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Join a unique holiday in an authentic Tuscan style house where you will feel at home while enjoying Italian cuisine. This cooking holiday program has been specially designed just for you by Tuscany Cook. You will have the freedom to enjoy the surroundings of the beautiful Tuscan countryside, the little city, and the medieval villages. Comfortable accommodations in Oliveta or Azaela farm house for two and four people are provided for a feeling-at-home vacation. The houses lying in the fabulous estate are perfect getaway for you. Lisa and Elaine, our professional chefs will guide you to discover the traditional cuisine of Tuscany.
This lovely restored farm house with wood beamed ceilings and tiled floors is situated in the garden of the main building of Villa Baco. Although Casa Azalea shares the same big garden with other guests, the beautiful Azaleas give the opportunity for creating ones own secluded corner. The apartment is composed of a living room, a large kitchen with a characteristic fireplace, 2 bedrooms, and 1 bathroom with shower. The apartment has independent heating and suitable for up to 4 people.
Located at 30 meters distance from Villa Baco, this nice farm house surrounded by olive groves has been restored in the authentic Tuscan style. Downstairs there is a large living room with characteristic fire place used in the past by the old farmers, a sofa bed and a dining-room corner. From the kitchen there is access to a paved garden. It offers the opportunity to eat alfresco and to enjoy the courtyard sight. On the first floor there are two bedrooms and two bathrooms with shower. Oliveta is suitable for up to 4 people.
The wide swimming pool (16 x 6.50 meters) overlooking the vineyards will invite you to a fresh and relaxing swim. There is plenty of opportunity for creating ones own secluded corner so you can spend your holidays in complete relaxation. The nearby fields will invite you to have a walk or follow the trekking paths nearby.
A lazy day in which you can choose to pass it relaxed at the fantastic pool or you can decide to explore the surroundings and maybe visit the ceramic laboratory nearby.
Lets start cutting and mixing to create your own meal with Lisa or Elaine! They will guide you on 3 cooking lessons of 3 hours each. You will learn how to use olive oil in its natural state or in cooking, how to enhance your cooking with wine, how to use fresh or wild aromatic herbs such as sage, rosemary, the wild nepitella, laurel and much more.
Relax in the beautiful garden at the estate while enjoying your dinner there. You will also have guided tours in private vineyards and olive groves and taste wine products as well as extra virgin olive oils. You will join a guided tour in Florence as well with transfer from Certaldo train station and return. On your free time, enjoy the relaxing countryside and the beautiful pool at your disposal.
Handmade pasta, made the traditional way, using a rolling pin (not a pasta machine)
Local ragu sauce (or vegetarian alternative) to accompany the pasta dish
Saltimbocca alla romana - a classic roman dish using veal, procuitto, and fresh sage (or a vegetarian alternative) with a family recipe sauce served with side salad or vegetable dish
Torta di ricotta alla Romana (traditional roman cake using homemade pastry, that includes a fresh locally sourced ricotta)
Fattoria Baco has belonged to the Cascino family for five generations since 1850. Now it is composed of Alberto, his wife Patrizia, and their two children, Francesca and Lorenzo. Alberto remodeled all the estate, planting vineyards, olive trees and fields of wheat and sunflowers; then he started the work of restoration of the Villa and the adjoining farm houses. Patrizia helped furnishing the ten farm houses in an authentic Tuscan style.
Later on, Lorenzo successfully converted the Fattoria Baco into a modern estate. In the 80s, Alberto and Patrizia started to host events like weddings, and various workshops like painting, theater, choral and tango. Recently Francesca decided to organize Tuscany Cook leading the guest on a path of taste and culture led by professional chefs and official guides to discover the delicous taste of Tuscan cooking and the beauty of Florence, Siena and their surroundings.
Lisa turned her passion for cooking into a real profession. The art of cooking is a talent that Lisa has refined through training experiences, the most prestigious certainly being the Scuola Etoile of Chioggia, where she mastered a global vision of both cooking and food presentation. Lisa loves to gather people around a table. When shopping, she chooses fresh, first quality products at farmer markets; then, through chopping, browning, and seasoning, her dishes gradually take shape, revealing her secret ingredients: passion and enthusiasm for her work and the utmost respect for her guests.
Elaine was a former art historian, she then moved to Italy to learn about olive oil and Sicilian and Tuscan culinary traditions from her relatives, farmers, producers, home cooks, and chefs. Elaine lets the choice of fresh, local ingredients define a recipe and shape a meal because she believes thats the best way to achieve complex, complimentary flavors. Elaine designs culinary travel programs that allow culinary tradition to reveal the culture of the place, she is a writer, has an MA in art history, and is certified as an olive oil taster by the Regione Toscana.
Patrizia is the matriarch, the master of presentation of Baco. She is the impetus to all that is initiated there and her joy of entertaining is a way of life lived in nonchalance; it is her very essence. Her exquisite taste and her meticulous attention to detail permeates all she applies it to: interior designing, remodeling, and cooking. She is capable of organizing all social functions from weddings, hotel openings, private parties, and weekly workshops. Speaking 3 languages fluently, 30 years of running the residential vacations at Baco, her clientele have become dear friends from all over
Lorenzo is the wine and oil producer. His passion for wines started in his childhood years during the summer holidays at the familiy estate Fattoria Baco. He loved watching the farmers in their noisy tractors and longed to drive tractors one day in the vineyards. After studying agriculture, he started working at Fattoria Baco continuing the family tradition. He started using modern agronomic techniques which increased the already high quality of wines. He produces several varieties of oils which have been prized both Nationally and Internationally. Hes involved in a new production of organical
Elisa is the tour guide in Tuscany Cook. She obtained her master degree in renaissance art history at the University of Florence and her Ph.D. in history of art from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. She is the author of numerous journal publications. In 2004, Elisa became a tour guide of Florence and its province, and later to Siena and Province. Since then, she has been enthusiastically accompanying foreign guests in their discovery of her native region, sharing the secrets of the most enchanting sites of Tuscany.
Fattoria Baco is 35 kilometers from Florence and 6 kilometers from Certaldo. It is surrounded by many historical cities such as Certaldo, Boccaccios birth place - the author of Decamerone, S.Gimignano; famous for its 15 medieval towers, Montelupo Fiorentino; famous for its ceramics production dating back to the Middle Ages, Colle Val dElsa; the italian capital of glassware. Vinci, Leonardo da Vincis birth place and its interesting museum.
Remain at the estate to enjoy the grounds and the lovely pool, and take magnificent walks in the fields. Naturally, you are welcome to participate to all our extra cooking activities including all excursions and of course to share the amazing dishes your partners have prepared for you!
On request, we can help you to organize extra programs as: hot-air ballooning to float over Chianti vineyards, horseback riding, and bike or Vespa tour, rent-a-car to explore our countryside. We can provide also excursions to Lucca, Pisa and Cinque Terre.
Guests should take the direct train from Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station (the main station) to Certaldo train station. Tuscany Cook will pick you up at Certaldo train station.