Tasting the local products on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Visiting Arezzo on a Tuscany cooking vacation
An authentic Florentine bakery on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Bread making on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Culinary Tour in Tuscany Pasta making class
The kitchen at the Villa Casagrande
The garden at the Hotel Villa Casagrande on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Detail of the kitchen on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Wine tasting at the Hotel Villa Casagrande on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Dining room at the hotel Villa Casagrande on a Tuscany cooking vacation
A view of the Duomo of Florence on a Tuscany cooking vacation
The Florence Duomo on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Wine tasting in the vineyard on an Italy cooking vacation
Fresh vegetables at market
San Gimignano on your culinary vacation in Tuscany
Wine fermentation on a culinary vacation in Italy
The lobby of the Hotel Villa Casagrande on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Bedroom of the hotel Villa Casagrande on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Pool at the hotel Villa Casagrande on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Museum at the hotel Villa Casagrande on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Outdoor pool at the hotel Villa Casagrande on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Lobby of the hotel Villa Casagrande on a Tuscany cooking vacation
Table with a view in Tuscany
Salotto at the hotel Villa Casagrande
Spa at the hotel Villa Casagrande
Bedroom at the hotel Villa Casagrande
Overview

Classic Tuscan Table at Villa Casagrande

Bedroom at the hotel Villa CasagrandeThis trip is eligible for our Worry-Free Booking promotion.

Tuscany is a land known for its rolling hills, beautiful vineyards, and olive groves. A part of the region’s charm also comes from the quaint towns that populate the countryside. Situated a short way from Florence, travelers will find the tranquil town of Figline Valdarno. The 12th century town once had 19 towers as well as 4 gates; vestiges of that architecture remain, including walls around the town. Today it is a wonderful place to take a stroll — the historical medieval center is home to more than just the weekly food market — and use as a jumping off point for discovering the area. From Figline Valdarno, discover the wines of Chianti Classico, nearby hill towns. and the historical cities of Siena and San Gimignano. A juxtaposition to this quaint town, this Classic Tuscan Table itinerary also features some time in the vibrant city of Florence, where travelers will have a chance to explore and discover the Italian food scene, complete with a visit to a beloved bakery.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Priscilla & Roy
IA
Our holiday could not have been better. It was the best time, our itinerary, drivers, and tour guides were wonderful. Easy to book, easy to customize, great itinerary, amazing trip, not one thing to complain about. TIK, will be hearing from us again for our next major vacation. Kudos to the TIK staff and their Italian partners! - Roy Every detail was perfect. A great stress free vacation with a wonderful cooking experience. We learned a lot. Chef Anna was terrific and we made some great foodie friends - Priscilla

Trip Details

Your 3 cooking classes will help you delve into the traditional flavors of Tuscan cuisine. The classes with be with a local chef, Anna, while surrounded by some of Italy’s best scenery. The informal but informative cooking classes showcase the basic principles of Italian cuisine, including pasta, stews, pizza, and more.
Classes include:

  • Three three hands-on classes at the Villa’s ancient kitchen

Itinerary

Day One

  • Arrive in Florence and transfer from either Florence airport or train station to Villa Casagrande in the charming town of Figline Valdarno.
  • Settle into your superior room, and, if time allows, enjoy entrance to the wellness center at the hotel.
  • At 6 p.m. go on a guided visit of the villa, followed by a wine tasting produced on the villa’s estate.
  • Welcome dinner at the hotel restaurant.
  • Overnight.

Arezzo, Italy


Day Two

  • Breakfast.
  • Around 9:30 a.m. depart with your driver for a half-day visit of Arezzo, which is the hometown to important figures in Italian culture such as the poet Petrarca and architect Vasari. The town was also featured in the movie “Life is Beautiful.” After a stroll through town with your guide, enjoy some time on your own; perhaps visit the church of San Francesco and its famous frescoes by Piero della Francesca, one of the fathers of the Renaissance.
  • Lunch today will be at a local trattoria in downtown Arezzo, local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, around 4 pm, meet Chef Anna for your first hands-on cooking class in the well-equipped kitchen at Villa Casagrande. Dinner to follow based on your efforts, local wine included.
  • Overnight.

