Tuscany Cooking Vacation

Be welcomed in the Cultural Association, in a warm and informal environment, where Gioia di Vivere's Chef Tutor will teach you all healthy vegan cooking basic techniques. These classes are a unique opportunity to learn how important is taking care of each ingredient. We only use food that is: organic, seasonal, whole, balanced, fresh and delicious. Vegetables come from our own garden and we personally select and buy whole ancient grains flours, local extra virgin olive oil, and local wine. During these hands-on classes, you will learn the secrets of Italian and Tuscan cuisine and understand how food significantly affects our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Not only that...you will have the chance to discover the most beautiful areas of Tuscany and take part in many activities that can be arranged for you.

Highlights

  • Oil and wine tasting session
  • Vegan, organic, Italian cuisine
  • 5 hands-on, Italian cooking classes
  • Recipes based on seasonal produce
  • Free time for sightseeing
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Cooking certificate

Styles


5 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Italian, English
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Accommodation

Villa with apartments

A wonderful villa surrounded by nature, with a private garden of 5000 square meters, which includes ancient olive trees and only a few steps away a small organic vegetable garden at your disposal. A short distance from the historic center of Lucca (only 6 kilometers), in a privileged position, with breathtaking views of the natural beauty surrounding the city. There are 2 apartments with separate entrance that can accommodate up to 8 people, a beautiful in-ground and illuminated pool (open from May to September). The villa is located 12 kilometers away from the cooking school.

Facilities

  • 2 bathrooms
  • 3 or 4 bedroom with double or twin beds
  • Barbecue
  • Deck chairs
  • Fireplace
  • Fully equipped kitchen with oven, fridge / freezer, dishwasher
  • Iron
  • Living room with dining table and chairs
  • Parasol
  • Private parking inside the property
  • Outdoor shower
  • Outdoor terrace
  • Satellite TV
  • Utility room shared with washing machine
  • Wi-Fi

Villa with double rooms

An ancient villa dating back to 1803 completely renovated, with solar thermal and photovoltaic system, only 6 kilometers far from the historical center of Lucca. The property is surrounded by woods and offers 6 beautiful rooms, equipped with private bathroom, TV, and hairdryer. The rooms can accommodate up to 4 people. The villa is located 1.5 kilometers away from the cooking school.

Facilities

  • Bicycles rental
  • Billiard room
  • Breakfast room overlooking the garden
  • Daily maid service
  • Infrared sauna (with surcharge)
  • Internet point
  • Private parking inside the property
  • Saltwater swimming pool with a Jacuzzi corner and relaxation area covered with wood slats

Program

Day 1 - Arrival

  • Arrival and check into apartment or bed and breakfast.
  • Free time for relaxing or sightseeing.

Day 2 - Cooking class

  • In the morning, begin with your first cooking class, lunch included.
  • In the afternoon, free time to relax or to take part in individual excursions (for example hiking, biking paths, visit the charming villas of Lucca).
  • Possibility to book an organic vegan dinner cooked by the vegan Chef.

Day 3 - Cooking class

  • In the morning, cooking class, lunch included.
  • Afternoon free to relax.

Day 4 - Cooking class

  • In the morning, cooking class, lunch included.
  • In the afternoon, explore the historical center of Lucca.
  • Possibility to rent bicycles to ride on the walls that surround the historical city.

Day 5 - Free time, cooking class

  • Free morning for optional excursions such as a visit to the organic farm with the possibility of oil and wine tasting with additional costs.
  • You will have an oil and wine tasting for a light lunch.
  • In the afternoon, cooking class, dinner included

Day 6: Free time

  • Full day optional excursion to Florence.
  • Upon request, an organic vegan box for lunch is available with extra fees.
  • In the evening organic vegan dinner at Cultural Association Gioia di Vivere.

Day 7: Cooking class, free time

  • In the morning cooking class, lunch included.
  • In the afternoon free time to visit interesting towns like Viareggio, Pisa, and Livorno. Otherwise individual hiking in Versilia, with the possibility of a boat trip. Optional visit to famous seasides like Forte dei Marmi and Lido di Camaiore. Alternatively horseback riding in a beautiful park.

Day 8 - Departure

  • In the morning, free time to relax.
  • Check-out and departure.

Location

The Cultural Association is set in the typical Tuscan countryside. It is an an informal setting surrounded by nature.

Nearby places

  • Cinque Terre, 90 kilometers
  • Firenze, 80 kilometers
  • Livorno, 50 kilometers
  • Lucca city center, 7 kilometers
  • Pisa, 20 kilometers
  • Viareggio, 25 kilometers

Food

Associazione Culturale Gioia di Vivere cooking holiday

You can choose the most interesting topics of your cooking classes: traditional Tuscan cuisine in vegan version, handmade pasta and sauces, natural bread and pizza, savory cakes and pies, fast and delicious vegan recipes, vegan menu, vegetarian menu, natural vegan pastry, natural vegan ice cream, sorbets and ices. Otherwise, on request, additional topics of your interest are available.

Vegan cuisine sample menu

  • Desserts: Buccellato and Torta coi becchi (typical cakes of Lucca), Cantuccini, Cornetti
  • Focaccia with herbs, with seeds, with vegetables
  • Natural rising bread: Cereals, mixed flour, with seeds, rye bread
  • Natural rising pizza and focaccia: Pizza margherita, marinara, with vegetables
  • Pasta and sauces: Tagliatelle, lasagne, orecchiette, fusilli, gnocchi
  • Pies and casseroles with vegetables, with mixed flour, stuffed by vegetables
  • Soups: Farro, frantoiana, ribollita, legumes
  • Stuffed pasta and sauces: Ravioli, tortelli, fagottini

Things to do (optional)

  • Follow natural walking routes cycling or horse riding
  • Follow the route of the ancient villas
  • Hot-air balloon ride
  • Quad excursion
  • Reach the top of the medieval towers, discover the Garfagnana area and stop to thermal area
  • Sightseeing in Lucca
  • Spend a full day inside an adventure park
  • Take a boat trip in Versilia
  • Take a shopping tour in Forte dei Marmi
  • Visit farms in the countryside where organic wine and olive oil are produced
  • Visit Pisa, Florence, Livorno, Viareggio, Cinque Terre
  • Visit the botanical garden

What's included

  • 2 dinners
  • 4 lunches
  • 5 hands-on cooking classes
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Activities as per the program
  • Cooking certificate
  • Daily breakfast
  • Recipes

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Driving directions from Florence A11 motorway

  • From Florence A11 motorway Firenze-Mare, take the exit Lucca Est.
  • Go straight ahead until you find a round and take the third exit on your right.
  • Then at the second round take the first exit and turn left to find the traffic light.
  • Go straight along this main road until you cross the bridge on the river Serchio.
  • Then turn right when you meet the sign "S.Macario in Monte."
  • Follow the signs to Piazzano and then stop when you find a white sign S. Macario in Monte. Call us, we are just few steps.

Arrival by airplane

Arrive in Pisa International Airport (PSA) or Florence Airport (FLR) then, take the train to Lucca.

Arrival by train

From Florence or Pisa your final destination is Lucca.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
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