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7 Days Cooking Holidays & Wine Tours Italy

  • Antico Podere Marciano, Localita Marciano, 1, 50021 Barberino Val D'elsa FI, Italy

Wine Tasting and Culinary Tours Italy

Almost every corner of Italy has something spectacular to offer to the world and Tuscany is not the exception. Experience special evenings enjoying the Tuscan cuisine and the gorgeous local wine. Expert cookers will teach you how to prepare homemade typical dishes from the local cuisine, using mainly locally produced ingredients. Delicious meals and exquisite wines are the perfect match for special happy moments, and this experience will get even better, when you know how to cook that special flavor that conquers your palate.

Highlights

  • 3 hands-on cooking class
  • Guided chianti and wine tastings
  • Tours through medieval towns and villages
  • Lunch in one of the many Trattorias in Lucca
  • Visit the Pisa Leaning Tower and cathedral
  • Tour through the Chianti region
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • 5 days with instruction
  • English
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Antico Podere Marciano, as it is today, is the result of a thorough restoration of a traditional rural property, dating the year 1.000. The small charming bed and breakfast has been furnished finely, taking care for details and comfort. The restoration work and interior design project of the bed and breakfast were entrusted to interior designer Julia Scartozzoni, who carefully selected suggestive colors, styles and dcor to fill the rural hotel with a refined, yet comfortable atmosphere. All materials used to restore the building, as well as those chosen to furnish both the inside and the outside of the house, are the highest quality available. The common areas available to all guests of the Antico Podere Marciano, include the living room, equipped with a large fireplace and bar, library and small fireplace, wide terraces, and the 16 x 8 meter swimming-pool equipped with hydro-massage and a waterfall.

The hotel is surrounded by a vast garden and wooded area, where there are paths to explore on foot or on mountain bike. The villa has a wide terrace, la Piazzetta, which offers a spectacular view of the area, and a pleasant cozy courtyard, la Corte, next to the bar. Breakfast and meals are served under the beautiful outdoor loggia, which overlooks the valley. A barbeque area has been created in the spacious garden and there is also an open parking-lot. The charming bed and breakfast, Antico Podere Marciano, has both standard plus and superior double rooms.

Large superior rooms

These rooms length is 30 square meters, with stonewalls, terracotta floors, wrought iron double canopy bed, gorgeous view onto the Val d Elsa, a queen sofa bed, antique dresser, and a minibar. Small hallway with fitted wardrobe. The bathroom has two built-in sinks on a marble surface, bidet, and old-style bath tub with shower. The small terrace is equipped with table and chairs, overlooking the surrounding wonderful landscape. The rooms predominant colors are beige, yellowish-brown, light green, antique red, and creamy yellow.

Large standard room

This room length is 30 square meters and has terracotta floors, wrought iron double bed, two comfortable armchairs with coffee table, and an original antique wardrobe. The bathroom has a built-in sink on a marble surface, bidet, and double built-in shower with seat. The room has a small terrace equipped with table and chairs, and has direct access to the outside areas. The predominant colors of this room are white and details in shades of antique red.

Romantic standard rooms

This room is about 20 square meters, with terracotta floors, wrought iron double canopy bed, corner with two chairs, a coffee table in rattan, and fitted wardrobe. The bathroom has a built-in sink on marble surface, bidet, and large walk-in shower enclosure. The predominant colors of this room are shades of beige, brown, light blue and antique red.

Day 1 - Arrive and pick-up in Florence

Tuscan Way will pick you up in Florence and take you to Podere Marciano. After settling in, your guide will show you around the entire estate, which will be your home for the week. You will have time to unpack and relax in your lovely apartment, before enjoying a welcome drink with the staff. Your first evening meal will be at the restaurant.

Day 2

After breakfast, you will have an informative tour followed by a tasting in a winery. After your tour, you will continue on with a drive through the Chianti region, situated between Florence and Siena. Here, there is an ancient Roman road which will take you to the medieval town known as San Gimignano. You will discover why San Gimignano is the only remaining medieval town which has been called the Manhattan of Tuscany, and witness firsthand its ten towers. You will have a chance to shop while strolling along the magical windy streets, which are packed with local artisans stores that specialize in ceramics, leather goods, and wooden crafts.

Then, in the charming Villa della Rocca di Montestaffoli, there is the Museum of Vernaccia Wine, a tribute to the quality and prestige of the wines produced in San Gimignano: Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG, San Gimignano Rosso DOC, San Gimignano Rosato DOC, San Gimignano Vin Santo DOC, and different IGT Toscana. The villa is located at the highest point of the city, from where you can enjoy a wonderful view. Enjoy your first cooking class followed by dinner.

Day 3

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Certaldo, a delightful small village located in the center of Val dElsa. Because of its artistic beauty, this interesting and beautiful city of art has the Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club. Certaldo is known for its long history, for its precious artistic heritage, and for being the birthplace of Giovanni Boccaccio. The numerous archaeological finds scattered throughout the territory evidence the Etruscan-Roman origins of the village. You will visit Volterra, a charming town of Etruscan origins, with a typical Medieval structure, where you can still enjoy the atmosphere of an ancient village.

Famous for its open-air quarries of alabaster, Volterra is one of the richest cities in Tuscany, which attracts numerous tourists each year and offers a special heritage. In Volterra history has left its mark from the Etruscan period until the nineteenth century. In this historical setting, the village is surrounded by a unique landscape; the last stop is Monteriggioni, a small-fortified village and one of the most significant in the territory. It still preserves its original shape as if time had never passed on that picturesque hill. The village, with its narrow streets and ancient buildings, impressed Dante Alighieri many centuries ago, so as to cite Monteriggioni in the 31st canticle of the Inferno. Your dinner will be at a restaurant.

Day 4

After breakfast, enjoy your second cooking class followed by lunch. In the afternoon, discover the Chianti region: Greve in Chianti, Panzano in Chianti, and Castellina in Chianti will be your goals for today. There are small ancient villages located on the hills, between the Val dElsa, Val di Pesa, and the valley of river Arbia. You will try the unique taste of chianti in the wonderful Monsanto castle. Enjoy dinner at a restaurant.

Day 5

After breakfast, you will be off to beautiful Lucca. Enjoy a walking tour around the heart of Lucca, which is considered to be one of the most picturesque of all the fortified (medieval wall) towns in Tuscany. After your informative tour, you will have free time to shop, take a walk around the 16th century intact walls, visit museums and churches, or simply sit in one of the many cafs that line this Roman city. You will enjoy a light lunch in one of the many Trattorias in Lucca.

On your return to the castle, you will go to Pisa and visit the cathedral, Leaning Tower, and baptistery (exterior only), followed by a stroll in to the city center. Arrive at the Roman Forum, where you will view the lavish 15th century Palazzi built by the Medici family. Dine in the heart of the Carmignano region, where you will have dinner in a wine bar in the town center. You will be introduced to the wines of Carmignano accompanied by a tasting-specific menu.

Day 6

After breakfast, enjoy your last cooking class followed by lunch. In the afternoon, continue your tour of the Chianti visiting the beautiful Villa Antinori at Badia a Passignano. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the grounds of the estate and the cellars, while you have a masterpiece tasting, featuring the best of Chianti Antinori; perhaps, Tuscany's most celebrated wine and wine family. You will have dinner at a restaurant.

Day 7 - Departure

After breakfast and good-byes, you will be taken to the airport or the train station in Florence.

  • Informative tour and wine tasting in Florence
  • Tour around San Gimignano and Certaldo village, along the Chianti region
  • Visit Volterra town, the Museum of Vernaccia Wine and Pisas cathedral
  • Visit the Monteriggioni village and the Leaning Tower
  • Walk around Lucca

This tour will take place in and around Tuscany region, Italy.

Florence

Florence is the capital city of the region of Tuscany, and is known as the center of the Renaissance. However, this city has gone through many changes over the centuries. From the founding of the city in the first century B.C. by the Romans, the Carolingian period and its heights of civilization, and its rebirth starting in the 11th through the 15th centuries, Florence today is built upon these many layers both physically and socially. During the 15th century under the rule of the powerful Medici family, it saw the greatest advances in art, culture and politics.

Churches, piazzas, public buildings, fountains, and public works were built under popes, kings and emperors with each succeeding generation rebuilding and adding to each. Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raffaello all lived and contributed to the culture of 16th century in Florence. Today the city is still a center of arts and culture in Tuscany and Italy; a place where people come from all over the world to experience centuries old architecture, local food, wines, crafts, and art.