Sitting room at the hotel


Day Three

  • After breakfast, visit the local weekly market in Figline Valdarno’s square (Tuesdays only). Meet the locals and pick out some fresh ingredients for your next cooking class. Return to the hotel for your hands-on course with the chef in which you’ll learn how to make seasonal and traditional Tuscan dishes.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, enjoy some time on your own. (Optional excursions can be booked arranged, such as a visit to an olive mill, or a nearby mall outlet. These add-ons can be arranged with our Florence office once you’re in Italy).
  • Dinner tonight at a local restaurant known for its fish menu, local wine included.
  • Overnight.

Cooking class in Tuscany


Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • Start your day with your next Tuscan cooking class. Lunch to follow based on your efforts, wine included.
  • In the afternoon, depart for the lovely wine region of Chianti Classico. While in Greve in Chianti, you’ll have a chance to taste the excellent local wine, as well as visit the village of Montefioralle. The village offers a stunning view of the surrounding valley; be sure to bring your camera!
  • Enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant in Badia a Passignano along with local wine.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight.

San Gimignano, Tuscany


Day Five

  • Breakfast.
  • Depart for a full-day excursion to two special Tuscan cities: San Gimignano and Siena.
  • In the morning, discover the preserved medieval town of San Gimignano, which if famous for its towers. Go up its highest tower — Torre Mangia — for some beautiful views (but just know it’s quite a walk!) Perhaps also take some time to visit the Collegiate Church, which features 14th century frescoes.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • In the afternoon, visit the medieval town of Siena, which is perhaps best known for its famous horse race “il Palio” that takes place in its central piazza. (If you would like a guide tour with a licensed guide in Siena that can be arranged for an additional cost).
  • Transfer to Florence and check in to your centrally-located 3-star hotel.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight in Florence.

Ponte Vecchio in Florence


Day Six

  • Breakfast.
  • Spend the morning on your own in the magnificent city of Florence. (An optional guided tour of Museo Opera del Duomo and the Baptistery can be arranged for an additional cost, or to the Uffizi and Accademia galleries).
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Meet a guide for a tour of the San Niccolo quarter, where you’ll discover art galleries as well as local craftsmen shops. The tour ends at a lovely bakery, where you’ll taste Florentine bread, pizza, and olive oil schiacciata.
  • Dinner on your own (if you’re still hungry!).
  • Overnight in Florence.

Day Seven

  • Breakfast followed by check out.
  • Take a private transfer to either Florence airport or train station.

Day One

  • Arrive in Florence and transfer from either Florence airport or train station to Villa Casagrande in the charming town of Figline Valdarno.
  • Settle into your room, and, if time allows, enjoy entrance to the wellness center at the hotel.
  • At 6 p.m. go on a guided visit of the villa, followed by a wine tasting produced on the villa’s estate.
  • Welcome dinner at the hotel restaurant.
  • Overnight.

Lobby of Villa Casagrande


Day Two

  • Breakfast.
  • Around 9:30 a.m. depart with your driver for a half-day visit of Arezzo, which is the hometown to important figures in Italian culture such as the poet Petrarca and architect Vasari. The town was also featured in the movie “Life is Beautiful.” After a stroll through town with your guide, enjoy some time on your own; perhaps visit the church of San Francesco and its famous frescoes by Piero della Francesca, one of the fathers of the Renaissance.
  • Lunch today will be at a local trattoria in downtown Arezzo, local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, meet Chef Anna around 4:00 pm for your first hands-on cooking class in the well-equipped kitchen at Villa Casagrande. Dinner to follow based on your efforts, local wine included.
  • Overnight.

Market in Tuscany


Day Three

  • After breakfast, visit the local weekly market in Figline Valdarno’s square (Tuesdays only). Meet the locals and pick out some fresh ingredients for your next cooking class. Return to the hotel for your hands-on course with the chef in which you’ll learn how to make seasonal and traditional Tuscan dishes.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, local wine included.
  • In the afternoon, enjoy some time on your own. (Optional excursions can be booked arranged, such as a visit to an olive mill, or a nearby mall outlet. These add-ons can be arranged with our Florence office once you’re in Italy).
  • Dinner tonight at a restaurant known for its fish menu, local wine included.
  • Overnight.

