8 Days Under the Tuscan Sun Cooking Holiday in Italy

8 Days Under the Tuscan Sun Cooking Holiday in Italy

  • Tuscan Sun Apartments, Via di S. Alessio, 3680, Tuscany 55100, Italy

Tuscan Cooking & Wine Holidays

A great Tuscan cooking and wine vacation in the heart of Tuscany with Chef Paolo Monti. In this comprehensive hands-on cooking and wine tour, you will learn the best of Tuscan cooking and living. Learn more than 45 recipes with with effervescent Chef Paolo Monti and gain understanding of diverse cooking methods. Enjoy field trips to the wholesale market for fish, meat, vegetables and fruits, cheese, and extra virgin olive oils. Visit a castle in Siena for wine tasting. You will also go to Parma and Modena to see the production of Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale.

Highlights

  • 4 cooking classes
  • Market visit, food factory visits
  • 2 wine tastings, wine cellar visit
  • Cheese, cured meats, vinegar tastings
  • Excursions in Siena, Chianti, Lucca
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Cooking certificate
  • 5 days with instruction
  • French, German, Italian, English
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Tuscan Sun Apartments

Chef Paolo Montis Tuscan Sun Apartments are located in the middle of the Tuscan countryside among the fields and Sangiovese vignards, but only 5 minutes drive to the center of Lucca. A quiet green paradise attached to Chef Paolo Montis Cooking School and on the first floor above the restaurant La Cantina Di Carignano.

You can choose among 4 newly remodelled Tuscan style apartments, with terracotta tiles on the floor, wooden beams on the ceiling, wrought iron beds, cooking facilities,but with modern comforts such as private bathroom, telephone, air conditioning, free WiFi and 32 flat screen TV.

Amenities and services

  • Bicycle rental
  • Cooking lessons
  • Horseback riding reservation
  • Language lessons
  • Laundry service
  • Tennis

Day 1, Sunday - Arrival

  • Check in at Tuscan Sun Apartments in Lucca.
  • Meet the other participants in the lobby at 19:00 for aperitifs followed by welcome dinner with Chef Paolo Monti.

Day 2, Monday - Cooking class, excursion

  • 09:.45 Hands on cooking lesson with Chef Paolo Monti followed by lunch. This class is very important, we will start with lesson on the origins of the Cucina Italiana, the main ingredients, fresh herbs, an extravirgin olive oil seminar, explaining how extravirgin olive oil is made and taste a dozen different olive oils to recognize the differences, according to where they are produced. We will then start cooking some of the most important sauces of Italian and Tuscan cuisine. Have a light breakfast! because we will make 14 recipes and we will taste all of them.
  • Afternoon excursion to Lucca and guided tour of the city.
  • Return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 3, Tuesday - Market visit, cooking class, wine tasting

  • 08.00 Trip to see the fish and vegetable market, for italian vegetables, herbs and fruit, salami and cheeses, but mainly to learn how to recognize fresh fish and less then fresh fish! See different types of fish and what they are used for.
  • Return to the hotel and start the cooking class with italian seafood recipes.
  • In the afternoon visit a local winery for wine tasting.
  • Dinner with local Lucchese specialties.

Day 4, Wednesday - Factory visits, cheese tasting, cured meats tasting, vinegar tasting

  • 06:15 Breakfast.
  • 06:45 Trip the Parma province to visit Bertinelli Parmigiano Reggiano Dairy to see the production of this totally organic and wonderful cheese, followed by tasting the finished product of course.
  • We then drive to Langhirano a "Prosciutto di Parma" maker, see how prosciutto is made in a Prosciuttificio La Perla, we visit the factory and see all the steps to produce this wonderful ham, followed by lunch with prosciutto, salami etc, and home made fresh pasta with Lambrusco wine.
  • After lunch we drive to Modeana to Acetaia Malpighi and visit the barrel rooms where the original "Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale" or traditional balsamic vinegar is made an ancient tradition going back to the Roman Times and of course taste it!
  • Return to Lucca for dinner.

Day 5, Thursday - Cooking class, free time

  • 10:00 Hands on Tuscan cooking class about typical Tuscan cuisine, we will make crostini ai fegatini, crostini alle melanzane, panzanella: the famous tuscan bread salad. We will hand make the local vegetable ravioli and a delicious aromatic meat rag from Lucca with unusual spices, for main dish arista di maiale (loin of pork with typical tuscan herbs). For dessert we will make cantuccini also known as "biscotti".
  • Afternoon: free to relax, perhaps with a bicycle trip along the river or free to walkbout in Lucca.
  • Dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 6, Friday - Excursion, wine tasting

  • 08:30 Departure for Siena. We stop over in Greve in Chianti to visit this famous village in the Chianti region.
  • Visit a Chianti Castle and its cellars followed by wine tasting and lunch at the famous butcher Dario Checchini' s Butcher shop in *Panzano in Chianti.
  • After lunch we go to Siena for a guided tour of this beautiful medieval city, famous for the Palio Horse Race. There is time to relax and shop.
  • Return to Lucca for dinner.

Day 7, Saturday - Cooking class, free time, farewell dinner

  • 10:00 the final cooking class with Chef Paolo Monti. We will be learning how to make a proper risotto with shrimp and saffron, with porcini mushrooms, with red wine radicchio and speck, with squid ink. We will be preparing two type of traditional beef carpaccio and a buffalo mozzarella with a blended fresh tomato sauce, to finish two dessert, semifreddo al croccantino and charlotte di pere.
  • Free afternoon for shopping.
  • Final farewell dinner with Chef Paolo Monti with presentation of certificates.

