Walk through vineyards, woodland and Renaissance hill towns

Your trip starts and ends in Florence, Italy.

Tuscan cuisine appeals to the soul. Its straightforward and honest, a celebration of fresh ingredients prepared with minimal manipulation - rustic ribollita soup, melt-in-your-mouth bruschetta, pecorino toscano drizzled with honey and peperoncino, a glass of Chianti Classico, its habit-forming.

Arrival by bus

Bolognas airport is located about 4 miles from the Bologna Centrale train station. A shuttle bus is available for this 20-minute transfer.

Trains from Bologna to Florence run regularly. Travel time is 40 minutes on the faster Eurostar Italia trains (Frecciarossa or Frecciargento).

There is a comfortable airport bus offering service between Malpensa airport and the Milano Centrale train station. Buses depart every 20 minutes from 6:20 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Travel time is 50 minutes depending on traffic.

Buses depart from Linate airport to Milano Centrale every 30 minutes from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Travel time is 25 minutes.

Trains from Milan to Florence run frequently. Travel time on the Frecciarossa train is about 2 hours.

If you fly into Romes Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) airport, you can take the Leonardo Express commuter train directly from the airport to the Roma Termini train station.

The train runs every half-hour from 6:38 a.m. until 11:38 p.m.; travel time is 30 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket counter or automated machines. Be sure to validate your ticket in one of the yellow stamping machines on the platform before boarding the train.

Trains from Rome to Florence run about every half hour. Travel time on the faster Eurostar Italia trains (Frecciarossa or Frecciargento) is 1 hours. Expect to spend approximately 3 hours total traveling from the Rome airport to Florences Santa Maria Novella train station.

There is a direct shuttle bus running between Pisas Galileo Galilei airport and Florences Santa Maria Novella train station. The trip takes 70 minutes. There is also a direct train that takes 1 hours.

Arrival by airplane

We suggest flying into Florences Amerigo Vespucci Airport (airport code: FLR), which is located a few miles northwest of the city. From the airport, its a short bus trip or taxi ride into town or to the train station.

You can also fly into Rome (FCO), Milan (MXP), Bologna (BLQ) or Pisa (PSA) and take the train to Florence.

Arrival by car

For private car service in the Tuscany area, we recommend Ricci Bus.

Ricci Bus serves the Florence and Rome airports and can provide transportation to and from our pick-up and drop-off locations for competitive rates. Let them know you're a Backroads guest. Keep Ricci Bus in mind for transportation if you plan to extend your stay in Tuscany before or after your Backroads trip.

Arrival by train

Please note that we meet at Florences Santa Maria Novella train station, not the Campo Marte station.

Testimonials

  • Review by Carrie Laureno from United States
    9 out of 10

    "As someone who has lived in Italy in the past and who has traveled here for 25 years, I can say that you have aced this itinerary. The experience was extremely authentic - meeting local artisans and foodies who are very proud of their respective crafts, engaging with the culture in a deep way that is atypical of tour groups, etc. I wasn't sure what to expect of an American tour company in a country I know like the back of my hand, but I learned so many new things from all of the leaders and the local providers (e.g. the caseificio di pecorino, the tartufaio). Claire and Luca were also very actively engaged in every part of the trip. They knew a tremendous amount about local history, customs and culture that added great value on a daily if not hourly basis. Their willingness to be flexible based on everyone's interests was very evident. We all seemed to get what we wanted out of the trip."

    Backroads website, edited

  • Review by Jan Dotson from United States
    9 out of 10

    "Backroads just doesn't know how to put together anything but the perfect trip! Thank you for another memorable travel experience."

    Backroads website, edited

  • Review by Cory J.
    9 out of 10

    "I can't say enough good things about this company or the trip we took, which was six days of biking in Utah-Bryce and Zion National Parks. The weather was pretty bad the second and third day, though nothing could be done about it. The trip leaders were great about coming up with alternatives to biking in pouring rain, which none of us wanted to do, especially since the canyon would be fogged in so we couldn't see it anyway. Trip leaders were fun, energetic, knowledgeable, helpful, flexible, and hardworking. I love that all we had to do was show up, think about how far we wanted to ride that day, and get on the bikes. Food was good (not great, but we are talking about lodges in the national parks), scenery and rides were amazing. You could go as far as you wanted. Change your mind and want to bail on the ride? No problem.There were 22 strangers at the beginning of the trip, and 22 friends at the end. Finances permitting, will definitely go on another Backroads adventure!"

    Yelp website, edited

  • Review by Linda Biaggi from United States
    9 out of 10

    "This was our third Backroads trip with the first two being over 20 years ago. We experienced the same enthusiasm from Backroads and the leaders today as back then. Backroads does it right! Every aspect seems well thought out - the hotels, meals, bicycle routes, events put on by the locals specifically for us (wine tasting, lunches, dinners, the 'lavender lady', the 'olive oil lady'), snacks, wines...the list goes on and on! This trip will go down in our memory books as first rate in all aspects!!"

    Backroads website, edited

  • Review by Paula Gorlitz
    9 out of 10

    "The trip really did exceed our expectations on every level, especially the level of expertise and professionalism of the guides. We especially loved being introduced to local people like the berry farmer and going to the cooking lesson and making pasta and eating at their restaurants because both afforded us such an intimate inside glimpse of the country that we would never have gotten on our own."

    Backroads website, edited

  • Review by Susan from United States
    9 out of 10

    "We had a great trip. It was our first time in South America and Peru. There is no way we could have duplicated the trip on our own. Before the trip I was lukewarm about the cooking lesson, visit to the school and ceramic workshop, but these personal visits turned out to be the highlights. To be invited into people's homes and businesses was very special and I'm glad we got to see the whole spectrum from the most elegant homes to the most basic houses."

    Backroads website, edited

  • Review by Theresa Medina Chimerakis
    9 out of 10

    "Our first Backroads trip....that's why we've come back again, and again...LOVED Castello Di Velona...thanks for posting this picture..great memories!!!"

    Backroads Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Monica Westley
    9 out of 10

    "Our Backroads trip was amazing!!"

    Backroads Facebook page, edited

Berkeley, United States

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6 days / 5 nights

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This vacation is available on selected dates, please select an arrival date below.

 

Low season
  • September 24

 

Mid season
  • September 10, 17

 

High season
  • June 4
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Departure:
Friday September 29, 2017
(6 days / 5 nights)

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