Cook in the Heart of Chianti

In the quaint town of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa among the Tuscan hills, you’ll be greeted with open arms. Tucked away in the Pesa Valley in the heart of the Chianti countryside, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa offers a peaceful getaway that is perfectly situated between the major cities of Florence and Siena, which once placed it on the royal road that connected Florence to Rome. Today, the town continues to be known for its monasteries and churches — particularly the Badia di Passignano from the Middle Ages – but it offers something more than that too. The medieval town’s economy continues to thrive based on shoe and paper making as well as the production of wheat, grapes, and olives that supply many in Tuscany and beyond.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Robert & Diane
Nevada
Trip taken May 2015
Loved every minute!

Trip Details

4 cooking classes with chefs Alessandro and Veronica. Alessandro has worked for years in restaurants in Tuscany, while Veronica has been at the Borgo’s restaurant since 2014 and assisting in the cooking classes since 2016. Your classes will be supplemented by herbs and vegetables from the garden.
Your classes feature:

  • appetizers and seasonal first course
  • pastas and sauces
  • main dishes with seasonal sides
  • creating a full Tuscan meal


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3 or 6 Nights Starting At $1,650

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Itinerary

Day One

  • Transfer from Florence airport or train station to Borgo di Cortefreda Resort in the heart of Chianti Classico.
  • Enjoy a warm welcome from Nadia, the manager, and her young and passionate staff.
  • Welcome dinner and overnight.

Prosciutto at Falorni in Greve


Day Two

  • Following a buffet breakfast, begin your first hands-on cooking lesson with Chef Alessandro or Chef Veronica, where you’ll make Tuscan appetizers and a first seasonal course.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, depart for the village of Greve in Chianti to visit the butcher, “Il Falorni.” You will also see the medieval village of Montefioralle, which is famous for its amazing views of Greve Valley. Your afternoon excursion ends with a wine tasting at a local estate.
  • Dinner tonight at the beautiful restaurant “Le Scuderie” in Badia a Passignano.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight.

Cooking class in Tuscany


Day Three

  • Buffet breakfast.
  • In the morning, your next cooking lesson, which focuses on pasta and sauces.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, with local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, meet your host Nadia in Cortefreda’s wine cellar for a guided tasting of the area’s wines.
  • Dinner at the hotel and overnight.

Siena, Italy


Day Four

  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Head out to Siena, which is famous for its horse race “Il Palio.” (Your English-speaking driving guide will give you art/history information about Siena on the way. Optional licensed guide in Siena can be arranged for an additional cost, please inquire for details.)
  • Light lunch in a local trattoria with a glass of local wine.
  • In the afternoon, return to Cortefreda for the third cooking class with Chef Alessandro or Chef Veronica. The chef will lead you in a preparation of a Tuscan main course with seasonal side dishes.
  • Dinner based on your efforts will follow with local wine.
  • Overnight.

San Gimignano, Tuscany


Day Five

  • Breakfast, then depart for an unforgettable excursion to the medieval village of San Gimignano with its original “skyline” and Volterra, famous for its alabaster crafts.
  • Lunch on own in San Gimignano with some time to explore the city.
  • In the late afternoon, return to Tavarnelle for dinner.
  • Overnight.

Swimming pool in Tuscany


Day Six

  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Meet the chef for your final cooking lesson, which focuses on making a full Tuscan meal.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts with local wine included.
  • Afternoon on your own to relax, and perhaps enjoy the pool.
  • Farewell dinner tonight at Cortefreda.
  • Overnight.

Day Seven

  • Buffet breakfast and checkout.
  • Private transfer to Florence train station or airport.

Day One

  • Transfer from Florence airport or train station to Borgo di Cortefreda Resort in the heart of Chianti Classico.
  • Enjoy a warm welcome from Nadia, the manager, and her young and passionate staff.
  • Welcome dinner and overnight.

Hotel in Tuscany


Day Two

  • Following a buffet breakfast, begin your first hands-on cooking lesson with Chef Alessandro or Chef Veronica, where you’ll make Tuscan appetizers and a first seasonal course.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, depart for the village of Greve in Chianti to visit the butcher, “Il Falorni.” You will also see the medieval village of Montefioralle, which is famous for its amazing views of Greve Valley. Your afternoon excursion ends with a wine tasting at a local estate.
  • Dinner tonight at the beautiful restaurant “Le Scuderie” in Badia a Passignano.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight.

Pasta class in Italy


Day Three

  • Buffet breakfast.
  • In the morning, your next cooking lesson, which focuses on pasta and sauces.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, with local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, meet your host Nadia in Cortefreda’s wine cellar for a guided tasting of the area’s wines.
  • Dinner at the hotel and overnight.

Square in Siena, Italy


Day Four

  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Head out to Siena, which is famous for its horse race “Il Palio.” (Your English-speaking driving guide will give you art/history information about Siena on the way. Optional licensed guide in Siena can be arranged for an additional cost, please inquire for details.)
  • Light lunch in a local trattoria with a glass of local wine.
  • In the afternoon, return to Cortefreda for the third cooking class with Chef Alessandro or Chef Veronica. The chef will lead you in a preparation of a Tuscan main course with seasonal side dishes.
  • Dinner based on your efforts will follow with local wine.
  • Overnight.

