Living the Real Tuscan Dream

Tuscany is one of the world’s most popular destinations, and its increase in popularity make the “authentic” Tuscany at time a little harder to find. But look no further! This unique culinary vacation is meant exclusively for those who are looking for a true Tuscan experience, the one lived by the Tuscans themselves. Immerse yourself in the Chianti countryside, take a break from the hi-tech world by embracing local slow rhythms and medieval rituals, and rediscover the pleasures and pure joy of simple food, gorgeous scenery, and beautiful souls!

Chef Andrea defines himself as a Chianti “host” which explains a lot about his personality. An avid adventurer and great communicator, he has lived in Chianti his entire life, knows every single corner of the region, and through his different professional ventures has always shared his limitless passion for his land: he ran a restaurant, gave guided visits to a historical winery for years, and has organized Tuscan dinners all around the US.

What essentially marks the difference in between Italian and other cuisines is the importance of fresh and tasty ingredients versus the preparation techniques. Apart from the cooking phase which is of course a key component, the focus of this culinary trip is definitely the “journey” that all the local ingredients made before ending up in the kitchen. You will pick up the veggies from the chef’s garden, learn more about the seasonal ingredients and talk to the local producers (meat, cheese, olive oil, wine and more).

Living the Real Tuscan Dream Itinerary

Day One

  • Transfer from Florence airport or train station in the late morning or early afternoon to Andrea’s home in the Chianti countryside (about 1 hour away).
  • Check in to your home for the week, a little slice of heaven, and enjoy a welcome glass of wine.
  • Welcome dinner prepared by Andrea, who will introduce the program for the week.

Tuscany vacation BandB

Day Two

  • Fresh homemade breakfast served at the house.
  • In the morning meet Andrea in his veggie garden, learn more about his particular way to grow plants, and then gather the seasonal vegetables for your first class. Your hands-on cooking class will be held right afterwards, lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon enjoy a half-day excursion to nearby Siena, called also “The Gothic Dream.” Meet your licensed local guide and learn about the history and legends of the town which was long the obstinate enemy of Florence. Explore “Il Campo,” the enormous square where Palio horse race has been held for centuries twice a year. You will have some time on your own for shopping before savoring a tasty dinner in the evocative atmosphere of Siena.
  • Return home after dinner. Overnight.

Cooking class in Tuscany

Day Three

  • Fresh homemade breakfast served at the house.
  • In the morning meet Andrea in the kitchen for your second cooking class with lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon transfer to Dievole, one of the very oldest wineries on Earth. Founded back in 1090, Dievole still produces a famous Chianti Classico aiming to recover the character of the historically indigenous Tuscan grapes and transfer them into the glass with the utmost respect for the authenticity of the terroir and varietal identity. Enjoy a guided tour of the ancient wine cellars and a tasting of olive and wine to follow.
  • Return to your home. Dinner at the house and overnight.

Vineyard in Italy

Day Four

  • Fresh homemade breakfast served at the house.
  • The schedule for this morning varies according to the season, as it will be dependent on a special ingredient: in early September you might grab mushrooms and take part in the wine harvest; in November you would pick the olives; in summer time you would make home made gelato in a nearby gelateria in Castellina in Chianti; in the springtime you might go hunting for wild asparagus and make sausage in a local butcher shop. Lunch included and based on the seasonal ingredient.
  • In the late afternoon join Andrea in his kitchen for a pizza and bread baking class and learn about yeast and baking techniques. Pizza dinner to follow.
  • Overnight.

Cooking class al fresco

Day Five

  • Fresh homemade breakfast served at the house.
  • At 11.00 am meet your private driving guide and enjoy a full day excursion to Southern Tuscany. The first stop will be Montepulciano, a lovely hill-top medieval village with perfectly preserved walls and great views on Orcia valley hills. Enjoy some time on your own in town, and make sure to climb the Public Palace and to stop in one of the underground cellars and sip a glass of Nobile, Montepulciano’s signature full bodied red wine.
  • Lunch on your own in one of the city trattorias.
  • In the afternoon your explorations continue in Pienza, a true symbol of the Renaissance. Walk along the narrow, romantic streets of this tiny village that was home to Pope Pius II and that still perfectly represents the essence of Tuscany over five hundreds years later.
  • Before heading back to Chianti stop at Podere il Casale, a local cheese-maker in the Pienza countryside where you will have an entirely cheese-based dinner.
  • Return home and overnight.

Tuscan town

Day Six

  • Fresh homemade breakfast served at the house.
  • This morning you will have free time to relax by the pool or hike in the countryside on your own. Lunch based on Andrea’s garden vegetables will be served.
  • After lunch enjoy your farewell cooking class with a final dinner to follow.
  • Overnight.

Kitchen in Tuscany

Day Seven

  • Breakfast, a fond farewell to Andrea, and departure transfer to Florence airport or train station.