8 Days Organic Cooking Holidays in Italy

  • The Villa, Certaldo, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Italy Cooking Vacations

Join a superb hands-on cooking holiday. Surround yourself with wonderful local chefs, which will guide you through the preparation of a variety of simple but delicious Italian recipes. From panzanella to risotti, as well as a broad variety of dishes, prepare yourself to acknowledge practical cooking tips and some of the chefs culinary secrets. Join this week-long unique experience and embrace delicious Italian organic cuisine!

Highlights

  • Olive oil tasting
  • 4 cooking classes
  • Tour to Siena and Florence
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Astonishing surroundings along Tuscany
  • Organic food and wine tasting
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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During the holiday you will stay in a charming, lovely restored villa, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. From the pool and garden, you will see the towers of San Gimignano, just twenty minutes away. All the rooms are charming, decorated in clean, simple, bright lines and colors. They are high-ceilinged and all have private bathrooms. All look out onto the most Tuscan of views - vineyards and olive groves. Until a few decades ago, this villa belonged to a local noble family and was where farming families would live to work the surrounding fields.

There are beautiful walks to be taken near the villa, where you can observe and photograph some unique Tuscan flora and fauna. Twenty minutes walk away you will find a hamlet and a popular trattoria with very friendly owners. Within a ten minutes drive you will find some of the most beautiful and unspoilt medieval villages in the area. Walking through the shady streets of Certaldo or Barberino Val dElsa, you can imagine what life must have been like in rural Tuscany hundreds of years ago.

The cooking classes will take place in a well-equipped ground floor kitchen. You will generally eat outside, on the terrace, with spectacular views across the neighboring valleys. There is a cozy indoor sitting room for you to relax in, as well as lovely spaces outdoors. You will also find a shady corner to read in the pretty garden, or enjoy the pool with its 360-degree views. The kitchen downstairs is used at breakfast time, but you are free to use it any time you want to prepare a light snack or meal. This is self-catering accommodation (similar to a holiday rental) so there is no daily maid service for your rooms, although there will always be people on hand should you need something.

Day 1, Saturday

  • Arrival
  • 19:30 Alfresco welcome dinner. We cook for you and your new classmates on this first evening, and keep things simple.

Day 2, Sunday

  • 11:00 - 13:00 Exploratory walk. We take you on a gentle walk to explore the surroundings and learn about the history of the area where we are staying. We also drive five minutes to see a charmingly frescoed Romanic church nearby.
  • 13:00 - 14:30 Lunch at the villa
  • 17:00 - 19:30 Cooking class

Day 3, Monday

  • Free time in the morning
  • 16:30 - 18:15 Cooking class
  • 18:15 - 19:30 Olive oil tasting session. Our oil expert guides you through the world of extra virgin olive oils.
  • 19:30 - 21:30 Dinner

Day 4, Tuesday

  • 10:00 - 13:30 Organic vineyard visit with tasting and lunch. We visit a five hundred year old cellar and are shown around by the charismatic owner. Lunch is in the old oil pressing room.
  • Visit to Siena. A minibus takes you to the stunning town of Siena and brings you home to the villa. The visit includes a tour with an official guide.
  • For dinner, explore Sienas many great restaurants.

Day 5, Wednesday

  • Visit to Florence. You meet an official guide for a three-hour walking tour in the morning, and have the afternoon free to do as you wish see museums, churches, go shopping for shoes, people-watch on a sunny terrace, or just wander the magical streets.

Day 6, Thursday

  • 10:00 - 12:30 Cooking class
  • 12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 16:00 - 17:30 Biodynamic farm visit
  • 17:30 - 18:00 Master potters ceramic studio visit
  • 19:00 - 21:30 Organic wine tasting led by our wine expert, followed by a light dinner (much of which you will have prepared earlier!) accompanied by the wines you have tasted.

Day 7, Friday

  • 10:00 - 12:30 Cooking class
  • Free time in the afternoon
  • 19:30 Farewell dinner cooked by the talented Serenella

Day 8, Saturday

  • Morning departure
  • Biodynamic farm tour
  • Ceramics studio visit of master potter Terry Davies
  • Official guide tour in Florence
  • Official guide tour in Siena
  • Organic vineyard visit

Organic Tuscany is conveniently located for both Florence (FLR) and Pisa (PSA) airports (50 minutes or one hour and 15 minutes drive, respectively). Courses are run from a lovely farmhouse, which is a few miles outside the medieval town of Certaldo. Certaldo is a little off the usual tour routes; it is a charming historic centre, refreshingly free of tourists and tourist traps. Its claim to fame is that the author of the Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio, lived and died there. Forty minutes away you will find the unique art towns of Florence and Siena, and half an hour away, the little medieval gem of San Gimignano (whose towers you will see from Organic Tuscanys garden). The hills all around are covered with vines and olive groves and there are great walks to be taken. Horse riding is also a great way to see the surroundings. The countryside is dotted with charming hamlets to explore, as well as farms and vineyards, where you can buy delicious wines.

Activities
  • Diving
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool
  • Wine tasting / tour
General
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Studio
  • Terrace
Services
  • ATM / banking nearby
  • Currency exchange nearby
  • Car rental nearby
  • Dry cleaning
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Room cleaning
  • Tour assistance

Indulge in Italian dishes during this holiday. Youll have warm foccaccia straight out of the oven, accompanies grilled organic vegetables, local biodynamic cheeses and crisp salads, all washed down with local biodynamic wine during the welcome dinner.You will be making handmade fresh pasta, 3 seasonal sauces (a meat sauce, an asparagus and ricotta sauce and an artichoke sauce), Sicilian fennel and orange salad and tiramisu in your 1st cooking class.