Day Five

  • Buffet breakfast and checkout. Private transfer to Florence train station.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

6 nights accommodation in classic double room

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 4 lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • Local wine included with all included meals

Classes & Instructors

4 cooking classes with chefs Alessandro and Veronica. Alessandro has worked for years in restaurants in Tuscany, while Veronica has been at the Borgo’s restaurant since 2014 and assisting in the cooking classes since 2016. Your classes will be supplemented by herbs and vegetables from the garden.
Your classes feature:

  • appetizers and seasonal first course
  • pastas and sauces
  • main dishes with seasonal sides
  • creating a full Tuscan meal

Excursions

  • Excursion to Greve in Chianti and Montefioralle, with winery visit
  • Half-day excursion to Siena
  • Half-day excursion to San Gimignano and Volterra

Transfer Details

  • Arrival transfer from Florence airport (around 12:00 noon) or train station (around 3:30 PM).
  • Return transfer around 10 AM to Florence train station or airport.

Other transfers will be charged an extra 120 Euros each way.

Miscellaneous

  • Wine tasting at Borgo di Cortefreda

Not Included

  • Tips
  • Extra beverages
  • Licensed guide in Siena or San Gimignano (can be arranged on request)

Included in the 4-Night Trip

Accommodations

4 nights accommodation in classic double room

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • Local wine included with all included meals

Classes & Instructors

3 cooking classes with chefs Alessandro and Veronica. Alessandro has worked for years in restaurants in Tuscany, while Veronica has been at the Borgo’s restaurant since 2014 and assisting in the cooking classes since 2016. Your classes will be supplemented by herbs and vegetables from the garden.
Your classes feature:

  • appetizers and seasonal first course
  • pastas and sauces
  • main dishes with seasonal sides

Excursions

  • Excursion to Greve in Chianti and Montefioralle, with winery visit
  • Half-day excursion to Siena

Transfer Details

  • Arrival transfer from Florence airport (around 12:00 noon) or train station (around 3:30 PM).
  • Return transfer around 10 AM to Florence train station or airport.

Other transfers will be charged an extra 120 Euros each way.

Miscellaneous

  • Wine tasting at Borgo di Cortefreda

Not Included

  • Tips
  • Extra beverages
  • Licensed guide in Siena or San Gimignano (can be arranged on request)

Accommodation Information

The Borgo di Cortefreda is situated just outside the small town of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa in a relaxing and beautiful setting in the Chianti countryside. The 55 rooms are decorated in a rustic Tuscan style, and all include an ensuite bath as well as a satellite TV, telephone, hair dryer, mini-fridge, safe, Internet, and air conditioning, and most rooms include a balcony or terrace. Other amenities on the property include a spa, sauna, fitness room, bar, and a panoramic swimming pool and jacuzzi.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


High Season Pricing:
April 1 - September 30

6-night Program
US$3600 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$475 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$300 per person when booking 4 or more people

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Low Season Pricing:
January 1 - March 31; October 1 - December 31

6-night Program
US$3300 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$475 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$300 per person when booking 4 or more people

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks for a minimum of 2 people.

Itinerary usually starts on Sunday, but other start days possible.

2019
January 20-26
January 27-February 2
February 3-9
February 10-16
February 17-23
February 24-March 2
March 3-9
March 10-16
March 17-23
March 24-30
March 31-April 6
April 7-13
April 14-20
April 21-27
April 28-May 4
May 5-11
May 12-18
May 19-25
May 26-June 1
June 2-8
June 9-15
June 16-22
June 23-29
June 30-July 6
July 7-13
July 14-20
July 21-27
July 28-August 3
August 4-10
August 11-17
August 18-24
August 25-31
September 1-7
September 8-14
September 15-21
September 22-28
September 29-October 5
October 6-12
October 13-19
October 20-26
October 27-November 2
November 3-9
November 10-16
November 17-23
November 24-30
December 1-7
December 8-14
December 15-21
December 22-28

Looking for tour date information?


High Season Pricing:
April 1 - September 30

4-night Program
US$2450 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$325 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$200 per person when booking 4 or more people

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Low Season Pricing:
January 1 - March 31; October 1 - December 31

4-night Program
US$2300 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$325 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$200 per person when booking 4 or more people

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks for a minimum of 2 people.

Itinerary usually starts on Sunday, but other start dates possible.

