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12 Days Cooking Holidays in Italy

12 Days Cooking Holidays in Italy

  • Florence - Chianti

Italy Cooking Vacations

This holiday will take you to a secluded, breathtaking luxury villa as you enjoy a slice of hedonism, allowing each moment to fill you with appreciation for life. Sip on a glass of red Tuscan wine as you are caressed by the gentle breeze of the hills on the luxurious terrace of a historical villa, gazing at the warm colors of the sunset over the cypress trees and vineyards. This journey will be a cultural experience that will allow you to thoroughly explore the Tuscan region, savoring delicious regional cuisine, local wines, getting to know its people, and indulging in absolute relaxation.

Highlights

  • Cooking classes with local chefs
  • Explore many romantic hilltop Tuscan villages
  • Visit one of Italys most awe-inspiring wine cellars
  • Wander the cobblestone streets of Arezzo and Cortona
  • Enjoy the local Italian life and travel with a small group
  • Taste traditional Pecorino cheese at a family farm
  • Savor traditional Tuscan specialties
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 8 days with instruction
  • English
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In general, Nada's Italy Tours does not work with chain hotels and the accommodations are mostly small family-owned establishments. Location is very important and a lot of attention will be placed on polite and friendly service, privacy, refined decor, and outstanding cleanliness. Often the lodgings will be located within a historical building, like medieval castles, villas or farmhouses, which are the best at representing the local style and architecture. During this holiday, you will be spending seven nights in a classic Tuscan villa in Chianti Hills and three nights in a luxury boutique hotel in downtown Florence.

Most rooms will be different in size, layout, and view, which is not guaranteed. If you are staying in a hotel located within a city center, please know that there may be a certain degree of noise that is higher compared to other accommodations in more remote areas. You may hear cars, pedestrians, mopeds, and other noises that are typical of most urban settings. Based on availability and within what is feasible, the hotels usually keep their best rooms available for these groups, so you can rest assured that you will have comfortable and charming rooms.

Day 1, Friday - Welcome!

Upon arriving in Italy, you will settle into your room at a beautifully restored palazzo, now a luxury boutique hotel, in the historical heart of Florence and relax after a long trip overseas.

Day 2, Saturday - Buongiorno to you!

After breakfast, you will enjoy a leisurely walk through the historical streets of Florence, guided by an expert local guide who will show you the main sites, churches, buildings, and shopping areas that Florence is known for. Private drivers will pick you up from your Florence hotel lobby at 16:00, from where you will be taken to the villa. After a drive through the hills of the beautiful countryside, you will arrive at the villa to check in and relax. Once there, you will share in a group toast on the villa's panoramic terrace to get you acquainted with the breathtaking surroundings. You can enjoy views of the Tuscan hills covered by cypresses, vines, and olive trees. Afterwards, savor a delicious welcome dinner with traditional Tuscan specialties prepared by the villas private chef, paired with the vineyards own superior Chianti wine, of course!

Meals included: breakfast and dinner.

Day 3, Sunday - An Italian Sunday

After breakfast, you will visit the village of Castiglione del Lago by Lake Trasimeno in Umbria. There, you will discover the various delis and specialty gourmet shops, enjoy a typical Sunday morning as you watch families come out to greet their neighbors and stretch out with their morning passeggiata (stroll). Group lunch will be served in a historical trattoria, before traveling to Cortona, the charming Etruscan hilltop village where Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed. Its massive 3,000 year-old walls are still standing!

There, you can enjoy some free time and have a gelato as you mingle with the locals, explore the intricate alley ways, picturesque views of the countryside, or sit back at a coffee shop. Your next stop will make you feel the romance in the air, as it is the town where Life is beautiful was filmed. Also very famous for its antique market and gold jewelry, the town of Arezzo is a center for Renaissance architecture. You will have free time to explore the surroundings before meeting up for a group dinner in one of Arezzo's most historical and best restaurants.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 4, Monday - Regional cuisine

After breakfast, you will have the chance to take part in a special hands-on cooking class by a local chef, as he shows you how to make some simple Tuscan recipes that you will enjoy for lunch. The afternoon will be free to relax on your own by the villa's pool or through a quiet walk in nature, as the property offers several panoramic hiking trails. Then, if the weather permits it, get ready to enjoy a delicious dinner on the villa's terrace and enjoy dinner under the stars!

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 5, Tuesday - A day in the Middle Ages

After breakfast, you will leave for San Gimignano, an absolutely astonishing example of walled Medieval hilltop town, also known for its dry white wine, Vernaccia and its colorful local crafts, such as hand-painted pottery, alabaster, olive wood items, and many more. There, you can enjoy plenty of free time and lunch on your own. Afterwards, you will take a quick drive by the village of Monteriggioni to take photos of its extraordinary walls.

The rest of the evening will be spent in amazing Siena, where a local guide will meet you and give you a true insider's tour of the city. She will tell you about the Sienese peculiar lifestyle, taking you through hidden parts of the city and pointing out things most tourists don't know about. You will also have free time to explore the town and visit its amazing cathedral. A group dinner will be served in the surroundings of Siena in a surprise location.

Meals included: breakfast and dinner.

Day 6, Wednesday - To your health!

