The scents of wine, landscape, and wine growers' personal stories of the wine farmers are essential elements of this trip. You'll experience an emotional discovery, passing from curiosity to knowledge. Our goal is for you to have a myriad of unforgettable moments, fully immersing you in the Italian way of life. Your teachers will reveal the secrets of the Tuscan culinary world that only experts born and bred in Italy know. Learn how to prepare a simple sauce for your pasta, a Tuscan soup, how to match the right wine with the food, and more. All this in a magical atmosphere!
Palazzo del Duca was the residence of Este Family during the dukedom period of Modena and Reggio (1598 - 1796). The eagle in the coat of arms on the main door of the mansion is its evidence. Palazzo del Duca is situated in the lovely 13th century village of Tavernelle along the old Via del Sale (Salt Road). Recently restored and refurbished, the palace has its original features, like spacious living areas and terracotta floors, local sandstone portals and doors and stunning vaults.
At Palazzo del Ducas disposal is a large 800 square meter internal garden where an in ground 4 by 8 meter swimming pool has recently been realized. Palazzo del Duca consists of 5 apartments and 1 double bedroom. Each apartment is independent from each other with its own kitchen and heating. Each bedroom of Palazzo del Duca has its own bathroom. Each apartment has its own charming style.
For example the Templari apartment on the ground floor retains some of the original kitchen facilities while Luni apartment is reminiscent of a New York loft apartment. The apartments can be rented together allowing the stay of 8 - 12 - 18 persons. Also ideal location for weddings, family meetings and events in fact the whole palace may be rented to a maximum of 26 people. It also boasts a wonderful ancient staircase and in one bedroom there is even a fireplace, a 'must' for all the ancient Dukes of the past.
In addition to the rich history of the Palazzo are a few details that will make your stay even more interesting. Guests are welcome to use or share one of the kitchens on the floor that they are occupying. Every morning, the baker brings his freshly baked bread in the piazzetta, close to the garden entrance, which is very convenient. Every Monday afternoon, a foodie van visits the Palazzo with a variety of goods from vegtables and fruits to Parma ham and cheese. He stays as long as he has customers to serve.
During Wednesday mornings, a big van stops in front of the bar / restaurant with a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables that you can purchase for your personal cooking needs. Similarly, during Fridays, another van visits the Palazzo with fresh fish that guests will surely enjoy. Palazzo del Duca offers not only comfortable and luxurious accommodations but also provides guests with the opportunity to sample local products from local suppliers.
Lunigiana derives its name from the Roman colony of Luni, founded by the Romans in 177 BC at the mouth of the river Magra, so rich and dazzling marble to mislead the Normans, who mistook it for Rome. Lunigiana is a small region rich in history, which looks like a veritable kaleidoscope of lights, colors, pictures and lush scenery.
Today, along the territory of Lunigiana, you can find the trace of the Via Francigena, a major road travelled by pilgrims and merchants who were pushed from northern Europe to Rome. In the ninth century, the street took its current name to mark the domination of the Franks. Along the way, over the centuries were founded monasteries and abbeys, to emphasize the nature of spiritual in that path. It was declared in 1994 Cultural Route of the Council of Europe.
Lunigiana is a land still untouched and waiting to be discovered. It offers the tourists a gentle and relaxing environment with hills covered with lush green forests and fish-filled streams in clear waters. Each of the 14 towns of the land has its own attractions: museums, hot springs, sports facilities, large complex underground limestone, ski, places for hiking, and horseback. Add to that the folklore, traditions, gastronomy and local crafts, which never cease to amaze.
Even the culinary traditions of Lunigiana have its importance. A remarkable variety of elaborate dishes from a few simple ingredients and for the demanding fragrant mushrooms picked in the woods of Lunigiana. There are vegetables that become delicious pies and chestnut flour can even show up in a whole menu. This is Lunigiana, the land of the moon.
This Italian cookery and wine holiday is perfectly located to explore this beautiful part of undiscovered northern Tuscany. You are a within 1.5 hours of many Italian major cities; Florence, Genova, Pisa, and Milan. Beaches and the coast are just 30 minutes away by car, or you can take a train from nearby La Spezia along the coast or Aulla (15 km from the property), to visit the 5 villages that make up Cinque Terre.
The nearest shops and grocery stores are about 6 kilometers away. The hamlet of Tavernelle is very small but there is a good family run restaurant a short walk from the palazzo. Your hosts will give you lots of information on what activities are on offer in the local area such as the local markets, restaurants, walking, and more. It is recommended to have a car to fully explore the area and there are many scenic drives throughout the region.
You will not run out of things to do and places to visit in Tavernelle. Some of the attractions include a pecorino cheese and fresh ricotta cheese producer, a beekeeper where you can buy the quite known Lunigiana Honey the first DOP Honey in Italy, a butcher with local meat (availability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Friday, Saturday in the morning and in the afternoon at 4:00 - 7:30 p.m.), and there are numerous amazing restaurants and bars in the area with lunch and dinner at 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 - 9:00 p.m respectively.