2019
January 20-24
January 27-31
February 3-7
February 10-14
February 17-21
February 24-28
March 3-7
March 10-14
March 17-21
March 24-28
March 31-April 4
April 7-11
April 14-18
April 21-25
April 28-May 2
May 5-9
May 12-16
May 19-23
May 26-30
June 2-6
June 9-13
June 16-20
June 23-27
June 30-July 4
July 7-11
July 14-18
July 21-25
July 28-August 1
August 4-8
August 11-15
August 18-22
August 25-29
September 1-5
September 8-12
September 15-19
September 22-26
September 29-October 3
October 6-10
October 13-17
October 20-24
October 27-31
November 3-7
November 10-14
November 17-21
November 24-28
December 1-5
December 8-12
December 15-19
December 22-26

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Robert & Diane
Nevada
Trip taken May 2015
Loved every minute!
No rating given with this review
Chef Luca, Massimiliano and the staff at Cortefreda made me feel welcome and like family. Every cooking lesson with Luca was wonderful. He is very good at teaching and very patient. Massimiliano does a wonderful job of doing a wine tasting to include olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey - which is a different twist for me at a wine tasting in the U.S. Also, I learned to much about agriculture in the region - wine making and olive oil. The excursions we took daily to other towns were great, as well as the meals we ate at other restaurants. Chef Luca encourages the class to get involved with the actual cooking. There were four of us in the class and that was a perfect number. Cooking in Chianti with Chef Luca is an experience I will never forget. In fact, I would take another course from him. There was no one 'special' moment for me on this trip --- every day was special with Luca, Massimiliano and my other three classmates. I am very, very satisfied with this trip. I recommend this to anyone wanting to cook and see some of Tuscany. Norma B., CA
No rating given with this review
Spectacular! Situated among the rolling hillsides covered with olive trees and vineyards, we found the Borgo di Cortefreda the perfect place to experience "Cooking in the Heart of Chianti." So many people made this experience so extraordinary! The caring staff at the hotel were sensitive to our every need, the tour guides we exceptional in their knowledge and history and even took us to some places that were off the "beaten track" such as Villa Cusona and the medieval walled town of Monteriggioni. Exceptional was Chef Luca! His patience and attention to each one of us was only surpassed by his thoughtful and creative use of ingredients authentic to the region. How fortunate the four of us were to work with him. Thank you The International Kitchen for finding and organizing this remarkable experience! Susan & Steven H., IL
No rating given with this review
It was absolutely outstanding - beyond our expectations. The Borgo di Cortefreda was a very charming and most comfortable in a fantastic Tuscany setting. Their Chef Alessio was both an outstanding chef but also a great teacher. The manager, Massimilion (Max) was most energetic, knew his foods and wines and did all of the things for us promised in your brochure including a personal guided tour of the area including wine tastings and seeing sights we never could have found by ourselves. We would recommend this to anyone. The airport services were right on time and provided with a very impressive English speaking driver (married to an American) in a Mercedes. It was a WOW! [The program packet was] very complete, accurate and truthful. Good job. [The International Kitchen staff was] very complete and accurate. [They] helped us determine where we wanted to go from several good sounding choices. We decided on the Borgo because they were devoting more time to the hands-on cooking than the others - we have been to Tuscany several times before and were not so interested in tours. Thanks to your help we made an excellent choice. Keith & Kathleen T., WI
No rating given with this review
We are back in Tennessee and we really miss our friends at Cortefreda!!! Especially Chef Luca and Massimiliano! We will never be able to stop talking up our trip to Tuscany. And we will be sending people to stay there! We really hated leaving, and Rob is putting up a great review on TripAdvisor! We felt like family there, and it was sooooo beautiful! I wish I could write tho in Italian. Hopefully by the next time we come to Tuscany, we will be able to speak the language! Oh la la! Thinking of Chef Luca and his wife and their first baby also! Rob and Robyn J., TN
No rating given with this review
The cooking school itself was very good. I enjoyed the active participation and the small class size. The variety of cooking, wine tasting and outings was just right, along with the free time to enjoy walks in the community. The pace was so relaxing. The partnership with Borgo Corte Fredo is a great one. They speak highly of The International Kitchen and they do everything to make the experience a great one. I was so impressed with the participation of Chef Luca. He was so personable and made the experience all the better. Francine S., Canada
No rating given with this review
We loved this trip. The hotel and staff were always there when we had any sort of question. We felt well-taken care of all the time. The hotel is comfortable and in a beautiful setting in Chianti. Luca was the best chef. He allowed us choice in what we would cook. He carefully shared many of his culinary secrets with us. We made cantuccini and he even packed some up for us to take home. We loved working with him. All of our side trips were interesting and best of all fun. There was a nice balance in more organized functions and time for us to just explore. Our drivers always filled us in on historical details. And they shared places we should get a gelato or a special lunch. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] Yes, all of the details were there. Plus the hotel staff updated us each day with what was planned. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] The Chicago staff are always the best. They helped us narrow our search to this trip. Robert & Diane B., NV
No rating given with this review
We were very satisfied with the Italian partners. Everything went like clockwork, the drivers arrived and whisked us to our destinations on time. The cooking classes were everything we could hope for. We were amazed and pleased to find that we were the the only students. The only down side was the restaurant in Tavernelle was not the best we had. The staff at the hotel were as wonderful as possible. The wine and food were superb. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] All relevant information was provided. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] The staff in Chicago was outstanding. Arthur A. & Marcia F., IL
_Response from The International Kitchen:_ Thank you for your feedback! We're glad to hear you had such a wonderful time. We will relay your feedback on the Tavernelle restaurant to your hosts. Thank you again.