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  Touring Tuscany - With an Appetite!
October 14-October 25, 2014

Rome Option
October 25-October 28, 2014


Day 1 leave NYC - Rome 

Day 2 - Arrive Rome, coach to Estate and Bienvenuto dinner.

VillaWe will arrive at the Villa Pandolfini, our home for the next 8 days. Relax and freshen up for the 'Benvenuto' dinner which will take place in the villa's historical 14th C kitchen, also  the heart of this gastronomical adventure.
Participants will receive their recipe books and course guidelines this evening. (D)

Day 3 Free Day

Relax, catch up on you rest, finish unpacking and explore to your heart's content. Lots of activities are available, should you decide you have rested enough! Horseback riding, wine tours, visit to Florence for shopping ... the day is yours!

Day 4- Southern Tuscany tour

After a classic Tuscan breakfast of cappuccino and pastries at a local trattoria, we begin our introduction to the Tuscan countryside, it's people, history and culture. We will experience firsthand the lush lands that are the very soul of Tuscany's produce and its cuisine. Marvel at medieval villages, admire impressive castles and witness centuries of history as we drive through the verdant Chianti valleys,  the Sienese Crete (renowned for its red earth) and the magnificent Val d'Orcia.

Recognize the landscape? You should as it is the area where numerous films such as  "The English Patient”  and '
"Gladiator" were filmed. We'll also see the world's most photographed row of cypress trees.

grapesWe'll stop to savor their famous Brunello at a charming medal winning vineyard estate before moving on to the  towns of Pienza (where Renaissance town planning was first born),  and Bagno Vignoni, famous for its natural hot springs.

We'll have time to relax in the quaint village of Pienza, full of lovely shops selling crafts and local produce, the most famous being the pecorino cheese. Each small grocer is adorned with the many types of cheeses produced by the local farmers and their ingenious ways of flavouring the cheese from straw to chestnut leaves , cave aging and truffles. Stop in and taste the samples offered. The most beautiful view of the Val d'Orcia, a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE, which is absolutely spectacular can be seen from the back of the church.
Lunch will be in a local trattoria , then enjoy a wine tasting and a visit to the Medici hilltop town of Montalcino.

Dinner will be in a local pizzeria just down the road before going back to our villa. (B,L,D)

Day 5- Pisa & Lucca Tour
Cooking Day 1

Departure 8:30am.

lucca piazza

Today we will head to Pisa where we'll visit the famous leaning tower and its colorful piazza before heading on to Lucca, renowned for its intact Renaissance-era city walls. Here you can have lunch on your own but please keep it light as you have a cooking class in the afternoon! Total 2.5 hours in Lucca .

Pasta4:30 finds us back at the Villa for the first of 3 fabulous immersions into  Tuscan cuisine,  learning all the secrets, passion and techniques taught by our beloved Italian professional chefs. Prepare a 5 course meal and savour the fruits of your labour at the end of the class. All  classes are hands-on and use fresh ingredients. We will also sample the estate's own DOC Chianti wine and extra virgin olive oil. (B,D)

Day 6-Florence  

Enjoy an enlightening historical walking tour of this most amazing unique Renaissance city. Lunch finds us in a trattoria after which we'll visit the legendary Uffizi museum.

We'll discuss the day's visual delights by relaxing at dinner in a  local restaurant in the country, either the restaurant at the famous old residence of Enrico Caruso or another beautiful restaurant high atop the Tuscan hills. (B,L,D)

Day 7-Cooking day 2 


It's Market Day! This morning you will meet the chef to witness the incredible ingredients of Tuscan food in the central food market. This market has served the florentines a huge variety of fresh food from meats and seafood to fresh pastas, breads, spices, vegetables and fruits galore, vinegars, oils and the list goes on.

After the market back to the school for your cooking class #2 .

Free evening.

Day 8-Afternoon Siena and San Gimignano


 A free morning to relax on our terrace, then off to Siena and San Gimignano where we can wander the towns at our leisure.

Siena is a breathtaking well preserved larger Tuscan town , home to the famous Palio horse race and the incredible Piazza del Campo. Her Duomo is also definitely worth a visit and meandering the shop filled streets is a delight in itself .

SG vineyardsAfter Siena we will continue to a smaller but one of the most well known hill top medieval towns! San Gimignano, with its many towers, stunning frescos  adorning it's church and  picturesque location truly make it a jewel set amid the Tuscan landscape. (B,L)

Day 9 - Artimino, Di Vinci and Michaelangelo

Pastries & cappuccino at the local bar before visiting and witnessing the craft of ceramic making and decorating. The results of hours of careful and loving work is bright , colourful and unique beautiful ceramics of all shapes and forms.

make pastaWe will then drive through the countryside to reach a Medici villa , here the history unfolds of this amazing family that held Florence in it's hands for hundreds of years and gave the world the treasures of masters such as Di Vinci and Michelangelo .

Lunch in the picturesque hamlet of Artimino .

Return in time to cook the farewell dinner . (B,L,D)

Day 9   Splendid tour of Venice  

We will leave early to go to Venice by coach.

Today experience this incredible, unique city from the water and by foot.

After a walking tour of the city and a visit to St Marks, the Doge Palace and a Gondola tour, for those interested we will go to Murano to see the glass blowers.

Dinner  in a trattoria. Return by coach. (B,L or D)


Day11- Free day ... what to do, what to do!

After gathering for breakfast, you're free to enjoy the day however you'd like. See The David, visit the Boboli gardens and Pitti palace , stroll the Ponte Vecchio, or shop the leather markets. Do the fashion houses of Italy call? Then visit the Rodeo drive of Florence- Via Tornabuoni. You might choose to simply relax by the pool under the Tuscan sun! (OK, we couldn't resist!). Whatever you choose, the day is yours! Dinner in the evening at a local trattoria or Pizzeria (B,D)

Day 12 Checkout or Rome Option-Morning departure to go to Rome and to the airport for those returning to the US

Tuscany Only: $6325.00
Single Supplement: $475.00



Accomodations for 10 Nights  
3 Days private immersion classes in the art of Tuscan cuisine
6 Private Tours
Wine Tastings
Tips to guides and drivers
Museum entry (Uffizi)
Meals as noted

***Air, Train tickets and items of a personal nature are not included in pricing.

Rome Option 
October 25-28, 2014

Upon arriving in Rome, we will check into our 4* hotel, and enjoy some free time to relax and explore. "Welcome to Rome" dinner this evening. (B,D)

Day 13- Guided tour of Classical Rome

Today we will have a 7 hour tour of classical Rome, including the Roman Forum, Colosseum and the Spanish Steps. Evening free. 

Day 14 -Morning : Vatican and  St Peters 

Highlights: Michelangelo’s Dome, Pine-cone Courtyard (Cortile della Pigna), Chiaramonti Collection, Pio-Clementino Collection, Stanza Rotonda, Stanza della Croce Greca, Bramante’s Triple Gallery, Raphael's Rooms, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square. -

Free afternoon to catch up on any unfinished shopping or simply stroll around the city , one never gets tired of it !

Farewell dinner . (D)

Day 15- Checkout

Tuscany with Rome Option in Full:  $8120.00

Single Supplement $475.00


4* hotel/3 nights
Private tours
Tips to guides and drivers 
Meals as mentioned


*** Air, Train or Coach tickets and items of a personal nature are not included.

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