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When people visit Italy, they always remark the food and how flavorful and fresh everything tastes. This course will focus on defining the Italian food philosophy and how you can bring that to your own kitchens. Italy has a natural and organic tradition for producing food. Tuscan cuisine is called cucina povera, poor mans kitchen; its simple and flavorful with great attention to combining ingredients that will complement and enhance each other making every dish a marriage of flavors. Exquisite wine tastings and production approach will nicely complete this Italian gourmet immersion.
Dievole is wrapped in a magical atmosphere. The rolling Tuscan hills, the cypresses, the vineyards, and olive groves stretching as far as the eye can see, the hidden hamlets and magnificent medieval buildings dominate the landscape. The entrance, at the gates to the medieval hamlet of Vagliagli, just 12 kilometers from Siena, is formed by an avenue of century-old cypress trees stretching all the way to the historic Villa Dievole, surrounded by the estates nearly 400 hectares. Dievole looks out over the valley, providing a breathtaking view, but its beauty also lies in its many little details, starting with the gardens all around it forming picturesque corners.
The complex looks like a small hamlet unto itself, with its tiles, stone windowsills and the old-fashioned whitewash fitting perfectly into the Tuscan landscape. The hospitality is offered in the historic Villa and several farmhouses. In all, Villa Dievole offers 27 suites, apartments, and double rooms in five farmhouses. They have all been remodeled in Tuscan style and enhanced with all the comforts of a 4-star agritourism facility. The complex also includes a gourmet restaurant, a bar and lounge, two panoramic swimming pools and a playground for kids. The restaurant is housed in the historic villa; in summer, the tables are set outdoors. Here you will enjoy contemporary Tuscan cuisine inspired by local vegetables, meats, and cheeses.
This are elegant rooms furnished with the latest amenities, flat-screen TV, telephone, Internet access, safe-deposit box, and air conditioning. The rooms, each one unique, are located on the second floor of the Villa and the first floor of Casa Olivo; some of them overlooking the gardens, while others overlook the historic vineyards of Chianti Classico that surround the property. This rooms feature: magnificent view of the historic vineyards of Chianti Classico, access to the villas gardens, strolls around the estate in the peace and quiet of nature.
These elegant, recently renovated rooms are characterized by colors and interiors reminiscent of the Tuscan countryside and are equipped with the most modern amenities: flat-screen TV, telephone, internet access, safe, and air conditioning. The rooms are located on the first floor of Casa Olivo and in a building of 1700 recently restored and tastefully furnished. Both houses overlook the historic vineyard, Casanova or the Chianti valley. This rooms features: magnificent views of the vineyards oldest Dievole, unique spaces and furniture typical Tuscan, living the former stable of the property.
These rooms are spacious, elegantly furnished, and equipped with the most modern comforts, flat-screen TV, telephone, internet access, safe-deposit box, and air conditioning. Broccato and Rinascimento have one bedroom each, and Limonaia has two bedrooms. These rooms feature view of the gardens and the inner courtyard, outings on the nature course by bike or on foot all around the property, bath tub. Experience the old Manor House and its history kitchenette for preparing your own meals.
Most of your activities will take place in and around the 900-year-old Dievole estate and vineyard.
Daily dinner in the old cantina with wines
Daily discussion on how you can incorporate what you learn at home
Daily Tuscan breakfast
Discuss the glory of olive oil
Excursions to nearby hill towns where you will learn about their specialties: prosciutto, salumi, pecorino, as well as the local wines; you will learn how to tell the quality and freshness of these products and how best to use them in your cooking
Explore local food artisans: goat cheese, sausage, and fresh pasta
Italian Opera Appreciation classes every evening before dinner
Learn about what makes Chianti unique; you will learn how to taste wine, including many super Tuscan wines
Pig roast celebrating the harvest and the arts
Shop for fresh ingredients at local outdoor markets and supermarkets, and, weather permitting, forage for wild mushrooms right in your accommodations own backyard
Special evening concerts and surprise entertainment
Visit Siena and taste the local delicacies like ricciarelli, panforte, and, of course, the best gelato in town
You will have 3 hands-on cooking classes in the kitchen
Excursions to nearby hill towns to learn about local gourmet specialties
Explore local food artisans
Visit to Siena
Visits to local outdoor markets and supermarkets
This retreat will take place in Tuscany, Italy. Dievole is located in the town of Vagliagli, about 12 kilometers northeast of Siena and 40 kilometers south of Florence.
On this vacation you will enjoy two flavorful meals per day: a full Tuscan breakfast and tasty dinner with wine. You will have the chance to taste local wines and gourmet specialties, from salty cheeses and charcuterie, to sweet ricciarelli and gelato.
Enjoy a day in Florence
Enjoy walking the trails through the vineyards
Ride a bicycle along traffic-free roads
Ride a horse in the heart of Chianti Classico
Please book your flight to arrive at the Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR) or Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO).
From Rome. If you are departing from Rome on the last day, remember it is 3 hours by car or bus from Siena so try to book an afternoon flight. There are buses from almost anywhere in Italy to Siena. These are modern and comfortable coaches. The bus usually leaves from Gate 8. These buses leave every day at regular intervals.
From Florence. Buses leave the SITA terminal (next door to the train station) nearly every hour. If you take Siena Rapida, the ride is direct on the highway and should take 1 hour.
From Rome there are several trains daily from the main station (Termini). You dont need a reservation. Although you purchase a through ticket, it is necessary to change trains at Chiusi. The ride takes about 3.5 hours (approximately 240 kilometers) and the cost is around 20 USD. The ride takes 3 hours (non-stop). If you plan to arrive at the Rome airport and plan to come directly to Siena, this is the quickest method. From the airport, take the train on the left-hand track to the Tiburtina station (not Termini). From there, go outside into the parking lot.
If you are already in Rome you can take the Metro to the Tiburtina station. Take the B (blue) line towards Rebibbia. Follow signs to Pzle. Stazione Tiburtina. With the long side of the station at your back, cross under the overpass into the parking lot. Buy your ticket from the building marked Biglietteria. Once in Siena, get off at the Siena train station (Ferrovia). Dont get off in the center of Siena. Please note that in Italy it is the law to stamp your train ticket in the little yellow meter near each train platform. Failure to do so can result in heavy fines, even if you plead ignorance.