Try your hands at crostini with roast peppers and with salsa verde, pappa al pomodoro (Tuscan tomato and basil soup), potato and spinach gnocchi, slow cooked beef with vegetables and herbs, artichoke and parmesan salad, custard and fruit tart in the 2nd cooking class. In the 3rd cooking class, youll have an opportunity to learn and make panzanella (Tuscan bread and tomato salad), risotti (for example: artichoke, asparagus, porcini mushrooms), herby turkey cooked in milk, and moist apple cake.

End your cooking adventure by making delectable antipasti (marinated sundried tomatoes, baby onions slow-cooked in balsamic vinegar), vegetable sformati, pollo alla cacciatora (chicken with herbs, wine and olives) and almond biscotti in the last cooking class. Some of the dishes that you will prepare during the holiday are the following:

  • Almond biscotti
  • Antichoke and parmesan salad
  • Antipasti
  • Biodynamic cheeses
  • Biodynamic wine
  • Crisp salads and organic vegetables
  • Crostini
  • Custard
  • Foccaccia
  • Fruit tart
  • Herby turkey
  • Moist apple cake
  • Orange salad
  • Panzanella
  • Pollo alla cacciatora
  • Risotti
  • Sicilian fennel
  • Spinach gnocchi
  • Tiramisu
  • Vegetable sformati

Organic Tuscany encourages you to visit San Gimignano medieval city, 20 minutes away. You will have the opportunity to explore surroundings on your own, such as the Chianti area, Volterra and other parts of the region. In your free time, you can have a dip in pool, explore beautiful Certaldo and the surrounding countryside, or do some shopping.

  • 4 hands-on cooking classes
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • A tour of an organic winery with tasting and lunch
  • Daily breakfast of bread, tea, coffee, fruit, milk, juice, jams, honey, muesli, cookies, yogurts and others
  • Local biodynamic farm and master potters ceramic studio visits
  • Lunch with delicious local biodynamic wines after all classes
  • Organic food, olive oil and local wine tasting sessions
  • Recipes of the dishes you learned during the cooking classes
  • Transportation and guided tours to Siena and Florence
  • Welcome and farewell dinner with wine

Arrival by train

It is possible to get to Certaldo by train from Rome or Milan (around 3 hours, changing in Florence). If you will already be in Europe, you may also want to consider taking the train. There are often special offers for Paris-Florence trains.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Organic Tuscany an inquiry.

Testimonials

  • Review by A traveler from Lausanne, Switzerland

    "We had an absolutely marvelous stay at the Organic Tuscany Cooking school in September 2016. Everything was extremely well-planned by the organizers, all of the small details that count. They thought of everything possible to make our stay enjoyable and to introduce us to the Italian culture, not only the Italian culinary culture, but also the Italian historical culture, local Tuscany culture, etc. I'd do it again anytime. And the food was excellent, and it was Great to be able to cook without buying ingredients or cleaning up afterwards! It's a to do."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Nandini R from New York, US

    "My husband and I spent an entire week in September of this year with Shilpa, Ricardo and their excellent team. This was our first experience in the Tuscan countryside and it sure lived up to all the expectations and exceeded them in many ways. The villa was well equipped and the views spectacular. We did the vegetarian cooking classes - which by itself is wonderful for non-meat eaters like us. There are not many cooking classes that offer a week long vegetarian cooking classes in the area. Plus, learning from local and most experience home cooks was truly amazing. We made and ate some excellent dishes - simple and excellent recipes. Big shout out to Manuela and Serenella as well for being such patient and amazing teachers. The wine at each meal was outstanding - special thanks to Cristina for her expertise on wine and olive oils. Overall a joyful experience - not just for the food and wine but the people and the stories :)."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Judy M

    "A wonderful experience. I have done two weeks at Organic Tuscany and would love to go again. I met new friends plus great recipes that I have used since returning home.The area and setting is perfect for a relaxing but learning adventure."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Adam D. from New York, US

    "Easily, the best afternoon of our week-long vacation in Italy. Manuela and Silvio are incredibly warm and inviting. It's like learning how to cook the classics from your long lost Italian grandmother. The time flew by as we prepared a restaurant-quality meal over several hours of laughter and wine. I would do it again in a heartbeat!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Ruth S. from Missouri, US

    "My husband and I did the one-day cooking class with Manuela and Silvio, and it was truly an experience like no other. Manuela and Silvio, as well as their daughter, welcomed us into their home and walked us through the process of cooking with kindness and generosity. I love to cook and learned a lot from Manuela and Silvio. I loved every minute and the time flew by. They sat and ate lunch with us so we could chat together about everything. Can't say enough how wonderful this day was. The food was delicious and I had tears in my eyes when we left. It was my favorite day!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Virginia, US

    "Cooking classes in Tuscany have long been on my bucket list. Organic tuscany was the ideal choice for spending a week in Tuscany with my husband and seven friends, cooking, eating, wine and olive oil tasting and exploring Tuscany. We laugh and drank too much chianti; just living the moment. Our hosts: Shilpa and Riccardo, as well as their team, were gracious, warm and very entertaining. Having coffee and homemade biscotti on the terrace each morning, while gazing at the lush and rolling vineyards in San Gimignano, is a memory I will most certainly carry with me always. Many thanks Shilpa and Riccardo for making our time with you so extraordinary."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

Tuscany, Italy

Organic Tuscany is a culinary school that offers one day and weeklong cooking courses.

from --

8 days / 7 nights

Departure:
Saturday September 9, 2017
(8 days / 7 nights)

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