Day 8, Sunday - Departure

  • Departure day.

Excursion to Parma and Modena for balsamic vinegar, prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano

Full day excursion to Chianti and Siena

Visit to the wholesale market

  • Paolo Monti

    Montecatini Terme's catering college (Chef)

    Chef Paolo Monti studied all aspects of restaurant and hotel work, as well as French, German, and English. His cooking classes are routinely held in all three languages. Striving to perfect his languages and skills, Paolo worked his way up the culinary and hotel industry ladder passing through several countries. During his career, he has launched and managed several restaurants and catering operations in several countries. His classes are conducted in a light, entertaining atmosphere.

Lucca, a wonderful art town in Tuscany, is nowadays still surrounded by the Renaissance walls that had defensive purpouses in the past and now are like a jewel box that contains all the architectural beauties set on the city plan, like gems on a tiara. Lying on the Via Francigena and hosting a very important Christian relic such as the crucifix of the Volto Santo, have been great advantages for Lucca above all during the the Middle Age. You can't miss a visit to Piazza Anfiteatro, that mantains the shape of its origins (the square was built on a Roman amphiteatre) or either to the Guinigi Tower, amazing and peculiar with the holm oaks on its top.

The park of the Serchio River creates a connection space between the town of Lucca and the river watercourse on a area of 250 hectares of width, where it is possible to go for a walk, to make excursions by foot, by bike or riding a horse, canoeing or kayaking, or even just have a break along the banks to enjoy the view of the natural beauties. There also are several recreational areas, such as football fields, archery fields, an area for playing bowls, model airplane and model car fields, as well as skateboarding ramps.

  • 4 cooking classes
  • 7 nights full board accommodation
  • Excursion to Parma and Modena for balsamic vinegar, prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Full day excursion to Chianti and Siena
  • Visit to the wholesale market
  • Airport transfers

Driving direction from Pisa airport

  • Follow the directions to Viareggio and take the road SS1 'Via Aurelia'.
  • Enter the motorway A11 'Pisa Nord' towards Firenze.
  • Take the exit 'Lucca Ovest'
  • Continue straight onto Via Citt Gemelle
  • At the roundabout take the 2nd exit and take Via Gaetano Luporini
  • At the roundabout take the 2nd exit and take Via Luigi Einaudi
  • Turn left and take Viale Giacomo Puccini/SS439
  • Continuing on SS439
  • Turn right and take Via di Sant'Alessio/SP24
  • Turn left and stay on Sant'Alessio/SP24
  • Take the second right to stay on Sant'Alessio / SP24
  • Continuing to follow Via di Sant'Alessio
  • Tuscan Sun Apartments are on yout left

Driving direction from Florence city center and airport

  • Take the motorway A11 'Firenze-Pisa Nord' towards Pisa.
  • Leave the motorway at the exit 'Lucca Ovest'
  • Continue straight onto Via Citt Gemelle
  • At the roundabout take the 2nd exit and take Via Gaetano Luporini
  • At the roundabout take the 2nd exit and take Via Luigi Einaudi
  • Turn left and take Viale Giacomo Puccini/SS439
  • Continuing on SS439
  • Turn right and take Via di Sant'Alessio/SP24
  • Turn left and stay on Sant'Alessio/SP24
  • Take the second right to stay on Sant'Alessio / SP24
  • Continuing to follow Via di Sant'Alessio
  • Tuscan Sun Apartments are on yout left

Driving direction from the motorway exit Lucca Ovest

  • Continue straight onto Via Citt Gemelle
  • At the roundabout take the 2nd exit and take Via Gaetano Luporini
  • At the roundabout take the 2nd exit and take Via Luigi Einaudi
  • Turn left and take Viale Giacomo Puccini/SS439
  • Continuing on SS439
  • Turn right and take Via di Sant'Alessio/SP24
  • Turn left and stay on Sant'Alessio/SP24
  • Take the second right to stay on Sant'Alessio / SP24
  • Continuing to follow Via di Sant'Alessio
  • Tuscan Sun Apartments are on yout left

Driving direction from the motorway exit Lucca est

  • Turn left into Viale Europa
  • At the roundabout take the 2nd exit and take Viale Carducci
  • Turn right onto Piazzale Luigi Boccherini
  • Turn left to stay on Piazzale Luigi Boccherini
  • Continue straight onto Via Alfredo Catalani/SS439
  • Continuing on SS439
  • Turn right and take Via di Sant'Alessio/SP24
  • Turn left and stay on Sant'Alessio/SP24
  • Take the second right to stay on Sant'Alessio / SP24
  • Continuing to follow Via di Sant'Alessio
  • Tuscan Sun Apartments are on your left

Arrival by airplane

  • The nearest airport is Pisa International Airport (PSA).

GPS

  • Latitude: 43.86146559154036 N
  • Longitude: 10.463706556474335 E

Distances

  • Bus station, 3 kilometers
  • Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR) 70 kilometers
  • Pisa International Airport (PSA), 30 kilometers
  • Train station, 5 kilometers
  • 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.

Lucca, Italy

Chef Paolo Monti is the founder of Cucina Italiana cooking school. Their goal is to give you a basic knowledge of contemporary Italian recipes and how they are prepared using traditional ingredients.

  • Availability: The Culinary Vacations of this organizer are available 100% of the time.
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8 days / 7 nights

Availability

Available all year round, with arrival on Sunday except Christmas and Easter weeks. Please select an arrival date below.

 

Low season
  • November - March

 

High season
  • April - October

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