During the day, you will visit a privately owned Medieval castle and its ancient underground cellar as you get to know its curious history. Afterwards, you can take a fun group cooking class where you will learn how to make fresh pasta from local mammas, followed by a group lunch with home grown products. You will also have the chance to take photos around the property afterwards, as you enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the villa and free time to spend at your leisure. Other possible activities include a walk, massage or relax by the pool and gardens. Dinner will be served in a nearby historical estate for a fine dining experience in the heart of the Tuscan hills!

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 7, Thursday - Grapes and olives

After breakfast, you will leave for one of Tuscanys most charming villages, Pienza. The drive alone will offer some of the most stunning views of the countryside. Lunch will be served in a small family-owned trattoria, after which you can enjoy some free time in this fairytale-like community. On your way to the next destination, Montepulciano, you will visit a Pecorino cheese family farm, followed by a tasting of the traditional cheese that has been produced there for over 2,000 years.

Upon arriving in Montepulciano, land of the Vino Nobile (the noblemens wine), you will be going for a group walk through town, stopping for a visit at a coppersmith shop thats been a family tradition for almost two centuries; Cesare is one of the last 7 remaining coppersmiths in Italy. You will also visit one of Italy's oldest and most awe-inspiring wine cellars, before exploring the town's artisan shops and sights on your own. In the evening, you will enjoy a delicious homemade dinner made with farm-fresh ingredients and wines included.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 8, Friday - The art of Italian living

After breakfast, you will go for a leisure morning drive through the soft-shaped, serene hills of Chianti, for quite an extraordinary experience at one of Tuscany's traditional wineries, where you will experience the finest of Chianti Classico paired with a tasty Tuscan luncheon. A quick stop for a little shopping and a gelato in the little town of Greve in Chianti is a must before you head back for a relaxing afternoon at the villa. You might want to save some time to pack before your last dinner and farewell evening at the villa.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 9, Saturday - Renaissance treasures

After breakfast, you will transfer to Florence. On the way back to the hotel in Florence, where you will spend the last two nights of the tour, the group stops at the Piazzale Michelangelo, a terrace offering the absolute best view of Florence, where you will have the opportunity to take some truly memorable pictures and perhaps purchase some wonderful art from the local artists. You will return to the hotel at around 12:00, so you will have enough time to check in and grab some lunch. Afterwards, a local guide will meet you in the lobby at 15:30 for a private tour of the Galleria dellAccademia to see Michelangelos David up close and personal.

Meals included: breakfast.

Day 10, Sunday - The cradle of the arts

After breakfast, you can shop around Florence or take a day trip to Rome or Venice! Enjoy a day of total freedom in one of the world's most beautiful cities or take daytrips to other areas by train, as Florence is centrally located. You may ask your guide for recommendations on activities in Florence or other day-trips you can take from here.

Meals included: breakfast.

Day 11, Monday - Arrivederci Toscana!

After breakfast, your tour will end. You may opt to stay longer in this gorgeous country and explore other regions or travel back home.

Meals included: breakfast.

  • Discover San Gimignano
  • Discover Tuscany
  • Explore Florence
  • Explore the town of Greve
  • Travel to Cortona
  • Travel to the village of Monteriggioni
  • Visit Montepulciano
  • Visit Siena
  • Visit the town of Arezzo
  • Visit the village of Castiglione del Lago in Umbria

This holiday will take you all across beautiful Italy and more precisely, Tuscany, as you explore Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Pienza, Montepulciano, Greve in Chianti, Arezzo, Cortona, and more.

Most meals will not be based on personal menu preferences, rather on a variety of local seasonal specialties selected by the restaurants chef and Nadas Italy Tours. The meals provided on the trip will be typical regional dishes of the area you are visiting. The focus is for you to experience the authentic local cuisine and wine. Italian food varies from region to region, often tied to historical influences and the kind of crops that can be grown in a specific soil. Generally speaking, in central Italy youll have lots of bread-based dishes, bruschetta, soups, red meats, pork, tomatoes, leafy greens, fresh pasta, legumes, aged cow and sheep cheese, salame, and cold-cuts.

Overall, Italian food is not spicy and dishes tend to be natural and simple, using fresh local ingredients. Some of the meals will be at the accommodations, some out in local restaurants that Nadas Italy Tours has selected. All will be accompanied by house wine, bottled water, and soft drinks. Some meals will be served family-style, in large platters that will be passed around the table for guests to serve themselves. Breakfast will be a variety of fruit juices, pastries, cheeses, bread, milk, coffee or cappuccino, tea, yogurt, and fruits. Eggs, bacon, or omelets are not typically served in Italy for breakfast, but some hotels may serve them.

  • Enjoy a relaxing massage
  • Explore beautiful scenery used in the production of popular movies
  • Go on a hiking trail through the relaxing nature
  • Go shopping
  • Relax at the villa's pool
  • Visit local cafes and restaurants
  • Visit local sights
  • 2 cooking classes
  • 3 wine tastings
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • A 300 USD credit towards any future trips you take with Nada's Italy Tours
  • Excursions and entry fees to activities specified
  • Florence and Tuscany book
  • Ground transportation
  • Italian Travel Phrase book
  • Local VAT taxes and government fees, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees, staff tips
  • Luggage tags
  • Maps for places visited during tour
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Privately escorted day-trips
  • Souvenir apron
  • Surprise gifts throughout the trip
  • Water and two glasses of wine per person with lunch and dinner
  • Airfare
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Gratuities
  • New accommodation tax imposed by local municipalities - to be paid in cash by guest directly to hotel
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

The closest airport is Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR).