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7 Days Tuscan Women Cook Cooking Holidays in Italy

Cooking Vacations in Tuscany, Italy

Indulge yourself in the Tuscan lifestyle and discover the regions passion for food and wine. The best cooks in all of Tuscany, the local women, teach our classes. Theyll share regional techniques, ingredients, and family recipes that have been passed down over the centuries.


  • 4 cooking classes, market visit
  • 2 wine tastings, cheese tour, cheese tasting
  • Excursions to Florence and Cortona
  • Restaurant trips, meals with wines
  • 6 nights luxury accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner


4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Italian, English
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La Chiusa Hotel, Tuscany, Italy

Your accommodation is an elegantly restored farm house and olive oil mill. La Chiusas luxurious accommodations and award-winning restaurant have been critically acclaimed for decades, and travelers from all over the world come to Montefollonico just to stay in this enchanting place.

Youll find every part of La Chiusa tastefully decorated with Tuscan antiques, and every taste of it paying homage to the rich farmlands which surround it. Each of the 15 rooms is unique, featuring architectural elements from the original structure - exposed brick walls, millstones from the olive press, wood-beamed ceilings, and fireplaces.

Thats not to say that you wont also feel very pampered here - rooms have deep soaking tubs, many with Jacuzzis. Everyone you meet at La Chiusa, beginning with Dania and Umberto, warmly welcomes you into the family, delivering superior custom service. Not surprisingly, this place has many return visitors.

Michelin star restaurant

The restaurant presents an airy, gracious setting, with white-table-clothed-draped tables adorned with wildflowers. Dania Masotti is the shining star here, a recipient of a Michelin star for her cooking. Shell be one of your cooking teachers and is also a most memorable hostess.

Using produce from La Chiusas gardens and orchards, along with food from local producers, Dania cooks Montefollonicos classic peasant dishes in elegant renditions that dont lose any of their soulful quality in the process. Most outstanding is her homemade pappardelle with ragu - silky pasta with a perfectly balanced tomato sauce.

Guests enjoy the restaurants old world style. Sorbets are served between courses. Small ottomans are placed next to womens chairs so they have a place to perch their purses. The wine cellar offerings range from top local picks (Vino Nobile, Brunello di Montalcino), to world renowned vintages.


Day 1, Sunday - Welcome to your new Tuscan home

  • Arrival.
  • Check in at the historic La Chiusa hotel in the medieval walled village of Montefollonico.
  • Share antipasti and a glass of Prosecco together before the first dinner tonight at a charming local restaurant. Make a toast to new friends and new flavors.
  • The chef will prepare a delicious Tuscan meal for us to begin our week together.
  • Let the delicious journey begin.

Day 2, Monday - Ready, set, Mangiamo!

  • Its time to get cooking! Your adventure begins in la cucina with Dania Mazotti, the world-famous chef at the Michelin-starred La Chiusa restaurant in the village. Chef Mazotti teaches you essential foundational Tuscan techniques as she prepares chicken alla contadina, white ravioli stuffed with farm-fresh ricotta, Pappardelle Dania, and caramel gelato with strawberry flamb.
  • After this extraordinary lunch, you'll wind through the historic medieval hilltop village of Pienza to peruse the galleries of many of the local artisans.
  • Tonight you'll dine at the internationally acclaimed Osteria La Porta in Montichiello, which was recently profiled in the New York Times. Wine pairings from Montalcino will be featured with your sumptuous meal. Mangiamo!

Day 3, Tuesday - Pici-licious pasta and More

  • Join Tuscan Women Cook for a cappuccino in the village of Montefollonico before this mornings cooking class at 13 Gobbi. Simonetta, Ima, and Sabrina will teach us today. Cooking class this morning features hand-rolled pici, the delicious eggless pasta that originated in our area of Tuscany. You will also prepare aglione (garlic and tomato) sauce, pollo diavalo, savory grilled fresh vegetables topped with local extra virgin olive oil, and crostata suisina.
  • This afternoon you visit the medieval hill town of Montepulciano where the famous Vino Nobile wine is produced.
  • Dinner will be at the renowned Ristorante Walter Redaelli.