Lucca

Lucca is a beautiful little Tuscan town protected by 16th century walls, which contain some of Italys finest medieval and Renaissance architecture. Visitors can enjoy superb dining, antique markets, classical and rock music festivals. Lucca is conveniently located within a few miles of stunning nearby villas in the surrounding hills, and endless beaches less than half an hour away. The villas and farmhouses surrounding the city are popular summer destinations of discerning European visitors. Built from brick in the 16th century for defense purposes, todays visitors can walk or bike around the city on the wide shaded walkways atop the walls. For a more vigorous adventure, visitors climb up the Torre Guinigi, a 130 feet tower.

In Lucca, visitors can also stroll through the streets and enjoy chic boutiques and restaurants. The churches in Lucca are the San Michele in Foro, San Frediano, and Cathedral San Martino. The San Frediano Church is probably the most decorated church in Lucca, with lavish 13th century mosaics. The interior of the church contains a richly carved baptismal font as well as a shrine to Luccas saint, Santa Zita. The most notable architectural feature is the golden mosaic high on the faade. The church also houses a shrine to Santa Zita, Luccas saint, whose mummified body is brought out once a year for her to be touched by the devout. Some of the original Roman features remain in the outer walls, which date back to the second century A.D.

Pisa

Pisa, located in western Tuscany, is best known for the Leaning Tower. However, there are many more attractions and sites of interest that visitors can explore and enjoy. This ecclesiastical citys origins were as a seaside community settled approximately 3,000 years ago. Much of Pisa has retained its medieval appearance where tourists can enjoy many local and international attractions, museums, events, and festivals. There are many beautiful and superbly maintained churches in Pisa for you to admire. Pisa Food Market is one of the most interesting centers for shopping in Italy, where visitors can find a variety Italian goods, including jewelry, stylish clothes, and tempting, local cuisine.

There are also shops in Pisa full of souvenirs. Via Buonarroti is held every Wednesday and Saturday and provides a wide variety of clothing and various other articles. Via San Martino takes place every Wednesday and Saturday and is a perfect place to find unique clothes and fashion accessories. Marina di Pisa Market specializes in providing a large selection of second-hand clothes. Piazza delle Vettovaglie is a daily food market specializing in fresh Italian produce. Ponti di Mezzo is an antiques market held on the second weekend of each month.

Tuscany

Tuscany is an enchanting mystical land blending the appeal of stunning landscapes, charming people and glorious cuisine - all blessed by the creative mix of art, man, and nature. You can imagine the cypress lined vineyards: the rows upon endless rows of vines which sculpt the gently rolling hillsides. Tuscany is rich in an ancient way, full of life and boundless energy today. Tuscany is mysterious and elusive with those castles emerging out of the mists and it can be as distinctly clear as the Medici emblems are to Florentine majesty and modern Florences ever-living stamp on the Western world. The Tuscan Renaissance once rocked the world and the Tuscany of today thrives as one of the worlds top tourist destinations.

It created the renaissance and thus gave birth to the modern world. Tuscan wine and the famed Tuscan Reds (Brunello, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti, and Morellino di Scansano) are now welcomed globally. Tuscany is filled with farmhouses and most of these classic Tuscan stone architectural icons are fully operating organic farms, producing not only wine but also the spectacular olive oil that Tuscany is known for. Tuscany lives on and continues to enchant people today because it offers both elegance and simplicity, as well as tranquility and peace: a place of dreams and rejuvenation. Tuscany is located in central Italy, where the varied and hilly landscape creates many micro-climates where wine production thrives.

This variety in topography and climate results in a wide array of spectacular wines. In addition, Tuscany is known for its rich history, art, beautiful estates, delicious food, and superb vintage, and is also home to many scenic hill towns. Tuscany is a charmed land, known for its magnificent landscapes, beaches, artistic and scientific contributions to modern society. Visitors to Tuscan towns and villages are presented with some of the most impressive architecture, gardens, and town squares. Tuscany has been continuously influenced by some of the worlds greatest empires and individuals: from the Etruscans, who left many unique roads that are used today to the Romans, and the Medici family, who financed much of the Renaissance.

Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling nearby
  • Golf course nearby
  • Hiking
  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi
  • Massage nearby
  • Mountain biking nearby
  • Mountain walking / trekking
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Shopping
  • Spa nearby
  • Wine tasting / tour
General
  • Balcony
  • Bar
  • Barbecue facilities
  • Beach nearby
  • Caf nearby
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Hammock
  • Kitchen
  • Mini bar
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Terrace
Services
  • Bicycle rental nearby
  • Library
  • Local market
  • Parking lot

During this holiday you will have the chance to taste daily delicious breakfast, as well as a three lunches and dinners. In one of the wine tastings, you will enjoy tasting-specific menu to complement the wines you are delighting.

