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Tuscany and Umbria Italy Cooking Vacations

Hop on to your true cooking, culinary, and wine experience in Tuscany, Umbria, and Alto Lazio! This is a week of Italian cooking, culinary and artistic traditions, in some of the most wonderful places in Tuscany, Umbria, and Upper Lazio. This is a week-long journey of discovery when you integrate into Italian rural life, live in your own home, shop with the villagers, shop with them, and get to know them. Most importantly, it is a week full of fun, family, and laughter, because we share in a very personal way what makes Italy so special!


  • Truffle hunting or honey harvest in the Tuscan countryside
  • Historic olive oil mill tour - tasting and lunch in a garden terrace
  • Pizza and cheese making class, and 3 fully hands-on cooking classes
  • Exclusive Tuscan winery tours and tastings, as well as lunch in a vineyard
  • Excursions to Assisi, Orvieto, Pienza, Montalcino, and Montepulciano
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners, and 6 lunches, including select wines
  • 7 nights authentic Italian homes accommodation
  • Airport and train station shuttle

Skill level

  • Beginner


7 days with instruction
Group size: 6-18 participants
Airport transfer included: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
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  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Kitchen
  • Free Wi-Fi

Private village homes

Enjoy your personal and private home in a beautiful medieval village for each night of your vacation with Culture Discovery Vacations.

All guest accommodations are interspersed throughout the town, close to Soriano’s main “Piazza”, or town square. Most date back to medieval or the renaissance period. Each one of them is unique, and has been completely restored with modern conveniences like air-conditioning, TV, and Wi-Fi, all while maintaining their original beauty and charm. Your village home will be within several hundred feet of the piazza, so getting to and from is very quick, and incredibly pleasant each day.

Immersed in local tradition

Your neighbors for the week are not other travelers, they are part of the local community. You will find yourself getting to know them with that daily "good morning" wave, smile, and buongiorno! You will most likely see them in town, and really get a sense of belonging as you weave yourself into the fabric of Italian village life.


All of the village homes you will be staying at are actual homes that were private residences at one time. As such, they all have private bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, refrigerators, etc. All of the homes have heat and air-conditioning, as well as satellite TV with English-language programming. All homes have free wireless internet.


Each home is unique in, square footage, design, décor and floor-plan. Some have valley views, some have castle views, and some have village views. Some offer balconies, while others do not. Some have two bedrooms, and some are one bedroom homes. Different homes will not be charged at different prices, but your host will do their best to assign homes based on what they know about their guests’ personal preferences or needs.


It is all about fun, laughter, family, food, and wine!

This week-long vacation is an all-inclusive experience that offers a wonderful mixture of some of Central Italy’s highlights with some truly off-the-beaten-path treasures unique to the area.

You will have three half-day completely hands-on cooking classes this week, including regional classic Italian recipes and pizza. You will also make fresh ricotta cheese and make grappa in a cellar!

When you are not cooking, you are heading out on some truly incredible excursions. You will visit some amazing wineries, including small family-run places where you will meet the owners and dine with them. You will drink some of the most celebrated Italian wines like Brunello, Vino Nobile, and Chianti.

You will have lunch in Tuscan vineyards and visit a wine cellar that is widely considered to be the most beautiful cellar in the world. You will have lunch at a small home-based olive mill that makes arguably, the best extra-virgin Umbrian olive oil you will ever have! You will visit a generations-old, operational Deruta ceramics factory where you try your hand at the potter's wheel. You will see many other beautiful-beyond-description Italian gems such as Assisi, Orvieto, Pienza, and more.

Day 1: Arrivals and welcome dinner

Private transfer after your arrival at either Rome FCO airport or Orte train station. You will be provided with a scheduled shuttle from either arrival point.

Once in Soriano, your home-base for the week, you will be accompanied to your accommodations, where you can unwind, relax, and enjoy some down time before you begin the week. Or explore the town!

You will meet for a hosted orientation to get to know one another and talk about the week ahead over some wine, snacks, and gelato. Then you will do a little shopping for the cooking class in the morning.

Enjoy a full-course, special menu traditional welcome dinner tonight!

Day 2: Cooking class and excursion to Orvieto

Start your day with an Italian breakfast at your leisure at a local café and pastry shop.

Full-course cooking class at a renovated 18th country villa. Learn to make authentic Italian Classics like bruschetta, gnocchi, fire-roasted Tuscan chicken, and tiramisu.

Pecorino and Ricotta cheese making with a local shepherd. Dine al fresco on the delicious meal you made.

Take a luxury coach ride to Orvieto after. Start with a guided visit to the amazing 14th-century Gothic cathedral. Enjoy some time for shopping and exploring the narrow streets of this historic hilltop Umbrian town.

Enjoy a full-course dinner at a local trattoria tonight.

Day 3: Full Day Excursion to Tuscany

Enjoy an Italian breakfast at your leisure at a local café and pastry shop.

