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Travel to the beautiful fields of Umbria for an amazing cooking experience guaranteed to improve your skills and delight your senses. Take a break from the stressful metropolitan lifestyle and relax in a luxurious villa as you start your day with a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee in a beautiful green garden as the morning sun bathes you in its rays and the light breeze slowly caresses your cheeks, preparing you for the many adventures awaiting you every day!
The villa was the residence of a noble family and dates back to the 18th century. Today it is a small hotel of just 25 rooms, family-run and combines a charm and coziness with high standards of service and comfort. Antique and traditional local furniture complete the picture of terracotta floors, murals and original fireplaces.
It consists of five buildings: the main villa has seven rooms and four renovated stone cottages nearby. Its location is stunning as it sits upon a low hill which affords views of the gently rolling landscape of Northern Umbria and across to Lake Trasimeno a few miles away.
You will depart from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) at 08:35 arriving in Rome Fiumicino (FCO) at 12:05 approximately. You will be met by your driver and luxury mini-bus for the transfer to the Villa di Monte Solare. The journey time is about two hours. Once you have checked in, there will be time to explore the villa and its grounds and perhaps enjoy a sandwich or tea with cakes before changing for dinner. Enjoy an aperitif before being served a seasonal gourmet dinner with selected wines to accompany each course.
Your first cookery class will start at 10:00, after breakfast. This three-hour session will be hands-on and will provide an insight into the preparation of regional dishes as well as traditional cooking methods. At the end of the session, you will share a meal together with the group. There will be free time in the afternoon to explore on your own or to relax at the hotel. You will have to make your own arrangements for dinner.
This is a free day so, if you have a hire-car with you, it would be worth visiting the famous wine town of Torgiano and the Lungarotti Wine Museum, one of the best in the world. There is also an olive oil museum to visit and, if you wish, you could continue to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, a UNESCO world heritage site and a symbol of peace. You could also visit the nearby university city of Perugia. You will have dinner at the Villa di Monte Solare this evening.
The class this morning starts at 10:00, after breakfast. Once again, it will be hands-on and will focus on yet more aspects of regional dishes and traditional Italian methods of cooking. A meal with the group follows the course. You can spend the afternoon relaxing or perhaps walking in the nearby countryside. For dinner, you will have to make your own arrangements.
Today is a rest day which you may enjoy as you see fit. You may desire to relax at the hotel, making use of the pool, the tennis court, the spa and the grounds. You could also hire a bike or explore the local countryside on foot. You will have dinner at the Villa di Monte Solare in the evening.
The morning class starts again at 10:00, after breakfast. As usual, it will be hands-on and will focus on three hours of instruction on local dishes. At the end, you will celebrate with the chef by having lunch together. The afternoon is at your leisure and you may want to arrange for a taxi to take you out and about nearby for shopping or sightseeing. In the evening it is advisable to make your own arrangements for dinner.
The day will start with a leisurely breakfast and then you will have some free time before your midday departure in your luxury minibus for the journey of about two hours back to Rome for your flight back.
The holiday takes place in Umbria, in the countryside near the village of Tavernelle di Panicale and a few miles south of Lake Trasimeno. Referred to as the green heart of Italy, Umbria is full of natural and architectural treasures. The region is not only famed for its magnificent views but for its widely traditional culture; there is a distinct essence of the old world in the lifestyle of Umbria's inhabitants which continues to attract visitors from all over the world.
The focus of the cooking class is explaining and instructing you in traditional cooking methods and regional dishes using mainly organic produce. Each of the three courses lasts approximately three hours and is followed by a meal with the group, where you will be able to savor the flavors of the fresh ingredients that were used to create the delicious Umbro-Tuscan dishes, and maybe pair them with a glass of local wine.
Arrive at Romes Airport (FCO). Expressions Holidays will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.