Wines

A great wine is not simply the result of the combination of different favorable elements, such as climate, soil and grape variety; it is also the fruit of the expertise, love and care of man, and of course, technical improvements. Tuscan wines are based on a long tradition (dating back to the Middle Ages), and has been passed on through the experience of many generations of winegrowers and wine-makers. Thus, Capezzana has maintained its high quality production up to the present day.

Altana

The fragrance of this wine is exquisite and complex. It has hints of ripe cherries, tobacco leaves, red currant, and rhubarb jam. The flavor is warm, seductive and in a perfect balance with a deep freshness ending in perfect enjoyment. Grapes: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.

Babone

This wine is a superb example of strong and precise character. It offers rich and well defined sensations: a blend of red fruit, black liquor and hints of vegetable shades. It has a very fresh and balsamic background, mild tannin, powerful, rich, and long lasting flavors. Grapes: Sangiovese and Syrah.

Chiaraluna

This white wine certainly reveals its strong mediterranean character. Its fragrance is exquisite and enticing, with warm and tropical hints. You can recognize the flavor of candied citrus fruit, cream cakes and white pepper. In the mouth, its rich flavor lasts a fairly long time. Grapes: Viognier.

Corbizzo

This wine offers a delicious fruity savor. The fragrance is very pleasant with hints of wild strawberries, rose petals and milk chocolate. In the mouth it is fresh and tasty. Its pleasant flavor lasts for a fairly long time. Grapes: Syrah.

Manolibera

This wine witnesses the strong character of Maremma. It has the fragrance of fresh fruit. In the mouth it reveals a fresh, distinctive and never-trivial flavor. Grapes: Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Muralia

The fragrance of this wine is exquisite and offers hints of black fruit, pipe tobacco, juniper berries, and myrtle (all of them well blended together). It has an intense, rich flavor, as well as a length and persistence of great distinction. Grapes: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese.

  • Enjoy a yoga retreat along extraordinary sceneries
  • Experience magical smells and flavors in an olive harvest and Tuscany's beautiful countryside in a bicycle tour
  • Go shopping or take a walking tour in Lucca
  • Practice golf in Tuscany
  • Take a sports excursion with bike rides, trekking, and horseback riding
  • Visit a typical brewery and taste Italian beer
  • Visit museums and churches in Lucca, as well as the most exclusive spots on the Tuscans Islands, accessible only by sea

Believing in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Tuscany Massage and Spa is known for its very famous and effective healing powers, as well as for its various health treatments. The hot water, which carries several medicinal and healing properties, is used in the spas supplied by deep springs in the earth. Spas in Tuscany have been valued since ancient times and are great for back pain, stress relief, and treatment of several skin disorders. Each Tuscany spa has water with different properties, such as carbon dioxide or sulphur, which can help to heal a variety of ailments.

There are several hotels in Tuscany that offer spas and Ayurvedic massage in Italy. Tuscan Way introduces travelers to all the popular thermal baths and spa and they also offer various staying options in some of famous yet traditional facilities, like villas, farmhouses, hotels, and other holiday rentals in Tuscany. Many of these facilities feature therapeutic Tuscan spa, each with its own set of curative powers. Tuscany massage and hot spring spas are some of the best in the world, with high quality services and a healthful approach planned for their guests. Health experts at health spas are always available at your service, to guide you towards a healthier living.

  • 3 hands-on cooking classes
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 9 guided excursions
  • Airport transfers
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily breakfast
  • Wine tastings as indicated in the itinerary
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Spa treatments

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR). Tuscan Way will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

Arrival by taxi

Licensed taxis are found in special taxi-lanes and have a meter. If anyone comes up to you randomly or at any of the other major tourist magnets muttering taxi?, always refuse, as they are likely to charge you up to 400 EUR per cent more than the normal rate. When you pick up a taxi at a rank or hail one in the street, the meter should read zero or the minimum fare, currently about 2 or 3 EUR for the first 200 meters, after which the charge goes up rapidly according to time and distance. Please note that taxis in Rome and Florence are expensive.