Greve in Chianti, Tuscany


Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • Start your day with your next Tuscan cooking class. Lunch to follow based on your efforts, wine included.
  • In the afternoon, depart for the lovely wine region of Chianti Classico. While in Greve in Chianti, you’ll have a chance to taste the excellent local wine, as well as visit the village of Montefioralle. The village offers a stunning view of the surrounding valley; be sure to bring your camera!
  • Enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant in Badia a Passignano along with local wine.
  • Return to the hotel and overnight.

Day Five

  • Breakfast and return transfer to Florence train station or airport.
    If you’d like to stay for the full-day excursion before returning to Florence, please inquire.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

6 nights accommodations (4 nights in superior double room at the Hotel Villa Casagrande, 2 nights in a double room at 3* hotel in Florence)

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • Local products tasting in Florence
  • Local wine included with all included meals

Classes & Instructors

Your 3 cooking classes will help you delve into the traditional flavors of Tuscan cuisine. The classes with be with a local chef, Anna, while surrounded by some of Italy’s best scenery. The informal but informative cooking classes showcase the basic principles of Italian cuisine, including pasta, stews, pizza, and more.
Classes include:

  • Three three hands-on classes at the Villa’s ancient kitchen

Excursions

  • Half-day visit to Arezzo with licensed guide and time on own
  • Market visit in Figline (Tuesdays only)
  • Half-day excursion to Chianti including winery visit and tasting
  • Full-day excursion to Siena & San Gimignano
  • Tour of Florence’s San Niccolò quarter including bakery tasting

Transfer Details

  • Arrival group transfer around 12:00 noon from Florence airport and around 3:30 p.m. from Florence train station (transfer times may vary slightly week to week, please contact us before you finalize your travel itinerary).
  • Transfer on day 5 to Florence (airport or train station for those doing 4-night itinerary, to Florence hotel for those doing 6-night itinerary
  • Departure group transfer after breakfast on day 7 to Florence airport or train station (for those doing 6-night itinerary)

 If you cannot make the regular transfer times, a special transfer can be arranged at the cost of 120 Euros each way.

Included in the 4-Night Trip

Accommodations

4 nights accommodation in superior double room at the Hotel Villa Casagrande

Food & Beverages

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

Classes & Instructors

3 cooking classes with a local chef, Anna, held in the villa’s ancient kitchen. The informal but informative cooking classes showcase the basic principles of Italian cuisine, including pasta, stews, pizza, and more.

Excursions

  • Half-day visit to Arezzo with licensed guide and time on own
  • Market visit in Figline (Tuesdays only)
  • Half-day excursion to Chianti

Transfer Details

  • Arrival group transfer around 12:00 noon from Florence airport and around 3:30 p.m. from Florence train station (transfer times may vary slightly week to week, please contact us before you finalize your travel itinerary).
  • Transfer on day 5 to Florence (airport or train station for those doing 4-night itinerary, to Florence hotel for those doing 6-night itinerary
  • Departure group transfer after breakfast on day 7 to Florence airport or train station (for those doing 6-night itinerary)

 If you cannot make the regular transfer times, a special transfer can be arranged at the cost of 120 Euros each way.

Accommodation Information

Dating back to the end of the 14th century, the Villa Casagrande is a large hotel that is enclosed by the town walls of Figline Valdarno. The elegant hotel features 60 bright and spacious renovated rooms that offer a warm ambiance and every modern comfort, including hair dryers, mini-bars, air-conditioning, and room safes. You can also relax in the wellness spa which features a heated swimming pool, sauna, hammam, hydro-massage tub, and sensory showers; and offers spa services. A restaurant is on site as well, and offers wonderful Tuscan cuisine. As you’ll see during a tour, the property also has a farm, which includes a wine fermentation room, wine cellar, and storehouse. A computer with Internet is available in the hotel lobby.

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For those who decide to book the 6-night option, the final two nights include accommodations at a beautiful 3-star hotel in the chic San Niccolò neighborhood. The hotel features modern amenities and has a wonderful outdoor terrace. (An upgrade to a 4-star hotel in Florence is available; please inquire.)

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


2020-2021 Pricing:

6-night Program
US$3475 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$420 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Add US$275 per person to upgrade to 4* hotel in Florence (double occupancy)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.

Upgrade to 4* hotel in Florence single occupancy: please inquire.


Tour Dates

Available year round for a minimum of 2 people. Sample dates follow, please inquire for availability.

Itinerary starts on Sunday.