Day 4, Wednesday - Footloose in Siena

  • You depart early for Siena today.
  • It is Market Day in Siena - the largest weekly market in Tuscany. You will have a chance to taste and purchase regional gourmet items, aged balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  • You have a professional guide today who will take you sightseeing and shopping in Tuscany's most elegant city.
  • Lunch today will be at one of Siena's highest regarded Osterias.
  • Feel free to take off and enjoy the sights and shops of Siena or let our professional guide escort you.
  • You will enjoy an early dinner tonight since you have another full day tomorrow.

Day 5, Thursday - The authentic classic dishes and wines

  • You'll start our day with a delicious cappuccino at the Bar Sport in our village.
  • This morning Isa is your outstanding nonna della cucina. This could be the favorite meal of the entire week, but most of our guests say that same phrase every day. Parmigiana di melanzane (eggplant Parmesan), ribolita (Tuscan vegetable, bean and bread soup), roast loin of pork, potato smorfato, cantucci (biscotti) and panna cotta. Squisito! (Yummy!)
  • Later in the day, you will join local wine master, Vittorio Innocenti, for a wine tasting in his 750-year-old cantina. Vittorio is famous for his Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and his award-winning Vin Santo.
  • Dinner tonight is at another of our wonderful restaurants in Montefollonico, La Botte Piena (the full barrel). The owners are affiliated with the Slow Food movement and will give you an incredible Tuscan family style dinner with wines.

Day 6, Friday - Making memories with the Bernadinis

  • Three generations of a Tuscan family will lead your class today at the Bernadini family home and agriturismo called Belaggagio. Grandmother Ada, daughter Antonella and granddaughter Gloria were the very first women cooks in 2000.
  • You will make pizza in an ages-old wood-burning oven. Additionally, stuffed fried zucchini flowers, the best ever pasta al forno (lasagne) and tiramis; youll be highlighted today.
  • After a nice pausa, we will have time for one more wine tasting with one of the young Super Tuscan vintners, Flavio Andreucci of Tenimenti Adreucci Winery, who was recently honored at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City for his outstanding wines.
  • Your final dinner together is at the Michelin-starred La Chiusa restaurant. You will enjoy a seven-course degustazine dinner with outstanding Tuscan wines, including the world-famous Brunello di Montalcino.

Day 7, Saturday - Ciao! Ci vediamo qui presto!

  • Sleep this morning.
  • Enjoy another delicious leisurely breakfast and depart at your pleasure this morning.


La Chiusa is ideally situated for glorious views of the Chiana Valley - rolling hills covered with olive trees and vineyards, and the ivory-colored hilltop town of Montepulciano in the distance. You can have breakfast on the terrace, enjoying bread thats been freshly baked in La Chiusas wood-burning oven, slathered with jam made from the propertys fig trees. A breeze may blow through, carrying with it the scent of lavender from the herb garden. In the evenings, the sunsets over La Chiusas panorama will dazzle you. Here is a country retreat that calms, inspires, and lifts your spirits.


At both lunch and dinner, you'll dine in a variety of Tuscanys finest restaurants, humble local osterie, and the private homes on Tuscan farms. You will dine at La Chiusa in our village of Montefollonico and sample the lamb with rosemary oil or duck with fennel, or both if you're so inclined. Conde Nast called this Michelin-starred restaurant the best country inn in Italy.

Things to do (optional)

You'll want to take advantage of local markets, festivals or sagre, and flea markets. Depending on the time of year, you may have the opportunity to visit the Palio in Siena, Tuscanys best antiques market in Arezzos Piazza Grande, the donkey races in Torrita di Siena, the olive oil festival in San Quirico dOrcia, or even experience first had the picking and crushing of the seasons grape, what Tuscans call Vendmmia.

You are invited to explore the surrounding area and make the program as structured or unstructured as you wish. There will be plenty of free time to explore the area on your own and in small groups. Outings often include day trips to any of the wealth of local towns or cities within striking distance by car.

Be prepared to rejoice in the scenery and rejuvenate your soul. Everyone loves Tuscany as you simply become one with all the elements. Enjoy the quiet days and cool nights. Relax by the swimming pool. Come here to cycle, trek, or soar in a hot-air balloon.

What's included

  • 6 nights accommodation at La Chiusa in Montefollonico on double occupancy
  • All meals including wine
  • Cooking classes
  • Sightseeing
  • Transportation during the week for all activities
  • Visits to local markets and historical towns
  • Winery visits and tastings

What's not included

  • Airfare and ground transportation to and from Montefollonico are not included.
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