Who Has the Best Culinary Tours in Tuscany?
Back when The International Kitchen opened its doors in 1994, culinary travel was a thing unknonwn in the tourism world, and founder Karen Herbst had to convince our vendors that people really DID want to come to Europe to cook! Our first step was to design culinary tours in Tuscany! But it’s not just for this that Tuscany remains one of our favorites.
Tuscany has been considered one of the top destinations in Europe for years, which means there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing culinary tours in Tuscany. We really believe that we offer, hands down, the best cooking vacations and destinations in Tuscany, and here are just 3 of the many reasons why.
Do-nee-what? Signora Dunia is the owner and hostess of our amazing and exclusive At Home in a Tuscan Villa cooking vacation. Half Italian and half Spanish, she brings the passion of the Mediterranean to life in her amazing home. The gorgeous villa is perched in the hills of western Tuscan, so picture amazing views of the surrounding valley, the sea off in the distance, Pisa in view on clear days. Picture also a place dedicated to hospitality, with five guest rooms and so many common areas (library, frescoed dining room, billiard room, salon, and two kitchens, one with a wood-burning oven). And finally, picture a place of convivial laughter, where delicious, authentic Tuscan recipes are prepared and eaten together with plenty of wine and friendship.
This is a name that needs no introduction in the wine world. The Antinori family has been producing wine for centuries, and was one of the single most important wine producers in the revival of Chianti and Tuscan wine in the ’60’s and ’70’s. But what you might not realize is that their empire—rather than being a large and impersonal industry—is an intimate and friendly affair. The Marchese’s three daughters run the wineries, while a group of talented and passionate young Italians run the Borgo de’ Medici, the small country hotel, the restaurants, and the cooking school. Yes, the new winery tucked into the Tuscan hillside is unbelievable and breath-taking, and worthy of the lavish praise it has garnered. But my favorite thing? The hotel, perched as it is in the heart of the vineyards. Picture enjoying a meal or glass of wine on the terrace, surrounded by the vines that make such wines as Tignanello and Solaia!
Italians aren’t always known for change, and let’s face it, there are plenty of hotels and restaurants run by stuffy old Italian men. Not so at our amazing Cook in the Heart of Chianti. Here you are welcomed by a young and passionate staff, from the manager Nadia (in my experience one of the only young women I’ve found managing a hotel this size), to the chefs Luca and Alessandro. It’s position near Tavarnelle val di Pesa makes it literally (as the name suggests) in the heart of Chianti. And the views and gardens are stupendous. But what I really love about this itinerary are the people who make it so special.
So in short: who has the best culinary tours in Tuscany? We do. We really do. And the common thread that ties them together is their passion and dedication to their land, and their desire to share it with our travelers.
You can check out these and all of our culinary tours in Tuscany on our website. But we’d love to talk with you about them as well, so give us a call!
By Peg Kern
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