2020
October 25-31
November 1-7
November 8-14
November 15-21
November 22-28
November 29-December 5
December 6-12
December 13-19
December 20-26

2021
January 3-9
January 10-16
January 17-23
January 24-30
January 31-February 6
February 7-13
February 14-20
February 21-27
February 28-March 6
March 7-13
March 14-20
March 21-27
March 28-April 3
April 4-10
April 11-17
April 18-24
April 25-May 1
May 2-8
May 9-15
May 16-22
May 23-29
May 30-June 5
June 6-12
June 13-19
June 20-26
June 27-July 3
July 4-10
July 11-17
July 18-24
July 25-31
August 1-7
August 8-14
August 15-21
August 22-28
August 29-September 4
September 5-11
September 12-18
September 19-25
September 26-October 2
October 3-9
October 10-16
October 17-23
October 24-30
October 31-November 6
November 7-13
November 14-20
November 21-27
November 28-December 4
December 5-11
December 12-18
December 19-25

Looking for tour date information?


2020-2021 Pricing:

4-night Program
US$2475 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$280 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.


Tour Dates

Available year round for a minimum of 2 people. Sample dates follow, please inquire for availability.

Itinerary generally starts on Sunday.

2020
October 25-29
November 1-5
November 8-12
November 15-19
November 22-26
November 29-December 3
December 6-10
December 13-17
December 20-24

2021
January 3-7
January 10-14
January 17-21
January 24-28
January 31-February 4
February 7-11
February 14-18
February 21-25
February 28-March 4
March 7-11
March 14-18
March 21-25
March 28-April 1
April 4-8
April 11-15
April 18-22
April 25-29
May 2-6
May 9-13
May 16-20
May 23-27
May 30-June 3
June 6-10
June 13-17
June 20-24
June 27-July 1
July 4-8
July 11-15
July 18-22
July 25-29
August 1-5
August 8-12
August 15-19
August 22-26
August 29-September 2
September 5-9
September 12-16
September 29-23
September 26-30
October 3-7
October 10-14
October 17-21
October 24-28
October 31-November 4
November 7-11
November 14-18
November 21-25
November 28-December 2
December 5-9
December 12-16
December 10-23