Take a luxury coach ride to beautiful Pienza with gorgeous valley views and wonderful Pecorino cheese!

Exclusive wine tasting and lunch with the winemakers at their Vino Nobile vineyards in Montepulciano.

Visit the workshop at a local coppersmith in the historical center of Montepulciano.

Tour the amazing cellars of the historic Vino Nobile cantina in Montepulciano and enjoy a wine tasting there.

Tonight's dinner will be at a local osteria in Soriano.

Day 4: Cooking class and excursion to Viterbo, “The City of Popes”

Enjoy an Italian breakfast at your leisure at a local café and pastry shop.

Take a full-course cooking class at a renovated 18th country villa. Make pasta or eggplant parmesan from scratch, saltimbocca or polpette di amatriciana, ricotta, and vin santo tart.

Go on a luxury coach excursion to the historical center of Viterbo, known for its beautiful fountains and Papal Palace. Walk and shop amongst the locals on the corso of this hidden gem of a town in Alto Lazio.

Dinner is in a unique and private setting, hosted by one of your chef instructors!

Day 5: Full-day excursion to Tuscany by luxury coach

Enjoy an Italian breakfast at your leisure at a local café and pastry shop.

Go truffle hunting or join a honey harvest in the Tuscan countryside. Then, indulge in an exclusive cellar visit, wine tasting, and lunch al fresco with the winemakers at their vineyards of their small-production Brunello winery.

Today, you will also get to stroll through the meandering streets of the historical center of Montalcino.

Dinner tonight will be a truly unique dining experience at an historic castle and still home of a Tuscan duchess of royal descent.

Day 6: Luxury coach to Assisi, Deruta, and a private party!

Enjoy an Italian breakfast at your leisure at a local café and pastry shop.

Start the day with a visit and instruction at a generations-old and famous Deruta pottery workshop. Then, try your hand at the potters-wheel. They have an incredible showroom as well!

Enjoy an amazing lunch at a countryside villa and restaurant featuring the famous cuisine from the region of Emilia Romagna, where prosciutto di parma, parmesan cheese, mortadella, lasagna, and pasta bolognese all come from!

Visit the historical center of Assisi, home of St. Francis, The Patron Saint of Italy. Marvel at the beautiful architecture of this incredible town that features the truly spectacular Basilica of St. Francis.

Unwind, relax, and enjoy the night while you wine and dine at the villa where you will have your cooking classes. Be ready for a specially-prepared dinner and evening hosted by your chef instructors!

Day 7: Olive oil mill visit - sacred woods and pizza night!

Enjoy an Italian breakfast at your leisure at a local café and pastry shop.

You will start your day with a guided visit through a very special outdoor “museum” called Monster Park or The Sacred Wood. Discover the wonders of truly remarkable 500-year-old sculptors carved out of the natural rock. You will not believe what you will see!

One of the highlights of the week will be the tour of a 100 year-old, family-run, traditional cold-press extra virgin olive oil mill and winery. You will have a fabulous tasting and lunch with the family in the garden terrace of the mill.

Pizza night at the villa! Make your own pizza from scratch and bake them in the wood-fired oven. A fun and festive evening to cap off an incredible week making new friends while having the vacation-of-a-lifetime!

Day 8: Departure day

Sadly, the vacation week is over. Enjoy an Italian breakfast at the café and pastry shop before you leave.

There will be a scheduled shuttle by luxury coach to the Orte train station for departures no earlier than 7 a.m. The scheduled shuttle to Rome Fiumicino (FCO) airport in time for departures no earlier than 10:30 a.m.

Culture Discovery Vacations hope that you will remember this week with fond and long-lasting memories, while hoping to see you again!


Itinerary is subject to change. This is a base itinerary, which is subject to minor changes before the vacation begins. Changes may be reorganization of days due to closure and festivals, changes due to weather, or seasonal changes.

Included excursions

When you are not cooking, you will be heading out on some truly incredible outings:

  • 2 full-day trips to Tuscany with town visits to Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano
  • Vineyard lunches with Brunello, Vino Nobile, and Chianti winemakers at their small-production Tuscan wineries
  • Visits to Umbrian towns like Orvieto and Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi and home to the stunning Basilica of St. Francis
  • Tour a generations-old, family-run traditional cold-press extra virgin olive oil mill and winery
  • Make pottery at a Deruta pottery factory and workshop
  • Viterbo - The City of Popes!
  • Truffle hunting with trained and skilled dogs (not pigs!)
  • Guided tour of Parco dei Mostri aka… Monster Park!
  • Tour and dinner at a medieval castle


Twenty minutes off the main highway that leads from Rome to Florence lies the hilltop hamlet of Soriano nel Cimino. Nestled in the majestic Cimini Mountains and above the Tiber River Valley, Soriano has incredible beauty and charm, a place where you can still experience real, authentic Italian life. During your stay in Soriano, you will mingle with the locals. Shop at specialty grocers as well as cheese and butcher shops that have been family-run for generations. Nearly all of what they offer is locally sourced. Like Pecorino and Ricotta, Porchetta, and other cured meats. This is classic Italy at its finest. Here, you will find travelers, but not tourists in this charming village with a medieval quarter lying below the centuries-old Orsini Castle. This is truly a hidden gem in Central Italy.