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Priscilla & Roy
IA
Our holiday could not have been better. It was the best time, our itinerary, drivers, and tour guides were wonderful. Easy to book, easy to customize, great itinerary, amazing trip, not one thing to complain about. TIK, will be hearing from us again for our next major vacation. Kudos to the TIK staff and their Italian partners! - Roy Every detail was perfect. A great stress free vacation with a wonderful cooking experience. We learned a lot. Chef Anna was terrific and we made some great foodie friends - Priscilla
I gave this trip 5 stars
Lois
MO
(This traveler left a starred review with no comments.)
We gave this trip 5 stars
Bonnie & Stephanie
Virginia
Trip taken March 2018
I can't thank Richard at The International Kitchen enough for really listening to me and my wish list while planning my perfect Italian cooking vacation. It was pure perfection from the moment our driver picked us up at the airport and brought us to the lovely Villa Casagrande. We met the most wonderful people, learned to cook amazing food and dined at outstanding restaurants. Had excellent tours and wine tastings, shopping, and excursions. Learned so much about Italy today and throughout history. All while sleeping in and never feeling rushed. Overfed and spoiled to death perhaps . So thrilled and can't wait to plan the next trip!!
We gave this trip 5 stars
KAREN & TAMARA
Trip taken April 2018
Trip was great I would recommend it to anyone who wants a fabulous experience. It was by all means my favorite trip ever. Thank you for recommending these places. We stayed at Villa Casa Grande and it was fabulous. Chef Anna was great and I Learned a lot from her and would recommend staying here to anyone who loves to eat, have good wine and loves history. Daniella explained everything about the Villa and its history and wine. We actually ordered wine to be delivered home to us. The staff was truly fantastic I would go back in a heart beat . Everyday we would say it doesn't get any better than this and it did. (Note from TIK: The clients also did Cooking and Vineyards of Southern Tuscany.)
I gave this trip 5 stars
Betty
California
Trip taken May 2008
I had a wonderful week. The chef as well as your International European Partners were exceptional. All the tours were fun, well thought out with informative guides. The dinners at Casa Grande were also a wonderful experience. The food was exceptional every night... I do not think I could have asked for a more wonderful group of people to be in a class with. We just seemed to hit it off from the very beginning. I know you cannot control that, but the people I met were wonderful and I would do a trip with them again any time. All of us were there for different reasons and certainly [had] different comfort levels in the kitchen, but that did not matter. Chef Claudio made us all feel like were were successful. Everything was "Perfetto" whether it was or not we had a great time making everything he would let us tackle. It was definitely the right class for me and I could not have asked for a more perfect way to kick off my retirement. You have a wonderful staff in Chicago and Europe. Everyone really made me feel important and I know you have hundreds of guests every year so it would be easy for a single guest like myself to get lost in the crowd, but that did not happen.
We gave this trip 5 stars
Kate & Joe
Florida
We felt we had had one of the best vacations ever and we've been to Italy several times and on a couple of tours. ... The food related itineraries to break up the week were lovely (wine tasting at Giovanni's, balsamic tasting outside of Greve, the Figline market). I would have enjoyed a full day in Siena, but that taste of the city will lead to another trip, no doubt. Our accommodations at the Hotel Casagrande were superb...the close walk to town a good idea and the dining there delightful. I can't say enough and will recommend this to our friends.
I gave this trip 5 stars
Marsha
Virginia
My trip was amazing. From the cooking to the sight seeing...it was my most memorable trip to date...I have made new friends. Touring was great and it was so easy for us to get around. The Hotel Casagrande was beautiful and very accommodating. Thank you. I hope to do this again!!
No rating given with this review
The experience was more complete than we expected with the excellent selection of excursions that we experienced. That made the one week much more than just a cooking class experience. It added a true flavor of the countryside, the villages, the weekly open air market, and the people of Tuscany. The fantastic accomodations at the Villa Casagrande were a real surprise! What a lovely stay we had. The room, the grounds, the restaurant, the wine tour, and the building tour, were all excellent. We just loved our stay there. ...We look forward to other cooking school options with The International Kitchen and cannot thank you enough for all of your assistance with our concerns, questions, and requests in the planning of this wonderful vacation. Everything was done in a very professional manner. There was nothing lacking in the planning of our trip. The reservation for our car for the second week of our vacation was very satisfactory. We would not hesitate to highly recommend your company to family and friends. As a matter of fact we have given several recommendations already! Charles, SC
No rating given with this review
All I can tell you is that thanks to International Kitchen, the nice people I was with, and wonderful Chef, I had the best birthday celebration I could have ever had in Tuscany! I learned so much in the kitchen and loved the sightseeing component. The Villa Casagrande was a lovely property. I hope to do another cooking class in the future! Warm regards and kudos to the International Kitchen, Matthew S., IL
No rating given with this review
Villa Casagrande was such a haven and I enjoyed being close to the village. My highlight was visiting the local market and then cooking with the goodies we bought. Kerry, South Africa
No rating given with this review
To only emphasize once again, this trip was fabulous. I've been to Italy before and this trip....the Villa Casagrande and charming staff and accomodations, the transport staff, charming, witty, timely, knowledgable....truly adds up to excellence. I have resided in Carmel, CA for 30 years, living the experience of hotels and restuarants in a class "A " resort destination arena. And so, I need to tell you that your staff have certainly done their homework in putting together, excellent experiences for those of us having dreamt of the perfect adventures in Italy. It is such an emotionally charged land of compassionate, loving people, and you have truly hand-picked some marvelous folks to be a part of your group. My hat is off to you , and I applaude you one and all!!! You know, I'm sure that this vacation stuff is so important, as people do not get to experience such adventure as often as they should, SO THEY ARE SO LOOKING FORWARD TO IT, and do not know what to expect. We are sooo "in your hands". And I can only say, all aspects of our journey went so smoothly, it now seems surreal, and 7 women cannot wait to return. We are considering "an annual trip"!!!!!!!! By the way, 4 very good friends from California, met 3 wonderful sisters from the East Coast , bonded and had a terrific 4 days together, and perhaps made life long friendships! Thank-you for putting all your talents and passions together to give us such lasting memories, and warm-fuzzy thoughts to dreamily tuck in our hearts forever. applause!!! I'm terribly jealous of your jobs!!! Fondly, Linda , CA

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We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up directly!

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