When you think of Italy, you cannot help but to think of all the delicious food! The connections with Italian culture run deep with savory thoughts of the wonderful pasta, pizza, parmesan, prosciutto, and so much more!

This vacation is all about keeping those connections and traditions alive when you feast on some of the most amazing meals throughout your stay.

Whether it is the results of your fabulous cooking classes or when you go to restaurants, you will have some of the highest quality, locally-sourced foods and wines that you could ever ask for. And there is always plenty of it! Throughout the week, Culture Discovery Vacations' guests always commented on how they “cannot eat another bite!” Yet, somehow, they do and love every bit of it!

All meals are included as part of your vacation week. Start each day living La Dolce Vita and the authentic Italian lifestyle when you head to a local café for your Italian breakfast. You will truly be amongst the locals when you order your special coffee drink and pick out the in-house made cream-filled pastries or other classic Italian delicacies. Tea, juices, and other beverages are also available. As are more savory choices.

Your cooking classes take place in a spacious, fully-equipped kitchen at a beautifully restored 18th century country villa, only a seven-minute drive from your accommodations in town. All the meals are 100% hands-on, from scratch, and locally-sourced. You will be making classic pastas, like pappardelle or tagliatelle, gnocchi, and ravioli. Some of the main courses include wood-fired Tuscan roasted chicken and potatoes, saltimbocca, and eggplant parmigiana. Desserts include tiramisu, panna cotta, and vin santo tarts.

Pizza night classes are always so much fun as you will roll out the dough and make your own personal pizza with hand-selected toppings, then baked in the wood-fired oven. Music plays, wine flows, and you dance under the stars while having some of the best pizza you could ever imagine. It has to be - you made the pizza!

The wines are fabulous and plentiful. At the villa, there is a large wine rack, fully-stocked and ready for guests to enjoy. Invariably, one of guests will assume the role of sommelier for the week and will make sure that you have just the right wine for the right meal.

The classes are as fun as they are informative. The atmosphere is that of family and friends getting together to prepare a delicious meal together. And then enjoy it altogether on the veranda of the villa overlooking the nearby rolling hills and valleys. Just what you would expect living La Dolce Vita, while dining Al Fresco.

Just when you think you have had enough, you will then break out the limoncello, grappa, and espresso to cap off what has been just one of your amazing meals this week!

Your restaurant dining experiences take you to those small, mom and pop places that serve the locals and not the touristy, mass-production places that pack people in and serve below-average food. On the contrary, Culture Discovery Vacations' guests get to enjoy the best of a wide variety of the regional cuisine and wines to get a true taste of living like a local.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Seafood
  • Lactose Free
  • Whole food
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Welcome package
  • Apron and recipe pamphlet
  • 3 fully hands-on cooking classes featuring regional cuisine
  • Locally-sourced ingredients
  • Exclusive Tuscan winery tours and tastings
  • Lunch in a Tuscan vineyard
  • Historic olive oil mill tour - tasting and lunch in a garden terrace
  • Pizza and cheese making class
  • Trips to Assisi - Orvieto - Pienza - Montalcino - Montepulciano
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners, 6 lunches, including select wines
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Airport and train station shuttle

What's not included

  • Airfare or other transportation prior or after this vacation
  • Incidentals or other personal purchases, souvenirs, gifts, etc.
  • Things done outside the group or out of the programed itinerary, including time on your own
  • Food, meals, or beverages outside of what is scheduled on the itinerary (it is very doubtful that you will be hungry at all during the week!)
  • Private transportation

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions

If you will have a rental car, getting to Soriano is extremely easy. The village is about 1.5 hours north of Rome and 2.5 hours south of Florence, just 15 minutes off of Italy's main A1 Autostrada (Expressway).

If you will not have a car, and cannot make one of included shuttles, Culture Discovery Vacations are always happy to recommend a private driver. A private driver is an extra cost and not included in your vacation package.

Arrival by airplane

There will be a complimentary scheduled shuttle service from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) airport leaving no later than 11.30 a.m. on the day your vacation begins. The drive to Soriano is approximately 1.5 hours.

Arrival by train

There is also a complimentary scheduled shuttle service from the Orte train station leaving no later than 2 p.m. on the day your vacation begins. The drive to Soriano is approximately 25 minutes.

Airport: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport Airport transfer included: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Low season
  • April
  • May


High season
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October


Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 6 participants

Select your package:

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